Why does Rick Reilly insist on writing a nasty article about
Barry Bonds once a year (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Nov. 4)? The "Back
off or I'll snap," quote was taken out of context and used to
make Bonds look like a jerk. Given the context of the full
quote--"Wait a minute, back up. You're on my son. Back off or
I'll snap. I'm not playing around when it comes to my son"--Bonds
looks like a protective father and, to use Reilly's term, someone
who gets it. Perhaps Reilly's the one who doesn't get it.
Jeremy A. Gans New York City
Bonds has never had a brush with the law and often plays hurt. If
he succeeds in part because of a large chip on his shoulder, then
so be it. There's a large ego at stake here--Rick Reilly's.
Matt O'Donnell, Yuba City, Calif.
Whatever the media may say about Bonds, and he often helps create
the negative images, there is another side to Barry that he
doesn't want to, or can't, communicate to the public. I have seen
Barry be charming and effective with children in delivering his
message about the importance of education. Barry has frequently
rebuffed attempts at publicizing to a broader audience his work
on behalf of the children of the Bay Area through the Barry Bonds
Family Foundation. He wants to do the right thing and, as with
his playing baseball, let the actions speak for themselves.
Brian A. Kelly, Pacifica, Calif.
Bravo to Reilly for finally putting Bonds's career into
perspective. What good is it to be the best player in a team
sport when you don't think you are part of that team?
D.L. Veccia, Norwalk, Conn.
In response to Jeff Kent's arrogant comment, "I talked to Canada
yesterday," (SCORECARD, Nov. 4): Tell him we weren't listening.
Charbel G. Balloutine, Toronto
What a wonderful, wonderful World Series (Classic Comeback, Nov.
4). Fat lady? Ha! The Cowboy sang.
Frances Braden Downing, Memphis
Thank you, Tom Verducci, for capturing the magic. As a
transplanted Angels fan, I was thrilled to be at Game 6 of the
Series, the most amazing sports event I've ever attended and an
awesome exhibition of teamwork at its best.
Shirlene Wheeler Rockford, Ill.
Vince Lombardi overrated (Bar-Stool Brawl, Nov. 4)? Give me a
break. The season before Lombardi came to Green Bay, the Packers
were 1-10-1. By his third season they were world champions. Bart
Starr, Paul Hornung, Jim Taylor, Ray Nitschke and Forrest Gregg
were all with the Packers before Lombardi got there.
Darwin Tesch, Appleton, Wis.
Thanks for recognizing the most underrated Olympic sport:
badminton! The highlight of my 10 days at the Atlanta Games was
the women's doubles semifinal between China and Korea. Ooohs and
ahhhs echoed through the arena with every swat of the
Ray Krause, Saint Cloud, Fla.
Saying that synchronized swimming takes the endurance of a
distance runner and the strength of a speed swimmer is laughable.
I was a member of the Santa Clara (Calif.) Swim Club, a team that
has produced more than a few Olympians. We shared aquatic
facilities with the nationally ranked Santa Clara Aquamaids. As
we were swimming 10,000 to 15,000 meters a day, the Aquamaids
were mostly sunbathing on the pool deck while they listened to
their music selections.
Tracey Finneran Pitts, Burlington, Ky.
Saying cheerleading is overrated is just plain stupid. My best
friend cheers for her high school, and I cannot believe what she
goes through. The rigors of the sport are enough, but there are
also higher expectations regarding character and academics. I've
been playing football on every level since I was eight, and she
is a better student-athlete than I ever was. Here's to you and
your sport, Brittany.
Michael Castelvecchi, Lexington, Ky.
Running for Cover
Emmitt Smith broke what may be one of the top three records in
sports (Emmitt's Domain, Nov. 4). The World Series happens every
year, while football's rushing record is broken once a
generation. Which one deserves the cover?
Chris Shaffer, Canton, Ohio
How ironic that on your cover the OVERRATED/UNDERRATED headline
is right above the one for Smith's breaking the rushing record.
Will there ever be a more overrated record than Emmitt's? He put
up big numbers in his first six seasons behind one of the best
offensive lines in the history of the NFL, then methodically
plodded for 77 yards a game over the next seven seasons until he
broke the record.
Jeff Shaffer, Portland
It's hard to fairly rank athletes from different eras, regardless
of the sport, and Dr. Z's Dynamic Dozen running backs (Nov. 4)
are no different. I'm sure experts would argue 100 versions of
the list, but the consensus No. 1 has to be Jim Brown. His
greatness transcends numbers. He not only never missed a game, as
Dr. Z points out, but also rarely missed a down.
Tom Meyer, Florham Park, N.J.
Was Dr. Z using a double-edged sword when he described O.J.
Simpson's "amazing cutting ability"?
Anthony Olinde, Bentonville, Ark.
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