Hex Vexed

Do I believe (Sept. 13)? Not anymore! Thank you for invoking the SI cover jinx.

John Wyatt, Dallas, Ga.

O.K., I'm only going to say this once: Do not dare, under any circumstances, put either the Boston Red Sox--especially the Red Sox--or the Chicago Cubs on your cover in any form until the baseball season is over. There are forces at work here that we humans just don't understand. If last year's League Championship Series catastrophes, which followed closely on your ominous decision to run separate covers, each featuring one of the ill-fated teams (Oct. 13, 2003), weren't proof enough, how do you explain the Sox' dropping two of four to the lowly Mariners as soon as your cover came out (after taking eight of nine from their key wild-card foes). I mean it. Not one mention. Don't make me come down there.

Steve Bratt, Vancouver, Wash.

First you put the Patriots on the cover (Sept. 6) and now the Red Sox. As if we needed another curse. Why is Boston such a target? The still Evil Empire is what should be targeted.

Sam Leon, Peachtree City, Ga.

Your story on the Red Sox was great (Jump Starter, Sept. 13). The only thing I would add is that the way the Red Sox play is a lot like New England weather: If it's not good, wait a minute.

Nino Curcio Pittsfield, Mass.

Please do your readers a favor and refrain from printing any of those stupid letters, of which you are sure to receive a countless number, bemoaning how the Red Sox are now jinxed because you put them on the cover. There is no cover jinx. Shut up about it, and cheer for your team.

Paul Grammatico, Torrance, Calif.

Service with a Smile

Thank you for John Ed Bradley's encouraging article about Army football (Army Salvation, Sept. 13). I grew up an Army brat, and my dad often took me to West Point games. I've been following Army since through thick and thin (mostly thin). The fit seems perfect for Bobby Ross and the Black Knights. All I ever wanted was parity between the service academies; now, thanks to what I learned in Bradley's article, I can hope for more.

Walter B. Todd Jr., Columbia, S.C.

As impressed as I am by Bobby Ross's humility and commitment, I am disturbed by the scorn expressed by his son Kevin for those recruited by Army who decline to attend because of the war in Iraq. Ours is a country built on freedoms, one of which is the freedom to choose--religion, spouse, viewpoint, career, even where you go to school.

Michael Tangeman, Westerville, Ohio

Feeling the Heat

I agree with Lars Anderson's sidebar to Kickoff (Sept. 13) regarding college football coaches on the hot seat, but he neglected to mention Michigan's Lloyd Carr. The Wolverines continue to play a conservative style of football, which has led to many defeats by teams they are clearly better than. The latest example was the debacle at Notre Dame, which was the fifth straight time they lost their first road game of the year. It's time for Carr to join former Ohio State coach John Cooper in the broadcast booth.

Scott Wickham, Brandon, Fla.

E-Z Credit

Thanks for Rick Reilly's ingenious and funny column, This Is a No-Brainer (The Life of Reilly, Sept. 13), which lampoons the hypocrisy of universities that give academic credit for playing sports.

Daniel E. Axelrod, Port Chester, N.Y.

I played college sports for four years at a top academic school, and I received credits each year for playing tennis. College athletes attend academic classes just as their fellow students do. However, on top of this they are asked to practice five to six hours a day and give up their weekends. I say give them all A's in their sport and make it a three-credits-a-semester class.

Nolan Cooper, Manhattan Beach, Calif.

So what else is new, Rick? I graduated from Oregon State in 1956 with two credits for playing freshman baseball in a shoddy manner and 15 credits for serving more effectively on the speech and debate team.

Gail D. Schoppert, Grantham, N.H.

I don't think the practice of giving credit for sports participation is so terrible. As an employer, I would much rather hire a football player who is under Joe Paterno's tutelage than some of the unwashed, body-pierced freaks that I see walking around Penn State's campus.

Steven Meengs, State College, Pa.

Coach Clones?

How could you address Army football and Bobby Ross and not mention his facial resemblance to Knute Rockne? Of course he will succeed.

Edward L. Bowen, Versailles, Ky.

To Contact SI


• Please e-mail us at letters@si.timeinc.com or fax us at 212-467-4049. Letters should include the writer's full name, address and home telephone number and may be edited for clarity and space.


• For 24/7 service, please use our website, www.si.com/customerservice. You can also call 1-800-528-5000 or write to SI at P.O. Box 30602, Tampa, FL. 33630-0602.


• For ad rates, an editorial calendar or a media kit, e-mail us at sipubqueries@timeinc.com.






Ross was born in '36, five years after Rockne (left) died.



 [See caption above]