In D Mood
Thank you for placing Dwight Freeney on the cover (He Puts the D in Indy, Oct. 17). You have given a face to defensive greatness in an offense-driven game. Not only has he accomplished phenomenal feats on the field, but he has accomplished them through discipline and desire. His game is big, his heart is huge, and his dedication is immeasurable.
Jennifer Holowaty, Columbia, Conn.
Poor Freeney, who resents his teammate Peyton Manning for being a quarterback and who seems to think it's a shame he can't hit Manning in practice. Maybe Freeney could take a few snaps and see how "easy" Manning has it.
Brian Breighner, Cumberland, Md.
Let's give Indianapolis the first five opponents that New England had. Would the Colts still have a 5-0 record? We will find out just how good that defense is against New England, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Jacksonville later this year.
Walter R. White, East Boston, Mass.
Was it just me, or was anybody else offended by your cover-story quote by Dwight Freeney? I'm a 45-year-old father of four and am, by far, not the last one to let a foul word fly. But I wouldn't say "sucks" in front of my mother, for fear my old man would still smack me in the mouth.
Joseph Murphy, Wolcott, Conn.
Your story on Darius Washington, the Memphis player who had to get over missing foul shots that cost his team a trip to the NCAA tournament, was most refreshing (Out of the Darkness, Oct. 17). What a great example of true sportsmanship--from the fans, media, family and team.
C.D. Gray, Kerrville, Texas
After reading about Washington and what he has gone through since his infamous three free throws, I thought it would be all right to grab the shirt I was wearing and cover my tears as well.
Aidan Byrnes, Binghamton, N.Y.
A Beautiful Mind
Your book excerpt on Bill Belichick (The Making of a Coach, Oct. 17) brought back memories. As a boy I saw Bill's father, Steve, play fullback for Western Reserve. He was hard-nosed, rugged and smart. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Gordon S. Golder, Gaithersburg, Md.
David Halberstam quotes Ron Jaworski's opinion that Belichick's first Super Bowl victory, over the St. Louis Rams, was the greatest professional football coaching job ever. But let's not forget the job done by Weeb Ewbank coaching the New York Jets in Super Bowl III.
Elliot Davis, New York City
Rose Bowl Reservations
Regarding Can Anybody Beat USC? (Oct. 17): I am not sure anyone can, but it would be a shame if Alabama finishes the year undefeated and is not matched up against the Trojans for the championship, regardless of what Texas has done. USC got a free pass by Auburn last year, getting pitted against Oklahoma for the title. The SEC is still where the best football is played.
Mitchell Tyre, Norcross, Ga.
The Wie Controversy
At the Samsung World Championship, SI senior writer Michael Bamberger reported to officials that 16-year-old golfer Michelle Wie, who was making her professional debut in the tournament, might have taken an illegal drop in the third round (below). After an investigation Wie, who had finished the tournament in fourth place, was disqualified and denied $53,126 in prize money. In the Oct. 24 SCORECARD, SI published an account, written by senior writer Alan Shipnuck, of how Bamberger made the decision, the day after the drop, to speak with officials. The magazine has received more than 1,200 letters about the incident; all but a handful have been critical of Bamberger and SI.
Bamberger made a mistake by not promptly informing a rules official of the violation he thought Michelle Wie might have incurred. He was certainly aware that a two-stroke penalty could have been enforced before she signed her card, and she could have continued and won her first check. By waiting he caused Wie to be disqualified and ruined her wonderful debut. His action in pointing out the infraction too late was a far more serious violation of fairness than Wie's innocent rules violation.
Ronald Gries, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
I find it amazing that Bamberger says, "To stand in silence when you see an infraction is an infraction itself." Is that not exactly what he did--until the next day?
Jim Welch, Kenosha, Wis.
I applaud Wie and her father for their sportsmanship. I equate this rule-adherence insanity to looking back after a seven-game baseball playoff series to a slow-motion replay of something that happened in Game 4 and switching the winner as a result.
Kim Dahabsu, Tinton Falls, N.J.
I agree with all of Alan Shipnuck's article on Bamberger's actions regarding Wie, with one exception. Bamberger, being a former professional caddie and only six feet away, might simply have said, "I think you might be closer to the hole with that drop" and avoided the whole fiasco.
Tim Eagan, Waltham, Mass.
Bamberger did us all a service. His belated whistle-blowing presented Wie with her first great challenge as a professional athlete. She met this challenge with extraordinary grace and maturity, demonstrating judgment and strength of character beyond her years. She offered no excuse or long explanation. What a marvelous role model.
David D. Higgins, Kamuela, Hawaii
Maybe you guys could let TIME borrow Bamberger to cover politics. God knows there's no shortage of malfeasance he could report to the authorities.
Jim Logan, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Bamberger will no doubt get an earful from his fellow journalists for his role in the disqualification of Wie. What those critics may ignore, however, is that the journalist's role goes far beyond observing and reporting. Journalists are obliged to set the record straight, which is precisely what Bamberger did. He should be congratulated for not sitting on his hands.
Mike Buetow, West Roxbury, Mass.
Shipnuck tried too hard to explain the involvement of your reporter in the Wie disqualification. Golf is a sport in which the players are quite capable of protecting the integrity of the competition. The LPGA, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED¬†and Bamberger should be embarrassed by this incident.
Ralph Switzer, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
My hat goes off to B.J. Wie. What amazing composure, to shake the hand of the man who ratted out his daughter.
Bill Doyle, Maplewood, N.J.
I think golfers who have sanctified their game are confusing integrity with pettiness.
Vic Druten, Shawnee, Kans.
I'm O.K. with Wie's disqualification. Rules are rules. I'm O.K. with Bamberger being the one who turned her in for the "underlying value of the game." Report the infraction to an official, shut up and fade away. Not Bamberger. His self-important role-playing and Shipnuck's rationalization make this all about an SI reporter, not the athlete.
Don McGuire, Coppell, Texas
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BOB ROSATO (COVER)