$40 MILLION QUARTERBACK
Jack McCallum's article (The Man with the Golden Arm, March 12) was most instructive concerning Los Angeles Express owner J. William Oldenburg's multimillion-dollar contract with Brigham Young University's All-America quarterback, Steve Young. But let's remember that the Express is buying not only that golden arm to throw with but also two golden legs to run with and a golden brain to direct with.
CLARK YOUNG, M.D.
(One of Brigham's great-grandsons)
Salt Lake City
"The man with the golden arm" was caught in one of your photographs showing off his golden toe. After signing that $40 million contract, Steve Young should never again have to wear socks with holes in them.
What has become of our virtues? Is nothing sacred anymore? The absurdity of it all! The USFL shows all the signs of an amateur boxer just turned pro. It throws everything it has at the NFL right off the bat, while the older, more experienced league just sits back and waits for the new league to wear itself down so the NFL can move in for the kill. Why, even the U.S. Government couldn't survive spending at this pace!
Come on, William Oldenburg, Donald Trump and the rest of you owners out there. Getting quality players for a new league is one thing. Going bankrupt while doing it is another. If the USFL keeps a cool head, a merger with the NFL may not be far off. If it doesn't, it may self-destruct. At this point, the latter seems more probable.
Sure the USFL can sign new stars to huge contracts. But the way it's going about it seems wrong. The USFL is giving out these enormous contracts by means of its owners using their outside businesses to pay for their stars. This just doesn't coincide with the U.S. way of doing things. The NFL obviously doesn't want to have an all-out contract war with the USFL because its teams want to stay within their means. With a salary war, we'd have so much red ink in pro football that, sooner or later, there probably wouldn't be any pro football at all.
SCHOOLS FOR UMPS
Armen Keteyian gets thumbs-up for his enlightening article on the road an umpire must take to make it to the big leagues ("Say 'He's Out!' Not 'You're Out!' or You're Out!" March 12). Now more people will understand what umpiring is about.
I've umpired at the Little League level for a few years, but I've never been quite sure about what one had to do to make it to the majors. After reading Keteyian's article, I decided I might want to go to Joe Brinkman's school. I hope others will now appreciate the work that the "bad guys" of baseball do.
In the article, a student in Joe Brinkman's Umpiring School who wanted to know if a batter is out if a fielder catches a foul ball in a box of popcorn was declared undeserving of a "blanking answer." At the risk of being "planed" by one of Brinkman's instructors while the class yells "Zoom, zoom, zoom," I'm going to ask another stupid question: Let's say a batter whose team is behind by one run slugs a two-run homer, giving his team an apparent victory. However, the opposing team complains that the batter's bat is covered by more than the allowed 18 inches of pine tar. Is he out?
JOHN F. VROLYKS
After watching Joe Brinkman & Co. do a minor league job in blowing the call in the Yankees-Royals pine tar classic at Yankee Stadium last summer, I'm surprised Brink-man hasn't called himself and his entire crew of that day"Out!"
BRUCE D. BERNHOLD
During the winter league season of 1972-73 in the Dominican Republic, I met and became friends with Joe Brinkman and two other umpires, Terry Cooney and Rich Garcia. What I remember most about these gentlemen is that they are humans, capable of making mistakes. Unfortunately, they perform under a microscope in a job that allows little or no tolerance for error. I haven't seen an athlete yet who has had that sort of pressure put on him. I feel I'm a better sports fan since crossing paths with Joe, Terry and Rich.