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Original Issue


If Jesus had been as arrogant as Isaac Bruce, he would have
invoked his own name while on the cross and saved himself.
--RYAN D. FOLLIS, Parsons, Kans.

The Essence of Super

Thanks for Michael Silver's outstanding article about Super Bowl
XXXIV (The Greatest, Feb. 7). In today's world of bad-boy
athletes, Kurt Warner's story of faith and football is an
inspiration. With apologies to famed baseball manager Leo
Durocher, this is a story in which nice guys finish first.
ANDY GANKOSKI, Hartville, Ohio

Some may lament the era of parity in the NFL, but I think it is
what gave us such an electrifying Super Bowl. Balanced matchups
of hungry teams make for great football.
SAM VAN FLEET, Vashon, Wash.

A couple of other Super Bowls come to mind as perhaps the most
exciting played: XXIII in 1989--49ers 20, Bengals 16. That game
featured the mother of all Super Bowl drives (92 yards), and it
was decided in San Francisco's favor by the memorable Joe Montana
to John Taylor touchdown pass with 34 seconds left. Then there
was Super Bowl XXV in 1991--Giants 20, Bills 19. With Ottis
Anderson of New York and Thurman Thomas of Buffalo each rushing
for more than 100 yards, this classic was in doubt until the
final eight seconds.

Playing the Super Bowl one week after the conference championship
games is much better than playing it two weeks after. Most of the
one-week games have been close, and the two-week games have
usually been blowouts.
RON THOMSEN, Katy, Texas

March into Madness

Seth Davis makes a plea to the NCAA to preserve more spaces for
traditionally "low-rated" conferences in the NCAA tournament
(INSIDE COLLEGE BASKETBALL, Feb. 7). As part of his argument he
asserts that the NCAA will bypass teams from the lower-ranked
conferences "to protect a berth for a going-nowhere fifth-,
sixth- or seventh-place finisher from a big-time conference." In
1997 Arizona, which finished fifth in the Pac-10, was granted an
NCAA tournament bid. All that this fifth-place team from a
big-time conference did was win the national championship.

Davis's viewpoint on the NCAA's so-called play-in is one more
reason that I no longer enjoy the NCAA tournament. In the 1994-95
season Ohio won the preseason NIT but didn't win either the
Mid-American Conference regular season or tournament. The NCAA
didn't take a third team from the MAC that year, though I believe
Ohio, with a 24-10 record, was more deserving than, say, Indiana,
which went 19-12. Why not limit the Big Ten, Pac-10, Big 12 and
ACC to three or four bids each and let in another team from
conferences like the MAC, MEAC or Missouri Valley?
MICHAEL D. ROEGER, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Theological Debate

I just read Rick Reilly's column on the parallels between Derrick
Thomas and Isaac Bruce (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Feb. 7). If Bruce is
quoted accurately, he needs to get in touch with reality. Jesus
touches all lives, not just those who invoke his name in times of
crisis. He didn't save Bruce because Bruce invoked his name any
more than Jesus paralyzed Thomas and killed the Columbine High
student and Payne Stewart.
Plantation, Fla.

While he may be a great football player, Bruce is a horrible
theologian. Bruce's comments were heretical and cruel. The Bible
is filled with examples of just and godly people whom God chose
to take before their time.
Pensacola, Fla.

Two men: Bruce and Reilly. Isaac knows Jesus. He just doesn't
understand the Biblical view on death or suffering. Rick knows
how to be antagonistic toward Christians. He just doesn't
understand the love of God from which a believer in Jesus is
never separated--even in death or suffering.
KIRK GOSS, Oklahoma City

A Question of Motive

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden says he played Sebastian
Janikowski in the Sugar Bowl instead of suspending him for
missing curfew because "you can't help but like him" (SCORECARD,
Feb. 7). It's possible that winning a national championship for
the Seminoles had nothing to do with that decision, but how can
we expect professional athletes to be role models when they're
coddled at some universities?
ROME SARWAS, Bellingham, Wash.


The Superlative Game

Calling Super Bowl XXXIV the best is a stretch. It may have
included the most exciting fourth quarter of all time, but the
other three quarters were boring. The best Super Bowl for 60
minutes was XXXII, when John Elway (above) and the Denver Broncos
beat the Green Bay Packers 31-24.
BEN BATHA, Loveland, Colo.