Frank Deford's story on Al McGuire (Welcome to His World, Nov. 29) is certainly one of the best pieces of sports reporting that I have read in SI or any other magazine. He has given us an in-depth picture of a truly honest, free-spirited man. Deford's suggestion that we put McGuire in a time capsule is particularly appropriate, because McGuire symbolizes what the people of this age admire and are searching for—freedom and individualism—yet he is also much like the rest of us in his insecurity.
Deford's observations about coaches, cars and women, along with McGuire's misadventures with his car, came at a time when I really needed a laugh, and I assure you I got a belly laugh. In many ways this is an enriching article about a man who has enriched the lives of many. Let's hope McGuire never settles down.
As a Marquette alumnus who arrived in Milwaukee with Al McGuire for the 1964-65 basketball season, I vividly remember his innovative Scrambled Eggs, a platoon that would relieve the starters en masse. I am ecstatic to find that success has not spoiled this crude gem of a man.
There is not another coach in basketball who could take a small. Catholic, middle-class university in Wisconsin and produce such a phenomenal winning record. Nor is there a writer alive who can do justice to this truly enigmatic figure. Thanks for your article, but Frank Deford merely "tokened it."
The article on my father was awful. It did not portray him as he really is.
Despite Frank Deford's effort to depict Al McGuire as an intriguing individual, I think my analysis would come closer to the reaction of the average fan/citizen. That is, McGuire is exactly as he appears in his notable performances in NCAA tournaments: infantile, insecure, selfish.
Bay Village, Ohio
Frank Deford's reflections in the article on Al McGuire and Marquette produced a good shooting average. We lack stripes on our uniforms but we strive to be the best institution of any stripe. Basketball revenues have not only retired a long-standing football debt, they also continue to generate surpluses that revert annually to the university's operating budget.
But the general description of Marquette as a producer of schoolteachers is an air ball! Our 46 elementary and secondary-education majors among the 1.500 degree recipients last May place Marquette's schoolteacher totals in sharp contrast with the national figures of about 300,000 education degrees (about 24%) among 1,260,000 degrees earned in 1975.
JAMES L. SANKOVITZ
Vice-President for University Relations
ANOTHER LLAMA LLOVER
What a pleasant surprise to read the outstanding article on llamas by Robert Cant-well (What a Llovely Beast Is a Llama, Nov. 22). Not too long ago I had the pleasure of visiting Kay and Dick Patterson at their Sisters. Ore. "Shangri-La" and became an immediate admirer of their beloved llamas. So much so that I purchased four of them to begin an operation of my own in Michigan that I call "Mama Llama." It has become the talk of animal-breeding circles in the state.
It must be stated, however, that as much as one will love and enjoy the llamas, a visit with the Pattersons introduced me to two of the most lovable human beings I have ever met. It is no wonder that the Pattersons and their staff have such remarkable success with their animals when they dedicate so much of themselves to them.
COLLEEN (Mrs. GORDIE) HOWE