Out of all the words our readers have written to and about SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, probably none have said so well what this magazine has meant to the sports world as these from a gentleman in Alabama:
"Although we are original subscribers to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, at our house, I have resisted writing down my thoughts about the magazine, or should I say one aspect of it, until now...
"Your phrase, 'The Wonderful World of Sport,' is to me the finest possible description of your magazine. It catches the eye, it conveys so many things, and it can be interpreted in so many ways that I can no longer resist telling you what it means to me.
"I recall—when I was 11, I believe it was—that my Dad got me and my older brother out of bed at 4 o'clock in the morning. We put on four pairs of socks, heavy underwear, at least two shirts, a couple of sweaters, and coveralls, plus a stocking cap. We poured scalding hot water on the manifold and cranked up the old Ford for a 12-mile ride to a little slough where we knew the mallards would be feeding.
"The wonderful world of sport means getting up before daylight in the little town I lived in, and hurrying down to the tennis courts, and sitting on the court until daylight to be sure we'd have a court to play on.
"It means a basket in the backyard where all the neighborhood kids came before and after school and all day Saturday and Sunday. It means a box of magazines in the basement where we could shoot the rifle. It means football—first touch, then tackle, and then touch again. It means pole-vaulting with a broken javelin shaft when I weighed 60 pounds. It means sports idols, band music, cheering crowds, walking miles to play...
"Some people would say people my age are over the hill, even though we still compete in golf, tennis, bowling, fishing, hunting. But a true sportsman is never over the hill if he really believes in what you so rightfully call The Wonderful World of Sport.' It is truly just that—a wonderful world of sport."
As SPORTS ILLUSTRATED goes into its second year, we couldn't agree more. Perhaps we're just one year less na�ve, but we're surer than ever that it's indeed a wonderful world.