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Now and Then

The eternalcontrast between the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat cannot bepictured more dramatically than on the classic Sports Illustrated coversdepicting Phil Mickelson winning this year's Masters (April 17, left) andlosing the 2006 U.S. Open (June 26, right). Congratulations, SI.
John W. Kmet, Avon Lake, Ohio

Where was BonesMcKay--Mickelson's caddie--during Phil's last-hole brain drain (Back in theShadow, June 26)? He should have grabbed Mickelson by the neck and shaken himback to reality. This duo should hereafter be known as Bones andBonehead.
Jon McBride, Henderson, Nev.

Alan Shipnuckslams Mickelson's collapse on the 18th hole--which he seems to claim wouldnever have happened to Tiger Woods. It didn't happen to Woods because Woods didnot make the cut.
Douglas Reid, Fairfield, Conn.

I guess the realstory was Mickelson's collapse, but Geoff Ogilvy was the winner and deserved tobe on the cover.
Scott R. Bissen, Plymouth, Minn.

UnfortunatelyOgilvy will not be remembered for winning the U.S. Open; Mickelson will beremembered for losing it.
Micah Benton, West Henrietta, N.Y.

Yeah, Phil screwedup. He pulled a Van de Velde, a Norman. But Phil was also man enough to show upfor the medal ceremony, unlike fellow second-place finishers Jim Furyk andColin Montgomerie, who also screwed up, albeit less dramatically. Phil alsostayed around afterward to sign autographs. Phil may not (yet) be a U.S. Openchampion, but he is one of the most stand-up guys out there.
Rich Fong, Seattle

Swish Dish

I'm convinced NickSwisher is a special player (How Do I Look So Far? June 26). On Father's Day, Itook my 10-year-old son to see the A's play the Dodgers. Before each game Swishflips a ball into the leftfield stands and greets the fans in the bleachers.When he flipped the ball this time, it slipped through several pairs of handsand hit a young girl in the head. She began to cry and was comforted by herfather. I felt bad for her, but she still got the ball and was not seriouslyhurt. The next inning an usher brought her a bat from Swish, and as Swishjogged out to his position, he waved and asked how she was doing. My son said,"I wish he had hit me in the head." I hope that Swish stays the way heis, and I promise to always root for him--unless, of course, he becomes aYankee.
Scott Camp, Danville, Calif.

Tangled Up inBlue

In The Damage Done(June 26) about the alleged Duke lacrosse scandal, you say "the reputationof the university [is] forever changed." But as anyone who hasgraduated--or had a child graduate--from Duke knows, this university willcontinue to be one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning inthe country. A case in which student-athletes have been accused of a rape thatI, and many others, believe did not occur has no bearing on Duke's impeccableacademic reputation, no matter what the outcome.
Diane Wendy Cook, Louisville

As an alum of PennState, I was appalled when John Burness, senior vice president for public andgovernment relations at Duke, said, "If this was Mississippi or Penn State,[the Duke lacrosse incident] wouldn't be as big a story." Please, Mr.Burness, do not attempt to drag other schools' reputations through the mud--youhave more important things to worry about.
Jeffrey Kerwick, Nutley, N.J.

Your article onDuke made some sense of the whole event. The case, however, makes me furious.It is so depressing that although coach Mike Pressler resigned and many peoplehave been hurt, nothing has been proved. Duke was in position to challenge forthe lacrosse championship this year--although I think Virginia would have wonanyway--and if the players are found not guilty, which I expect will happen,they can thank the media for destroying their reputations, season andprogram.
Bradd Tucker, Keymar, Md.

Star Turn

Texas RangerMichael Young (Players, June 26) says that if he were commissioner, he'd"get rid of the fact that the All-Star Game decides home field advantage inthe World Series. That's a pretty silly rule." I happen to agree. But thenwhat does Young do? He hits a ninth inning triple to drive in the tying andgo-ahead runs in the All-Star Game! I wonder if he still feels that way.
Wayne A. Wolverton, North Caldwell, N.J.

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