I saw Jameer Nelson in December when St. Joe's played Cal (Full
Nelson, Feb. 16). At first I thought he was the team's mascot.
Then I thought he must be the 12th guy on the team, a player who
never gets in. Then I watched the game, which he won with a
meticulous, confident, last-second drive and shot, and I realized
that he was, as you acknowledged, "the best player in the
Steve Welch, Groveland, Calif.
St. Joe's the No. 1 backcourt in America? Please! Duke has J.J.
Redick, Chris Duhon, Sean Dockery and Daniel Ewing. No one can
touch that crew. Duke would blow St. Joe's off the court as
Redick would light them up from every angle. St. Joe's is
undefeated, but they have played no one. Duke has been through
the wars and would rip Jameer & Co. apart.
Jason Tucker, Garner, N.C.
House of Bricks
There is a simple explanation for the lack of scoring in the NBA:
drafting athleticism over basketball skill (Scorebored, Feb. 16).
The polished games LeBron and 'Melo have brought to the NBA will,
I hope, get us to a time when the mid-range jumper, passing and
teamwork are again the focus of basketball.
Eric Relkin, Edgewater, N.J.
Jack McCallum missed the main reason for the drop in scoring:
expansion. When the Charlotte Bobcats begin their inaugural
season in the fall, the league will have added seven teams since
the Magic-Bird era. As the league expands and more money chases
the top players, we see diluted teams. Until the NBA realizes
that more is not necessarily better, we will continue to watch
Greg Goodman, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Lance in Love
How nice. Lance Armstrong and Sheryl Crow are the new Bennifer
(The Life of Reilly, Feb. 16). Rick Reilly should have taken a
break from fawning over his pal Lance to point out that it was
the unsung Kristin, not Sheryl, who suffered with Lance for years
as he confronted cancer. It would have been thoughtful of Reilly
to acknowledge that while Lance has a house near his three young
children, he spends much, if not most, of his time cruising
around Europe with his new squeeze.
Bill Everhart, Dalton, Mass.
Steve Rushin's column on the virtues of baldness (Air and Space,
Feb. 16) brings to mind what my grandpa Leo often said in defense
of his follicularly challenged scalp, "Well, you can't have hair
and brains both."
Joseph Oberle, Fridley, Minn.
Running for Fun
Anytime you want to see joy in sports, take out SI's Feb. 16
issue, turn to Inside the Week in Sports and check out Bill
Frakes's picture of those kids about to embark on the final leg
of the Mercedes Kids Marathon. Look at all the giggles and smiles
on those faces. I dare you to find that in a picture of an adult
Greg Borzilleri, Lake Placid, N.Y.
I want to thank Gary Smith for an informative, thought-provoking
and emotional glimpse into what makes Tom Pappas possibly the
greatest athlete ever (The Strange Genesis of Tom Pappas, Feb.
Tim Linnet, Corning, Calif.
It's sad--but a reflection of the times we live in--that as I was
reading about Tom Pappas's dramatic increase in muscle mass
during college and his suddenly resorting to extreme violence in
that parking lot incident, I couldn't help thinking "steroids."
Thomas C. Lee, Chicago
The Swimsuit Debate
After the swimsuit issue your letters-to-the-editor staff
probably could use a break. Let me help. Pick a, b or c at
random, run through the selection a few times, fill up the space
and go home early. "Dear Editor: Your (a. Swimsuit Issue, b.
pornographic smut, c. beautiful cover) was barely out of our
mailbox before my (a. 14-year-old son, b. slobbering husband, c.
78-year-old grandmother) came into the house with (a. a smile on
his/her face, b. a leer in his/her eye, c. a look of confusion).
