The Year That Was
Your Year End Double Issue (Dec. 29-Jan. 5) was the finest
coverage of sport that I have ever read. The collection of
individual vignettes, Steve Rushin's Too True to Be Good, Rick
Reilly's Heaven on Earth and, particularly, Rick Telander's
Playing Against the Clock combined to move me as no other issue
Dick Kramer Jr.
Although I don't remember the game between Gonzaga and Arizona
(It Had Zigs and Zags--and Zing, Dec. 29-Jan. 5), just reading
the article made me picture it being played right in front of me.
Michael Gutierrez, Staten Island, N.Y.
I really liked your story about Tom Watson and the positive
change in his life influenced by his concern for his caddie Bruce
Edwards (A Crisis Brought Out His Best, Dec. 29-Jan. 5). The
world of golf is much better because it includes Tom and Bruce.
Ron Gries, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
In many ways it's as if Telander and I are living parallel lives,
right down to the broken garage door (Playing Against the Clock,
Dec. 29-Jan. 5). As a 53-year-old ex-athlete I was startled
especially by the final three paragraphs. You see, my 13-year-old
twin sons still ask me to lie down with them to talk or tell them
one of Dad's stories. I've never passed up an opportunity to do
so, once I've managed to find my voice.
Richard A. Zeman, Fairfield, Conn.
I had to flip through the Farewell section a few times just to
make sure I hadn't missed anybody. It turns out I didn't, but you
sure did. Dan Snyder of the Atlanta Thrashers was a dedicated
player and a remarkable young man. It is truly insulting to
overlook such an athlete and person.
Joe Jacobs, Calgary, Alberta
In last year's BASEBALL PREVIEW, I took special notice of Tom
Verducci's The Magic Number (March 31), which, in discussing
pitch counts, referred to Amadeo Avogadro and his number--the
first time I have seen the molar quantity used in a piece on
baseball. To my surprise and delight The Fellowship of the Arm
(Dec. 29-Jan. 5) again infused chemistry into baseball as
smoothly as a precipitate forms in a test tube. I was the only
chemistry major on my Division III college baseball team many
years ago, and later, as a teacher, I used my classroom to
illustrate the connections between baseball and chemistry. So it
has been great fun to read Verducci's homages, references and
analogies that bind a grand sport to a fascinating science. It
isn't nerdy to consider the odor of a newly oiled mitt or the
crack of ash on horsehide as an event on the molecular
level--it's just another way to appreciate the beauty of
Jack Randall, Interlochen, Mich.
Advice on Consent
As athletes watch Kobe Bryant's rape trial unfold, they might
want to consider an option other than having women sign a consent
form before sex (SCORECARD, Dec. 29-Jan. 5): Stop having sex with
women you don't know!
Keith A. Covey, Adrian, Mich.
Stillwater Runs Deep
I've become accustomed to my alma mater, Oklahoma State,
generally being ignored by SI, but your Sports in America (Dec.
29-Jan. 5) went too far. You ran a photo of loudmouth Brian
Bosworth and barely noted Barry Sanders. You included Billy Tubbs
and omitted a coach with more than 700 victories, Eddie Sutton.
But the unpardonable sin was to feature a discredited
lightweight, Barry Switzer, and not even mention one of the most
beloved citizens of Oklahoma and a legend of college basketball,
Mr. Henry Iba.
Charles O. Heller, Arnold, Md.
I find it interesting that Michael Eric Dyson, an "expert on
race," would use the term "white boys" to describe the
commissioner's office and the ownership structure of the NBA
(SCORECARD, Dec. 29-Jan. 5). I would think that an expert on race
would know that this phrase is generally used as a derogatory
reference to Caucasian males. I guess Mr. Dyson feels that it is
acceptable to use such disparaging expressions as long as they
are not directed at people of color. By printing his comment, SI
seems to feel the same way.
Anthony Reale, Secaucus, N.J.
I was amazed at the number of events Rick Reilly listed, in the
column he wrote to the man whose daughter is dying (THE LIFE OF
REILLY, Dec. 29-Jan. 5), that I have had the privilege to attend.
The sporting event that stands out most in my mind, however, is a
game of catch I had last summer. I am 48 and my father is 74. My
parents were visiting, and Dad was out in the front yard as I was
cleaning up after my three boys. I picked up a baseball glove out
near our mailbox. When I straightened up, Dad was standing about
30 feet away with a baseball in his hand. We threw the ball back
and forth maybe eight times before Dad decided he'd better stop
while he could still use his arm. When Dad went in the house, I
stayed outside a little while. I had to. I could not stop the
tears. Those few tosses will stand out in my mind more than any
Super Bowl or World Series.
Doug Williams, Boiling Springs, S.C.
COLOR PHOTOMONTAGE: PHOTOGRAPHS BY RICHARD CORMAN, DIGITALLY RETOUCHED BY JOE ZEFF
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