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Original Issue


Husky Heroes

Emeka Okafor (When Brain Meets Brawn, Nov. 24) and Diana Taurasi
(Love, Italian Style, Nov. 24) are fine young people who
recognize the importance of education. While they strive to excel
on the court, their potential as leaders--long after they have
graduated from UConn--is what excites me the most.
John A. Taylor Cliffside Park, N.J.

Gender Specifics

Frank Deford wrote, in his article on Diana Taurasi and UConn
women's coach Geno Auriemma, "Nowadays a man would have no shot
at a high-profile women's college basketball job.... Geno is the
last dinosaur." If you reverse the genders in the quote, you can
leave out "high-profile." A woman has no shot at even a
low-profile job in men's college basketball. So if Geno is the
last dinosaur, it's no wonder the species died out--there never
were any female dinosaurs.
Richard Boutilier, Northboro, Mass.

As a longtime feminist, I was distressed that the association of
"mostly female" coaches could not bring themselves to vote Geno
coach of the year. That's reverse discrimination! Shame on them.
Yes, Geno has a superstar in Diana, and yes, he was working with
four very talented freshmen last year, but they were untested and
could have imploded. The best means the best, no matter what
gender. I thought that's what we'd been working for all these
Mary Matchuk Elling, Kent, Conn.

Why must you tease women's basketball fans with a list of only
the top 10 teams? Women's college basketball is a major sport,
and the entire game, not just UConn and Tennessee, is worthy of
major coverage.
Lynn Klyde-Silverstein, Denver

'Roid Rage

I was glad that Tom Verducci's Five Strikes and You're Out
(Scorecard, Nov. 24) outlined how pathetic baseball's new steroid
rules really are. These restrictions are pointless and will do
nothing to stop the huge problem that is changing baseball and
chasing away its fans. I, and many of my friends, are sick of
wondering what records fell and which games were won because of
Isaac Kreisman Hallowell, Maine

Fantasy League

Isn't Steve Rushin a little young to be living in the good old
days, when everyone played four years of college ball before
turning pro (Air and Space, Nov. 24)? No one can really expect a
19-or 20-year-old kid to turn down millions to play for college
meal money.
David Hirning, Seattle

The double whammy is that allowing early entry into the pro ranks
has not only taken much of the fun out of college basketball, it
is also a major reason for the decline of the NBA.
James A. Mangione, San Diego

Stars Fall in Alabama

It is ridiculous that my fellow Alabamians think Joe Namath is
the best athlete ever to live in or play in the state (Sports in
America, Nov. 24). Willie Mays and Hank Aaron are both better
athletes, but Bo Jackson is clearly the best. Nobody has ever
been as dominant in two different sports the way Bo was. If not
for an early career-ending injury, Bo may have been the best
athlete of all time.
Chris Riggs, Auburn, Ala.

How to explain ranking Joe Namath so far ahead of Bo Jackson,
Hank Aaron and, duh, Willie Mays? Apparently an overrated Yankee
who spent only a few years in their state was good enough for
Alabamians to award him favorite son status. Things seem not to
have changed that much since the families of Jesse Owens, Joe
Louis and Carl Lewis left the state while those budding athletes
were youths.
Alan J. Schwartz, New York City

You hit the nail on the head about the seriousness of football in
the state of Alabama. As a child growing up in the state, I was
taught that rooting for 'Bama to win was almost as important as
rooting for Auburn to lose. Yankees-Red Sox doesn't even compare
with Alabama-Auburn.
Chris J. Nuss, Athens, Ala.

Broadcast Blues

The No Fun League is at it again. Instead of using its power and
influence to get ESPN's Playmakers canceled (Scorecard, Nov. 24),
why not try to get the show to add more positive material? Now
that people are hooked on the show, let them see the players and
story lines the league thinks ESPN is overlooking.
Stephen Mitchell, Los Angeles

It sounds as if the NFL is afraid of something. Only an
institution with something to hide would find fault with--and try
to force off the air--a fictitious television drama. Playmakers
is engrossing, powerful television, but we never would have given
credibility to any of its story lines had the NFL just ignored
it. That Warren Sapp won't speak to anybody at ESPN because of
Playmakers speaks volumes about how credible the television show
might actually be.
David Kennedy, Antelope, Calif.


Three quotes from an article in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press
appeared in The Rise and Fall of Kirby Puckett (March 17, 2003).
Due to an error during editing, only one of the three was
properly attributed to the newspaper. SI regrets the error. --ED.



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