Tiger Woods is an impressive young man, great for golf's image
and self-promotion. He is not God's other son.
B.P. WENTZ, Madison, N.J.
Tiger Woods wins his third U.S. Amateur in a row (The Chosen
One, Dec. 23), joins the PGA Tour with two months remaining in
the season, shoots 21 of his first 27 rounds in the 60s, has
five top-10 finishes, earns his PGA Tour card, wins two
tournaments, finishes 24th on the money list, qualifies for the
Tour Championship, moves into contention for a spot on the Ryder
Cup team, gets invited to the Skins Game, signs endorsement
contracts totaling more than $60 million, single-handedly causes
galleries to triple in size and handles himself with dignity and
class throughout. Great choice for Sportsman of the Year.
JASON MONROE, New York City
The Woods family seems to have the perfect balance between
support, compassion and reality. The result is a son who not
only has the talent to turn the golf world upside down but also
the maturity to handle his role.
RICH BALDWIN, Bloomington, Ill.
I could understand Rookie of the Year, or Phenom of the Year or
even Marketing Tool of the Year. But Sportsman of the Year?
ARNOLD S. DANIELS JR. West Newton, Mass.
Why does Tiger's father characterize his three oldest children
as practice for when the real thing came along and imply that
God (with a salty barracks tongue) somehow agrees?
WALTER F. BARCZ, Mohnton, Pa.
I am witnessing the emergence of someone "transcending" his
life's work, and "making the world a better place to live in by
virtue of his existence," bringing not only to me and my fellow
hackers but to all the world a "humanitarianism we have never
known before." All this by hitting a golf ball? Mother Teresa
need not worry. We have found her successor, and he will be at a
PGA Tour stop near you this year.
ROBERT V. GULA, Manchester, N.H.
I was surprised there was no mention of his turning water into
MARK TATE, Amarillo, Texas
Why don't we all just sit back and enjoy watching this young man
play golf and let him be a human being instead of trying to mold
him into the solution for the problems of the world?
BRENDAN NAGEOTTE, Hilliard, Ohio
My best efforts to accept this year's Sportsman choice lasted a
mere 19.32 seconds. How could you pass over Michael Johnson, the
most astounding Olympic performer since Bob Beamon, in favor of
a golfer without a single major win?
PETER A. FLAX, Norwalk, Conn.
Four picture captions mentioned Nike. The opening photo shows
Tiger wearing a cap with the Nike swoosh. Even the cover has a
Nike swoosh in the I of Illustrated. And 15 pages after the
article, behold! A Nike ad featuring Tiger Woods.
DAVE WEUSTE, Watchung, N.J.
I grew up in and around Baltimore after the Colts had left town
and the Orioles were the only thing happening. I have never had
an NFL franchise to root for. So my thanks to Mike Littwin for
letting me know that there are others in Baltimore who are
indifferent (It's Just Not the Same, Dec. 23) and that it will
take time for me to fall in love with the Ravens the way my
parents and their parents loved the Colts.
BRUCE VOELKER, Forest Hill, Md.
Baltimore fans have had 12 years of withdrawal. Now there is a
team. Now there's a place to go on Sundays. It's not ideal ...
yet. But maybe it will be.
JUSTIN BENESCH, Baltimore
My father and I have Ravens season tickets, and every game I
wear a Colts jersey with the number 19 on it. I am not living in
the past, but my heart will not let me give up something that
meant so much to me.
CARL WHITEHEAD JR., Elkridge, Md.
An added note to your SCORECARD about the generosity of the
Golden State Warriors (Dec. 23): In exchange for the 1980 draft
picks that the Warriors used for Joe Barry Carroll and Rickey
Brown, the Celtics received not only Robert Parish but also the
third pick of that draft. They used it to select Kevin McHale
(32, above). This was an awful trade, even by Warriors standards.
ROGER SILVERSTEIN, West Bloomfield, Mich.
COLOR PHOTO: PAUL KENNEDY [Kevin McHale and Larry Bird in game]