Nice Guys Finish First
What a pleasure it was to read Rick Telander's POINT AFTER about the Bulls' Phil Jackson and the Lakers' Mike Dunleavy (June 17). What with the media hype over the Michael vs. Magic NBA Finals, I'm glad someone took the time to pay tribute to these outstanding coaches. This series was a classic example of two teams' taking their cue from their coaches' behavior, thus making for an exciting, fun-to-watch Finals. I hope it will help to stamp out the dirty, whining style of play to which we have become accustomed from the NBA's elite players.
Kudos to Telander. It's nice to know someone else is disgusted with posturing basketball coaches who rant and rave and otherwise behave like pouting juveniles. Telander is right on: Dunleavy and Jackson are mature leaders who didn't detract from the action on the court.
JAMES L. BENDER
Playing in the World Bowl
I thoroughly enjoyed Mark Murphy's account of his chance to play in a pro football championship game (PRO FOOTBALL, June 24). A talented writer, capable of relating a real-life experience with humor, honesty and humility, he sounds like an affable gentleman/sportsman. His parents, coaches and educators should be proud of him.
VIRGINIA G. WHELDEN
Mark Murphy of the World Football League's Barcelona Dragons is as good a writer as another Mark Murphy—of the Washington Redskins—was a free safety. His piece was funny and a joy to read. So why is Murphy still filling out crossword puzzles and circling want ads? The World League should do itself a favor and give him a job in public relations. It could use his snappy style.
MARK E. MATHIS
Rio Rancho, N. Mex.
As a fellow unemployed 1988 college graduate, I am glad Murphy had the opportunity, as brief as it was, to play pro ball. I am also glad he wrote about the experience. If he had been gainfully employed, his grandchildren would have been shortchanged one excellent story.
Palm Springs, Calif.
Rick Reilly's article about Lanny Wadkins (Man of Iron, June 17) did an excellent job of describing Wadkins's competitive talent, but it failed to show adequately that he is also a compassionate and generous man. Wadkins learned to play golf at the Meadowbrook Country Club in Richmond, Va., under the tutelage of Popeye Lumpkin. Since 1986, Wadkins has come to Richmond to serve as honorary chairman of the Popeye Lumpkin Charity Golf Tournament. The event has provided contributions totaling more than $150,000 for the Respite Care Center of St. Joseph's Villa, which serves children with developmental disabilities.
I feel that your readers should be aware of Wadkins's commitment to these special children.
St. Joseph's Villa
As Reilly pointed out in his article, there are a lot of good things about Wadkins that most people don't know. For example, as a favor to an old friend and Wake Forest teammate, Wadkins has come to Burlington, N.C., every August for six years—at his own expense—to appear at a parent-child golf tournament, during which he plays exhibitions, gives clinics, signs autographs and generally makes himself available, especially to the young players. The growth of this tournament into the largest family golf event in the U.S., with more than 1,300 participants, is due in no small part to Wadkins's support.
Your article pays fitting tribute to a man whose contributions to the game of golf are worthy of praise.
Vintage Baseball Gloves
I was about halfway through the NOSTALGIA about reproductions of old baseball gloves (June 24) when I just had to go to the attic and retrieve my first mitt. Sure enough, it was an autographed Bob Milliken G-22 lefthanded Nokona that I had received as a seven-year-old in 1955. It was so big then but seems so small now. SI, thanks for reviving those memories. Dad, thanks for the glove. And Mom, thanks for not throwing it out.
San Juan Capistrano, Calif.