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Original Issue


The next chair Ted Ernst should sit in should be the electric
--RICHARD KOLB, Louisville


After reading the horrific tale about Ted Ernst, the wheelchair
racer turned murderer, I was reminded of the importance of the
death penalty (Hell on Wheels, Jan. 10). Ernst should not be
able to compete in the prison chin-up contests or take another
breath because Larry Streeter will never smell the flowers, read
the paper or spend time with his family. Wheelchair-bound or
not, the brutal murder of an innocent man warrants more than a
100-year prison sentence.

Truth, once again, is more chilling than fiction. I'm sure Hell
on Wheels would make the hair stand up on the back of Stephen
King's neck. After digesting this macabre story, I feel Jesse
Ernst should not have received the same sentence as his brother.
Cloverdale, Calif.

I'm disappointed that you chose to do a feature story on a
murderer. This type of article inspires no one. The phrase "I'm
very sorry that it happened" is not an apology. This man is
clearly not sorry for the horrible crime he committed; he's just
sorry he got caught. As for his athletic accomplishments, do you
really think anybody cares after learning what he did?
DAVID ZVODAR, Columbia, Tenn.


I can understand Grant Wahl's feeling that Lauren Gregg might be
the best candidate to replace Tony DiCicco as coach of the U.S.
women's soccer team (SCORECARD, Jan. 10). However, I don't
understand his need to denigrate Clive Charles, who is one of
the most successful women's college soccer coaches in the
country. Charles has taken the program of a relatively small
school, the University of Portland, and turned it into one of
the best in the country. Over the past 10 years the Pilots have
been a fixture in the NCAA tournament.
STEVE BAHNSON, Hillsboro, Ore.


What's up with the deification of Michael Vick (Laying It All on
the Line, Jan. 10)? In the national championship game he had two
crucial fumbles, completed only 50% of his passes and was sacked
numerous times. He has that deer-in-the-headlights look of the
Steelers' Kordell Stewart. The quarterback of the future? Eric
Crouch of Nebraska.
JIM GOLLA, McAlester, Okla.


I think you're missing a few players from your All-Bowl lineup
(SI's All-Bowl Team, Jan. 10). How could you not go with Tom
Brady of Michigan at quarterback? He completed 34 of 46 passes
for 369 yards and four touchdowns against a very fast Alabama
defense. At running back you forgot the Crimson Tide's Shaun
Alexander, who had 25 carries for 161 yards and three touchdowns
against the same Wolverines defense that had held Wisconsin's
Ron Dayne to 88 yards and one touchdown. You also overlooked
Colorado cornerback Ben Kelly, who had an electrifying 88-yard
punt return for a touchdown in the Buffaloes' 62-28 defeat of
Boston College.
BENJAMIN J. GREGG, University Heights, Ohio

Leigh Montville suggests in his essay that passion and suspense
were legislated out of every bowl but one by the BCS (SCORECARD,
Jan. 10). He should have pointed out that SI legislated itself
out of coverage of every bowl but one.
JIM LYNAM, Jacksonville


While an increasing number of prima donna pro athletes refer to
themselves in the third person, hit referees and coaches, hold
out rather than fulfill contracts and break the law, isn't it
refreshing to find an athlete like Kurt Warner (THE LIFE OF
REILLY, Jan. 17)? Reilly's column does justice to a guy whose
story has captured the hearts of sports fans and whose primary
motivation for playing sports isn't summed up by demands and
MARK SPENCE, Dunwoody, Ga.


I disagree with your choice of Whom Would You Rather Have? in
your Jan. 17 issue (INSIDE THE NHL). Although Claude Lemieux has
three Stanley Cup rings and has led the NHL in playoff goal
scoring twice, he's a short-term solution. Most teams want him
for the playoff drive. I would choose Adam Graves because of his
leadership and work ethic throughout the season. He gets the job
done and has respectable scoring stats. His example not only
drives young players but also veterans. You need a player of
this caliber to get to the playoffs.
Peter M. Shkrutz, Milltown, N.J.



I look forward each week to Dr. Z's column on pro football and
consider him a cognoscente of the game. His 1999 All-Pro
selections, however, had a glaring, 300-pound omission (Inside
the NFL, Jan. 10). Where was Tampa Bay's Warren Sapp (99,
above)? Sapp, who was voted AP Defensive Player of the Year, was
beaten out at defensive tackle on Dr. Z's team by the Broncos'
Trevor Pryce?
MICHAEL S. DIAMOND, Fort Myers, Fla.