After reading six pages of praise for the University of Pittsburgh and Dan Marino by Douglas S. Looney, I hope that Florida State, Notre Dame and Penn State show up for their games against the mighty Panthers.
I wonder if Looney clearly recalls Pitt's and Marino's 48-14 losing performance against Penn State last year.
Franz Lidz's piece on Tampa Bay Linebacker Cecil Johnson (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Johnson, Sept. 6) was something I had been waiting for. I was getting tired of hearing about the great backs, the Billy Simses, Marcus Aliens, etc. Defensive players and offensive linemen should get a lot of credit as well.
Three cheers for Franz Lidz's article on Cecil Johnson. It's good to know there are still some NFL players who care about a young child's life more than they care about their paychecks. It's wonderful to be able to look up to Cecil Johnson the football player and Cecil Johnson the "sweet people."
I was greatly amused by the article on Cecil Johnson. Consider, if you will, his acquisitions during five brief years in pro football—a new home with a swimming pool and coconut trees for the folks and a suburban split-level bachelor pad with two waterbeds, seven color TVs, five stereos, 26 speakers and a Jacuzzi for himself plus "matching Mercedes, contrasting Cadillacs, a Lincoln, a Rolls and a Buick"—in light of the NFL Players Association's strident demand for more money. I was rolling on the floor laughing until I realized that the players' demand was nothing less than mind-boggling greed. If the owners give in to such astounding gluttony, they've got to be nuts.
DENNIS M. THOMAS
Leo W. Banks's article (South of the Border, Aug. 30) on life in the Mexican League was at once funny, sad, entertaining and informative. It was also the best journalism I've read in a magazine in years.
Somehow the players in Mexico seem to represent what baseball is all about better than today's major-leaguers do, with Pete Rose and perhaps a few other big-leaguers being exceptions. Anybody who endures a 22-hour bus ride to play a baseball game has to love the game—even Greg Biagini, who claims he's in it just for the money.
I wish there were some way to make this article required reading for all major-leaguers. They are very fortunate human beings and perhaps this story would remind them of that.
DONALD D. WALLACE
Caps off to Leo Banks! He had me on that bus, in the hotels and in the dugouts with the Mexican Leaguers, not just reading a magazine while sitting on my living room sofa.
PAUL G. GALVIN
Reader David C. Mumaw (19TH HOLE, Aug. 30) suggested that the Worthington (Ohio) American Legion team, not Seattle relief pitchers Bill Caudill and Larry Andersen, first used Rally Caps, i.e., baseball caps turned inside out for good luck. I don't know who "invented" the Rally Cap, but my first encounter with it was in 1973 when then San Francisco Manager Charlie Fox often wore his cap inside out—and sometimes backwards as well—as the Giants struggled through another woeful season. Occasionally the practice worked, as evidenced by one game that I recall in which the Giants trailed the hated Dodgers 8-1 going into the eighth inning, scored six runs in the eighth and won the game 11-8 on a grand slam in the ninth by Bobby Bonds.
Klamath Falls, Ore.