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Original Issue


Tearful Trails

I would like to commend S.L. Price for his sensitive treatment of
the tragedy that has so deeply affected the University of Wyoming
(Crossroad, Nov. 26). This has been a difficult autumn for the
nation and the world, and the deaths of eight accomplished young
men who chose to further their educational and personal growth in
Laramie compounded the grief already being felt across this
close-knit state.

These young men left a legacy of athletic spirit and academic
excellence that will inspire their friends, teammates and
successors. I deeply appreciate SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's contribution
to this legacy and to their memory.
University of Wyoming

Your article on the Wyoming eight tore my heart out. I hope it
did the same to the people who really need to read it--those who
drink and drive.

It's early the day after Thanksgiving. I am alone in my family
room reading this tragic story. When my children--ages 25, 21 and
15--wake up, I will hug them tighter. Life is precious, a gift
from God. Thank you for reminding me.
JIM LAVOLD, Wauwatosa, Wis.

Boys Will Be Girls

I'm amazed at the attitude of the girls playing field hockey and
their coaches and parents. I played for Longmeadow (Mass.) High
in the mid-1980s and faced off against several teams that had
boys. Although the boys hit the ball harder, the girls had better
stickwork. It was an exciting challenge to play against boys--and
extremely rewarding to get the ball from one of them. There were
always more fans when we played a team with boys, so I thought it
was great for raising the profile of the sport.
ABIGAIL ROTH, Washington, D.C.

You can't have your cake and eat it too. When people were
fighting for girls' rights to participate in boys' sports, those
people should have realized they were wielding a double-edged
sword. To complain it's not fair for boys to compete in girls'
sports is, well, not fair.
BRIAN P. FISHER, Glen Ridge, N.J.

Kudos to Rick Reilly for exposing the dirty little secret that
Massachusetts high school field hockey coaches have been dealing
with for years. The people losing are the girls who want to play
field hockey. For every minute a male is playing in a game, or a
scrimmage, a female is sitting on the bench. We already compete
with boys' teams for field space and budget money, and now our
female players must compete with young men who can knock them
over with a slap shot. Where is the sense of decency and
sportsmanship from the parents who encourage their sons to
participate against these girls?
C. Mass. Field Hockey Coaches Assoc.
Varsity coach, Gardner High
Gardner, Mass.

Those field hockey boys in dresses wouldn't last long in these
JOHN L. DAVIS, Birmingham

Should the Hall Call?

Tom Verducci's "Bash Call" (SCORECARD, Nov. 26) raises some
telling points about Jose Canseco's bid for a plaque in
Cooperstown and reminds me of a more pressing issue: Why is Jim
Rice not in the Hall of Fame? His homer total of 382 is lower
than Mark McGwire's or Canseco's, but he is comparable to them in
extra-base hits (834), while his career numbers exceed McGwire's
and Canseco's in RBIs (1,451) and runs (1,249), and far surpass
them in total bases (4,129), batting average (.298) and hits
(2,452). Also, while McGwire and Canseco had zero 200-hit
seasons, Rice had four.

You mentioned that McGwire finished in the top 10 of MVP voting
five times, compared with Canseco's twice. However, you forgot to
mention that Canseco won the award in 1988, while McGwire never

Open Mouth

Terrell Owens is just another talented athlete who, after
achieving his dream of playing big-time sports, thinks he's too
special to have to behave like a professional (Big, Bad and Mad,
Nov. 26). Can you imagine a carpenter dancing the boogaloo every
time he drove a nail without bending it? He wouldn't be able to
hold a job because driving nails is what he's expected to do,
just as Owens is expected to catch passes. Until he can conduct
himself with dignity, the fans who make his playing a game for
money possible will perceive him as he presents himself: a jerk.
DAVID HEADLEY, Shelbyville, Texas


Skirting the Issue

Thank you, Rick Reilly, for revealing the absurdity of Ryan
Sherburne (above) and other high school boys playing field hockey
with girls (The Life of Reilly, Nov. 26). It is appalling that
any guy would enjoy beating up on girls in a sport in which he is
obviously superior. As a young man who loves sports, I would give
my left arm to play on a varsity team, but I would never consider
playing against girls.
STEVEN J. PIMENTAL, Frankfort, Ill.