NORTH CAROLINA, PAST AND PRESENT
Thank you for the wonderful article on the University of North Carolina's 1956-57 championship basketball team (A Team That Was Blessed, March 29). As a sophomore at Carolina, I can certainly appreciate Frank Deford's well-written story. And now, on the 25th anniversary of that team's victory, Carolina has done it again (Nothing Could Be Finer, April 5). Dean Smith has gotten the national championship he so richly deserved, and he has also proved that the good guys can win.
Chapel Hill, N.C.
As a boy in love with sport, I marked the days of the week from the time I had last found my SI in our mailbox. Fifteen years later, as an English teacher and a coach in search of the meaning of sport, I count the issues between pieces by Frank Deford.
My thanks to Deford for his loving treatment of Coach Frank McGuire and the championship team of '57, and for showing us how sport has helped its tallest and most misunderstood "loser," Wilt Chamberlain, grow even larger in becoming a true winner: a man at peace with himself.
RANDY E. LAWRENCE
Kudos to Frank Deford. It was extremely gratifying to read about athletes who have been as successful off the court as they were on it. However, the most pleasing aspect of this article was the portrayal of Wilt Chamberlain in his true light. He is a talented and intelligent man who should never have been considered a loser in any sense of the word. Besides being the only man ever to lead the NBA in scoring, rebounding and assists, he also was on two pro championship teams, which is more than many of the greats can say. Chamberlain will always be considered a winner by anyone with the remotest knowledge of basketball and life.
GLEN B. KAUFFMAN
Never have I read a story as insightful, warm and human as A Team That Was Blessed. Frank Deford has a blessed talent. He should receive an award for this piece.
MARK F. WURZBACHER
Considering the criticism SI receives when its preseason picks are off the mark, I think it's only fair to point out a preseason selection that was correct. I would ask the readers to go back and look at the cover of your 1981-82 College Basketball Issue (Nov. 30). Printed in bold green-and-white letters are the words NORTH CAROLINA is NO. 1. Congratulations!
Having read your magazine for many years and having found few, if any, typos, I was interested to note the one in the LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER (March 29) on Jeremiah Tax, the "final reader" of each issue before it is printed. You say that he reads "almost" every word. Apparently, "basektball" is the one that got away. Murphy's—or somebody's—Law must cover this situation.
?Murphy's Law will do just fine, but don't blame Tax. He was away on vacation that week.—ED.
The Tournament Players Championship (The Last One In Is a Winner, March 29) showed golf to be the humbling game that it is. I was disappointed in the comments of Jack Nicklaus, Fuzzy Zoeller, John Mahaffey, Tom Watson and others who did poorly in this tournament and reacted by criticizing the course. I applaud Jerry Pate for his tremendous achievement and for possessing the heart, brains and courage that the ungracious losers seemed to have left at home. Course architect Pete Dye and Tour Commissioner Deane Beman are also to be admired for their creative genius, in spite of the objections.
DENNIS R. CAFFERTY
New Castle, Del.