A Work of Art
COMMISSIONED: One ceiling-sized poster of your SIstine Chapel 50th anniversary cover (Sept. 27) for my house. Renaissance men Bob Roe, Bill Syken and Jeff Wong have created a masterpiece of sports history that I must take lying down.
Jeff Elder, Denver, N.C.
Sports really does bring delight and renewal to all of us. As the God of creation would certainly say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
Joan Barbary, Scituate, Mass.
The Sistine Chapel is a beautiful memorial to the works of Michelangelo and his love for God. To see it replicated as a paean to sports and the materialistic attitudes that permeate our society repulses and saddens me. How angry God must be to see this wonderful tribute to His honor and glory abused and cheapened.
Sharon Wilcox, Tallahassee, Fla.
Bob Roe had it right in the beginning--a really sick idea.
John S. Ritchie, Lebanon, Ohio
I know that to many Americans who are secular humanists, parodying Michelangelo's masterpiece with the images of athletes is merely a matter of replacing one mythology with another. However, when I looked closely at how the images of the story of Creation (which is a story of great love and spiritual depth) had been replaced with the images of athletes (who epitomize shallowness and self-centeredness), I realized how great the offense was.
Trygve Gaalaas, Fairfax, Va.
Although religion too often defines the differences between people, the passion for sports is universal. You have underscored that message beautifully. Bravo!
Stan Friedland, Syosset, N.Y.
I teach kindergarten--12th grade art in rural western Montana, and I was delighted to see the appropriation of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel frescoes on your cover. Jeff Wong's illustration was a great teaching tool to spur my students' interest in Renaissance art via user-friendly sports analogies from the 20th century. I appreciate the humor and seriousness with which it was executed. What a score for cultural literacy!
Jennifer Ogden, Victor, Mont.
Of all the things I could have imagined being on the cover of SI, Al Davis without pants was definitely not one of them.
Scot Robison, Charlotte
Your 50th Anniversary Issue pulled me through the darkest hours of Hurricane Jeanne. Reading by flashlight--alone in a two-foot-by-four-foot safe room--kept my mind off the screaming wind and pounding rain for more than eight hours in the dark.
Tom Cummings, West Palm Beach, Fla.
The collections of Signs of the Apocalypse, They Said Its and Dumbest Sports Moments are priceless. Any time this 69year-old lady needs a pick-me-up, she will pick up the 50th Anniversary Issue of SI. Thanks for the memories and the fun.
Jackie Derouen, Houston
In Dumbest Sports Moments, how could you have possibly missed 1979's Disco Demolition night at Comiskey Park? It's not too often you see a baseball game forfeited due to a riot and shattered vinyl records covering the diamond.
Dave Leash, Golden, Colo.
I take advantage of your offer to not receive the swimsuit edition, so that my daughters will not be exposed to more unhealthy and unrealistic body images than they already get from media. Had I known that the 50th Anniversary Issue would contain revealing swimsuit pictures, I would have thrown it away before my children got a chance to thumb through it. Thanks for helping to introduce my four- and ten-year-old daughters and my eight-year-old son to entry-level pornography.
Clark Cothran, Rural Hall, N.C.
I'm disappointed! How could you do the 50th Anniversary Issue without Swimsuit Issue complaint letters?
Gary Duff, Granite City, Ill.
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ILLUSTRATION BY JEFF WONG