How interesting that you posed Cecil (the Diesel) Collins
standing in front of a vintage steam locomotive. Do you think
Cecil's boiler is about to blow again?
--WILLIAM C. THOMAS, St. Louis
As I read your April 5 article about Cecil Collins (Heavy
Freight), I wavered between anger at and disgust at the NFL.
Here is another example of a criminal athlete who is coddled and
given preferential treatment solely because he's big and fast.
If Collins really is a changed man, he should prove he's a
responsible adult before he's offered a job. Can Cecil stay
clean and out of trouble for a year without a full-time
babysitter? Can he provide for his children? Once Cecil's walked
the walk, then he will have earned a chance at a job.
C.J. COOK, Robbinsville, N.J.
Is Collins a changed man? No. Still a con artist? Yes. The next
Randy Moss? No. The next Lawrence Phillips? Yes.
PAUL BERNARDO, Phoenix
IN SAMMY'S IMAGE
In predicting the 11 most likely players to be the second coming
of Sammy Sosa, you made an obvious omission (Son of Sammy, April
5). Raul Mondesi, the rightfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers,
is younger than Sosa, plays the same position he does, has
similar if not better speed, has a better arm and is also
Dominican. Mondesi has always had power but, like Sosa until
last year, has never had patience. It's no coincidence that Sosa
hit 66 home runs during the season in which he started to take a
pitch. Mondesi has begun to do the same.
DANIEL GLASS, Los Angeles
BLEEDING DUKE BLUE
How does Jack McCallum figure that Duke's loss to UConn in the
national championship game forces the Blue Devils to share Team
of the '90s honors with Kentucky (Conn Artists, April 5)? Sure
the Wildcats, like Duke, won two national titles in the decade.
So let's go to the tiebreakers. First, the Blue Devils played in
five title games in 10 years. Kentucky played in three. Duke
made five trips to the Final Four, the Wildcats made four. The
Blue Devils defeated Kentucky in perhaps the greatest game of
all time on Christian Laettner's miracle shot in 1992.
DAN VERDUN, Yorkville, Ill.
I don't mind McCallum's saying that Trajan Langdon's travel with
just over five seconds to play was "an ignominious end to the
Alaskan Assassin's college career." However, it bothers me that
the remark was SI's epitaph for Langdon's collegiate career. It
would have been fitting to include the fact that he scored more
than a third of Duke's points (25) and hit several key shots,
including a big three near the end that kept the Blue Devils
close. Langdon is too outstanding a player to allow McCallum's
statement to have been your last word on him.
DAN REED, Eagle River, Alaska
As a 1956 graduate of UConn, I've waited for ages to read about
the long road the Huskies traveled to become the national
champs. I hope I don't have to wait another 43 years for a
RICHARD A. GOLDRICK, Fairfield, Conn.
DON'T BOTHER TO ASK
I couldn't agree more with Rick Reilly's column about autographs
(THE LIFE OF REILLY, April 5). I clearly remember the day I
stopped getting them. I was at a Chicago Blackhawks game when I
was 21 and received an autograph from an 18-year-old player. I
went back to my seat and realized how stupid it was. A few years
later I ran into Bears running back Walter Payton while
Christmas shopping. We shook hands and I thanked him for the
memories he provided on the football field. It was a far more
BRUCE THOMAS, Lynchburg, Va.
Kudos to Reilly for exposing celebrity autograph mania for what
it is--sick. It's incredible that people see nothing wrong with
invading an athlete's privacy and acting like a jerk. Have some
HOWARD K. WELSH, Summit, N.J.
I was struck by John Elway's quote in Reilly's column: "I'd give
$100,000 to go a whole day in Denver and not have anybody know
who I am." Elway should have thought about that before he used
his face in print ads and on TV commercials to make money
selling new and used cars.
BRYAN RICHARDSON, Westminster, Colo.
How can Reilly say that autograph seekers should be punished?
Autographs are but one contribution a star athlete makes in
return for the millions of dollars he earns. When stars go home
to their mansions, they should think about the dreams and hopes
they have transferred to the children who have received the
CLAIRE CABRERA, Chicago
I hope Reilly doesn't go cross-eyed from looking down his nose
at us autograph collectors. Earth to Rick: We lunchbox types
haven't become jaded from talking to world-class athletes the
way you have. We're still far enough removed to get a thrill
from a connection, albeit tenuous, to their greatness.
JAMES E. CONBOY, St. Johnsville, N.Y.
How could you wish that an oppressive state like Cuba be granted
a Major League Baseball franchise when league officials have
passed over deserving cities like Charlotte, Nashville and
Washington, D.C. (SCORECARD, April 5)? Beware for what you wish,
lest it come true. On the other hand, I'm sure Fidel's regime
would work wonders in reducing exorbitant salaries and dealing
decisively with players displaying bad attitudes. On second
thought, maybe we should give Havana an NBA franchise too.
JASON ROSENBAUM, New York City