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Deep Coverage

After spending some time with your survey of 2,548 Sports
Illustrated covers (The Covers, Nov. 10), I have only one
question: You've published a swimsuit issue for 40 years? I first
subscribed to SI when I was a teenager back in the '70s. During
that time I can't recall ever seeing a single beautiful,
bikini-clad babe. Thanks a lot, Mom.

I was surprised you did not take notice of perhaps the most
unique family grouping of covers in SI's history. In 1955 Buddy
Werner, a great American skier, was featured on the cover.
Thirty-six weeks later Skeeter Werner, his sister and herself a
great skier, was also so honored. Only seven weeks prior to
Skeeter's appearance, Doak Walker, then in the midst of his Hall
of Fame career with the Detroit Lions, was on the cover. Doak and
Skeeter, who did not know each other at the time of their cover
appearances, met and married in '69. Doak died as the result of a
skiing accident in '98. Skeeter passed away in '01. Until the day
of her death, the three SI covers, displayed inside one frame
with Buddy on the left, Skeeter in the middle and Doak on the
right, were one of the featured pieces of memorabilia in Skeeter
and Doak's warm, trophy-filled home in Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Thank you for The Covers. My father, Robert, is featured on the
Feb. 6, 1961, cover about indoor track. To this day I have never
had to look past that issue of SI to find my sports hero.
GREG KASKO, Westfield, N.J.

Your covers package should have included a section on players who
became coaches. It was intriguing to see Frank Solich, Dan
Reeves, Joe Torre, Steve Spurrier and Lou Piniella during their
playing days. Oh, and: Cancel my subscription! (Not really. I
just always wanted to write that.)
JEFF SURLES, Pflugerville, Texas

I counted 125 covers that featured women--not counting the 40
bathing suit issues--and that included about a half-dozen fashion
covers from back in the days when you did such things. As an
athlete and a fan, I want to read about the best and most notable
in sports. You can't convince me that women merit only a paltry
5% of the 2,548 SI covers.
PRISCILLA WISNER Scottsdale, Ariz.

I noticed that the top-ranked woman in your list of frequent
cover subjects was not Serena Williams, Chris Evert or Steffi
Graf, but Elle Macpherson. She isn't even an athlete! I only
cheered up when I turned to the Sports in America feature on
Kansas and saw that the list of the top five rushers in KU
history includes Gale (Sayers), Laverne (Smith) and June
(Henley). And this was before Title IX!
CATHERINE B. TENCZA, Alpharetta, Ga.

Great--2,548 SI cover jinxes in one week.
CHRIS LADAGE, Parker, Colo.

Ire of the Tigers

Is there a particular reason that LSU was left out of The Race
for No. 2 (Inside College Football, Nov. 10)? Or was it just to
reinforce the statement on the same page that the Tigers "may be
the most overlooked one-loss team in the country"?

Brotherly Love

I grew up in New Orleans as a Saints and Archie Manning fan.
After reading John Ed Bradley's The Other Brother (Nov. 10), I
count myself as a Cooper Manning fan. I think Archie would agree
that his greatest accomplishment in life is the terrific family
he and his wife have created.
BOB LICHENS, Port Orange, Fla.

Different Strokes

Thank you, Rick Reilly, for pointing out in amusing fashion that
there are gay men and women who actually like sports (The Life of
Reilly, Nov. 10). I often receive odd looks from my gay friends
when I mention I'd rather watch college football than Will and
Grace. It's good to know I no longer have to remain in the
closet; I can proudly tell everyone that I love sports and not be
ashamed. But as a gay man I do know a little about fashion, and
no gay man would be caught dead in your outfit.
STEPHEN MILLER, Round Rock, Texas

Queer Eye for the Sports Guy was the first time in a long time
that I have not finished a Reilly column.
TOM FENDER, Fort Collins, Colo.

This week's Sign of the Apocalypse: Seeing Rick Reilly in that
NADER AL HAKIM, West Bloomfield, Mich.

I'm an avid athlete and sports junkie. Gay men play sports for
the same reasons as anyone else: the competition, the camaraderie
and to push our physical limits. We do not watch sports to see
men with their shirts off, nor do we play sports so we can go
shopping afterward. Name the sport, and I'll whip you at it,
Reilly--and fishing is not a sport. Why the depiction of all gays
as campy queens? Gay-bashing is not a sport. I'd love to get you
in a boxing ring, Reilly. Now that would be sport.

It's a sign of progress that gay sports are mentioned in SI and
also that straight and gay people can share humor about issues of
sexual orientation.

Rick Reilly is now my alltime favorite metrosexual.

What in the hell does exfoliate mean?
RYAN SZALAY, Rochester, N.Y.


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