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A Shaq on the Beach

After watching him deal with that drama queen, Kobe Bryant, for far too long, I was happy to see you guys put a smiling Shaquille O'Neal on your NBA PREVIEW cover (Oct. 25). He's definitely going to make a big splash in Miami, as I'm sure he did when he jumped into that pool.
Simon Samano
San Diego

In 2 1/2 pages Shaq gave more excuses for underperforming in L.A. during the last two seasons than my seven-year-old does for not cleaning his room (A New Beast in the East, Oct. 25). Shaq feels as if he is "out of prison." He'd better remember that he's on parole in Miami. If he starts offering excuses again instead of delivering results, the Miami heat will be warmer than any jail cell in Florida.
Dan Deming,
La Habra, Calif.

It is time for Shaq to reflect and recognize that the Lakers' success was a team effort--led by two truly gifted players--and move on. With his continuing need to be in the spotlight, he is exposing himself as anything but a champion.
Shirley Parker, Phoenix


An opposing team's scout sized up the Memphis Grizzlies (Scouting Reports, Oct. 25) by saying "starter Jason Williams and backup Earl Watson form the best point guard combo in the league." Chauncey Billups and Lindsey Hunter only helped the Pistons win a championship. Kevin Garnett didn't get past the first round without Sam Cassell and Troy Hudson. And Mike Bibby and Bobby Jackson in Sacramento have for years been playing the way Williams and Watson hope to. Let me know what team that guy scouts for--I see a future job vacancy, and I'd like to send my résumé.
Jason J. Flood, Glenside, Pa.

Red Scare

I just discovered that wonderful (not) picture of the Red Sox and their fans during the 19-8 pounding at the hands of the Yankees in Game 3 of the ALCS (LEADING OFF, Oct. 25). Who's laughing now? The biggest comeback in major league history! How great does that sound?
Greg Liotti, Concord, N.H.

Over the Ump

How arrogant of Doug Harvey to think that umpires' calls should not be subject to criticism by the media (SCORECARD, Oct. 25). Mistakes by officials are displayed on every televised sporting event. The NFL, NHL and NBA have even made video review of certain calls part of the rules. MLB's umpires still haven't learned that they are not bigger than the game.
Richard de Give, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

Block the Vote

I'm glad you've figured out that the BCS is not the answer to finding the best team in college football (Again, the BCS Gets It Wrong, Oct. 25), but I'm amazed you don't remember that the BCS was created to fix mistakes by the polls. Anytime a vote decides a champion, there will be disputes. Let's leave voting for champions to American Idol and let the players decide the NCAA football title with a playoff system.
Todd Schumacher, Pasco, Wash.

Poker Faces

Having read TV Poker's a Joker (LIFE OF REILLY, Oct. 25), I must ask, Does Rick Reilly have a chip on his shoulder about gambling? I'd rather spend two hours watching real human emotion and drama with millions of dollars on the line than some retread sitcom or a sex-based reality show. At least those pasty, doughy poker players are not high on pot, using steroids or being arrested for felonies.
Barry Cherney, Rochester, N.Y.

Youth gambling will be the next big problem in the U.S., so I appreciate your concern with poker as sport, but the FDR reference was misplaced and disrespectful. By the way, FDR could bluff with the best of them, and I don't mean Texas hold 'em.
Donald Dean Meredith
Broken Arrow, Okla.

Let us all hope TV poker is just another in a long line of fads. Now will someone please turn the hockey back on?
Mark Thompson, Foxboro, Mass.

Everything you say is true. However, you must never have flopped a nut flush after making it three bets to go on the big blind. It's quite a feeling.

Murray Slough, Calgary

Mistaken Identity

As a die-hard Utah fan for all of my 52 years, imagine my glee at seeing SI give credence to the Utes' BCS bowl bid chances (Wild Out West, Nov. 1). But you misidentified a photo of defensive coordinator Kyle Whittingham as head coach Urban Meyer. My guess is that the lineup of elite BCS schools who will try to steal Coach Meyer at the end of the season won't be making the same mistake.
Cary Jones, Salt Lake City

•SI regrets the error. --ED.

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 Head coach Meyer (left) and Whittingham lead 9-0 Utah.



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