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Original Issue


A Cat's Life

Considering the now well-documented SI Jinx, how could you have
put an innocent cat on the cover of the issue? Is the poor feline
still alive? Were the cat and its agent aware of the risks?
BRIAN SMITH, Dearborn, Mich.

Eight-year-old Mr. Ed (right) is leading a happy, healthy,
normal life in Haddam, Conn. Before posing for SI, he sat for
print ads and for covers of Sabrina the Teenage Witch books.
Fully accustomed to the black cat's bad-luck typecasting, Mr. Ed
had no qualms about posing for our cover. Unfortunately, this
exposure hasn't led to an increase in his bookings, but business
usually does pick up around Halloween. --ED.

High Jinx

Need further proof of the SI Jinx (That Old Black Magic, Jan.
21)? That unsuspecting feline on the cover of the Jinx issue
endangered black cats everywhere. The Monday after I received my
copy, my neighbor's black cat, Merlin, climbed under the hood of
my son-in-law's truck to keep warm on a cold night. He was still
there when my son-in-law started the truck to go home. The cat
sustained serious injuries but, fortunately, is expected to
recover. You guys gave Kurt Warner the opportunity to avoid the
Jinx, but black cats everywhere never had a chance.

Shouldn't the Jinx extend to all of SI's covers, including those
of the swimsuit editions? Where were the recollections of the
various supermodels who fell victim to the Jinx? Perhaps there
was a supermodel who appeared on the cover only to have a pimple
develop a week later? Coincidence or the Jinx? I guess I'll have
to wait for the movie version by Oliver Stone.
JULIE CHAPMAN, Assonet, Mass.

Jinx? Since 1982 a single NFL team--represented by player(s) or
coach--has been on the cover of SI the week before the Super Bowl
nine times. Eight of the nine teams have gone on to win the
Lombardi Trophy. The only exception was Super Bowl XXXIV. Titans
defensive end Jevon Kearse appeared on the cover, but a
game-saving tackle by Rams linebacker Mike Jones snapped this SI
cover streak.
MITCH BEIMS, Colby, Kans.

How about putting losers on the cover? It might reverse their
fortunes. My first nominee--the Detroit Lions.
TOM KOHL, Holland, Mich.

My cousin Regan Dale was on the Aug. 1, 1977, cover running a
rapids in the Grand Canyon. At the time, we--Grand Canyon
Dories--had made more than 100 successful runs through Lava Falls,
the granddaddy of Colorado River rapids. On our next trip through
we flipped eight boats in a two-day period. SI Jinx? I think so!
O'CONNOR DALE, Kanab, Utah

Todd Blackledge and Penn State did indeed lose to Alabama
following his appearance on the cover. However, the Nittany
Lions went unbeaten the rest of the way--including a 27-23 win
over Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker and Georgia in the
1983 Sugar Bowl--and won their first national title.
TIM SCANLAN, Ebensburg, Pa.


From the photo of Jere Karalahti wallowing peacefully in smoke to
the quote describing heroin use as orgasmically blissful (High
Times, Jan. 21), SI has ensured that the masses of young,
impressionable men and women who pay to be your readers will walk
away with a positive, glossy, Madison Avenue view on drugs.
Please do not hide behind the view that you were trying to give a
positive message on rehabilitation. Nothing in the article
warrants that defense. Shame.

Enough with Karalahti's thought process. What were you smoking?
Ted Bickel, Chanhassen, Minn.


On behalf of the Men Are Pigs Society of the United States, I am
outraged that the International Skating Union has taken its
stance against crotch shots (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Jan. 21). These
expository moves were, in fact, the only thing that got us
through the thousands of hours of skating every Winter Olympics!

Poor Taste

I must take issue with SCORECARD's (Jan. 21) attempt at
tongue-in-cheek humor, "Hollywood Junta." The death of a child's
father and the imprisonment of another child's father is not an
acceptable subject for comedy. This tragedy, witnessed by
children, is a signal for us to take a serious look at youth
sports, not to waste column space trying to find something funny
in a situation where only sadness exists.
MARK M. GLENN, Nashville