What a great cover of Ken Griffey Jr. (Junior's Feeling Good,
June 14). My wife, who doesn't know Ken Griffey Jr. from Karl
Malone, excitedly brought me the issue and said, "That's what
sports should be all about. He's having fun." Seeing Griffey's
joy in the picture made me realize how fortunate we are to have
sports and the athletes who love their games.
Mark Weatherford, Colorado Springs
It is common knowledge that Ken Griffey Jr. swings for the
fences, doesn't run out ground balls and loafs in the outfield to
make routine catches look spectacular. What I didn't know until I
read your story is that he laughs at--and apparently
encourages--helmet-to-helmet contact in youth football games.
That solidified my belief that once again Griffey is the
Un-Sportsman of the Year.
Mike Tatko, Clarkston, Wash.
For two years in a row you've denied the Stanley Cup champs the
cover. I'm confused as to why the NBA, major league baseball and
the NFL champions grace the cover every year, but the NHL champs
get no respect.
Brent Celmins, Scottsdale, Ariz.
I'm glad SI chose to feature Ken Griffey Jr. on the cover instead
of the Stanley Cup-winning Tampa Bay Lightning (Lighting Strikes
Twice, June 14). That way the public can continue to focus their
attention on overpaid, aloof athletes instead of the personable,
gutsy players who filled the rosters of both teams in the Cup
The 12-year-old Tampa Bay Lightning go through the growing pains
that nearly every expansion team experiences and somehow they're
long-suffering? Leave that term for teams that deserve it, such
as the Blackhawks, the Maple Leafs and the Bruins, teams that
have gone 30-plus years without hoisting the Stanley Cup.
Tim Moysey, Brockville, Ont.
If we're shipping out all of our sports, how come we can't get
the FA Cup, Euro 2004, Rugby World Cup or other popular European
sports (The Whole World Is Watching, June 14)? I think a lot of
people would rather watch Premiership Soccer than an NFL Europe
game. Anyone who has been to Europe would agree, the sports
atmosphere there is far superior to the money-hungry American
Chros McDougall, St. Paul
Thanks so much to Steve Rushin for his comments on modern
baseball stadiums (AIR AND SPACE, June 14). I do not understand
why people feel the need to go swimming or ride a Ferris wheel
instead of watching the game. Isn't watching a baseball game at a
baseball stadium enough?
Kerry Droska, Green Bay
I was surprised to see that Nebraskans had determined, by a large
margin, that Johnny Rodgers was the greatest athlete to live or
play in the state. Rodgers was a tremendous football player but
never accomplished anything of significance after college. The
state's greatest athlete was Bob Gibson, who was a basketball
star at Creighton, played with the Harlem Globetrotters and spent
17 years with the St. Louis Cardinals, going 251-174, striking
out 3,117 and getting elected to the Hall of Fame in 1981.
Neil W. Schilke, Fremont, Neb.
I can't believe that Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch wasn't
among your alltime best athletes in Nebraska.
Matt Martini, Corpus Christi
Hail to the Cheek
As a lifelong Blue Jays fan, I was happy to see SI recognize
broadcaster Tom Cheek's amazing streak of more than 4,347
consecutive games called (SCORECARD, June 14), before the death
of his father caused him to miss a game on June 3. Unfortunately,
Cheek has since had more tragedy in his life: Doctors recently
had to remove a tumor from his brain, and he will require further
treatment. Get well soon, Tom, so you can start another
Andrew Rogers, Newmarket, Ont.
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER (GRIFFEY)
B/W PHOTO: UNDERWOOD AND UNDERWOOD/CORBIS (ALEXANDER) RIGHT WINGERS Reagan (right) played Alexander in 1952's The Winning Team.
B/W PHOTO: AP (REAGAN) RIGHT WINGERS Reagan (right) played Alexander in 1952's The Winning Team.
I found it interesting that a few pages after your pictorial
tribute to our 40th president, the greatest athletes from
Nebraska were featured in your Sports in America series. Included
on your list of that state's alltime best was Hall of Fame
pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander, whom Ronald Reagan portrayed
in his movie The Winning Team.
David Burcham, Boardman, Ohio
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