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Original Issue



What a thrill to see Joe Paterno--on his first cover since winning the 1986 Sportsman of the Year--leading my beloved Nittany Lions onto the field (All the Way Back, Nov. 28). JoePa is still a consummate sportsman at 78, coaching PSU to a Big Ten co-championship and continuing his philanthropy. (Have you seen the Paterno library?)

Jennifer P. Trout, Dimmitt, Texas

I had almost forgotten just how much fun it is to win each week. Let's hope Coach Paterno stays for 20 more years.

Claudia J. House, Moon Township, Pa.

I am struck with regret knowing that at the end of this season I won't get to see Paul Posluszny and his teammates go up against the offensive line that protects Matt Leinart and blocks for Reggie Bush. Curses! Stymied by the BCS again!

Jon Roe, Los Angeles

A Life in Pictures

Frank Deford's piece on Neil Leifer (Eyewitness, Nov. 28) brought back a fond memory. In the early 1970s, when I was about 13, I was already a subscriber and avid SI reader. At a St. Louis Blues game, near the tunnel behind the goal, I saw this curly-headed guy shooting photo after photo and asked him who he was. Very politely he said, "I'm Neil Leifer. I work for a magazine called SPORTS ILLUSTRATED." I'll always remember how nice he was and that he didn't assume I would know about SI. I felt I had met royalty; I mean, an SI photographer--what a cool way to make a living!

Mark Supic, Dacula, Ga.

Above It All

The first thing I do when I receive SI each week is look at the LEADING OFF pictures. The action shot of LaDainian Tomlinson by Peter Read Miller (Nov. 28) may be the best sports picture I've ever seen. LT is soaring above everyone else, a comment on his status as an NFL running back.

Nathan Smith, Columbia, Mo.

Peyton's Place

Enough with the Peyton Manning lovefest (Unbeatable?, Nov. 28)! A large part of why the Colts are unbeaten has to do with the team's pathetic schedule (they play Houston and Tennessee--twice!) and the creation of the AFC South, an act of NFL gerrymandering. When Manning finally wins important games outside, in the cold, then he'll be a great quarterback, not just a great climate-controlled quarterback.

Maya Fernando, Chicago

The Naturals

Not that I condone the use of anabolic steroids or amphetamines while competing in sports (SCORECARD, Nov. 28), but I hope America is ready to cut baseball and its players a break when the run output and energy level decrease as a result of the tougher antidrug policy. If you've asked for baseball to clean up its act, sit back and enjoy home run champions hitting 35, RBI leaders with 110 and the suicide squeeze becoming popular again. Just don't boo when the game takes a step backward.

Brett McDonnell, Arlington, Texas

Why am I being asked to feel sorry that players will no longer be able to pop some pills to get themselves up to play a game? What kind of message does it send to me as a worker and a parent that, according to two managers, they will need expanded rosters and players will need more time off if amphetamines are banned?

John McGuigan, Phoenixville, Pa.

Straight Talk

Mark Beech refers to George O'Leary's résumé issues as "inaccuracies" (INSIDE COLLEGE FOOTBALL, Nov. 28). O'Leary said he had done things he never did. Those aren't inaccuracies. Those are lies.

David Glickler, Kyle, Texas

Surface with a Smile

I enjoyed Steve Rushin's column on the Zamboni (AIR AND SPACE, Nov. 28). When my son Tyler was four, we were out for a walk when we saw a man riding toward us on a motorized wheelchair. Tyler pointed at him and shouted, "Daddy, look at that man! He's wearing a Bruins jacket!" The man smiled as he rolled past, and after a moment's pause my son added, "And he's driving a Zamboni!"

Tim McEachern, North Andover, Mass.

Just as Rushin's ever clever words were reaching your readers, the Board of Electors of the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs voted to induct the late Frank J. Zamboni to the Hall in 2006. This is an honor bestowed upon only the greats of the sport (Sonja Henie, Dick Button, Peggy Fleming, Katarina Witt, among others). I am thrilled for the Zamboni family, as anyone who takes to the ice should be.

Lydia Paley-Hume, Board of Electors
World Figure Skating Hall of Fame

Ball in the Family

Rick Reilly, writing of his family's Thanksgiving turkey classic (LIFE OF REILLY, Nov. 28), quotes Archie Manning saying that "all good backyard Thanksgiving football games involve cheating." With all due respect, the Reilly family's cheating that Rick then describes is minor league compared with my family's. The Powers were the Oakland Raiders of Turkey Bowls past. I still remember my oldest brother clotheslining our dear mother, who had the unfortunate task of trying to catch a pass over the middle in a close game.

Troy Powers, Prescott Valley, Ariz.

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