Paul Zimmerman's article (He Can Run, but He Can't Hide, Aug. 16) on Walter Payton was a well deserved tribute to one of the NFL's most talented and exciting players. It's a shame other professional athletes aren't as team-oriented as Payton has been throughout his career with Chicago. Regardless of their record, the Bears have a winner in Payton.
River Forest, Ill.
Last year Walter Payton had his worst season as a pro, yet he gained 1,222 yards rushing. He takes a beating every game. If the Bears had an all-around team, with blocking and passing as well as running, I think Payton would rush for more than 2,000 yards.
Payton has always given credit to everyone else, and to his blockers especially, but I've seen him rush for first downs when his linemen completely missed their blocks. Payton uses what's there better than any back ever has, and he should take full credit.
Paul Zimmerman's account of Walter Payton's grueling conditioning program just proves what the combination of talent and hard work can produce. In the case of "Sweetness," it has produced one of the greatest players ever. Now if only the Bears could find more players like him....
It's wonderful to see so much spirit and determination in a player as great as Payton.
It has been my custom for 25 years not to allow my name to be used in media stories of patients I have treated. However, your article on Bill Walton (Will You Come Home, Bill Walton? Aug. 9) contains enough inaccuracies that I must answer.
The diagnosis of the condition bothering Walton was made by me on the first consultation, in 1980. Bill did not wish surgery done at that time. Attempts to return to full activity finally convinced him that something should be done. I designed the surgery and performed it with Dr. Tony Daly. I am a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, not a podiatrist as you said.
The foot condition Walton suffers from was first recognized by me in other patients about eight years ago. It is a combination of a congenital defect—a partial calcaneonavicular coalition—and a resulting incomplete motion laterally of the heel bone. This is just the reverse of the condition usually seen, i.e., a flat foot. Removal of the coalition alone does not relieve the problem. It is necessary to take out abutting bone from the lateral side of the foot just underneath the ankle (sinus tarsi). I have named the latter condition Sinus Tarsi Abutment Syndrome. The corrective surgery has now been performed in more than 20 cases, with the patients ranging in age from nine to 55 years. Among them are professional athletes, college athletes, weekend athletes and patients with other injuries. Most are back to pre-injury activity. A report is now being written for the medical literature.
F. WILLIAM WAGNER JR., M.D.
Clinical Professor, Orthopedic Surgery
USC School of Medicine
CBS vs. ABC
William Taaffe is absolutely right (TV/RADIO, Aug. 16). There is nobody I know who would choose to watch a lot of shots in a golf tournament rather than a Jack Nicklaus-Tom Watson showdown. CBS golf coverage lacks the interest and excitement that ABC creates for its viewers.
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Can William Taaffe seriously believe that ABC does a better job with its golf coverage than CBS does? Only by focusing on the tournament as a whole can television capture for its viewers the full flavor of a golf tournament. While I love to watch Jack Nicklaus on a roll, I am also interested in what is happening to the other 10 or so contenders who may be within five shots of the lead. CBS provides this kind of coverage much better than ABC.
SCOTT R. REIF