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Original Issue


Prayers and Football
Hooray for Rick Reilly. It's about time someone addressed the issue of religion in sports (POINT AFTER, Feb. 4). Sporting events are constantly used as soapboxes for religious promotion, an example of which is the frequent sight of huge banners held up citing New Testament verses.
San Diego

Finally someone has had the guts to expose the hypocrisy of the ostentatious public praying that seeks to grab the camera at sports events, particularly at pro football games.
Davis, Calif.

While the TV cameras capture the displays of hully gully in the end zone after touchdowns, fists being thrust into the air in celebration and the never-ending high fives after routine tackles, not to forget the athletes remembering their mothers (Hi, Mom!), I find it refreshing that these same cameras show athletes paying a tribute to their Father after the contest.
San Diego

I work at a day-care center with boys at a vulnerable age. They have watched their heroes die of drug abuse. It's nice to know there are worthy heroes in this world. I try to teach them the importance of God in their lives. The point is driven home when grown men are willing to pray in a stadium in front of fans.
Huntsville, Ala.

I think Reilly should aim his comments more at the networks. The players are simply exercising their faith.
Azusa, Calif.

Champions for Life
I was appalled at your vitriolic attack on the New York Giants who stood up for the unborn in a pro-life video (SCORECARD, Feb. 4). This was only a 10-minute video to say there are celebrities who are strongly opposed to abortion.
Black Mountain, N.C.

If these athletes were to produce a video about the ills of drug abuse, drunk driving or smoking, they would be politically correct and socially acceptable. But because they are willing to go on record for something as fundamentally moral as the right to life, they are chastised as an embarrassment.
Springfield, Ill.

The Galloping Ghost
While you mentioned in your obituary (SCORECARD, Feb. 4) that Red Grange ran for touchdowns of 95, 67, 56 and 45 yards in the first 12 minutes of play in Illinois's 39-14 win over Michigan in 1924, he also scored on a 15-yard run and had a total of 402 yards rushing in that game. The following year, however, using a seven-man front with a diamond-shaped secondary, coach Fielding Yost and the Wolverines defeated the Illini 3-0 while holding the Galloping Ghost to only 56 yards net rushing on 25 carries.
Westport, Conn.

Patrick McDonnell's Oeuvre
Although his works may never grace the walls of the Louvre, Patrick McDonnell's illustrations add a pleasant touch to your magazine. His New Year's POINT AFTER (Dec. 31-Jan. 7) was suitable for framing. Critics may find fault with his Jan. 21 SCORECARD sketch, though. Pitcher Jim Palmer is depicted wearing the wrong style of underwear.
Chittenango, N.Y.

Football and TV
Because I have 3½-year-old triplets and a six-year-old, my opportunities to watch football on TV have been limited. Then I discovered from Austin Murphy's TELEVISION column (Dec. 24) that there's very little football in football.

So now when there's a game that I want to watch, I gather together my children, grab a stack of books, cut out the ridiculous babble of both announcers and advertisers, glance at the screen and catch all the action. Dads, try it. Your wife will be amazed.

•Murphy's article was prompted by a suggestion from Ivars Vancers of Glendora, Calif., who wrote us to say that he had timed the January 1990 Vikings-49ers playoff game and discovered that the actual football action consumed 14 minutes, 47 seconds. Since Murphy found that the football action in last December's 49ers-Giants game amounted to just 12 minutes, it would seem that Gussin is gradually getting more time to spend with his children.—ED.

Baker's Catch
With all the celebrating over the remarkable performances of the Giants' Jeff Hostetler and Matt Bahr in the Super Bowl (High and Mighty, Feb. 4), let's not forget wideout Stephen Baker. His touchdown catch at the end of the second quarter sent New York into the locker room on a high note. Could you please give us a replay of that graceful catch?
Norwalk, Conn.

•Here it is.—ED.



Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.