I'd like to extend my utmost congratulations to the writers who contributed to
SI's 24-page coverage of the college bowl games and the NFL playoffs (Jan. 11).
Each article was superbly written, especially John Underwood's splendid piece
about the San Diego- Miami contest (A Game No One Should Have Lost). Writing
like this is the reason I read your magazine. So, to John Papanek, Pat Putnam,
Douglas S. Looney, N. Brooks Clark, Craig Neff, Underwood, Jack McCallum, Paul
Zimmerman and Bruce Newman, thanks.
MICHAEL T. TOWNSEND
Those of us who were lucky enough to see the San Diego- Miami playoff realized
we were watching one of pro football's proudest moments. That game had more
excitement, drama, big plays and gutty performances than any other before it.
From the players who made the game memorable—Don Strock. Tony Nathan, Joe Rose,
Dan Fouts, James Brooks and Kellen Winslow—to the plays and events such as the
early San Diego blowout, the Miami comeback, the fleaflicker, the missed field
goals and the exciting overtime conclusion, it was the greatest football game
ever played. This is what football is all about. To San Diego and Miami, I say
I couldn't agree more with John Underwood's assessment of the San Diego- Miami
playoff game. After 60 minutes of NFL action at its alltime best, the overtime
was a disappointing denouement in which the Chargers and Dolphins merely
battled for field-goal position.
offer a solution to the sudden-death dilemma, but I will. Pete Rozelle should
rule that next season overtime contests will be decided by a team scoring two
field goals or a touchdown. Such a rule would accomplish two things: It would
deaden the advantage of winning the coin flip, and it would encourage teams to
play for the end zone instead of the goalposts.
It's easy to
envision some interesting strategical situations in fifth-quarter games played
under this rule. For instance, on fourth and two from the opponent's 30-yard
line, do you go for a field goal, which would get you only half the necessary
points for a win, or do you go for a first down? If, after an additional 15
minutes of play, the game is still tied, then perhaps a sudden-death sixth
period could be played.
Sure, the game is
called football, but I think we all would have preferred to see Kellen Winslow
score the winning points by catching another pass rather than to watch Rolf
Benirschke kick a winning field goal.
Now it's for sure: Clemson is No. 1 (Year of the Tigers, Jan. 11). Thanks for
the most popular issue of SI ever in Clemson, S.C. However, for the benefit of
the unbelievers, you should have mentioned that Clemson beat three of UPI's
final Top 10, Georgia, North Carolina and Nebraska.
Watch out for ACC
football. Good things are starting to happen.
MICHAEL D. TAYLOR
Your coverage of the bowl games was great, and your selection of Clemson as No.
1 was on the button, but then you went haywire and chose Texas as No. 2. Pitt,
the only team with an 11-1 record, soundly defeated Georgia, which went into
the bowls as the second-rated team in the nation, and deserved the No. 2 spot.
Sure, Pitt lost 48-14 to Penn State, but you forgot the 42-11 thrashing Texas
took at the hands of Arkansas, an unranked team.
LAWRENCE A. REHANEK
Mount Pleasant. Pa.
Your Top 20 is incredible! I would have been merely disappointed to find that
Nebraska was not in your Top 5, but I am outraged that the Cornhuskers were
left out of your Top 10. How can a team that came within a touchdown and a
two-point conversion of beating Clemson be ranked 11th?