Maybe the luckiest of Scottie Pippen's children is the one with
whom he has no contact.
--ERIK SCHRADER, Joplin, Mo.
At last, a realistic portrayal of Scottie Pippen as an
individual instead of an appendage of Michael Jordan (No Babe in
the Woods, Dec. 13). I enjoyed the personal information that
helped me see him as a real person.
NAOMI R. JOHNSON, Bedford Heights, Ohio
Let me get this straight: Pippen sat out most of a playoff game
because of a phantom migraine, he wouldn't finish a game because
he didn't get the final shot, and he seems more interested in
making a billion dollars than having a relationship with one of
his three children by three women. Some leader, huh?
MIKE SZAJENKO, Warren, Mich.
Pippen is one reason I will no longer spend a dime on the NBA.
Scottie, you may make your billion dollars, but money can't buy
FRANK TINO, Tewksbury, Mass.
SI tried to do Pippen the favor of publishing a puff piece about
him, and he still ended up looking like a jerk. Even the best
sportswriter can only do so much with that kind of assignment.
JAY EXUM, Raleigh
MAN OF MORALS
The Los Angeles Lakers' A.C. Green is an inspiration, a role
model and a sports hero for kids--and adults (THE LIFE OF REILLY,
Dec. 13). If the country had more men like him, there would be
far fewer fatherless homes, unwanted pregnancies, cases of AIDS,
and women and children left out in the cold. Let Madonna weep,
God is pleased. Unlike other athletes, A.C. will have no regrets.
TIM MORBITZER, North Manchester, Ind.
I have followed Green's career from his college days. I have
appreciated his athletic ability, but more important, I've
developed great respect for his stand on what constitutes a
healthy lifestyle. He demonstrates what it means to have faith in
Jesus Christ and to live successfully in a situation full of
temptation to disgrace that precious name.
DOUG ELLSWORTH, Burlington, Ont.
Quite a contrast: Pippen's saying that he has no relationship
with one of his out-of-wedlock children and Green's saying, "Any
guy can make a baby. It takes a man to take care of one."
ERIC JAPPINEN, Oconomowoc, Wis.
SHE'S GOT GAME
The one freshman you left out of your Whiz Kids article (Dec. 13)
is Kara Lawson of Tennessee. It's rare that a freshman is the
third-leading scorer, averaging 13.8 points, on a team that is
ranked No. 2 in the country.
TREVOR GIBSON, Alexandria, Va.
TIME TO MOVE ON
Enough! You have taken a great story about the football team at
Columbine High and tarnished it (SCORECARD, Dec. 13). The article
Jocks Stand Up should have been a celebration of a team's
overcoming adversity to win a state championship, not another
gruesome reminder of youth gone bad. The spirit and intent of the
article should have reflected the success achieved by a group of
hardworking, disciplined young men. Instead, the article was
tainted by the names of those responsible for last spring's
inexcusable assault on innocent people.
ROBB COLYER, Cedar Knolls, N.J.
Shawn Green is just another athlete who uses religion to mask his
own greed. Are you trying to tell me that in five years in
Toronto he failed to notice one of the most significant and
vibrant Jewish communities in North America? Give us a break,
JOHN CHICK, Toronto
Green turned down an obscenely generous contract extension with
the Blue Jays, the team that brought him up through its
organization. He therefore forced a trade so he could sign an
even more obscene contract with the Dodgers. Jewish? That's nice.
Talented? Sure. Greedy and selfish? You bet! Hero? Not even
JEFF LITTLE, Mississauga, Ont.
Too bad Green didn't end up with Anaheim, since his thinly veiled
attempt to move closer to home would have put him where he
apparently lives: Fantasyland.
LEE MEROVITZ, Toronto
I would love to invite Green to visit our synagogue, but what I
really want is to introduce him to my two single daughters.
Reading about Green makes me ponder the most serious of
conversions: rooting for the Dodgers.
MARK WEISS, Palo Alto, Calif.
NO FAN OF FELIX
Your coverage of Felix Baumgartner's jumping off the
125-foot-high statue of Jesus in Rio is appalling (SCORECARD,
Dec. 13). He is an egotistical fool with a passport, not a
sportsman--a spoiled brat who runs and hides.
JIM PRIMOCK, Boulder, Colo.
BLOWING KISSES TO BARKLEY
I want to thank Jackie MacMullan for the story on Charles Barkley
(Sir Charles, Dec. 20). As an avid fan, I'd rarely seen an
article that dealt with topics other than his outlandish comments
and his amazing rebounding. For the first time I was able to read
about Barkley in a way that made me realize he was more than an
athlete. To write about the mistakes Barkley made and his regrets
about committing them puts his character in focus.
JEFFREY CRETZ, Beijing
I can think of only two words in response to your amazing story
on the friendship between Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan: wow
JEFF KRUM, Highland Park, N.J.
It is refreshing in these competitive times that there are
athletes who have not let their fame get in the way of
friendship. Even a macho man like Sir Charles makes the world a
better place when he tells you he relies on a friend like Michael
RUSSELL TAYLOR, Columbia, Md.
Thank you, Jack McCallum, for a wonderful story about Jerry
Sandusky (Last Call, Dec. 20). I was one of Jerry's kids living
in the Second Mile foster home. Being a child or young adult
without having someone to love or care for you makes for a hard
life. Luckily, I had Jerry to pick me up and put me in the right
direction. The one thing I still can't figure out is how he does
it. He's the defensive coordinator for a powerhouse football
team, yet he still has time for all the kids and to be a father.
He is compassionate, dedicated, humble, funny and, of course,
heroic. Thank you, Jerry, and sorry about giving you some of
those gray hairs.
CHALMER (C.B.) BREON
Vero Beach, Fla.
College football's coach of the year should be Sandusky. What
Jerry and his wife, Dottie, have done is a tribute to what love
and character is about. As parents of four adopted boys, we were
extremely touched. Just one question for Jerry: Where do we now
send our boys if they're linebacker material?
TONY AND MARCELLINE CERATO, Camarillo, Calif.
As an avid Penn State football fan for many years, I always
admired the cohesiveness and longevity of the Nittany Lions'
football staff. It was great to see Sandusky recognized not only
as an outstanding defensive coordinator but also as an individual
devoted to troubled young people. If the world had a few thousand
more Jerry Sanduskys, it would be a much better place.
GARY J. SAUKA, Nazareth, Pa.
MONEY TALKS, NICK WALKS
Let there be no mistake about it: Nick Saban said to LSU, "Show
me the money!" and it did just that (INSIDE COLLEGE FOOTBALL,
Dec. 13). Nick says he left Michigan State because he was tired
of being the No. 2 team in the state. If you want to be thought
of as the No. 1 football program in Michigan, you have to beat
the No. 1 team year after year. That is what Tom Izzo has done
with the Michigan State basketball team and what new coach Bobby
Williams now has the opportunity to do with Spartans football.
DONALD C. WARNKE, Stevensville, Mich.
COLOR PHOTO: V.J. LOVERO
SO, EAT ALREADY!
As a Jewish sports fan, I always have been intrigued by Jewish
athletes making it big. Reading about Shawn Green (Promised Land,
Dec. 13) gave me a sense of pride. The fact that Green (above, in
black) would probably not play a game on Yom Kippur, albeit not
for religious reasons, seems to be a strong statement of his
convictions both as a person and a Jew.
DAVID GOLDBERG, Providence
The story of Barkley's demise brought a tear to my eye.
--RYAN GUSTAFSON, Morristown, Minn.