Thank you for Rick Telander's article on Nolan Cromwell (Best NFL Athlete? Nolan Contendere, Oct. 26). It's about time somebody recognized the great Ram free safety. He is, for sure, the best athlete in the NFL.
Cromwell is the only player I have ever seen who has hit Earl Campbell straight up and knocked him backward. What a player!
Dunbar, W. Va.
Not only is Cromwell possibly the best NFL athlete, but, considering his accomplishments, he may also be one of the world's best all-around athletes.
Dana Point, Calif.
GRASPING THE NETTLE
Your dramatic action cover photo of Graig Nettles (Oct. 26) was welcomed as highly deserved recognition for this great New York Yankee veteran. Through all his years as a Yankee, Nettles has proved to be consistently reliable not only as a sure-handed defensive performer at third base but also as a superior clutch performer at the plate.
Largely due to Nettles' continued professional contribution, the Yankees won their fourth American League pennant in the last six years, and until Nettles injured himself in the second game of the Series, they appeared headed toward their third world championship in five years. With all due respect to Brooks Robinson, I feel Graig Nettles is the greatest third baseman of all time.
WILLIAM B. SCHNECK
For the 10 years from 1971 through 1980—I exclude 1981 because of the strike—Nettles averaged 24 homers, 81 RBIs, a .432 slugging percentage, and scored 75 runs per season. Only now is he getting some of the recognition he deserves.
New York City
So "the Broncos were the only NFL team that declared a loss last year" (Denver Is Mile-High Once Again, Oct. 19). Bronco owners may "declare" all the losses they want but we suggest a different analysis.
Using NFLPA research for 1980 Denver income, let's be conservative. League documents show Denver had net gate revenues of over $6.9 million—ninth-highest in the NFL. As its share of League broadcasting contracts, and from preseason TV and local radio, Denver made around $6.1 million. The club also took in a minimum $1 million from interest earned on short-term capital investments, from NFL Films, ads in PRO! magazine and other sources. Added up, that's at least $14 million in income.
For expenditures, we'll be generous. Denver's player costs—probably among the league's highest—may have been around $6.5 million. Other operating costs—the coaching staff, front office travel, training camps, equipment, etc.—were probably around the league-wide $4.8 million mark, but let's assume an even $5 million.
With revenues of at least $14 million and expenditures of around $11.5 million, it would seem reasonable to estimate that former Bronco owner Gerald H. Phipps made at least a $2.5 million profit in 1980—somewhat below the league average of $5.1 million but a nice profit nevertheless.