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Original Issue


The Mia Generation

As an avid reader of your magazine, I have enjoyed countless
swimsuit issues. After reading Gary Smith's The Secret Life of
Mia Hamm (Sept. 22), I believe Mia's persistence, work ethic,
courage, humility and kindness make her the sexiest female to
ever grace SI's cover. Nomar's a lucky guy!
KEVIN J. HASTIE, Clarks Summit, Pa.

To see her accomplishments, all Miahamm (it's one long word for
my seven-year-old, soccer-playing daughter) needs to do is cruise
across America's soccer fields and watch the sea of girls playing
the game.

I don't believe that this lavish treatment of one female
superstar will make up for your generally pathetic coverage of
women's sports.
BERNIE KROLL Lafayette, Ind.

The league she plays in was just shut down, mainly due to lack of
interest. It's pretty apparent that nobody cares about her sport,
so why put her on the cover?
CHRIS MARTIN, Little Elm, Texas

Don't give me victories. Give me heart. Thank you, SI. Thank you,
Gary Smith. Most of all, thank you, Mia Hamm.
CLIFTON HESTER, Wilmington, N.C.

Stick to sportswriting, and leave the psychoanalysis to trained
JENNIFER DUGGAN, Wethersfield, Conn.

Gary Smith makes guys cry.

Missing the Hits

I don't know what fight Richard Hoffer was watching, but from the
couch I was on, Oscar De La Hoya got robbed--again (A Super
Lightweight Conspiracy Theory, Sept. 22)! Maybe I just don't
understand the rules of boxing, but when you win two thirds of
the rounds and land almost 100 more punches than the other guy,
you should win. I have not talked with one person who saw the
fight who agrees with the decision.
SHAWN SALHOFF, Pleasanton, Calif.

Dawg House

Perhaps the drastic action of Gordon Gee, Vanderbilt's
chancellor, in eliminating the athletic department is needed to
curtail the frequent excesses of college sports (Scorecard, Sept.
22). Indeed, two pages later you report that Georgia athletic
boosters spent $309,000 to "refurbish and maintain" athletic
director Vince Dooley's home. I'm sure Georgia's scholarship fund
could have put that money to good use.
MICHAEL B. GREENE Lexington, Mass.

Texas Justice

Tom Verducci does a disservice to Houston in his description of
the "crumbling, condemned buildings" around Minute Maid Park
(Houston, We Have Liftoff, Sept. 22). Like several other major
league cities (Baltimore and Denver come to mind), Houston is
revamping much of its downtown, which now boasts a variety of
trendy restaurants and loft apartments. Just down the street from
the ballpark, one of the most charming venues in the majors, is
the NBA Rockets' new arena. Sure, Texans love football, but some
of the best playoff baseball of the past two decades has featured
players representing Houston.
RANDY SCHULTZ, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Obesity Observed

Rick Reilly hit the nail on the head with The Fat of the Land
(THE LIFE OF REILLY, Sept. 15). As an exercise physiologist,
college P.E. instructor and owner of a personal training
business, I can't tell you how many parents call to inquire about
personal training services for their overweight 13-year-olds.
Don't they realize that they created the problem with $5 Happy
Meals and $200 video games? I guess they think that spending $65
an hour on a trainer will fix the problem.

My wife, Patty, uses the acronym NOP for Nation of Porkers, which
is what the good old U.S.A. is becoming. TV, computers, chips and
cookies have replaced driveway hoops, sandlot baseball, fruits
and vegetables. The NOP begins with parents making excuses.
SAM ARDERY, Bloomington, Ind.

As a nursing student who studies childhood obesity and the
diseases that come with it, I applaud LeBron James for his
campaign against this problem. It's good that at least one
athlete is concerned with the impression he makes on the
athletes--and nonathletes--of tomorrow.
JULIE LINTON, Martinsburg, W.Va.

Not long ago I was a "Little Leaguer so fat his blood type [was]
Cheetos." However, in the last three years I've started running,
lifting weights and watching what I eat. The results have been
ALEX LURIE, Minneapolis

I am a 17-year-old in the top 10 of my class, a former baseball
and soccer all-star, a participant in multiple honor choirs and a
youth baseball coach, all while working at a local card shop.
While I weigh more than 220 pounds, I can still run a 7:40 mile
and beat half of my 14- and 15-year-old team members around the
bases. Well, if Reilly wants to start doing my homework and
handling my baseball practices, singing rehearsals, shifts at the
shop and the 7 1/2 hours at school that I must juggle every day,
then he can tell me how fat and incapable I am.
MIKE STEELE, Elk Grove, Calif.

Reilly should stop worrying about our youth being in poor shape.
We've obviously decided to raise them for veal.
DON GISSELBECK, Missoula, Mont.


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