THE STRIPER AND ACID RAIN (CONT.)
Congratulations on Robert H. Boyle's blockbuster article A Rain of Death on the Striper? (April 23). I will make a prediction that this article will do more for responsible decisions on acid rain than anything done past, present or future. You have made the striper the equivalent of the canary that the coal miners used in 19th-century Wales. Bob Boyle continues to be a giant-killer!
DONAL C. O'BRIEN JR.
Chairman of the Board of Directors
The National Audubon Society
New York City
BULL CYCLONE (CONT.)
After reading Frank Deford's article on Bob (Bull) (Cyclone) Sullivan, The Toughest Coach There Ever Was (April 30), I was touched. It's sad to think of a politician like Stumpy Harbour bringing a man to his knees like that.
However, I don't have any sympathy at all for Bull when it comes to the way he treated his players. Why run them off? Why degrade them? Why not just cut them or say there are not enough uniforms to go around? Why disillusion these young men and ruin a fun part of their lives for no apparent reason?
There is no more room for coaches like Bull in any sport at any level. They can't take it upon themselves to rule, crush and demean a person's spirit. Give me the great coaches who can run a business but still treat people right, who can leave the enjoyment in the game and still win—men like Bill Walsh and Tom Flores. Close the book on the Bull Cyclones.
?Reader Stickles, a Notre Dame All-America, was a tight end for the San Francisco 49ers (1960-67) and for the New Orleans Saints (1968).—ED.
Frank Deford's wonderful story about Bob (Bull) (Cyclone) Sullivan belongs, from now on, between the rich leather covers of an anthology of classic American literature.
When television comes begging for screen rights, Deford should refuse and sell them to the movies instead. He should demand that George C. Scott portray Sullivan, because, like George Patton, Sullivan knew his destiny. The parallels between the general and the football coach are unmistakable. Both were Blood and Guts. Their demands on themselves and on their men were remarkably similar. Each was an uncompromising, unrelenting, truly successful leader of men. Each was hated. Each was loved, even by those who hated him. Both the four-star general and the five-star coach never stopped grieving for their war dead.
There is another parallel. When Patton's first love—combat—ended, he knew somehow that his end was near. So it was for coach Sullivan, and of course, sadly, both warriors were right.
I agree Sullivan's end was tragic. But, the man left his mark, and it seems those who knew him celebrate his life.
Imagine, if you will, that you've spent months working on a very important feature article. You're proud of your work on it. You tell friends to be on the lookout for it. Finally, it appears and—you can't believe it! Somehow, some way, your name has been left off the piece. Totally omitted! And everybody else involved has gotten credit but you.