LETTERS - Sports Illustrated Vault | SI.com
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Bryan Cox should be an inspiration to all the money-hungry
athletes who forget what competition is all about.


I feel sorry for Patrick Rafter (Venus Envy, Sept. 15). He
couldn't overcome those three big negatives: He isn't American,
he isn't a black woman, and he doesn't have funny hair (although
the last one is debatable). A relative unknown winning his
sport's biggest championship is a big story, a cover story. You
gave us just four paragraphs in which we were provided such
insights as the fact that he talked to his mom in Australia
after he won. You owe us more.

While it's commendable that Venus Williams reached the finals,
Martina Hingis won the tournament, picking up her third Grand
Slam title of the year at age 16.
ARTHUR MARX, Los Angeles

I hope SI doesn't continue this runner-up trend and put the AFC
team on the cover after Super Bowl XXXII.
JOHN HORNE, Randolph, Mass.

Our admiration for Arthur Ashe notwithstanding, I believe the
stadium should have been named the Gibson-Ashe to also honor
Althea Gibson, a real champion in every sense of the word.
DOC MORTON, West Chester, Pa.


If Bryan Cox of the Chicago Bears (Losing His Head, Sept. 15)
was a decent football player, we fans might offer him a little
more slack, but all we see is a mediocre player making a
scene--and a fool of himself--and then missing the tackle. Cox
should stop telling us how misunderstood he is and how great a
competitor he is and start performing.
BRIAN AXTMAN, Kenosha, Wis.

It's great to see such enthusiasm, and I wish more players were
like Cox. Gone are the days of Dick Butkus and Jack Lambert, so
let's enjoy this wild man while we can.


I couldn't help but notice in your Sept. 15 issue that:

1) Venus Williams's father, Richard, called Irina Spirlea "a
big, ugly, tall, white turkey" (Venus Envy).

2) Bryan Cox screamed "F------ racist!" at white offensive
players (Losing His Head).

3) Ronnie Lott (whom I otherwise admire immensely) stated,
"Every team needs a guy who can fill up the middle, so you can
be a slow, white guy who's 7'4" and still get a job" (Backup

Replace the word "white" with any color of the rainbow and you
would (rightfully) have had a storm of protest. America will
never stamp out racism until all realize it's not a one-way
MARK WERTH, Stuttgart, Germany


CBA commissioner Steve Patterson's innovative concept of
recruiting high school basketball players who are academically
unsuited for college deserves serious attention (Scorecard,
Sept. 8). Why not give those with basketball skills the
opportunity to develop as players--and as men--and earn a decent
salary at the same time? It would let players with NBA
aspirations find out whether they have the right stuff, in a
relatively low-key environment.
J.E. MCBEE, Lewiston, N.Y.

TWO B/W PHOTOS: UPI/CORBIS-BETTMANN (2) [Clarence (Ace) Parker in football game; Clarence (Ace) Parker wearing baseball uniform]


Your scorecard item disclosed that 74 players have hit home runs
in their first major league at bats (Sept. 15). A member of that
74 Club is Clarence (Ace) Parker (7), who played two seasons
with both the American League Philadelphia A's and the NFL
Brooklyn Dodgers in 1937 and '38 before giving up baseball.
Parker, a triple-threat All-America tailback at Duke, was
elected to both the college and pro football Halls of Fame. As
quarterback of the Dodgers, he was the NFL's MVP in '40.
HERM BRUNOTTE, Town of Tonawanda, N.Y.