Kings for a Day
As I watch Sacramento's Bobby Jackson being taken to the locker
room for X-rays on his cheekbone, I ask, Why did you have to put
the Kings on your cover (Pair of Kings, May 12)? Chris Webber had
left the game earlier with a major injury. All year they have
been the best team in the NBA. Then your cover comes out and,
bam, there's the horrible loss in Game 2 and the devastating loss
of two key players. The jinx lives.
Ben Baity Fair Oaks, Calif.
I can't figure out why the Minnesota Timberwolves can't make it
past the first round of the playoffs. After reading your stories
on the superb play of Jackson and Chauncey Billups (The Billups
Barometer, May 12)--both former T-Wolves--I'm guessing that maybe
these two great point guards didn't fit into the T-Wolves' plans
Kris M. Aksteter, Eden Prairie, Minn.
I understand that NASCAR fans are passionate about the drivers,
but it seems the Dale Earnhardt mourners (The Life of Reilly, May
12) take his death harder than the loss of a family member. I
don't think I've ever seen a grandma--r.i.p. sticker on anyone's
Shawn McGuire, Madison, Wis.
Reilly's finger is on the pulse of the Three Nation. He is the
reason I will continue to read my SI backward. This
still-grieving pilgrim thanks you.
Julie Ziel, Spring Valley, Ill.
A Tale of Two Coaches
Coach Mike Price of Alabama and Larry Eustachy of Iowa State (Bad
Behavior, May 12) are examples of CEO excess, just as Dennis
Kozlowski (Tyco) and John Rigas (Adelphia) are. When people are
overpaid, it should not surprise us that they think and act as
though they are overprivileged.
Mike Frandsen, Huntingdon, Pa.
If this behavior was Price's idea of being a role model for his
players, it explains a lot about Ryan Leaf.
Robert C. Hobbs, Shepherdstown, W.Va.
It's hard to believe that upon being fired for carousing at a
topless bar in the middle of SEC country, Price would have the
audacity to accuse Alabama president Robert Witt of "making an
error in judgment."
As someone who teaches high school math to inner-city, at-risk
youth, I found Beane Counter (May 12) to be about a lot more than
sports. I thought it was an illustration of how to use math not
as an end in itself, or as a substitute for dealing with people,
but as a tool to apprehend the invisible, the essence of another
person's mind, as possibly revealed by a trail of numbers--in
this case on-base percentage and pitches seen per plate
appearance. I want my students to know that there are Billy
Beanes out there who will try to judge them for who they are and
not by their appearance or how they did on some test.
Martin Butzen, Chicago
Franz Kafka wrote, "Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind
only the slime of a new bureaucracy." Beane discarded the
ancient, intuitive scouting bureaucracy and replaced it with a
statistical bureaucracy. He slammed the phone against the wall
when the old guys drafted high schooler Jeremy Bonderman--but
Bonderman three-hit Oakland over eight innings last month.
Rob McKenzie, Stouffville, Ont.
Having grown up with Doug Flutie, I took particular interest in
Michael Lewis's outstanding article. Performance-based scouting.
What a concept! If only Beane had been a G.M. in the NFL about 15
Jonathan Bray, Marina Del Rey, Calif.
The best thing about the multiple-exposure John Stockton pictures
(Leading Off, May 12) is that in only one of 79 images is he
looking at the floor--and that's because he's tying his shoe. As
a high school basketball coach, I will be giving a color copy of
this to my point guards from now until I retire to show them the
way a floor leader is supposed to play. Thanks for the wonderful
tribute and coaching tool.
Aaron Megee, Mansfield, La.
Thank you for Steve Rushin's column Soul on Ice (Air and Space,
May 12) about 12-year-old Quinn Connally, who was killed in a
hockey accident. Not a day has passed since that fateful December
2000 evening that I have not had a thought of Quinn. I was one of
three coaches on the ice for that practice and, as a police
officer, I have training and experience in CPR and
first-responder trauma. Our efforts to save Quinn were to no
avail, and I shared his last natural breath as he lay on the ice,
his favorite place on earth.
Tom Scanlon, Longmeadow, Mass.
I read about Quinn Connally the day after Mother's Day and cried
as I thanked God for my two beautiful daughters. Perhaps there
are other parents like my husband and I who would like to know
where to send a donation to Quinn's Legacy. Please provide us
with the address.
Gina Wallwork, Sarasota, Fla.
--Donations can be made through Quinn's Legacy Foundation Inc.,
c/o Berkshire Bank, 66 West Street, Pittsfield, Mass. 01201;
www.quinnslegacy.org; or 413-743-7558.--ed.
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN W. MCDONOUGH
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