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Original Issue


Steel the One

Thanks for puttingthe terrific photo of Hines Ward on the Feb. 13 cover. That's what an end zonecelebration should be: pure, spontaneous joy.

Mark W. Pitcock,Albuquerque

Is it safe to saythe cover jinx is over? Perhaps a lesser team would have fallen victim toappearing three times in four weeks, but not the mighty Steelers.

Richard A.Sadlock, Harrisburg, Pa.

Second only towatching your favorite team win the Super Bowl is slowly turning the pages ofthe following issue of Sports Illustrated covering the game (Hearts of Steel,Feb. 13). Your comprehensive coverage summed up the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelersperfectly: a true team, each member of which wanted to win more for someoneelse than for himself.

Daniel Ludwig,West Hartford, Conn.

Steelers fansdon't like pretty games. We have no cheerleaders, no song, no mascot. JustRooneys and cigars. We're not at all upset about an ugly game. The Steelersintentionally mess up games, make 'em ugly and win. It's a plan, not amistake.

Tim Craven,Ephrata, Pa.

Looking back, Isee that Michael Silver was right on, in his scouting report for the Steelersin your NFL Preview (Sept. 5, 2005), predicting that for Ben Roethlisberger tobe considered a great quarterback he would have to leap over the bar of hisrookie season and land in the Super Bowl. Move over, Bradshaw.

Louis J. Beck,Fort Lauderdale

Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye

Most of us inBoston already knew Johnny Damon would travel if the money was better (TheYankee Clippee, Feb. 13). We are used to this by now. What about a piece onBronson Arroyo, who went against his agent's wishes and took the offer from theRed Sox because he truly wanted to stay in Boston?

Roni Davidi,Marlboro, Mass.

You got Damon'sfirst name wrong. The correct spelling is B-E-N-E-D-I-C-T!

Wayne Dickinson,Somerset, Mass.

Only in America

Shedding even thefaintest ray of positive light on Don King would seem difficult at best, butJeff MacGregor at least let him break even (Let Us Now Raze Famous Men, Feb.13). That alone should speak volumes about the ability of the author--who inthe future should focus on someone more worthy of his attention.

James Butler,Columbus AFB, Miss.

Chin Up

Rick Reilly'scolumn on Bill Cowher's family values was right on the mark (Life of Reilly,Feb. 13). My daughter played on an AAU basketball team with Coach Cowher'sdaughter Lauren a few years ago. I still remember a cellphone conversation Ioverheard while sitting alongside Cowher, as I often did, in a drafty highschool gym. "I can't believe we got that kid from Southern Cal; he's goingto make a great free safety," the coach said. The kid he was referring towas Troy Polamalu.

Donald DeFranco,Pittsburgh

A little more thana year ago there was a commuter train accident in Glendale, Calif. that took 11lives, including that of James P. Tutino, a Los Angeles County sheriff'sdeputy. James was a Steelers fanatic and an assistant football coach at a localhigh school. I wrote to Coach Cowher, explaining the situation and sending acopy of the obit. Cowher sent a letter to James's widow, Rita, expressing hiscondolences and thanking the family for their continued support of theSteelers. He ended by saying "God bless," and very simply, in his ownhand, signed it "Bill."

Bob Jackson, SimiValley, Calif.

I spend years,even decades, developing healthy television-fueled dislikes for appropriatelyselected sports personalities like Bill Cowher. Then, in the space of a singlepage, your columnist snuffs out my bad feelings. I hate when Reilly doesthat.

George H.Phillips, Loveland, Colo.

Witnesses to History

After readingSteve Rushin's column on the five men who have attended every Super Bowl (Airand Space, Feb. 13), I couldn't help feeling, How cool is that! I attended twoSuper Bowls, and I can remember details of each as if it occurred last week:what I wore, what I ate, where I sat, what I talked about. I cannot evenimagine having the memories of 40 of these classic events. I am in awe of thesefive privileged individuals.

Jim Lavold,Wauwatosa, Wis.

Signing On

On behalf of theNewark Bears Professional Baseball Team I would like to thank Golden Stateforward Troy Murphy for professing his desire to coach third base for the Bearsas a career alternative (Players, Feb. 13). We agree with Troy that "it'sfun eating sunflower seeds, wearing the uniform, doing the signs," so weare working with the Warriors on securing a date this summer for Troy to donthe Bears uniform and tap into his inner baseball self.

Jim Cerny,Assistant General Manager

Newark Bears,Newark

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