The Carson Show
Thanks, SI, for your story on The Rehabilitation of Carson Palmer (May 29). As a long-suffering Cincinnati Bengals fan, my heart broke on that awful day in January when Palmer left the field only moments into the game. Now that I have read about Palmer's determination and drive, I know he'll be back. Give 'em hell, Carson! Prove all those doubters wrong.
Barb Forthofer, Chillicothe, Ohio
I got the mail as I was coming back from my rehab center, and there was Palmer on the cover of SI. I tore my anterior crucial ligament playing volleyball three months ago--just as college recruiters were coming to look at my team. It was the worst feeling of my life. Reading Carson's story will help motivate me to never give up.
Allie Jonynas, Orland Park, Ill.
Although I'm a loyal Steelers fan, when Palmer was knocked out of the playoff game, my heart sank. I knew that no matter how badly the Steelers beat the Bengals, there would always be a "what if" looming over the result. I wish Palmer a speedy recovery--and when he comes back, Cincinnati fans will see that with or without their gutsy quarterback, the Bengals are no match for the Steelers.
Jim Shearer, New York City
Man and Beast
Two great athletes--Palmer and Barbaro (Shattered Hopes)--suffering severe leg injuries will be forever linked in your May 29 issue. Even the photos are eerily similar: pictures of each just after a horrific injury; Barbaro being lowered into a pool for rehab, and Carson on the cover rehabbing in a pool. Here's hoping both recover.
Mary Jo Berman, Warwick, R.I.
Of the thousands of pictures I've seen in Sports Illustrated, none touched my heart as did Bill Frakes's shot of jockey Edgar Prado shortly after Barbaro went down in the Preakness. The lens, with beautiful sadness, recorded the bond between man and horse in a way that words never could.
Richard H Gross, Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Read My Lips in Scorecard (May 29) left out one of the most boneheaded guarantees in sports history. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck won the overtime coin toss in a Jan. 4, 2004, playoff game at Lambeau Field and proclaimed--within earshot of a national TV audience--"We want the ball, and we're going to score." He then proceeded to throw a perfect pass to Green Bay cornerback Al Harris, who returned it for the game-winning touchdown.
Jon Gerber, Whitehall, Pa.
Steve Rushin's column on rainouts (Air and Space, May 29) might have mentioned broadcasters' machinations during World War II. Describing weather was forbidden by the government to keep potentially vital information from our enemies. I can still hear Red Barber's play-by-play of Brooklyn Dodgers road games, recreated via ticker tape: "... well, folks, they have suspended play in St. Louis; I can't tell you why, but keep tuned for our possible return."
Robert P. Kane, Wilmington, Del.
Once, back when it was still the Bing Crosby Clambake at Pebble Beach, heavy rain brought play to a halt. During the rain delay, TV commentators grabbed a priest, one of the amateur players, and asked him if he couldn't do something about the weather. His reply: "That's up to management. I'm in sales."
Dan N√§sman, Port Townsend, Wash.
Waite for It
It's truly unfortunate that Rushin and his generation were unable to experience the king of baseball rain delays: Waite Hoyt, the voice of the Cincinnati Reds. Hoyt, a standout Yankee pitcher who roomed with Babe Ruth, was a master storyteller and knew every baseball character, his antics, his superstitions and his pranks. As the drops began to fall, the stories would start. The Reds were dismal in the 10 years after World War II, the only suspense being whether they or the Cubs would claim the National League cellar. It was said that baseball listenership peaked when the rains fell in Cincinnati.
Bob Chapman, Midland, Mich.
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SIMON BRUTY (COVER)
TSN/ICON SMI (HOYT PITCHING); NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME LIBRARY/COOPERSTOWN, N.Y.
RADIO DAYS Reds broadcaster Hoyt, who pitched in seven World Series, had his rain-delay musings collected on two record albums.