After watching the Bears-Cowboys game a few weeks ago, I can honestly say that I saw a tremendously talented defensive football player: Dan Hampton of the Bears. He was all over the field. Too bad Charlie Waters didn't see him play, because he would have to retract his "White is the best player, period" statement.
LAMAR GANT'S EXAMPLE
You're doing it! You're making an SI reader of me. Ever since I became involved in running and doing my own marathons 15 years ago, I've turned off my television and stopped reading about professional sports. My heroes became triathletes Sally Edwards and Dave Scott and 100-mile runner Jim King. But I've found your recent articles on cyclist Greg LeMond (Climbing Clear Up To The Heights, Sept. 3) and powerlifter Lamar Gant (He Bends But He Doesn't Break, Oct. 22) to be some of the best sports journalism I've come across. Going beyond the scores, the stats and the team competition to the inner makeup of an individual athlete—that's the strength of your magazine. I look forward to more.
JOEL K. UHER
Lamar Gant for Sportsman of the Year! In an era in which too many pampered athletes first whine about how poorly they're treated because their multimillion-dollar contracts aren't enough and then put out less than their best. I am truly impressed by Gant. Here's a man who has built himself into the best in the world by what would seem to be outdated ethics: extremely hard work, total dedication and a real love for his sport. And Gant gets nothing more out of it than the deep satisfaction of knowing that he has done the best he possibly could. For that, for approaching sport fairly and honestly—that is, without drugs—for helping to dispel the Ugly American image so many of our athletes and coaches foster overseas and, even more important, for being a shining, smiling example of a truly joyous and wonderful human being (a nearly extinct species), he most assuredly deserves accolades from all of us. He certainly has my respect.
RODNEY K. GREGSON
Sims Valley, Calif.
I have never been as interested in a story as I was in Terry Todd's piece about Lamar Gant. The fact that Gant continues to do what he does despite suffering from scoliosis is both thrilling and scary to me. I'm 33 and am currently recovering from two operations for scoliosis and from a five-week stay in a Louisville hospital. I was informed that I had idiopathic scoliosis when I was 16. I lived without pain until three years ago, when I went on a diet, lost 40 pounds and jogged until I could run six miles a day after working on a farm for 10 to 12 hours a day. When I started to have the pain, my doctor told me either to live in pain or have surgery. I elected to have surgery.
The point I'm trying to make is that I'm glad Gant has been so lucky and successful—lucky that he hasn't hurt himself while becoming a success as a powerlifter. Any young person with scoliosis should consult a doctor before undertaking anything like what Lamar has. The danger to such a person's spine is very great.
LOU LAMORIELLO'S LEAGUE
I read with interest Jack Falla's article So Now The Twain Shall Meet (Oct. 22). As a longtime college hockey fan, I, too, am excited by the prospect of East meeting West.
The outlook for Hockey East is strong. As Falla pointed out, Lou Lamoriello served capably at Providence College as a player, coach and administrator. I recall that the Penguin was also an accomplished baseball player as an undergraduate.
Stick it to 'em, Lou.
CHRIS C. FIELD
In regard to Jack Falla's article on Hockey East, I don't share Lou Lamoriello's optimistic view of his new venture.
Internal rumblings are sure to begin after 1) the Penguin's TV package fails in Boston, as I predict it will, and 2) league members begin wondering why they are extending their credit cards to go to Wisconsin, North Dakota and other Western Collegiate Hockey Association states when their real rivalries are right in their own backyard, with Eastern College Athletic Conference schools.