The true MVPs of the first half of the NFL season should be the Steelers' offensive line (Back in the Running, Nov. 15). Jeff Hartings is a fantastic center, Alan Faneca and Keydrick Vincent are the toughest guards in the league, and Marvel Smith and Oliver Ross are warriors at the tackle position. Bill Cowher realized that when you burn up the clock, it can give the defense the confidence to improve. As you can see, it has worked.
Rick Nagy, Coconut Creek, Fla.
There are no Steelers voted to the midseason All-Pro team (Nov. 15). That just proves that pro football is a team sport.
Toni Hartman, Fayette City, Pa.
Out of Sight
How can you honestly give an opinion on improving the marketing of women's sports (SCORECARD, Nov. 15) when your magazine publishes so few articles on athletes who are not men?
Danielle Charette Durham, Conn.
I think people don't watch women's soccer or basketball because, quite frankly and without an ounce of bias against women, it's not as good as men's. Women are not as fast, as strong or as skillful. It's a matter of quality, not marketing.
David Dix, Wakefield, Mass.
Where did L. Jon Wertheim do his research, in a cave? He ignores one of the most successful women's leagues, the LPGA. More than 100 women have earned more than $1 million during their professional careers, and that doesn't include ancillary income.
David J. Kolander, Scottsdale, Ariz.
As a physical educator reading Get Out and Play! (Nov. 15), I want to be clear about one thing: We do not teach gym. The gym is where we teach, but what we teach is physical education. Wake up, America--we are the fattest country on the planet! Most of the blame has to be placed on parents. When I go out to dinner and see a child who is already obese stuffing his or her face with dessert, I have to ask myself why the parents are allowing this. It's time to stop being your children's friend and start being their parent.
Derek Muharem, Naugatuck, Conn.
Get Out and Play! was both disturbing and insightful. As a high school student myself, I know how difficult it is to fit an exercise routine into a busy schedule. That's why I ride my bike seven miles each way to get to and from my school in Manhattan. Sadly, many places are not bike-friendly enough to make such a routine feasible. Adding bike paths is just one of many things our communities can do to make it easier and safer to get exercise.
Stephen Kahn Bonnett, Brooklyn
There are, as you note, many causes for child obesity, but to lay even part of the blame at the feet of an educational system struggling mightily to increase the academic success of American children is a serious mistake. Then again, blaming the schools for any social ill is a time-honored tradition. Let parents turn off the TV and unplug the video games; let parents take more control of their kids' nutrition; let communities focus more on physical-fitness programs and less on elite competitive sports programs; then let schools pull some money--and emphasis--out of interscholastic sports programs, which benefit the few, and put the money into P.E. programs and facilities that benefit all. None of which is going to happen.
Jim Weber, Austin
I'm in the 10th grade, and for me class begins at eight and I don't return home until six, when I must do a load of homework. My school has two $6,000 snack machines but couldn't ante up the funds to build a field. Your article on child obesity did not shock me.
Davi Hamerman, Teaneck, N.J.
No More Cheesecake
It is killing me to see pictures of Paris Hilton in SI week after week (SCORECARD, Nov. 15). She has less to do with sports than the swimsuit models. Please do not make me cancel my subscription!
Greg Cooper, Hamden, Conn.
Although I enjoyed Steve Rushin's column on Phoenix Suns guard Yuta Tabuse (AIR AND SPACE, Nov. 15), it's important to note that a Japanese-American player, Wataru Misaka--born in Utah and a member of the Utes' 1944 NCAA and '47 NIT winners--broke the NBA's color barrier in '47 after having been chosen in the first round of the draft by the New York Knicks. Though he played in only three games, he made it into the league when anti-Asian sentiment was at a fever pitch. His accomplishment should not be overlooked.
Stuart Min, Pittsburgh
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AL TIELEMANS (COVER)
Misaka (center) with N.Y. coach Joe Lapchick and Lee Knorek.