John Papanek's last paragraph was perfect. Just once, I'd like a University of Texas coach to admit that his team was beaten by a better one. SMU was the better team, and, in my opinion, Eric Dickerson tippy-toed through Texas' defense pretty well.
I thought the article was a little biased in favor of SMU. Granted, the Mustangs were the No. 4 team in the nation, yet the facts of their game with Texas were not explored in detail. Take Eric Dickerson's rushing statistics: 19 carries for 118 yards. One carry covered 60 yards, but his other 18 were good for only 58 yards, a 3.2-yard average. This was the same Dickerson who had exploded for 241 yards against Houston the previous week. Any collegiate running back can run 60 yards when the blocks are right, but what about the blocks on those other 18 carries? And Craig James had 17 carries for only 57 yards (3.3 yards a crack). For a supposedly fantastic pair of running backs who planned to wear down the relatively young Texas defense by alternating offensive series, they sure didn't look all that good. I can't wait to read your articles on SMU's loss to Arkansas—and Arkansas' loss to Texas. Hook 'em. Horns!
DANIEL J. RODRIGUEZ
As one of those fortunate enough to have competed in this year's New York City Marathon (They Grappled in the Big Apple, Nov. 1), I have two recommendations for your Sportsman of the Year award: first, Alberto Salazar for his world record and 4-for-4 mark in the marathon and, second, Fred Lebow for creating, developing and managing an event with more than 14,000 participants and more than two million live spectators. The organizational effort that drives the New York Marathon is close to perfect, and the entire sport owes Lebow a debt of gratitude.
I admit that the Boston and New York City marathons are two of sport's biggest thrills of the year, but I disagree with any suggestion that New York's is the premier race of the two. The field at New York may be star-studded and the times relatively better than they are in other marathons, but those facts don't make up for the race's faults. The biggest one of this year's extravaganza was the cloud of dust that left runner-up Rodolfo Gomez wondering where Alberto Salazar, the man he was pursuing, had gone.
I think Craig Neff's article on the New York City Marathon was excellent writing, but I also think it missed the point: Anyone who finishes a marathon is a winner. In fact, those who finished after the four-hour mark may be the real winners. Many of them looked as though they'd spent a good part of their lives behind desks and steering wheels. Women's thighs jiggled and men's bellies bounced but, by God, they ran 26.2 miles! It was wonderful to see all those ordinary people do such an extraordinary thing. It was an exhilarating testament to man's potential.
New Rochelle, N.Y.
I recall that after the 1981 New York race Kenny Moore, in his essay on moments to remember in your special The Year in Sports issue (Feb. 10), said that he wouldn't cover the next one and would probably be off on a long run somewhere in Oregon. I see that he didn't cover the marathon. I wonder if the second part of his statement was also true.
New Haven, Conn.
?Far from it. Moore was off on a long assignment that took him to Brisbane, Australia (Crowned on Coronation Drive, Oct. 18), Vicenza, Italy and Coventry, England. The stories from those last two stops will appear in SI soon.—ED.
JIM THORPE (CONT.)
Your Jim Thorpe story (The Regilding of a Legend, Oct. 25) was expertly done. However, there was one mistake I think I should point out. I am quoted as saying that Oklahoma Governor William H. Murray double-crossed us by vetoing the $25,000 appropriation for a Thorpe memorial.
It was Governor Johnston Murray, son of the first Governor Murray, who vetoed the bill in 1953. William H. Murray served as governor in the early 1930s and acted with great courage during his four-year term in the Depression era. I hope this small correction can be made, because William H. Murray was a distinguished and honest Oklahoman.
ROSS U. PORTER
You noted that Jim Thorpe had a twin brother, Charles. What became of him?