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Original Issue


Sighs of Relief

Thanks to Leigh Montville for his article about Red Sox pitcher
Bryce Florie (Sight for Sore Eyes, Nov. 27). I too have been hit
by a line drive in the eye, and it's a terrifying experience. I'm
happy to say that I've recovered and have 20/20 vision again. I
was in the front row, behind home plate, at the game when Florie
was hit. I heard the crack of ball against bone, I heard 33,861
people gasp in horror. Most people haven't experienced the pain
of such an injury, but there are many who have. Your article was
for them.
Lexington, Mass.

As a New York Yankees fan I've always enjoyed the rivalry with
the Boston Red Sox, but the game's outcome became meaningless
when Florie was hit. I went from rooting for the Yankees to
rooting for Florie in the split second it took Ryan Thompson's
line drive to hit him.

Though I'm too young to remember the tragedy of Tony Conigliaro,
the brilliant young Red Sox rightfielder who was struck by a
pitch thrown by Jack Hamilton in 1967, I could not help but
compare the two events. It is nice to hear that Florie is doing
well. All members of Red Sox nation hope that he may pitch again.
Milford, Conn.

The Color Line

Thanks for the Peter King article acknowledging the lack of NFL
head coaching opportunities for African-American assistant
coaches (INSIDE THE NFL, Nov. 27). This lack of opportunity is
not surprising, since only recently have NFL owners and general
managers discovered they can be successful with African-Americans
leading their offenses. If it took this long for
African-Americans to get the opportunity to run a large number of
offenses, how long will it take for them to get the chance to run
a large number of teams?
ED BENSON, Far Rockaway, N.Y.

Why do NFL teams keep recycling the same coaches who have proved
they can't win? Three who come to mind are Bill Belichick, Pete
Carroll and Bruce Coslet. Why not bring in some fresh blood? Tony
Dungy has shown that a first-time coach can win.
STEVE HAGOOD, Tecumseh, Mich.

It's Not about the Money

Steve Rushin couldn't have said it any better in his article
What Price Happiness? (AIR AND SPACE, Nov. 27). I turned 40 this
year, and I've reflected on what I think happiness means. Yes, I
have financial security, more than I imagined I would. I have
four beautiful and healthy kids for whom I thank God every day.
I have friendships that I cherish each day more than I did the
day before. I agree that happiness is not all the things A-Rod
supposedly asked for, but the intangibles. I pulled out my high
school yearbook and recalled what I'd written as my senior
ambition. It read simply, "To live a happy life." I wouldn't
change a thing.
KATHY CONNORS, Medina, Wash.

Rushin's spin on happiness is similar to the parable of the rich
fool found in the Gospel of Luke. A-Rod might be able to pile up
a mountain of material wealth in this lifetime, but the true
measure of his life will be what he did for others without asking
for anything in return.
IVAN BENKO, Chatham, Ont.

Rushin is doubtless green with envy over the fact that big league
athletes make more money than he does. What else would induce him
to write the drivel that the players' "strange" and "silly" perks
do not bring them happiness but merely fulfill "cravings" that
"give way endlessly to new ones." Rushin's quotation of Benjamin
Franklin, arguing that players should settle for the "little
advantages that occur every day," is inane nonsense. Professional
athletes should have the ability to negotiate fair salaries.

Nice Batting Average

I compared your Olympic predictions (Medal Picks, Sept. 11) with
the results (Final Results, Oct. 18). By my count you made 926
predictions, covering both individual and team events. Assuming
that one medal winner among the top three (or four in a few
cases) counted as a correct prediction, you were right 469 times,
an admirable 50%! Bravo to Brian Cazeneuve for such a terrific
IAN WALKER, Boca Raton, Fla.


Early Heisman Hype

Mark Bechtel's look at this year's and next year's Heisman races
contained an omission (SCORECARD, Nov. 27). His list of 2001
candidates is missing Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch. The
Cornhuskers have a very favorable schedule next year, and with
Josh Heupel gone from Oklahoma, Crouch will likely lead Nebraska
back to the top of the Big 12 and battle Michael Vick of Virginia
Tech and Woody Dantzler of Clemson for the award.

Since when does the color of a man's skin have anything to do
with his competence as a football coach?
--Russell W. Shurts, Aurora, Colo.