Hoop De Doo
I didn't even have to open the March 21 issue to get my money's worth. The NCAA collage on the cover was wonderfully done. Thanks for making Duke's J.J. Redick go stand in the corner where he belongs.
Jay Jenkins, Lufkin, Texas
I'm an Orange fan. The morning after Syracuse's loss to Vermont, I found myself just staring blankly at the March Madness cover. I noticed Kareem among the faces. Then I saw Wilt, and for the next few minutes I just had a blast finding the other great players from the past.
Frank D. Cedo III, White Plains, N.Y.
As a 14-year-old female basketball player and fan, I'm disappointed by your very limited coverage of the NCAA women's basketball tournament. You didn't even include the women's bracket.
Barb Anderson Miles, Iowa
To Bean or Not to Bean (March 21) raises many issues regarding the decision to throw at a batter. The punishment, however, doesn't fit the crime. Immediately putting a hit batsman in scoring position might give a pitcher second thoughts about throwing at a hitter, thus reducing the need for an opposing manager to determine whether to retaliate.
Craig Foster, Davenport, Iowa
Tony La Russa's thoughtful consideration of when to hit an opposing batter--machismo, team unity, game situation and potential for injury--proves that he's the most cerebral manager in baseball.
Rob Vogt, Western Springs, Ill.
Anyone who would order an object hurled at someone else at 90 mph is a thug. No one should root for La Russa.
Shaun DePasquale, Rome, N.Y.
I enjoyed Tim Layden's article featuring Dathan Ritzenhein as a bright prospect for the U.S. in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships (Ready to Take on the World, March 21). It's too bad Layden couldn't have devoted a sentence or two to the only American man ever to have won the race. Two years before Alberto Salazar took silver, Craig Virgin won the gold in 1980 and '81. Craig is regarded by many as the best U.S. harrier of all time.
Bert VanGorder, Portland
When the story came out on ticket scalping in the NFL (Scorecard, March 21), I was not surprised at all. But to find out that the NFL allots only 1,000 tickets to the general public for the Super Bowl is maddening. Maybe the NFL should release more tickets to the communities who are in the big game and let Mike Tice find another way to supplement his income.
Craig Thompson Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Forgive me if I don't organize a pity party for the Braves just because they had to slash their payroll from $100 million to $80 million (In the Land of Rejuvenation, March 21). Try rooting every year for a team that has a payroll less than half that.
Tony Pirollo, Pittsburgh
While the Braves' streak of 13 straight divisional titles is impressive and unprecedented, the pennants were not, as Albert Chen wrote, all NL East titles. The Braves won the first three championships of this streak as a member of the geographically challenged NL West. The 1994 realignment put them in the NL East, where they have won the last 10 division titles, much to the chagrin of Mets fans like myself.
Tom F. Kennedy, Lancaster, Pa.
Baby, Come Back
I enjoyed the wonderful pictures by Ozzie Sweet in Leading Off (March 21) of baseball greats from Ted Williams to Randy Johnson. But I wonder why the Yankees' lefthander seems to be staring off into rightfield instead of toward home plate. As a Blue Jays--and Bosox--fan, I hope Johnson will be striking the same pose a lot this summer.
Bob Brehl, Port Credit, Ont.
I was disappointed SI made no mention of the passing of Chris LeDoux on March 9. Not only was Chris a respected country singer who often wrotes songs about the rodeo lifestyle, selling six million albums, but he was also the 1976 Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association bareback world champion. In an age in which all forms of popular music seem fabricated, here was a man who truly lived what he sang. Rest in peace, cowboy.
David Appleby, Omaha
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COLOR PHOTO ILLUSTRATION
DOUG CARROLL/HASTINGS TRIBUNE/AP
¬† ¬† LeDoux (in 1976 and top, in '00) rode a mechanical bull on stage.
¬† [See caption above] ¬†