How about you stop putting people on the cover of SI? On the Jan. 17 cover is Indianapolis wideout Reggie Wayne. On Jan. 16, two days after I received the issue, the Colts lost to the New England Patriots. Last year Donovan McNabb appeared on the cover (Jan. 19, 2004) just before the NFC title game. Philadelphia lost to the Carolina Panthers--I was not upset, because I am a Carolina fan. The following week, Jan. 26, the Panthers were on the cover, and as we all know, they lost by a field goal in the Super Bowl. The smartest move you ever made was when you decided to make a collage of all 65 teams for the NCAA basketball tournament. I would stop putting a single person or team on the cover, at least before playoff games.
Gideon Rosenthal, Charleston, S.C.
Grant Wahl writes of college basketball, "TV ratings are up and so is the quality of play" (Hoops Renaissance, Jan. 17). Wahl in part used as evidence Kansas' 65-59 win over Kentucky, providing plenty of details about Ashley Judd but failing to mention that the game was a horror show of terrible shot selection and turnovers. Kansas was 21 of 53 from the field (39.6%), including 4 of 16 from three-point range, and had 21 turnovers. Kentucky shot 21 of 68 (30.9%), including 6 of 26 from beyond the arc, and had 13 turnovers. I think Wahl has officially joined the Packer-Vitale brigade of those who blindly praise college basketball because that is where their bread is buttered. Many of us who still love the college game can tell the obvious truth: It isn't as good as it once was.
Chris Ekstrand, Rossford, Ohio
Man of Steel
Let me get this straight: Bill Cowher--who happens to be the longest-tenured head coach in the NFL at age 47 and who has reached five AFC title games with three different quarterbacks--is not one of the hopeless workaholics sadly described in SCORECARD (Jan. 17) as "OD'ing on OT" but instead is a man who is devoted to his family (Life of Reilly, Jan. 17)? How refreshing to cheer for someone whose success hasn't come at the price of neglected spouses and children. I am eagerly looking forward to at least 13 more years with Cowher at the helm in the Steel City.
Shawn Buehler, Columbia, Md.
As a formerly long-suffering Patriots fan, I recall basking in the joy of the Pats' win over the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Jan. 27, 2002. My team was going to the Super Bowl, baby! Then the TV cameras showed three pretty girls crying and their mother trying to console them. The announcer said it was Cowher's family. It was then I realized there are always two sides to every victory, and I wasn't quite as joyful. Now that those girls are athletes themselves, they probably know that whether they win or lose, the sun will rise, life will go on, and their father will be the one watching in the stands with tears in his eyes.
Stephen Desjardins, Orlando
As a father of three daughters myself, I completely understand Coach Cowher's feelings about his girls. One of the toughest parts of being away is not being able to attend, or help coach, their various sports activities. Hey, all you athletes and coaches who produce children and then ignore them--pay attention to what life is really about.
Lieut. Col. Wayne A. Wolverton U.S. Army, Camp Slayer, Iraq
I was confused and saddened by the Leading Off (Jan. 17) picture of Jermaine O'Neal, who had pledged $1,000 for every point he scored to tsunami relief victims, trying to shoot a free throw while being distracted by San Antonio Spurs fans. I have been tough in my attitude toward NBA players, but if the fans in San Antonio waving their inflatable tokens of selfishness are representative of what NBA players have to deal with every night, I owe those players an apology.
Dave Stedman, Birmingham
When I went back home recently, my father handed me a plastic-wrapped issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. He said, "Give this to your brother, it came in the mail last week. Take a look at the date." The issue was from Dec. 7, 1981, and the cover featured Tony Dorsett of the Dallas Cowboys. Addressed to my brother, it arrived in perfect condition--I couldn't believe it--23 years after it was sent.
Christine Murphy, Monroe, N.Y.
As I leafed through my incoming mail in my office yesterday afternoon, I came across an issue of SI--which was unusual because my subscription goes to my home address. Furthermore the cover showed Alonzo Mourning and Bill Russell, and it touted Mourning "and other young stars" as "The Now Generation." It was part of the NBA Preview Issue for the 1993-94 season (Nov. 8, 1993)! While I have heard of postal service delays, I have never before experienced anything like an 11-year, 2-month and 16-day wait for a magazine to arrive. Maybe my '93 tax refund will arrive in the mail next week.
Robert W. Harrison, San Diego
EDITOR'S NOTE: The United States Postal Service apologizes for the delays.
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December 7, 1981
November 8, 1993