The only thing lacking in Rick Reilly's stat line for Jesus is
that there would be many more saves.
--TIM FERGUSON, Birmingham
Thanks for your cover story on the U.S. Women's World Cup soccer
victory (Out of This World, July 19). I was surprised that you
made no mention of the role Title IX played in this victory or
the fact that Title IX became law the same year that Mia Hamm
was born (1972). It is important to remember that while it was
the teams' outstanding play that brought home the World Cup, it
was Title IX that opened the door to make it all possible.
HOWARD K. WATKINS, Fresno
I have never been so captivated by a picture on your cover as I
was by the one of screaming Brandi Chastain. Her spontaneous
ecstasy and relief jump off the page. No other cover, including
those featuring swimsuits or Jordan championships, has given me
goose bumps each and every time I look at it.
RON GANDOLFI, Downers Grove, Ill.
I'm glad you mentioned the fact that Briana Scurry violated the
rules on the World Cup winning save. I've played soccer since
age six and attended the semifinal match against Brazil, and I
am incredibly proud of these women. However, I also love
fairness, and the fact that this wasn't given more attention
DAVID WEIBEL, Menlo Park, Calif.
What a refreshing change of pace to see a team playing its heart
out for the love of the game and national pride.
JON BAKER, Delray Beach, Fla.
Brandi Chastain didn't win the game. Hers was one critical play
among many. You should have put the whole team on the cover.
ROBERTA MAYNARD, Falls Church, Va.
JESUS, BUT NOT ALOU
As both a fan of the Cincinnati Reds since Johnny Bench was
called up from the Buffalo Bisons, and an individual with a
professional interest in Jesus Christ, I thoroughly enjoyed the
wit and wisdom of Rick Reilly in the July 19 issue (THE LIFE OF
REILLY). Reilly's heavenly humor caught my attention and forced
readers to answer his question, "Why worship the gift when you
can worship the Giver?"
THE REVEREND JONATHAN A. HUNT
North Tonawanda, N.Y.
Reilly's use of Christ in his article is inappropriate and
offensive to many Christians. The use of his column to state his
opinions is expected and enjoyable; however, it is egotistical
and inconsiderate to use a man that many of us consider a deity
in a cute little anecdote, regardless of the moral at the end.
MARK LARSON, Salt Lake City
Thanks for Reilly's "What Would Jesus Do?" I liked it so much
that I read it to my congregation on Sunday.
Pastor, Cottonwood Church
Who said it is a crime not to have all your eggs in one basket
(Rappin' on the Door, July 19)? Master P has got a lot of top
sports agents scratching their heads. How can the rapper/
actor/producer/CEO snag Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams? I
say to them, easily. Give the man a chance to prove himself
before judging him. I don't believe that Master P is in over his
head--just check his track record.
CARL L. WALKER, Columbus, Ohio
I am a 20-year-old white male who grew up in a middle-class
family, and I have been listening to rap music since seventh
grade. When I was in high school, lots of people stereotyped
rappers as thugs who do drugs and are a bad influence on kids.
Thank you for showing that not all rappers are low-class
citizens. In fact, they are good people who are a positive
influence on youth. When I have kids, Master P is definitely
someone I would like them to look up to.
STEVE LIGHTMAN, Rockville, Md.
Master P in the July 19 issue. Jocks and rappers a few months
before that. I'm looking forward to your article on Ricky
Martin's thoughts on the designated hitter. When you start
covering sports again, drop me a line.
LARRY BUTTREY, Long Beach, Calif.
FIX THE NBA
You hit the nail on the head in analyzing what's wrong with the
stagnant, low-scoring NBA (SCORECARD, July 26). Rather than
conjuring up solutions, the league should view a WNBA game.
After watching a few minutes of a couple of games, I saw things
that I hadn't seen in a decade: players driving to the basket
without getting mugged, low-post one-on-one play and teams
incorporating an antiquated concept called the fast break. NBA,
take a page from your female counterpart and add a little
excitement to your boring game.
Teams in the NBA already have a hard enough time finding a good
shot in 24 seconds. Reducing the shot clock to 20 seconds would
only lead to more bad shots, more turnovers and even lower
shooting percentages. Increasing the number of possessions per
game might boost scoring and quicken the flow of the game, but
it would not improve the quality of play.
MATTHEW PAUL, Washington, D.C.
Why am I not surprised that the NBA is contemplating enforcing
already existing rules to help improve the pace of play? Now
that Michael Jordan--the person who led the league in traveling,
palming and pushing off--has retired, the league sees fit to
clean up the game. I enjoyed watching Jordan play, but it always
made me sick watching him get away with so many violations at
both ends of the court.
TIM WILEY, Reading, Pa.
The 57 umpires who resigned in an effort to coerce Major League
Baseball into meeting their demands (INSIDE BASEBALL, July 26)
proved that they lack one essential ingredient necessary to
function effectively as major league umpires: good judgment.
GUY T. SAPERSTEIN
For one reason or another, perhaps it was humility or maybe it
was to maintain his objectivity, Steve Rushin decided not to
anagram Sports Illustrated Magazine (SI VIEW, July 19). If he
had, I'm sure he would have arrived at the same one I did:
stimulating A-Z sports leader.
Grand Rapids, Mich.
With all the hoopla over Brandi Chastain and her shirt doffing,
the answer to whether she was an advertising billboard, just
plain vulgar, or neither is hidden in her name: a bra ad? sin?
BASEBALL'S ALL-CENTURY TEAM
I would like to thank Daniel Okrent for his "Team of the
Century" article (INSIDE BASEBALL, Aug. 9). It has to be the
most intelligently selected alltime All-Star team I have seen.
His choice of Rickey Henderson in left was provocative and
JONATHAN GOETZE, Pearblossom, Calif.
He may be an outstanding player and the alltime leader in stolen
bases, but that does not make Henderson a better player than Ty
Cobb. The Georgia Peach had 4,191 hits, 892 stolen bases and a
career batting average of .367. Many baseball historians have
called Cobb the best player in history, but for some reason he
failed to make your list.
JACOB BASNER, Freeland, Mich.
Henderson over Ted Williams (or Stan Musial)? In the immortal
words of John McEnroe, Mr. Okrent, you cannot be serious.
DOUG CHAPMAN, Somerset, Mass.
COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT BECK
A FOOT UP FOR WOMEN'S SPORTS
Before the Women's World Cup, I did not pay much attention to
women's sports, but the U.S. team (above) showed me why women's
sports deserve more respect. I just hope that people still pay
attention now that the World Cup is over.
STEVE POEHLER, Boulder
Minor league umpires can blow calls just as well as major league
umps. I say, let 'em go.
--JOHN M. CLAUER, Huntington Beach, Calif.