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Original Issue


Lady First

I was disappointed to see Danica Patrick, who finished fourth in the Indy 500, on the cover of SI (June 6). Why wasn't Dan Wheldon of the Andretti Green team, who actually won the race, on the cover? I know the Indy Racing League is seeking new fans, but come on, the winner of the race should get the main recognition.

Barbara Anderson, Torrance, Calif.

While I typically couldn't be less interested in auto racing, I was delighted to see Patrick on your cover, but I'll bet Wheldon was not.

Sheryl Kort, East Windsor, N.J.

It sure is appropriate that one of the sponsors featured on Patrick's racing jacket is Pioneer.

Ryan Dunn, Lancaster, Pa.

When Patrick wins her first IRL race, will Wheldon be on the cover?

Kenneth Beal, Orange Park, Fla.

Annika Sorenstam is the only reason I remember that Kenny Perry won the 2003 Colonial. Patrick is the only reason I'll remember Wheldon won this year's Indianapolis 500.

Susan Ice Tallahassee, Fla.

Danica is the real deal. Bring her back for the cover of the Swimsuit Issue.

Tom Schermerhorn Oneonta, N.Y.

Best ever issue (June 6): Patrick, the Indy 500 (Here She Comes), Sprint Cars (Dirty Work), NASCAR (Long, Hard Road), F/1 (Formula Won). Wow! I'm framing one of the many issues I bought today.

Don Figler, St. Louis

Why do I prefer SI issues like June 6 to the Swimsuit Issue? Because after I'm done staring in slack-jawed wonder at how gorgeous Danica Patrick and Sue Bird (PLAYERS) are, I can read about what excellent athletes and interesting people they are.

Jeff Elder, Denver, N.C.

It should surprise no one that a woman can excel in racing provided she is offered equal access to competitive equipment and team support.

David Dutra, Tucson

Shorts Stop

After all the complaints about Shaq's getting preferential treatment from NBA referees,your picture captioned No Entry (LEADING OFF, June 6) shows what it's like to be him. It's a great shot of Richard Hamilton holding Shaq's shorts while trying to box him out.

Lawrence Sanders, Clifton, N.J.

Happy Feet

I was quite surprised that your quotes on how it feels to hit a walk-off homer (PLAYERS, June 6) didn't include the one by 1950s Indians All-Star third baseman and '80s San Francisco Giants president Al Rosen, which I have always thought captured the essence of baseball: "The greatest thrill in the world is to end the game with a home run and watch everybody else walk off the field while you're running the bases on air."

Bob Russell, Colfax, Wash.

Alex in Wonderland

No matter what Alex Rodriguez does, it doesn't seem to be enough (New York State of Mind, June 6). He came to New York, quietly assumed his new position, never tried to one-up Derek Jeter--or anyone else for that matter--worked hard and is doing a great job.

Steven Morris, East Hampton, N.Y.

A-Rod demonstrates that seeking counseling is a sign of strength, not weakness. Eventually, getting sports-psychology services will be just as accepted as seeking help for a twisted ankle.

John F. Murray, West Palm Beach, Fla.

Color Coordinated

In Taking the Red Eye (PLAYERS, June 6) Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts tells how switching to red contact lenses helped his offensive output. That just goes to show there is nothing new under the sun. Babe Ruth, one of the great barhoppers, must have played with red eyes all the time, and look at all the home runs he hit.

Henry J. Hosgood, Baltimore

Marty Wolff, Bel Air, Md.


Steve Rushin writes about famous flip-offs (AIR AND SPACE, June 6) but fails to mention shortstop Garry Templeton's giving the bird to St. Louis Cardinals fans in 1981. That resulted in Templeton's being traded to the San Diego Padres for defensive wizard Ozzie Smith and arguably created the atmosphere for a World Series championship in St. Louis the following year.

Andy Bressner, New City, N.Y.

On Sept. 3, Navy will play Maryland in football for the first time in 40 years, although the campuses are only 25 miles apart. The reason for the long hiatus? In 1964, during the game, star middle linebacker Jerry Fishman flipped off the entire brigade of midshipmen. The two teams will meet at--bird-watchers take note--the home of the Baltimore Ravens.

Ira Allen, Bethesda, Md.

I'm surprised Rushin never referred to Capt. Lloyd Bucher and the crew of the USS Pueblo--who weretaken prisoner in 1968 for allegedly straying into North Korean waters. As you may recall, when the North Koreans assembled the crew for a staged photograph intended to show the American captives were receiving humane treatment, Bucher and his men persuaded their captors that flipping the bird was a good luck sign. When the reality of this act of defiance came to light, beatings and solitary confinement continued.

Ray Germonprez, Neenah, Wis.

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