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Texas Tussle

The Texans and the Cowboys (Choosing Sides, Aug. 19)? A team
that has won five games in each of the last two seasons and a
team that probably won't win five games total in the next two
years hardly deserve a story, let alone a cover. The only thing
I could see that was slightly exciting about this so-called
"war" of Texas was which team had the better-looking cheerleaders.
Michael Campagna, Bristol, R.I.

All that the Cowboys and Texans will be battling for is last
place in their respective divisions. The Texans have a rookie at
quarterback, and the Cowboys don't have a quarterback at all.
That adds up to two losing seasons. I hope Texas fans have fun on
Sept. 8 because that is the only excitement they'll be seeing all
Ryan Kozul, Boston

Your interview with several Texans fans once again validates the
old Texas saying, The best thing to ever come out of Houston?
Interstate 45 to DALLAS! Win five Super Bowls and let's talk in
30 years.
Kent Douglas, Plano, Texas

"WAR for Texas"? Wasn't there at least one editor who said that
using the word war to describe a game would be a bad idea? War is
what our dedicated servicemen and -women are waging half a world
away on our behalf. I love football, but it ain't war.
Dean DiGiacomo, San Clemente, Calif.

Adult Education

Rick Reilly's column Welcome to the Real World (THE LIFE OF
REILLY, Aug. 19) should be required reading for all athletes,
coaches, managers and business executives who think their job is
No. 1. It took a Jobian disaster before John Elway realized how
important family really is. I hope that people learn from him.
Hugh Gitlin, St. Paul

The loss of Elway's father and twin sister in such a short
period of time is certainly tragic. However, there's nothing
else in Rick Reilly's article that evokes any sympathy,
compassion or admiration. Poor John was so busy letting people
kiss his feet that he ignored his wife and kids. Elway found out
that being famous and being a smart businessman are two
different things.
Howard Davis, Wilmette, Ill.

Having Their Phil

Whether or not he ever wins a major, Phil Mickelson (Major
Issues, Aug. 19) will always be my favorite PGA player for one
reason: grace. I follow him every year during the practice
rounds at the International at Castle Pines in Castle Rock,
Colo., and without fail he gives out gloves and balls to kids,
thanks them for coming and smiles as if he understands how
fortunate he is. In my eyes Phil has already won the grand slam
of life.
David Rosenthal, Littleton, Colo.

As foreign as it may seem to the world of golf, Phil Mickelson
may simply be analogous to the corporate middle manager: happy to
go home having done an honest day's work without bringing with
him all of the tensions and baggage that come from being the top
Jennifer E. Turck, Homer, N.Y.

So, who really wrote that piece on Phil Mickelson, Jack McCallum
or Phil's mom? Phil's lazy work habits were minimized, his
gambling habits were downplayed, his poor mental approach was
overlooked, and his perpetual tendency to tighten up in majors
was completely dismissed.
Bill Toomey, Newark, Del.

I wonder if all of the people who criticize Phil Mickelson for
not having won a major realize that he is far better at his job
than they will ever be at theirs.
Aaron Hendrickson, Hancock, Mich.

It took John Elway's losing his father, his twin sister, his wife
and his four kids to realize what a lousy person he'd been to his
family, yet we loved him for being a star. Phil Mickelson
understands there is more to life than beating Tiger Woods, yet
we berate him and call him complacent. Shame on us.
Jeffrey C. Ford, Aurora, Ill.

Reality Check

I never realized that the replacement players are still treated
as second-class citizens by their peers seven years later
(SCORECARD, Aug. 19). Your article confirms what I've already
concluded about most major league baseball players: They are
greedy, selfish people who have lost sight of the fact that they
get paid big money to play a kid's game.
Tom Kaniewski, New York City

Just Vin, Baby

Steve Rushin's column The Most Artful Dodger was right on the
mark (Air and Space, Aug. 19). My father died in 1960 when I was
six years old, and I found great comfort on many nights by going
to sleep with my transistor radio under my pillow and listening
to Vin Scully call the Dodgers' games. I tuned in to almost every
Dodgers game until I was well into my teens. Scully, more than
anyone else, fueled my love of sports, and baseball in
Steven Gardner, Redlands, Calif.

I hate the Dodgers. I always have. But when I am lucky enough to
listen to a Vin Scully broadcast, my eyes moisten and I get a
lump in my throat. Unlike all of the homogenized pinheads calling
games these days, Scully is truly a national treasure.
Keith Hull, Boise, Idaho