Imagine how many yards Oklahoma's freshman back Adrian Peterson would have run for against Texas if you hadn't jinxed him by putting him on the Oct. 11 cover. Thanks to SI, the Longhorns held him to a measly 225.
Mack Brown may never beat the Sooners (The Oklahoma Kid, Oct. 11), but he's doing something right. All his top players, such as Roy Williams and Derrick Johnson, stay for four years.
Matthew Groce, Winter Springs, Fla.
You gotta love Gary Sheffield's attitude (Swinging Away, Oct. 4). It's too bad there aren't more athletes who say exactly what they think. His frankness is precisely what is missing in today's media-conscious sports world. More people need to realize there's a big difference between being a jerk and being honest.
Highland Park, N.J.
For a religious man, Sheff sure likes to throw those threats around.
New York City
I was so upset that a personal chef came between two such down-to-earth guys as Sheffield and Barry Bonds that, teary-eyed, I could barely choke down my frozen dinner while reading the want ads to replace the job I was downsized out of.
Hal Pristovnik, Niles, Ill.
The photo of Sheffield on page 55 is one of the most stunning I have ever seen. It is reminiscent of the old-time baseball shots by Charles Conlon, yet has the modernity of Walter Iooss Jr. Thank you Michael O'Neill for a wonderful portrait.
David Thomas, Easton, Pa.
As a Cubs fan I don't know whether to thank Tom Verducci for such a vivid retelling of those two frightful eighth innings (5 Outs Away, Oct. 11) or scorn him for bringing it back up.
Joe Wuebben, Chatsworth, Calif.
Verducci's article was at times humorous, at times sad, and at the end there was hope for next year--just like the Cubs. Did it ease my pain? I'm afraid not.
Don Armstrong, Johnson City, Tenn.
Verducci's article read like a Stephen King novel, horrifying yet mesmerizing. I hope there's a World Series title in both Chicago's and Boston's futures. I can't imagine what agony their fans have been through over the years--wait, I'm a Detroit Lions fan. I know exactly how they feel.
Pete Finger, Bar Harbor, Maine
Miracle on Ice
It is mentioned in the article In the Beginning... (Sept. 27), introducing Jeff Wong's computer illustration of the Sistine Chapel, that "only this year did someone notice that Michelangelo's depiction of the spark of life could be retouched to represent the moment when the athlete became the Man in this country." I beg to differ. My oil painting, featuring the Sistine Chapel of Hockey, was featured in a three-page article and centerfold in The Hockey News on Nov. 9, 2001.
John Mahnic, Guelph, Ont.
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PAINTING BY JOHN MAHNIC
JOHN BIEVER (COVER)