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Brett Hull had about as much control over that puck as I have
over the weather.


I can't believe Michael Farber devoted his Stanley Cup finals
wrap-up story almost entirely to Brett Hull's controversial goal
(The Bitter End, June 28). Hull's goal was legal. Meanwhile,
Farber missed the compelling themes in the Stars' championship
run, including Ed Belfour's besting Patrick Roy and Dominik
Hasek, and Hull's embracing a defensive philosophy. And what
about Joe Nieuwendyk's winning the Conn Smythe Trophy after
having ACL replacement surgery on both knees only a year earlier?

All season I watched as goal after goal was disallowed when an
offensive player had so much as a toenail in the crease. To give
the Stars the Cup on a clearly illegal goal is atrocious.

Failure to call obvious penalties after the second period allowed
an exciting game to deteriorate into tedium.
DON HUMAN, Lexington, Ky.


Win the World Series? Get a cover. Win the Super Bowl? Get a
cover. Win the NBA championship? Get a cover. Win the Stanley
Cup? Nothing, nothing, nothing.
DON LUCE, Los Angeles

I look forward every Thursday to opening my mailbox and seeing
whom you have chosen for the cover. I could not believe what I
saw on the June 28 issue. Marcus Camby? Did you forget about a
gentleman named Payne Stewart and what he accomplished at
Pinehurst No. 2?
JEFF GOSS, North Providence, R.I.

I cannot believe that sprinter Maurice Greene wasn't on the
cover after breaking the world record in track's most glamorous
event, the 100-meter dash.


John Ed Bradley's article on Brandon Burlsworth should be passed
around and read by everyone, not just by athletes (Almost
Perfect, June 28). The work ethic that young man displayed is an
example for us all. Rest in peace, Brandon.
DAVE SISTARO, Staten Island, N.Y.

The day of Brandon's funeral was the day Brandon and I had
planned to pick out our engagement rings. It is very difficult
to admit that in one second, all the dreams that Brandon and I
shared are gone: the dreams of our first house, our children,
our careers and the rest of our lives together. But the most
important thing that Brandon would want everyone to know is that
on the day of his death, he was prepared. Of course, we didn't
know it would happen, but Brandon knew all his life that God had
placed His hand upon him and that he would be nowhere without
God. Certainly, football was immensely important to Brandon, but
it was his character and the relationship he had with God that
defined who Brandon Burlsworth really was.

It breaks my heart that millions of readers will get to know an
individual of Brandon Burlsworth's character not during his life
but after his death.

Why is it that as an avid reader of SI, I am thoroughly familiar
with the likes of Latrell Sprewell, Albert Belle and Lawrence
Phillips, but until his tragic death, I had never even heard of
Brandon Burlsworth? With his remarkable skill and outstanding
attitude, Burlsworth deserved to have been a media favorite for
years. If there are more athletes like him out there, please
find them soon and let the world know of their existence.
DAVE COOLEY, Lake Lotawana, Mo.


Growing up 70 miles north of Pittsburgh, I had the pleasure of
watching Bubby Brister groom himself to be a top NFL quarterback
(Hard Driver, June 28). I never thought Bubby was washed up. I
do want to make another point. As everyone knows, in football
you have to wear a helmet. As I look at the first photo in the
article, I can only hope the "free-spirited" Brister is smart
enough to start wearing a helmet when he's driving his
all-terrain vehicle.
MARK ROWAN, Pittston, Pa.


Emanuel Yarbrough's agent has it figured all wrong (SCORECARD,
June 28). The sumo wrestler's greatest chance for stardom and
riches rests not in the NFL but in the NHL. Can you imagine a
728-pound goaltender? Defensemen would not be needed. Surely
Yarbrough would be the first unscored-upon goalie in league
KARL SVATEK, Wauwatosa, Wis.


It was gratifying to see recognition given to trainers
(SCORECARD, June 28). A pro team trainer's day typically starts
at 5:30 a.m. and stretches into the evening. A college-student
trainer has it even tougher. He or she works long hours, is
expected to get positive results rehabilitating injuries and
must maintain a solid average in courses like anatomy,
physiology and neurological-muscular development.
JIM REYNOLDS, Boise, Idaho


I couldn't believe the quotes from J.D. Drew about merely
wanting to play ball (INSIDE BASEBALL, June 28). Are we to
forget that this is the same player who, without having had one
major league at bat, held up the Philadelphia Phillies for a
year in contract negotiations, demanding a record signing bonus
of about $10 million before reentering the draft the following
year? I don't care how good a player he becomes; he's the
epitome of what's wrong with sports today.
TOM MCCLURE, Cherry Hill, N.J.

J.D. Drew probably prefers Motel 8 because there's more money
left in his wallet the next morning.
--MATT KARIS, Brooklyn


The dilemma of Milwaukee Brewers catcher David Nilsson--whether
to play for Australia at the Sydney Olympics--made me wonder why
baseball isn't a Winter Olympics sport (Another Home Run? July
5). Since basketball is included in the summer games, why can't
baseball be featured indoors during its off-season? Major
leaguers could represent their countries in a true World Series.
Imagine the excitement that would be generated when Pedro
Martinez of the Dominican Republic faced Mark McGwire of the
U.S. with the gold medal on the line!
JESSE BERKOWITZ, Fairfield, Iowa


Rick Reilly's Get the Message? was a wake-up call to this
married stay-at-home mother of three boys (THE LIFE OF REILLY,
June 21). We don't own video games, and all of our computer
games are either sports related or educational. However, we are
Sacramento Kings fans, and we thought that Chris Webber's
knockdown of John Stockton was very cool. We are raising our
sons to respect all people and that violence is not the way to
solve life's problems. I'm now asking myself why we accept
violence as a part of sports. I fear our support of the Kings
and excitement over their advancement to the playoffs clouded
our better judgment. I think I got the message Rick. Thank you.
Roseville, Calif.

I must have been taking my nap when the rule was published that
athletes were supposed to be saints. Darryl Strawberry didn't
decide to start doing drugs once he realized kids admired him,
and Mike Tyson didn't survive in New York City by making
crumpets for other children. I'm not sure where Reilly thinks
these kids grew up, but I'd sure like his seats the next time
Webber's Kings go against Spree's Knicks if he's too scared to
ERIC M. JAFFE, Potomac, Md.


It was a thrill to see the picture of Marion Motley in your July
5th issue (SCORECARD). The reason? The man trying to tackle him
in the picture is my father, Gail Bruce. After this picture was
snapped, Motley dragged my father 30 more yards. My father did
not let go, but he later said that he would have felt more
comfortable tackling a freight train than Motley.
ELIZABETH GREGORY, Arroyo Grande, Calif.



You left off one of the most exciting baseball winning streaks
of all time: the New York Giants' 16-game streak in 1951, which
started when the Giants were 13 1/2 behind the league-leading
Brooklyn Dodgers in early August (Inside Baseball, July 12).
Sparked by rookie Willie Mays (stealing third base, above) and
led by manager Leo Durocher (2), the Giants caught the Dodgers
and forced a playoff series, which the Giants won, thanks to
Bobby Thomson's three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth
inning of the third game.
NORMAN GLICKMAN, Lafayette, Calif.