I expect SI to give me (a. sports, b. this annual winter boost,
c. more about bonefishing) and less about (a. skin, b. Cody,
Wyo., c. supermodels). You should focus your (a. feeble efforts,
b. professional talents, c. camera skills) on what I have
subscribed for: (a. beautiful women, b. football, c. Rick
Reilly). This issue was (a. the final straw, b. the worst ever,
c. something to savor). Therefore, you should (a. try to
duplicate it next year, b. cancel my subscription immediately, c.
focus on the things that really matter). Signed, (Made-up Name
Kim B. Johnston, Pleasant Hill, Calif.
I appreciate the models in the Swimsuit Issue as I appreciate
professional athletes. They are doing something they have a
natural ability to do, and they sacrifice to get results. I sit
down with my husband and thumb through the Swimsuit Issue the
same way I sit with him and watch a ball game or the
Olympics--for the wow factor. I'd be as proud of my daughter's
appearing in the swimsuit edition as I would of her playing a
Tonya Wernsmann, Silt, Colo.
I'd like to suggest you include more men in the future. And even
though I may be severely lacking in talent, I would do my
darnedest to try and paint a Speedo on ... let me see ... Ben
Affleck. Whaddya say?
Kristi Migliazzo, Merced, Calif.
On Saturday I returned home after celebrating my son's bar
mitzvah. I'm not saying it was a sign from God, but in the mail
was my new Swimsuit Issue. I just handed it to my son and said,
"Now that you're a man, I think this belongs to you."
Barry Gold, Los Angeles
I was extremely offended by Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake's
lame excuse for their embarrassing halftime show at the Super
Bowl. After perusing your Swimsuit Issue, however, I realize that
wardrobe malfunctions do happen.
Paul Kibala, Sparks, Nev.
I'm getting old. I'm embarrassed for you that three of your
swimsuit models are wearing nothing but their birthday suits and
embarrassed for me that I found the most interesting scrap of
material a fishing story by Jimmy Buffet (Let Us Prey).
Douglas W. Corkhill, Raleigh
Jimmy, how could you? As a devoted female parrothead, I bought
this cheesecake issue just to read your article and listen to the
CD, but duuude, how much coral did you kill in search of your big
fish? The sound of that coral "crunching beneath your toes" was
its death rattle. C'mon--you're a surfer, snorkeler,
save-the-manatees guy--you know better. Coral reefs are
endangered worldwide and touching them kills them.
Carol Brown, Trumbull, Conn.
How ironic that the man who got famous singing about
cheeseburgers in paradise is surrounded on your pages by women
who have obviously had very few of them.
Alan Eagle, Palo Alto, Calif.
What my wife and I truly enjoyed was playing "Find the Swimsuit"
in each picture. You really hid them well!
Chuck Brezinski, Marietta, Ga.
Thanks for the opportunity to discuss soft porn and poor taste
with my 12-and 14-year-old boys. The latest swimsuit edition was
Norm Jacobs, Beloit, Wis.
I consider myself to be a pretty cool wife: I don't harp or nag
or tell my man what he can do, but isn't there any justice in
this world? Today is Valentine's Day, and as I prepare to get all
dolled up for our oo-la-la evening together, what do I find in
our mailbox? The #$@*)%$ SI Swimsuit Issue. Now tell me; how's a
girl supposed to compete with that?
Kelly Parisa, San Diego
COLOR PHOTO: AL TIELEMANS (NELSON)
COLOR PHOTO: WALTER IOOSS/TIZIANO MAGNI (SWIMSUIT)
COLOR PHOTO: JONATHAN EXLEY FAN FAVE Kathy's absence was noticed.
Erin Go Bragh
Let me get this straight: You have a Swimsuit Hall of Fame, and
Kathy Ireland doesn't get included? Could you give us one more
picture, just for old time's sake?
Connor Francis, Schenectady, N.Y.
Hall of Fame?! I would have completely scrapped the project if
Kathy Ireland wasn't going to participate. There can be no SI
Swimsuit Hall of Fame without her.
Randy Volz, Chicago
--Ireland's family and business commitments made it impossible for
her to participate. She told us, "My very last modeling
assignment was for SI, and everyone there will always have a
special place in my heart."--ED.
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