Tears stung my eyes as I read Blood Money (Nov. 16) by William Nack and Lester Munson, even though as a horse lover and patron of many horse shows every year, I was aware that killing horses for the insurance money is not new. I was elated to learn that Tommy Burns and Harlow Arlie were finally caught in the act of destroying Donna Brown's show jumper Streetwise by breaking a hind leg with a crowbar. I hope Brown will ultimately join Burns and Arlie in jail.
•Arlie pleaded guilty and served six months before he was paroled. Burns spent three weeks in jail, was released on bail and began cooperating with federal prosecutors. He faces sentencing next year in the Streetwise case (but he expects leniency as a key government witness in broader investigations into the killing of horses for insurance money).—ED.
Tommy Burns's assertion that the horses never knew what hit them is ridiculous. I am an emergency-department R.N., and it is amazing to hear how people who have survived electrocution, defibrillation or cardioversion describe the sensation. It certainly is not painless, even if it lasts only a split second. Unfortunately, compared with what the horses went through, the perpetrators will probably get sentences amounting to slaps on the wrist.
North Kingstown, R.I.
One horrendous aspect of this story is that the individuals being investigated for these atrocious crimes originally became involved with horses because of their love for them.
The Sincerest Form of Flattery
Congratulations on your brilliant idea to render the college basketball universe in the form of, well, a universe (Star Search, Nov. 23). Unfortunately it was also our idea, and we did it first—twice!—in 1963 and 1987. All right, we were talking Italo Calvino, not Rick Pitino, but what's the difference in the long run, really? It was even nicer to see some of our favorite headlines again: Lost in Space, Ursa Major (we used Ursae Majores), Media Showers, Black Hole, Parallel Universe....
Thank you for what we know was meant as a heartfelt homage to our magazine, not an egregious rip-off. We hope you enjoy our upcoming swimsuit issue half as much as we enjoyed your college basketball preview.
New York City
I am amazed every time I read in SI about Notre Dame football. Despite Notre Dame's impressive season, SI writers chose to accentuate only the team's negatives. In INSIDE COLLEGE FOOTBALL (Nov. 2), William F. Reed blasts coach Lou Holtz's antics at the BYU game, stating that "there's a double standard in college football—one set of rules for Notre Dame, another for everyone else." He concludes that Holtz's actions were "an embarrassment to Notre Dame."
Maybe Reed is right; maybe there is a double standard in college football. Maybe it starts with the media.
MICHAEL C. O'MALLEY
Notre Dame, Ind.
After Notre Dame's incredible lack of sportsmanship against Boston College, I had hoped you would take note (Down Day for Upstarts, Nov. 16). Instead, I read one passing remark concerning the Irish's classless performance. Had this humiliation been perpetrated by Miami or another of the more commonly vilified schools, you probably would have been up in arms. Is Notre Dame so sacred as to be above' criticism? Lou Holtz should be ashamed of himself. His lack of class becomes more evident every week and casts a shadow on an otherwise exemplary program.
I enjoyed Leigh Montville's interview with Red Auerbach (Blowin' Smoke, Nov. 16). Red changed the rules of basketball and Boston sports, so we changed the rules for him. In the interview Red, who's known for his love of cigars, is quoted as saying, "You can't smoke in restaurants, government buildings, a lot of places." While this may be true at most restaurants, at Legal Sea Foods, Red has always been allowed to enjoy his cigar. In fact, it's on the menu.
Red has lit the championship cigar 16 times in Boston. Keep on smokin', Red.
Legal Sea Foods
Chestnut Hill, Mass.
"No cigar or pipe smoking in the dining room except for Red Auerbach."
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