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Cover Charges

Soccer is a sport completely devoid of excitement. It may have
significance in the rest of the world, but it no more belongs on
the cover of the premier sports magazine in the U.S. ("The U.S.
Steps Up," June 24) than does billiards or bullfighting. I guess
the Lakers' three-peat or Tiger Woods's U.S. Open victory weren't
as politically correct as trying to build a sport into something
it's not.
St. Petersburg

A World Cup cover when the Red Wings win Lord Stanley's? Give me
a break! I realize that hockey is the fourth sport in the U.S.,
but soccer is waaaay below that, even in a World Cup year.
Grand Rapids

The Red Wings win another Stanley Cup...yawn. Tiger wins another
Open...yawn. The Lakers win another NBA Finals...yawn. The U.S.
soccer team advances to the World Cup quarterfinals...hell must
have frozen over. Thank you for giving credit where it is due
and putting the most deserving team on the cover of your magazine.
KATRINA HULL, Bethany, W.Va.

Detroit Dynasty

You were right in your assessment that the Detroit Red Wings are
becoming the Yankees of the NHL (Reign Men, June 24). Who didn't
think the Wings would win the Stanley Cup this year? It is
sobering that three of the four major sports seem to have their
champions predetermined because a select few teams can scoop up
all the talent that is too expensive for all other teams to even
CURT GILL, Atlanta

Well, once again the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup, and what does
SI do? Compare them with the Yankees. There is one difference,
though: Not everybody hates the Red Wings.
ED SZYKULA, Berkley, Mich.

Granted, Scotty Bowman is possibly the greatest coach ever, but
my grandmother could have coached this All-Star team to a

Life on the Links

Rick Reilly was dead-on when he wrote about the ever-increasing
"luxuries" provided on a golf course (THE LIFE OF REILLY, June
24). It seems foolish to pay $150 to be hurried along after
waiting 15 minutes on each hole for the group in front of you.

As a municipal course golfer who isn't ashamed to score a double
bogey, I was glad to see Rick Reilly take shots at courses that
the everyday man doesn't always get to play. I'm more than happy
to pay my $12 to walk the back nine at 6:45 on a Saturday
MIKE BENDER, Baltimore

Praising Pancho

I have played, coached, umpired and observed tennis for more than
50 years. Pancho Gonzalez (The Lone Wolf, June 24) was the best I
have ever seen, and I am always surprised when his name does not
come up when people discuss who was the best ever. Had he been
allowed to play the Grand Slam events in his prime, he would have
records that would never be matched.

I paid 1.51[pounds] and sat front row, Centre Court for the
second day of the 1969 Gonzalez-Charlie Pasarell match. I
couldn't have told you the difference between a volley and a
rally at the time, but Pancho's competitive fire and athleticism
made me a lifelong fan of tennis.
JAY MARGOLIS, Boynton Beach, Fla.

Great article on Pancho Gonzalez. Although he was a tremendous
talent, his disposition made John McEnroe look like a class act.
BRYAN DOTO, Stamford, Conn.

Eye of the Tiger

Has Tiger Woods gotten so dominant that writers can only
criticize his "steely demeanor" and "focused scowl" (Halfway
Home, June 24)? In the final round, while Sergio Garcia was
trying to make nice with Tiger and Phil Mickelson was smiling and
thanking the gallery after making bogey, Woods was focused only
on beating the golf course. He must have been saving his energy
to lift up that big U.S. Open trophy and flash that winning smile
on the 18th green.

The picture of Tiger Woods on page 50 made me pause to consider
his impact on the game. It was not Tiger's image but the
diversity of the faces in the background that caught my eye. It
sure was not Augusta.
CURTIS CULWELL, Garland, Texas

Nein to IX

Susan Casey's extremist ramblings about the value of Title IX are
all wet (SCORECARD, June 24). Casey takes the easy way out and
blames football--conveniently overlooking the fact that if
football and men's basketball didn't produce the revenue for
these schools that they do, there might be no women's sports. You
can cite all the percentages you like about who made money, but
the bottom line remains: Football and basketball pay the bills
and should get first-class treatment.

The fact of the matter is, with or without scholarships more men
want to play sports than women do. Unfortunately Title IX is
making that increasingly difficult.