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Original Issue


The AmericanWay
My job wants me, advertisers want me, my ex-girlfriend still wants me, UncleSam wants me and now U.S. Soccer (June 5)? I applaud how far the program hascome in just under 10 years, but this is still America, home of the Hail Mary,the dinger and the dunk. I'll watch the World Cup, but I'm not going to paintmy body or skip work. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to be wanted--but there arelimits.
Steve McGinnis, Leesburg, Va.

When I saw thesleepy-eyed photo of USA soccer's best, I said to my wife, "Doesn't looklike these guys are too psyched to be on the cover of SI, huh?" Then Icaught their World Cup opener against the Czechs. Apparently they weren't toopsyched for their first game in Germany, either.
Daniel Campaigne, Oceanside, Calif.

I hate soccer. I'drather watch the WNBA or lawn bowling. That said, of course I'll cheer for theU.S.'s team in the World Cup. I'll even buy a USA Soccer jersey and watch thegames at my favorite sports bar. Those guys have logged countless hourstraining and traveling and are out there representing the flag. Go get 'em,boys.
John Porter, Portland

Thanks to GrantWahl for an excellent piece on U.S. soccer's Golden Generation (Where in theWorld? June 5). Although it probably won't be this year, DaMarcus Beasley,Bobby Convey, Landon Donovan and Oguchi Onyewu could be the ones to lead theU.S. to the pinnacle of international soccer--in 2010 or 2014.
Rick Bourdeau, Woodbridge, Conn.

Tigers BurningBright
The Tigers? Believe It (June 5), on Detroit's rise from being one of thealltime worst teams to enjoying contender status, should give hope to KansasCity Royals fans. If the Royals follow the Tigers' model of hiring a WorldSeries--winning manager who played for their organization early in his careerand is not shy about going into a tirade, you may be preparing an article aboutthe resurgent Royals in a few years. Of course the guy who fits thisdescription for the Royals is Lou Piniella.
Jeff Appelgate, Prosser, Wash.

As a member of theGoochland (Va.) High Bulldogs baseball team, I'm delighted to see JustinVerlander, a former student from this small school, draw comparisons with oneof the greatest Tigers rookies of all time, Mark Fidrych (Birds of a Feather,June 5). Justin is the first athlete from Goochland to make it to the bigleagues, and he has inspired us to make it into the state tournament. You neverknow--a state title and World Series ring would look good in our trophycase.
Zachary Burton Wilcox, Sandy Hook, Va.

Turning Pro
After watching the NCAA championship in April, I figured it was time to turnoff basketball until November, when college hoops starts up again. But PhilTaylor's On the Rebound (Scorecard, June 5), about the NBA playoffs, got me totune in to a few NBA playoff games, and I realized it was time to give the prosanother chance. Now my basketball season will run from October to June.
Joanna Shapes, Stamford, Conn.

Do you see the irony in Kansas State's dismissing point guard Mario Taybron forviolating its substance-abuse policy when it just hired coach Bob Huggins(Inside College Basketball, June 5), 19 of whose Cincinnati players or recruitswere charged with crimes as he led the Bearcats onto NCAA probation for lack ofinstitutional control? Oh, and in 2004 he was himself arrested for DUI.
Ronnie Short, De Graff, Ohio

Just Saying No
I was touched by Rick Reilly's column about Nick End, the Carnegie Mellonrunner who was disqualified from the NCAA Division III 10,000-meter finalbecause his coach, Dario Donatelli, clicked the wrong button on the onlineentry form. (Life of Reilly, June 5). You confirmed for me that the NCAA ismade up of bureaucrats rigidly devoted to inconsequential rules and hypocritesenamored of fame and money. Their victim is a true student-athlete whoseintegrity the NCAA is supposed to uphold. As a grad of Carnegie Mellon,however, I wonder how a university with a strong reputation in computersciences has a track coach who can't properly manipulate a mouse?
Kevin Shields, Wilmette, Ill.

NCAA should nowstand for No Corrections Are Allowed.
John Walsh, Weymouth, Mass.

No Conscience AtAll.
Steven E. Chappell, Kirksville, Mo.

No Clue AboutAnything.
Steve Tourek, Peoria, Ariz.

In a box in myhouse there is a trophy engraved with DIV. III WOMEN'S 10,000M 1992 NATIONALCHAMPION. In my mind are the lessons Dario Donatelli taught me as my coach atCarnegie Mellon from 1988 to '92. I would never have won a nationalchampionship or even graduated from CMU without his expertise and guidance.Dario was more than just a coach to the women's team. He was a mentor: someonewho was always there for us and who always did the right thing. The NCAA couldlearn a lesson or two from him.
Carolyn Lowe-Thompson Kamuela, Hawaii

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