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Original Issue


Can't Forget the Motor City

Ben Wallace (How 'Bout Those Pistons, June 21) embodies
everything good about the Pistons. He was undervalued coming out
of college and went undrafted. He wandered from one team to
another, excelled once he got to Detroit and played unselfishly
throughout the season and the playoffs.
Jim Lawless
South Euclid, Ohio

I recently looked back at your March 3, 2003, cover photo of Kobe
Bryant with then Portland Trail Blazer Rasheed Wallace in the
background. Now a little more than a year later it's Rasheed
getting the last laugh. Once again Wallace proved it's teamwork,
not the name on the back of your jersey, that wins titles.
Tom Mowbray, Narragansett, R.I.

It is hard for me to understand how you almost completely ignored
one of the Pistons' most important players. Tayshaun Prince's
defensive performance on Kobe Bryant was recognized by his
teammates as one of the keys to Detroit's winning the
championship, but Prince was given short shrift in your article.
Robert Cary, Fayetteville, Ga.

Speaking His Mind

After reading Michael Silver's article on Barry Zito (Inside the
Head of Barry Zito, June 21), I realized why I love baseball so
much: the mental aspect of the game. I highlighted many quotes
from Zito that I might have to write on Post-its and put on my
bathroom mirror when I'm in need of a boost.
Alex Rivas, Irvine, Calif.

I found the article on Barry Zito to be insightful but was
dismayed to read about Zito losing his virginity. I had hoped to
share this article with my son, who plays Little League, as an
example of the mental toughness sometimes required to compete at
a high level, but now I won't.
Steve Castle, Fremont, Calif.

The Unreal Thing

I am a citizen of Fantasy World (June 21). I'm in fantasy
baseball and basketball, and I'm the commissioner of my fantasy
football league. I dream of the day that I get a chance to do it
for a pro team.
Robert Lynch
Red Bank, N.J.

Being a successful fantasy sports team owner is much like being
successful in the stock market. A combination of blue chips and
undervalued gems in a diversified portfolio is the way to riches.
Lisa Cotter
Santa Ana, Calif.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the story about fantasy sports, I was
surprised there was no mention of Strat-o-Matic or APBA sports
games. These were the original fantasy sports games. My friends
and I used to spend many hours playing games using cards based on
actual players and their actual stats. I was able to pit the 1927
Yankees against the Big Red Machine.
Kevin Gibson, Jeffersonville, Ind.

Inventing fantasy leagues is nothing to be proud of. They are a
plague. Because individual statistical gluttony is the objective,
the fantasy player's rooting interests are perverted (who cares
who wins, as long as my guys get their numbers?), and the true
virtues of sports--teamwork and sacrifice --are obliterated.
John Carney, Boston

St. Louis Blues

Jarome Iginla as SI's Player of the Year (Inside the NHL, June
21)? Michael Farber's brain must have been frozen. Tampa Bay's
Martin St. Louis clearly outplayed Iginla all season and in the
Cup finals when it counted most. Do you remember St. Louis's
heroic Game 6 overtime goal? Iginla was a bust in Games 6 and 7,
when the series was on the line. Thankfully the Hart Trophy
voters didn't see it your way.
Thomas Meachum, Palm Harbor, Fla.

Bowls Ruler

Austin Murphy's piece about the planned BCS Mud Bowl is right on
target (SCORECARD, June 21). The situation gets worse every time
they try to fix it. Truth is, it can't be fixed under any
variation of the present format.
Jim Clark, Sweetwater, Texas

Austin Murphy claims the BCS system "fails to deliver a clear-cut
national champion." He's wrong. The clear-cut national champions
were the LSU Tigers. If USC had a problem with the BCS, it should
have refused to abide by such a system before the season.
Mark Broussard, Crowley, La.

The Fight Stuff

Punching Up Hockey (THE LIFE OF REILLY, June 21) seems like a
pretty good idea. Maybe we could do the same thing for the second
most boring sport, baseball. I would pay good money to see Roger
Clemens and Derek Jeter go a couple of rounds.
Rustin Tawater, Crawford, Texas

Real hockey fans know that fighting is not what makes hockey the
most exciting and most demanding sport in the world. No other
team sport requires as much skill, speed, power, endurance,
smarts and commitment as hockey.
Charlie Glaws, Montclair, N.J.

Charles the Great

I was profoundly moved by your poignant tribute to Ray Charles
(LEADING OFF, June 21). This beautiful picture is consistent with
SI's insightful and often outstanding ability to integrate sports
with other world events.
Hank Hunter, Arlington, Va.




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