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The Case Against Kobe

A hearty thank you for putting Kobe Bryant's mug shot on the
cover of SI (The Dark Side of a Star, July 28). It's maddening
enough that many people think he's as good a basketball player as
Michael Jordan used to be, but I'm also tired of hearing that he
is a better man off the court than MJ. I'll put this issue next
to all the classy Jordan SI covers I have framed and hanging on
my walls.
RYAN GLAB, McHenry, Ill.

As soon as I heard the news about Kobe, I thought, He's a target
as an acclaimed athlete. I'll be pulling for him during his games
and in the courtroom.
BENNETT ROTH-NEWELL, Redwood City, Calif.

If Kobe is convicted, I think the minimum sentence should be four
years of college and no basketball.

Try explaining to an eight-year-old that Kobe is on the cover
because he is a loser, not a winner.
SPENCER E. HELMUTH, Downingtown, Pa.

Shockey Value

After reading S.L. Price's article The Revenge of Jeremy Shockey
(July 28), I couldn't believe the adversity Shockey had to
overcome to get where he is today. He has been able to rise above
these obstacles and use his wrath in a positive way, on the
football field.

Thanks so much for the in-depth portrait of yet another violent,
classless, clueless, self-impressed jock. We haven't had enough
of that lately.
MARK E. SQUIRES, Philadelphia

Was I the only New York Giants fan who noticed that Shockey was
happy to boast of his penchant for partying and avenging slights
but didn't talk about leading the Giants to a Super Bowl
championship? Mark Bavaro's legacy is secure as the Giants'
greatest tight end ever.
J.P. FRIEDMAN, New York City

Imagine the player Shockey could be if his shoulders weren't
carrying the weight of that sizable chip.

Curtis's Cup

Rick Reilly can attack the sometimes questionable rules of golf,
but he should leave Ben Curtis out of it (THE LIFE OF REILLY,
July 28). Curtis earned his claret jug by playing four consistent
rounds of golf. He did not hit back-to-back drives into the rough
off the 1st tee, and he did not make sloppy shots getting out of
a bunker on the 16th hole, like some better-known golfers. Arcane
rules had nothing to do with Ben's worthy win.
NINA SALZWEDEL, Stevens Point, Wis.

Ninety years! That's how long it had been since any man won one
of golf's major tournaments in his first appearance in a major (A
Major Major Upset, July 28). You missed a historic moment when
you failed to honor British Open winner Ben Curtis on your cover.
J.T. GALL, West Allis, Wis.

Dressed for Success

Thanks so much for the article on Natalie Coughlin (The Next
Golden Girl, July 28). It's refreshing to see your magazine
feature an attractive young woman who dons a swimsuit for the
purpose of swimming.
DAN COONAN, Orinda, Calif.

Bound for Cooperstown

There are some amazing stats mentioned in the summaries of the
accomplishments of current players you feel are headed for the
Hall of Fame (Eight Men In, July 28). However, the one that says
the most about today's athlete is that not one of them will spend
his entire career with one team.
TOM GRECO, Nutley, N.J.

No Ken Griffey Jr.? I guess it takes only a few years to go from
All-Century to All-but-Forgotten.
PHIL MANN, New York City

I was disappointed to see that you didn't include Rafael Palmeiro
among your list of future Hall of Famers. Palmeiro already has
more than 500 home runs and is probably on his way to more than
3,000 hits. The are only three other players with 500-3,000
credentials: Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray.
KEVIN COHN, Shelton, Conn.

Ring Worms

Bravo once again to Steve Rushin, the bravest and most clear-eyed
observer of the pro sports scene, for his column on players who
change teams to win rings. (AIR AND SPACE, July 28). So $1
million-plus per season for Karl Malone passes for a sacrifice
today? Tell that to a Wal-Mart clerk.
HAL GREENWALD, Beverly Hills, Calif.

I have been a Utah Jazz and Malone fan since he arrived in Salt
Lake City. But now that he's gone to L.A., I believe that if the
Mailman delivers a ring to his new address, it will be tarnished.
Let him go jump in the Great Salt Lake!
AUDREY HESS, Clearfield, Utah

Not only can the rich get richer by throwing money at players
that small-market teams can't afford, but now the rich simply get
richer because players want to go where they think they'll win
championship rings. What NHL owner wouldn't have signed Paul
Kariya and Teemu Selanne for a combined $9.5 million less than
they were making last year? But other than Colorado, what team
was given the chance?
JOHN D'AGNOLO, St. Albert, Alberta


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