I enjoyed Ronald N. Campbell's comments about the illustrations football teams use on their helmets. I agree that the design on the Los Angeles Rams helmet, originated by then Ram Halfback Fred Gehrke, is distinctive and artistic, but my choice for the best logo is that of the Pittsburgh Steelers. It is esthetic and instantly recognizable. My second choice would be the gold helmet with the red and white SF emblem worn by the 49ers. However, I love Campbell's description of the awful Bengals' headgear: "Something that looks like a varicose pumpkin."
HAROLD O. CHRISTENSEN
In view of the tenor of Ronald N. Campbell's article, I was surprised at his criticism of the helmet of the Cleveland Browns. Campbell should have hailed the Browns as the only professional sports team in America free of the sort of show-biz mentality that has brought us garish team emblems. Surely, the unadorned orange helmet of the Browns is as recognizable to true football enthusiasts as are the horns of the Los Angeles Rams or the "majestic silver wings" of the Philadelphia Eagles.
MARC COLLIN, M.D.
Regarding Ronald N. Campbell's ART TALK, that's exactly what the article was—a lot of talk and nothing else. I'd be willing to bet that the color or design of a team's helmet has no effect on the team's won-lost record. Otherwise, Alabama's Paul Bryant must be an even greater coach than he seems. He has had to carry the burden of coaching a team with a "conservative" helmet. My favorite NFL club is the Philadelphia Eagles. I'm pleased to learn that their "majestic silver wings" are satisfactory.
Colorado Springs, Colo.
What could possibly be "graphically confusing" about a team having its school's colors on its helmet? Ohio State, like the Cleveland Browns, should be commended for keeping its helmet scheme simple. As for "the little nuts of the buckeye tree," ask any Buckeye fan what a buckeye is and he'll have an answer for you. To us, the Buckeyes are easily recognizable and always impressive!
Grove City, Ohio
How can any article on football helmets fail to mention the distinctive winged design worn by the Michigan Wolverines ever since Fritz Crisler came to Ann Arbor in 1937?
HARRY T. BAUMANN
FLORIDA FOUR, PLUS ONE
Hats off to Jack McCallum for his excellent coverage of the inaugural Florida Four basketball tournament (Four on the Floor in Florida, Dec. 14). The Sun Dome is a sparkling showcase for the University of South Florida, alertly identified by SI as one of the top 48 college basketball teams in the nation. And Tony Grier is a magical ball handler and truly an All-America candidate.
Jack McCallum's article on Florida college basketball cited some confusion between the University of South Florida and Florida Southern College. Florida Southern, located in Lakeland, is the 1981 NCAA Division II champion. It is the only school in Florida ever to win a national championship in basketball. I trust that those outside—and inside—Florida can now tell the difference.
JONATHAN R. BEARD
Florida Southern '78
Referring to South Florida as USF, as Jack McCallum did in his article, is as misleading as referring to the University of South Carolina as USC. Can you imagine trying to convince a young basketball fan in 1995 that Bill Russell did not win a national championship for South Florida? I'd rather you reserved USF for my alma mater here on the West Coast, the University of San Francisco.