Bruce Newman's article is a brilliant dissection of Eddie Johnson's mind and body. As an Atlanta Hawks fan and a physician who knew of Johnson's mental state several years ago, I hope that he stays on his lithium—his best hope to slow his racing mind and calm his erratic behavior.
WILLIAM HAYLING, M.D.
Marina Del Rey, Calif.
I didn't have to be a writer to appreciate the time, objectivity, warmth and thoroughness Bruce Newman put into his piece on Eddie Johnson. But it helped.
The Ann Arbor News
Ann Arbor, Mich.
While your articles on the personal lives of athletes—such as those in the Dec. 7 issue on Tony Dorsett and Landon Turner—tend to be well-written, penetrating and entertaining, you went too far with your pseudopsychiatric analysis of Eddie Johnson.
When will you realize that an athlete—just like a businessman, street cleaner or reporter—is entitled to a private life? How would the writer like it if his personal affairs were published alongside his articles? Not very much, I think. So why not give Johnson the same courtesy? As long as he's playing basketball—and darned good basketball—let him and his family deal with his problems. And you deal with your own.
GWEN A. BAUMANN
KUHN ON "FIRST"
I have just read Robert W. Creamer's review of The First (THEATER, Nov. 30). I could not agree with him more strongly. I was there opening night and came away saying this is first-class entertainment. That was the unanimous reaction of all the people I talked to. The music may not be great, but many outstanding shows have survived that defect because they had other obvious strengths. And this show has other obvious strengths in good measure. I really had a hard time crediting the negative reviews.
BOWIE K. KUHN
Commissioner of Baseball
New York City
TINY, BUT GOOD
Concerning your SCORECARD item (Dec. 7) about the Gleason ( Tenn.) High School football team, which finished the season with an 8-3 record despite the school's having an enrollment of only 155 students, 63 of them boys, I feel the accomplishments of Hardin-Central Public High School of Hardin, Mo. (population approximately 700) deserve mention. Hardin-Central has an enrollment in Grades 9 through 12 of only 68 students and is the smallest high school in Missouri that plays 11-man football. Despite the small enrollment, over the past four years Hardin-Central, under the direction of Principal and Coach Gary O'Neal, has 1) lost only one regular-season game, 2) advanced to the state Class A playoffs four times, 3) won four conference championships, 4) won three district championships, 5) won one state championship and 6) finished the season ranked first (1980), second (1979), third (1978) and eighth (1981) in the state.
Hardin-Central Public Schools
St. Stephen ( S.C.) Academy is a small private school that has just completed its fourth season of football competition. In our first year, 13 boys came out for the team. In our second, we had 16 boys. We became a member of the South Carolina Independent Athletic Association in 1980, our third year, and with 25 boys on our team, we finished as the Class A state runner-up with a 12-1 record. This past season, which ended on Nov. 27, we were the Class A state champions with a 13-1 record. This school year we have only 120 students in Grades 1 through 12 and only 29 boys in Grades 9 through 12, of whom 23 were on the football team.
It just goes to show that good things do come in small packages.
St. Stephen Academy
St. Stephen, S.C.
I am writing concerning an item in SCORECARD (Nov. 23). Like the crew of the balloon Double Eagle V, which got far less ink for crossing the Pacific than those aboard Double Eagle II got for transiting the Atlantic in 1978, my grandfather got almost no publicity for a tremendous feat. I am referring to Hugh Herndon Jr., who with his partner, Clyde Pangborn, made aviation's first non-stop transpacific flight, in 1931. Their plane was named Miss Veedol. A flight across the Pacific is much longer and tougher than a flight across the Atlantic, but who ever heard of Hugh Herndon, Clyde Pangborn or Miss Veedol? Almost everyone, though, is familiar with Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis. Is there no justice? Surely a great feat like the one achieved by my grandfather deserves some recognition!
While this letter is no doubt too late to have any influence on your selection of the 1981 Sportsman of the Year, may I suggest that the greatest sportsman of all time is Edwin Moses. Few, if any, athletes have ever dominated an event as he has the 400-meter intermediate hurdles.
WILLIAM J. EISENTRAGER