Great shot--and no need to worry about the cover jinx (June 20). Each of the two times SI's cover has featured Lance Armstrong before the conclusion of the Tour de France, he has won. Bring on Lucky 7.
Dominic J. Clementi -- Hillsborough, N.J.
Thanks to Jack McCallum, not only for his stellar article about the NBA Finals (The Tipping Point, June 20), but also for showing America what basketball should be about. A photo caption notes that Tim Duncan is "more than happy to hand Ginobili greater responsibility." Duncan is a team player and a great role model for kids. You'll never hear him complain about his teammates or his pay.
A.J. Witkofsky, Burnt Hills, N.Y.
Instead of crying for an earlier-than-9:20 p.m. start to the NBA Finals games, I'm hoping the powers-that-be start the games even later. That way, those of us in the East can watch the end of the games when we get up for work. (Games starting at 9:20 p.m. on Sunday? Twice? No wonder ratings are in the tank.)
Randy D. Lidgard, Grand Rapids
If I could just stop tearing up for a minute, I'd like to commend the three guys associated with the Strongest Dad in the World (Life of Reilly, June 20), the story of a father who has pushed, pedaled and towed his disabled son through 85 marathons and 212 triathlons. Dick Hoyt and his son, Rick, are achieving the near-impossible with grace and compassion. And Rick Reilly is taking the time to find stories that help us remember what's important in life.
Jon Roe, Los Angeles
My husband and our autistic six-year-old, Tim, recently ran a 3K race and finished in 23 minutes. We were so proud of Tim, we even bought him a trophy from a secondhand store. He loves it. We plan to run more races with him. The story of the Hoyts just confirms to me that a disability is not an inability. There's always a way to the finish line.
Marie O'Grady, Falls Church, Va.
Soon after the start of the 2002 Boston Marathon a man pushing another man in a wheelchair passed me. I was surprised and gave chase, but I never caught them. I told my family and friends about this amazing pair, but I never knew their names or the story. Now I feel honored about being passed and beaten by this dad and his son.
Jim Cook, Darien, Ill.
As an Iron Mountain (Mich.) High classmate of Tom Izzo's and Steve Mariucci's, I always enjoy reading about them (Lean on Me, June 20). And you have to admit: They both are looking pretty darn good more than 30 years out of high school.
Gladys Polzien, Lake Linden, Mich.
Rory Sabbatini may have "shattered golf etiquette" by putting out of turn (Players, June 20), but Ben Crane, whose slow play led to Sabbatini's actions, shatters golf etiquette every time he tees it up. The PGA needs to put the clock on only the slow player in a group. Everyone condemned Sabbatini, but nobody criticized Crane because he is a nice guy. That doesn't change his being a too-slow player.
Anthony Saba, Rochester, N.Y.
The Rule of Three
Derrek Lee is tailor-made to make a run at the Triple Crown (The New Mr. Cub, June 20). Yes, he's putting up huge numbers, but his career statistics are mediocre, so pitchers keep trying to get him out. If pitchers had been as willing to challenge Barry Bonds last year, Bonds might have easily accumulated the four home runs and 31 RBIs that would have gotten him the Triple Crown. Instead, he ended up with 120 intentional walks.
Bobby Hill, Tyngsborough, Mass.
A World of Pain
I enjoyed Steve Rushin's You Did What? How? (Air and Space, June 20) about odd injuries. What about Chargers wide receiver Chris Penn, who missed practice because he "scratched his eye with a pillow case" (Inside the NFL, Nov. 22, 1999)?
Gabe Kleinfeld, Bronx, N.Y.
... former major league outfielder Glenallen Hill, who suffered numerous cuts when he sleepwalked into a glass table while dreaming about spiders.
Andy Walton, Sandford, Ont.
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In your report on baseball players who had relatives in the recent major league draft (PLAYERS, June 20), you might also have included Andy Van Slyke. The former outfielder, who played mostly for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates, had two sons drafted: Scott Van Slyke, a centerfielder and recent graduate of St. Louis's John Burroughs School, was selected in the 14th round by the Dodgers, and older brother A.J., a junior outfielder at Kansas, was taken by the Cardinals in the 23rd round.
Peter Wung, St. Louis
SIMON BRUTY (COVER)
COURTESY OF THE VAN SLYKE FAMILY
MY TWO SONS
¬†A.J. (left) and Scott (right) hope to follow Andy to the top.