ONE MORE FOR THE CHAMP
Regarding Muhammad Ali's record 28 covers (19TH HOLE, Dec. 5), I believe the number should be 29. A check through my collection revealed that Ali (Clay) also appeared on the inside portion of the gatefold cover of your Dec. 22, 1969 issue. Tom Seaver was on the outside cover as Sportsman of the Year.
?O.K., make it 29.—ED.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE'S COACH
Curry Kirkpatrick's article on Jim Valvano (How King Rat Became Big Cheese, Dec. 5) was one of the best stories you have run all year. Valvano's wit, his style, his attitude, even his hugging make him just what our drug-ridden, money-grubbing sports society needs. I would pay just to watch him coach.
Does V know his basketball? Absolutely! Does Kirkpatrick know how to write? Oh, yes! Are Valvano and Kirkpatrick the best in their professions? No question about it.
Most of what Jim Valvano does for basketball, its fans and those who play the game for him cannot be quantified. It won't show up in the win-loss column or the box-score stats. One feels he gives his players a sense of purpose, preparing them not only for the Final Four, but also for life in general. He exposes their limitations and then somehow gets them to go one better. Coach V proves that it takes more than good recruiting and talented players to win games. Thanks for a fine article on a multidimensional man who certainly adds to a too often one-dimensional sport.
Enough already! Eleven pages—and 16 pictures yet—of the Mouth, Jimmy Valvano! Who cares? He makes Bobby Knight and Howard Cosell seem lovable.
There are plenty of good coaches around who care about their team rather than publicity for themselves. Lou Carnesecca of St. John's is one. How about stories on them?
New York City
What an issue for us roundball fans! The coverage of the Louisville-Kentucky game (The Big Cat Came to Play, Dec. 5) was super. And to answer Curry Kirkpatrick's questions: "How does it feel?" Great! "You happy?" Yes! "Satisfied?" Absolutely! "Fulfilled?" You bet. "Hey, Louisville, you still alive?" Alive and kicking!
Sure Louisville got beat—no, crushed—but the sport will be better for the addition of this regular-season game.
EARL L. TAYLOR
Thanks to Curry Kirkpatrick for his vivid account of the Kentucky- Louisville game and for his insight into the making of this series of regular-season meetings. Like many Kentucky fans around the state, I have anxiously awaited the beginning of this rivalry because it will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Kentucky is still the only way to say—or play—basketball in the Bluegrass State.
MICHAEL K. CURRY