I'm delighted to see a long-time friend finally get the recognition he deserves.
EMLYN K. THOMAS
Royal Oak, Mich.
It isn't easy to pick a Sportsman of the Year for 1981, particularly when lawyers, owners and bad behavior seem to have made more news than the athletes or their achievements. But there is one shining candidate for this honor: Wayne Gretzky, No. 99 of the Edmonton Oilers.
When I receive my year-end issue of SI, I hope to see a tennis ball, a racket and a curly-haired brat on the cover as Sportsman of the Year. Yes, John McEnroe. There wasn't anyone better at any sport in 1981.
Alberto Salazar's world-record of 2:08:13 and Allison Roe's world record of 2:25:29 in the 1981 New York City Marathon give those runners my nominations for Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year.
The Sugar Ray Leonard- Thomas Hearns fight should prove once and for all that Leonard is, pound for pound, the greatest fighter who ever lived. For his truly amazing year—junior middleweight title and undisputed welterweight title—Leonard gets my vote for Sportsman of the Year.
Alexis Arguello. His victory speech following the Ray (Boom Boom) Mancini fight (Lowering the Boom Boom, Oct. 12) was the most sincere and moving I've ever heard.
I can give you 2,342 reasons why Marcus Allen should be Sportsman of the Year.
Paul William Bryant.
Skier Phil Mahre is the only American male ever to win the World Cup title. If he's not Sportsman of the Year....