I thoroughly enjoyed Curry Kirkpatrick's piece on Steffi Graf (Serving Her Country, June 26), but the references to her nose were disturbing. What's wrong with Graf's nose? As with the beloved Bob Hope, her "appendage" is a wonderfully unique characteristic that helps us identify a great person.
MICHAEL J. MILLER
One reason we cannot claim Graf as our own is clear: She's too good for us. Humility, discipline and family orientation don't seem to mesh with the American athletic ethic these days.
I can't believe that someone could refer to the Chris Evert-Martina Navratilova rivalry as a "lounge act." This has to be one of the most disrespectful and arrogant statements ever printed in SI. These two women have brought professional tennis respectability and dignity. To appreciate Grafs monumental accomplishments, it's not necessary to belittle Evert and Navratilova.
I was happy to see that Kirkpatrick was able to find a tennis player he likes. While I enjoyed the article, I took exception to the implication that Peter Graf and I have a feud going. Many athletes do things on the playing field that they might regret when given time to think over a situation. Parents and coaches often suffer from the same malady. Despite our on-court rivalry, Steffi and I have developed an off-court friendship.
Women's International Tennis Association
July 30, 1989
Kudos to Alexander Wolff for his review of the great cable-sports war (TELEVISION, June 26). I feel that though ESPN's Chris Berman and Bob Ley are as good as CNN's Nick Charles and Fred Hickman, CNN's entire sports team of Terry Chick, Dennis Dumler, Gary Miller, Dan Hicks, Hannah Storm and Jim Huber gives it an edge. Then again, there's nothing like those great Bermanisms. I'm torn, but isn't this the best kind of war?
Wolff was right on with his comments about ESPN's SportsCenter. I prefer Berman and Ley, but if they're not on the air promptly at 11:30 p.m., I'm gone. ESPN should pull the plug on the junk sports and run SportsCenter on time all the time.
TIMOTHY W. GATES
How could Wolff fail to include other Bermanisms such as Todd (Mercedes) Benzinger, Walt (Three Blind) Weiss and Bert (Be Home) Blyleven?
Your June 26 issue (Man in the Slow Lane and Mailman II) reminded me that although we in Louisiana are proud of our football heritage, our state has received more attention of late for its basketball progeny. Louisiana could put the following team on the floor:
Guard—Joe Dumars (McNeese State), 1989 NBA playoff MVP, Detroit Pistons.
Guard—Chris Jackson (though a Mississippi native, he was captured and claimed by LSU), AP first team All-America as a freshman.
Forward—Karl Malone (Louisiana Tech), third in NBA MVP voting, Utah Jazz.
Forward—Randy White (Louisiana Tech), the Dallas Mavericks' first selection in the 1989 NBA draft.
Center—Robert Parish (Centenary), the venerable Shreveport Celtic.
A footnote on Steve Wulf's POINT AFTER about how players with the same name abound as never before (July 10): In 1962 the New York Mets had two Bob Millers, both pitchers. Lou Niss, the Mets' traveling secretary at the time, had them room together, so that if someone wanted to reach one or another of the Bob Millers, he could be sure of doing so by making only one phone call.
DONALD W. MONETTI
INSIDE THE DOME
Your article about the opening of Toronto's SkyDome (Raising the Roof, June 12) didn't really show us the interior of this masterpiece. Please give us a look inside.
Arlington Heights, Ill.
•Here's an interior shot of the dome taken on the Fourth of July during the Blue Jays' 8-0 loss to the Orioles before a crowd of 44,025.—ED.
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