THE NEW DORSETT
My compliments to Rick Telander for his incisive and solidly written story on Tony Dorsett (Hell on Wheels, Dec. 7). I particularly admired the balanced coverage he gave his subject—one that matched the kind of balance Dorsett has on the field.
WILLIAM E. COLES JR.
Professor of English
University of Pittsburgh
Since reading an SI article about Tony Dorsett when he was a senior at Pitt, I've had no respect for him as a person: His ego was too much to handle. However, it does say in Rick Telander's fine article that Tony D is realizing, through a good marriage and fine friends, that there's more to life than just himself. There is hope.
I've always admired Tony Dorsett as a running back, and now I respect him as a man. The positive recognition you have given him was long overdue.
Rick Telander writes: "Still it is remarkable that no one has ever stopped [ Tony Dorsett], at any level." When Dorsett was burning college defenses at Pitt he had the misfortune to play in Memorial Stadium (Owen Field) in Norman, Okla. The Sooner defense held him to 17 yards in 12 carries, and a safety named Scott Hill delivered one of the finest one-on-one shots ever in college football when Dorsett attempted to turn the left corner. Result: Dorsett ended up on his backside four yards behind the point of impact. Dorsett is a superb athlete and deserving of the credit Telander gives him. However, he is human and he has been stopped.
WILLIAM T. WITT
Even as a career Redskins fan, I enjoyed your article about the Cowboys' Tony Dorsett. However, as a safety-conscious motorcyclist, I cringed in disbelief when I saw how Tony was dressed when riding his Kawasaki. If Dorsett goes down attired like that, it will likely be the last pileup he'll be involved in. Quick, Tex Schramm, get this man some proper riding gear!
TOMMY O. LEE
LANDON TURNER'S EXAMPLE
William F. Reed's article ( Indiana's Captain Courageous, Dec. 7) about Landon Turner and how Turner has rebounded from the automobile accident that robbed him of his athletic future was truly special. Turner's play in the 1981 NCAA tournament was the key to Indiana's national championship, but his performance in the game of life has been even better. I wish Landon much luck in his uphill struggle. I also take my hat off to Indiana Coach Bobby Knight for making such special effort in behalf of his injured player.
I found your article on Landon Turner very rewarding and helpful. I was a running back for San Diego State this season until I was involved in an automobile accident on Oct. 31. I broke my right foot, badly injured my heel and was unable to finish the season. I was in shock over having lost the remainder of this, my final year, and I felt that I had been the victim of a raw deal—I had also missed the '80 season because of an operation on my right Achilles tendon. After reading the article on Turner, however, I suddenly realized how small my problem was and that I was indeed fortunate. While I may have missed some games, here is a man who not only is missing a shot at certain stardom, but also is facing the loss of the use of his legs. I want to thank you for a story that was more than a tale of statistics. It was one that helped me put things back in perspective. Good luck to Landon Turner.
William F. Reed's article is the most touching story I've ever read. So that hard-shelled ogre, Bobby Knight, has been exposed for what he really is. Now we all know what Hoosier fans have known all along: Knight is a kind, thoughtful, compassionate man.
HOWARD A. GROOMS
EDDIE JOHNSON'S TROUBLES
Having been an all-too-frequent guest of a local psychiatric institution from the time I was 18 until I was 26 years old, I read your article (Blinded by the Light, Dec. 7) on Fast Eddie Johnson of the Atlanta Hawks with considerable interest. What it took me about 10 years to learn—and possibly what Eddie needs to learn—is that for persons with emotional problems, making the wrong choices, such as using dangerous drugs and socializing with the wrong people, can have especially troublesome results.
What the public needs to learn is that drug and/or alcohol usage, while no doubt exacerbating the effects of emotional ailments, is often merely an indicator of the illness and not its underlying cause. As long as the ignorant masses point an accusing finger instead of offering a helping hand to the Eddie Johnsons of the world, progress in psychiatry and in the rehabilitation of those burdened with emotional illness is going to be slow. I am heartened by the patience of men like Stan Kasten and Mike Gearon of the Hawks.
ROY DAWKINS, R.N.