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Original Issue


Miami Nice
After we've heard about the saintlike character of Dwyane Wade for thehundredth time, don't you think your readers may have tired of this angle (LeapYear, June 12)? I sure hope not! After once again reading of his humility andcommitment to his beliefs, it only gives us hope and reminds us there is anideal role model for young people.
Charles Johnson, San Augustine, Texas

The DebateRages
Thank you, Steve Rushin, for explaining to American sports fans who think theyknow sports how amazing international soccer truly is (Air and Space, June 12).As a former U.S. national team member, I constantly try to explain to thepublic that although Allen Iverson, Jerry Rice, Derek Jeter, Muhammad Ali,Sheryl Swoopes, Karrie Webb and Lisa Fernandez are amazing at their sports,they all participate in games that are based on hand-eye coordination. Theirskills and agility are analogous to many tasks we learn as kids: how to use apencil, fork or toothbrush. Soccer players do those types of things with theirfeet. I appreciate Rushin's challenging people to face the facts: Soccerplayers are and should be held in the same high esteem as other sportstalents.
Brandi Chastain, San Jose

After readingRushin's column, I immediately checked out all the soccer videos herecommended. And guess what? While I admire the athleticism and skills ondisplay, I still don't like soccer. Why must Americans be lectured every fouryears about our lack of enthusiasm for someone else's national pastime? Wetried it; we don't like it.
Phil Winters, Pittsburgh

Any sport looksgood in highlight form. How is it the rest of the time? I'll take any 10minutes of any regular-season game in the NHL--where the object of the game isroughly the same--over 10 minutes of highlight footage from soccer.
Jerry Payne, Tampa

I'm an avid fan offootball, basketball and baseball, but it's time to embrace a beautiful sportthat unites the world for a month with incomparable pageantry and unparalleleddrama. It's a shame the World Cup only comes around once every fouryears.
Ben Sciacca, Birmingham

I'll take Rushin'schallenge to name a U.S. male athlete with a ponytail. How about SI's April 10cover boy, Joakim Noah?
Anil Adyanthaya, Brookline, Mass.

After I wrote Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson an angry letter becauseSteve Smith (Playing with Fire, June 12) beat up teammate Anthony Bright,Richardson and Smith visited me and my son. They drove four hours round-tripand stayed for several hours--an incredible commitment by both men. I learnedthat day that Steve is very much as you described him: a good man who made abad mistake and who has since worked on the aspects of his character that ledto it.
Gary Bradt, Summerfield, N.C.

While Smith shouldbe applauded for seeking counsel to tame his temper, he should also get sometraining on how to coach children. The prevailing training methods frown onexercise as a punishment for children, and Smith's expectation that his teamshould be punished the first time they fail to successfully complete a drill isinappropriate for eight-year-olds. He appears to emphasize teamwork andcamaraderie when he tells his son to celebrate a well-conceived goal with histeammates, but he still has a way to go.
Justin D. Stein, Princeton Junction, N.J.

In an otherwise thoughtful and thought-provoking piece (Scorecard, June 12) onsports fans' thirst for disaster, Richard Hoffer asks, "Do you think NASCARhas become today's money sport because it's so much fun to watch cars turnleft?" Why, yes, I do. There are racetracks on which cars turn left anddrivers have never been killed or seriously injured, and fans still flock tothem. Why? Because two or more cars locked in a side-by-side battle is so muchfun to watch. It's a battle on the edge of control and, yes, the potential formayhem is there every instant. The thrill, however, is there because thedrivers are trying to avoid the mayhem, not become victims of it.
Thom Ring, Pascoag, R.I.

High Praise
As Rick Reilly points out, the quest to climb Everest is big business, it costsa lot of money, and it still takes lives (Life of Reilly, June 12). These factsonly increase my admiration for Dan Mazur and his fellow climbers--AndrewBrash, Myles Osborne and Jangbu Sherpa--who gave up their quest only two orthree hours from the peak to save left-for-dead climber Lincoln Hall. Betteryet were the later comments by the climbers that the decision to give up theirquest to help Hall was not only an easy decision but also the onlydecision.
Robert Harvie, Lethbridge, Alberta

I'd rather be aMarine on the front lines in Iraq than climb Everest these days. At least inIraq I'd know my buddies had my back and I wouldn't get left behind if thingsgot rough. I hope those who summited over the dead and dying bodies of theirfellow climbers sleep well at night.
Sherrie Isham, New York City

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