What a delightful, insightful article on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (A Different Drummer. March 31)! John Papanek has taken one of the most complex figures in sports, cut through the misconceptions and revealed the Abdul-Jabbar I have always wanted to believe was there. It's writing such as this that separates SI from other sports magazines.
TERRY B. KRAFT
John Papanek's portrayal of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was one of the best pieces of journalism I've ever read. It was thoughtful, informative and captivating.
It is especially gratifying to see an article of such excellence done on a man of such excellence. One of the least understood players in pro sports, Abdul-Jabbar has no equal on the basketball court.
Utterly fascinating writing on an intriguing man. I can't decide which is sweeter: a sky hook by Kareem or Papanek's writing.
RON K. BUTLER
Your article on Abdul-Jabbar was great, even though I don't really like him.
Douglas S. Looney's article on former Olympian Don Bragg ("I Don't Make a Good Pet," March 31) was a joyful reading experience. Bragg's poetry may not be in iambic pentameter, but his life-style seems to be straight out of Chaucer.
Given his proclivity for blowing cigar smoke at pulmonic bar patrons, making 60-foot leaps into the Mullica River, aping Johnny Weissmuller and Elmo Lincoln on various New Jersey vines and, most of all, repossessing a Mafia car, I think that Bragg missed his true calling. The man has the makings of a perfect NFL linebacker, his 44 years notwithstanding.
Stockton State has itself one helluva man.
Director of Media Services
New York Football Giants Inc.
East Rutherford, N.J.
Congratulations on a thoroughly entertaining article. My wife, Posy, and I were with Don Bragg last fall in Atlantic City during a special weekend for Olympic gold medalists. Don did it all: smoked through his nose, belched, chewed up his napkin, spit it in his soup and gave his Tarzan call when he wanted the waitress. Never having met Don before. Posy was horrified. I didn't think he had changed a bit since I had seen him 20 years ago—except we watched a TV show on which Don read his poetry, and it was unusually good.
Sewickley Heights, Pa.
In this day and age it's refreshing to know there are people in the world with a sense of individuality as well as a sense of humor. Your article on Don Bragg had me smiling long after I read it.