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Two hundred fifty-two million dollars and A-Rod needs an
incentive package?
--DAVE RUSSELL, Cranbrook, B.C.


There was no better choice than Tiger Woods for Sportsman of the
Year (Witnessing History, Dec. 18). I was fortunate enough to
see Tiger play in the British Open at St. Andrew's. Sitting at
the 18th tee and watching Jack Nicklaus cross the Swilken Burn
bridge for the last time was moving. But after seeing a
determined Tiger tee off and cross the bridge surrounded by a
gallery much larger than Nicklaus's, I realized that what I was
witnessing was far more important: the passing of the torch.
ARYAN KUSHAN, Silver Spring, Md.

Every year, I save the cover of the Sportsman of the Year issue.
I won't need to save the cover this year. I can get the same
cover next year, and the year after that, and the year after

You guys are morons. You name Tiger Sportsman of the Year, and
then you run a cover photo that makes him look like a clown. Bad
AL TANNER, Lake Worth, Fla.

I'm not sure who is more lost in the wazoo of Tigermania: Nike
Golf president Bob Wood, who finds emotional meaning in Tiger's
switch to a nonwound ball, or SI, for printing 19 pages of
eyewitness testimony to Tiger's achievements. Gimme a break!


Although Tom Verducci's article was about the pursuit of Alex
Rodriguez, I found it interesting that neither Scott Boras, Tom
Hicks nor Doug Melvin mentioned how much Rodriguez is going to
improve the Rangers, a team that had the worst ERA in baseball
and finished 20 1/2 games out in the American League West
(Powerball, Dec. 18). All they talked about was how marketable
he is. Hey, Tom Hicks, meet Peter Angelos. You two will get
along nicely.
MIKE CAMACHO, Middletown, Del.

This week's Sign of the Apocalypse? Hicks pays Rodriguez $252
million to play baseball. He paid only $250 million to purchase
the team. And the Rangers are still in desperate need of pitching.
MIKE WELLS, Katy, Texas

More power to A-Rod. However, he needs to understand that
winning and losing occur as the result of the collective effort
of 25 players. If the Rangers fail to win championships,
Rodriguez will need to shoulder his share of the responsibility
and not suggest that Texas's failure to invest in pitchers,
outfielders, et al. was the problem.
JIM BRACEY, East Greenwich, R.I.

Rodriguez signs and then bashes all the teams that decided he
wasn't worth it. The only time Rodriguez is going to see the
Mets in a meaningful game is next October when he buys another
ticket to the World Series. His mouth is as big as his wallet.


There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a sports crybaby,
or a nerd, as you have proved (AIR AND SPACE, Dec. 18). I salute
Steve Rushin for writing the article and Rushin's father for
bringing him up (and not being afraid to weep).
RYAN B. SCHREIBER, Mission Viejo, Calif.

God bless you, Steve Rushin, for that article. After 20 years,
one husband, three sons and countless moments during which I
couldn't speak to or look at them, it can be told. Some things
are worth a blessing of tears. Most recently, we ended our
middle son's varsity career in soccer with a banquet and
farewells to kids and parents with whom we all knew we'd never
share the stands again. I made it through the banquet, but now,
whenever the house is empty, I go back and look at the
highlights tape and cry my eyes out.

Rushin's relationship with his father illustrates the bond that
can be created by sports.
NATHAN KAISER, San Francisco


Lest We Forget

In your headline on Frank Deford's story about Tiger Woods you
wrote, "In the history of sport, has any other athlete burdened
by heavy expectations not just lived up to them but also
exceeded our wildest projections?" The answer is: Yes, if you
look beyond the narrow confines of the U.S. I refer to Sir
Donald George Bradman, the Australian who dominated world
cricket from 1928 to '48. His career batting average was 99.94,
higher by 50% than that of his nearest rival.
PATRICK CONNER, Bordentown, N.J.