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Original Issue


Black and White in Color

Rick Reilly's column on race (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Feb. 4) was,
in my opinion, exactly on point, and I'm black! Even if whites
have a history of being more successful in many areas outside of
sport, it's still not fair to stereotype white athletes.
Reilly's article should make all people, particularly blacks,
realize that if they don't like being stereotyped by race, then
they shouldn't do it either.

Even as a young, white, upper-middle-class, college-educated,
Republican male, I was offended by Reilly's sarcastic whining
about the abuse white folks must suffer. Maybe someone whose
biggest disappointment of the past year was having to sell a
classic Corvette to buy a new Lexus isn't the best mouthpiece to
proclaim the injustices suffered by the oppressed Caucasians of
SCOTT HAUSER, New Wilmington, Pa.

Ahhhhh! The fresh smell of truth melded with political
incorrectness. Great job, for a White Boy.

As an average white guy, I may not be able to dunk, dance or run
fast, but I can always appreciate the fact that I've never truly
been discriminated against.

Being a black chick studying to become a lawyer who enjoys
Reilly's column every week, it occurred to me that anyone who
still believes these stereotypes is too scared to find out for
himself what people of other races are like and may be too lost
in the past to be helped. I believe that using race or skin
color as a descriptor should be saved for suspect
identification, as in, "He was a white guy, red hair, about
five-10," or "He was a black guy, bald head, about five-10."
That's one of the few, if not the only, times when race actually

I know that Reilly's column was semisarcastic, but my heart
still bleeds for his plight and those of his oppressed white
brothers. I would like to cheer Rick up by reminding him that
the majority of the pro teams are owned by white men, that the
majority of the coaches and managers are white men and that the
majority of the fans who can afford to attend pro games are

I enjoyed Reilly's column in which he contemplates a few
ridiculous, race-charged utterances from a few ridiculous,
simpleminded black athletes. (Mike Tyson? Come on!) However,
while Reilly makes a good point about an inexcusable double
standard, I shed few tears for him. After all, he still enjoys
all the privileges that come with being white and suffers none
of the indignities that too often come with being a person of
AL CAVE, Needham, Mass.

Olympic Choices

I have two words for Kostya Kennedy (SCORECARD, Feb 4), who
narrow-mindedly criticized the Winter Olympics as "a gear expo
on steroids." Ben Johnson.
BRIAN W. PECK, New York City

I agree that the Summer Olympics are better for displaying pure
athleticism and drama, but unfortunately the meatheads at NBC
think we would rather watch rhythmic gymnastics than the finals
in a one-on-one sport like wrestling. At least when the Winter
Olympics are on TV, we aren't subjected to watching endless
fluff in the vain hope of seeing some straight-up competition. I
am not rich enough to travel to the Games, so I much prefer the
Winter Olympics, since the morons at top of the TV food chain
have no choice but to show competitive events.
MARK NANDOR, Columbus, Ohio

Railsplitting Hairs

Kudos to Seth Davis on the Brian Cook article (Home Team, Feb.
4). However, as a graduate of Lincoln [Ill.] Community High
School, I take issue with Northern Illinois coach Rob Judson's
saying, "There's an element in Lincoln that wouldn't mind seeing
Brian wash out, so they can say, 'You're just like Norman.'"
That's misleading. Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of that
"small, basketball-mad town" wants to see Brian Cook succeed. I
understand that .01% can be considered an element of the
population, but Judson's quote makes it sounds as if Lincoln
doesn't support its Railsplitters. That couldn't be further from
the truth.

Memphis Menagerie

I couldn't have been more surprised after reading the article
about Memphis basketball (Graced Land, Feb. 4). How often does
an NBA team seem more likable than its college counterpart? Even
if the Tigers are more popular, I still have more respect for
Shane Battier and the rest of the Grizzlies, who play basketball
as game and not as a circus.
RYAN HUMPHREY, New Hartford, Conn.


Cloudy Crystal Ball
Talk about level playing fields. Dr. Z's preseason (Sept. 3)
23rd best team, the Patriots, won the Super Bowl (above, kicker
Adam Vinatieri, number 4, and Ken Walter celebrate the decisive
field goal) and his 29th (the Bears) won the NFC Central.