That was a terrific cover article on Fresno State's football
team (Off and Running, Sept. 17). David Carr is an outstanding
quarterback who has sharp instincts and is a real leader. Pat
Hill, who while an assistant coach with the Cleveland Browns
dreamed of returning to Fresno State as the coach, deserves
credit for rebuilding the Bulldogs' program. Congratulations,
Coach Hill, we shall continue to cheer you from the great
TOM THOMPSON, BEREA, OHIO
We are very excited about and appreciative of your recognition
of Fresno State. No words can describe what this will do for our
university and for recruiting. We love our team, but, more
important, we love our country. Around town, the cheers of "Go
Dogs" have been replaced by chants of "U-S-A!" God bless America.
RAYMOND SPINELLI, FRESNO
As an old Florida Gator who bleeds orange and blue, it's hard
for me to coordinate my lips, teeth, tongue and voice box to
even utter these strange new words, "Go Bulldogs!" Georgia? Not
in this lifetime. I'm talking about the most exciting and plain
old fun-to-watch college team in the nation--Fresno State.
TERRY WARD, ST. PETERSBURG
I agree that the Williams sisters have revolutionized tennis
(American Revolution, Sept. 17). They can be nothing but good
for the game, but until they are willing to be competitive with
each other and play satisfying finals for the fans, I suggest
they be placed in the same bracket every tournament. Sorry.
DAVID J. BETZNER, FREDERICK, MD.
Somehow I got the wrong SI this week. I was waiting for a cover
celebrating the historic all-sister final in the U.S. Open. It
would also be the cover marking the night women's tennis beat
college football in the ratings race. That one's coming, right?
INEZ R. GOMEZ, SANTA FE
Timing is everything--even bad timing. Obviously SI went to
press before the tragic events of Sept. 11. However, the
decision to print the photo of the Williams sisters wrapped in
American flags wasn't a good one from the beginning.
S.L. WALKER, PICKERINGTON, OHIO
The problem with John McEnroe (SCORECARD, Sept. 17) is that he
talks through the points. Good analysts never talk while the
ball is in play. On top of that, most of the time he's talking
about something unrelated to the match we're watching. I find
DON ENGEL, LAS VEGAS
L. Jon Wertheim could not be more wrong about McEnroe. Not only
is he an insider with real knowledge of the game and the
players, but also his frank manner makes him the most refreshing
personality on the tennis broadcasts. In fact, I found myself
picking which matches I would watch by whether Johnny Mac would
be in the booth--and I didn't like his act as a player.
SANDY GANNON, DALLAS
Working in the Minors
Thank you for John Ed Bradley's portrayal of the hard work,
dedication and--sometimes--luck that members of the Great Falls
Dodgers (Uncertain Prospects, Sept. 17) must have to climb the
ladder to the big leagues. We Montanans have been fortunate to
see players such as Eric Karros, Pedro Martinez and Raul Mondesi
play the game before fame and money influence them.
KEVIN MIELKE, BILLINGS, MONT.
A Real Role Model
Early in my college career I made a flippant remark that Cliff
Huxtable was the dominant male figure in my life when I was
growing up. The line was referred to in SI's story (Mean Streak,
Sept. 17). I regret ever having said that. My father, Larry, and
my mom, Brenda Dean, divorced when I was very young. While I
never got over the fact that my dad was not living with my mom
and me, he has always been there to support and love me. Divorce
is tough. As a kid, you certainly don't understand it. I do know
that a TV character could never be more of a father than my pop
was to me.
LARRY TRIPPLETT, SEATTLE
One Hand Clapping
Rick, Ichiro doesn't talk to reporters and he's a saintly Zen
master (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Sept. 17), but Barry Bonds doesn't
talk to reporters and he's the Antichrist (THE LIFE OF REILLY,
LESLIE LEWIS, PALO ALTO, CALIF.
COLOR PHOTO: MANNY MILLAN
With respect to Pete Sampras's asking Serena Williams if her
blonde braids were real, he cannot be so stupid as to think that
this is an appropriate question to ask an African-American woman
under any circumstances. Would he similarly ask a white woman,
Is that your real hair color, or, Are your breasts real? This is
another example of what the Williams sisters have to endure on
the lily-white pro tennis circuit.
BRIAN ST. JAMES, WEBSTER GROVES, MO.