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Original Issue


To Be Real

I suspect in 10years people will look back at their fantasy football involvement with the sameruefulness with which people look back at their disco days.

Ronald Brewer,Macon, Ga.

Is your July 24cover boy Reggie Bush now only subject to a fantasy jinx?

Brian Gutherman,Shamong, N.J.

Donovan McNabb at14 in your quarterback rankings? Below Kurt Warner (6), Drew Bledsoe (7) andDavid Carr (13)? McNabb is a proven fantasy commodity, especially with thepass-happy Andy Reid calling the plays. Also, McNabb slimmed down this pastoff-season; he has more drive to succeed (to prove that he can win withoutTerrell Owens); and despite what the "experts" might say, the Eagleshave adequate receivers.

Noah Glyn, CherryHill, N.J.

The Heart ofT.O.

Karl TaroGreenfeld wrote an excellent article about Terrell Owens (Hey, T.O., Are YouReady for Some Football?, July 24). But I have to ask about the line "don'tever question his desire." Did Greenfeld speak to any 49ers fans? BecauseI've spoken to plenty of them who question Owens's desire. They say he quittrying when he wanted a trade; many used the phrase alligator arms indiscussing his performance late in games or when he got tired. He's a greatplayer, but his desire isn't above reproach.

Marley Seaman,Merrick, N.Y.

Dallas is sure tobe the best new reality show on television this fall.

Susan Carr,Millis, Mass.

Mommy Dearest

Zinédine Zidanemakes the false assumption that a real man shouldn't take an insult to hismother (AIR AND SPACE, July 24). A real man rises above such insults. As Irecounted to my 11-year-old son, when Branch Rickey warned Jackie Robinson notto retaliate against slurs far worse than "your mama," Robinson askedwhether Rickey wanted a player "afraid to fight back." Rickeyresponded, "I want a player with guts enough not to fight back." Toomany athletes have forgotten this model of manhood.

Bruce Watson,Leverett, Mass.

Steve Rushinmight not be old enough, but when I was growing up the worst insult was to say,"Your mother drives a truck." Now, it seems as if all suburban mothersdrive SUV trucks.

Ted Seibert,Ridgefield, Conn.

To manyItalophiles and trash talk--ophiles, Marco Materazzi is a great hero. Whateverhe might have said about Zidane's family, to be able to get someone of Zidane'sstature to foul out of the game, in that situation, is an accomplishment thatother athletes can only dream about. Somewhere, Michael Jordan must be sayingof Materazzi, "He is the master."

Arthur Brickman,Ann Arbor, Mich.


I was thrilled tosee full-page photos of Jered Weaver and Jeff Francis facing each other in yourJuly 24 issue (The Boys of Late Summer). Weaver (2002) and Francis (2001) areformer players for the Anchorage Bucs of the Alaska Baseball League. Every Junesome of America's (and Canada's) top collegiate baseball players come up to theABL. We Alaskans are proud of the major leaguers that our league helpedmold.

Al Cramer,Anchorage

Missing Mojo

The reason LeoMazzone has not been able to work his magic in Baltimore (Inside Baseball, July24) is that his pitchers there aren't named Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and TomGlavine. There is no magic. If your pitchers have talent and good stuff, itisn't that hard to have a good staff. If they don't, it's almostimpossible.

Lance McCord,Holly Springs, N.C.

Flower Power

If ever there wasany doubt that SI still publishes the premier sports photographs in the world,then the stunning Tour de France sunflower shot (Yellow Fever, July 24) ofyellow-jersey-wearing Floyd Landis and his Phonak domestiques by StefanoRellandini of Reuters should put that rumor to rest forever. Magnifique!

BarryGoldman-Hall, San Jose


Rick Reilly is afabulous writer, but I think his comment that if you love Phil then you hateTiger, or vice versa (Life of Reilly, July 24), is completely misguided, evenif it's meant to be humorous. If you want to see hate, go to the Middle East.The vast majority of golf fans are among the most dignified in sports. Theycheer the play and accomplishments of all competitors (including ColinMontgomerie) and are consistently courteous. Regardless of whether a fan is aTiger Guy or a Phil Guy, that fan is highly likely to admire bothplayers--despite any personality idiosyncrasies--and to appreciate theirenormous talents.

Harold J. Baer,Bakersfield, Calif.

I gotta say, I amdefinitely a TG, though in my case the G would stand for Gal. And I'm mostdefinitely an ABVG (Anybody But Vijay Gal). Tiger had me bawling after theBritish Open when he broke down in his caddie's arms. By the way, where wasPhil then? Oh, yeah, he was done before Tiger had even teed off.

Kim Libbey,Brewer, Maine

I had always beena TG rather than a PG only because I firmly believed that Phil was a mentaljellyfish when it came to the Big One--especially when Tiger was in contention.Then Phil threw three majors at us in the span of 24 months. I used to haveTiger's mentality when it came to sports. Then I got married and had twodaughters; now I can see Phil's side. So, yes, there is an in-between when itcomes to being a TG or a PG. Put me down for both.

Patrick L. Cray,Whitman, Mass.

Reilly's linethat rooting for Phil Mickelson "is like watching a drunk chase a balloonnear a cliff" was the most accurate, expressive and funny piece of writingI have read in a long time.

Erik Stover, SanDiego

The Way WieIs

Michelle Wie hadsix top 10 finishes in six LPGA events this year entering last week's Women'sBritish Open, including top five finishes in three majors, and yet Nancy Lopezand Dottie Pepper think they know what is best for this gifted young lady?Lopez (Come Home, Michelle, July 24) wants Wie to support the LPGA tour whenthe LPGA tour will allow her to play only seven events and will not allow herto be a full member. Pepper (The Pepper Mill, July 24) wants Wie to play onlyseven events because she is 16 and not having fun like a normal teenager. It'samazing how much these two know even though Lopez has not talked to her and allPepper does is talk about her. It's time to let Wie's play do the talking.

Joe Ruscavage,Tinton Falls, N.J.

I agree withPepper's feelings that it's time Wie stopped her foolish chase to make a cut onthe PGA Tour. I'm a big supporter of Wie's right to play where and when herability allows, but as a parent of two teenagers I've come to the conclusionthat Wie's parents have to get their daughter out of the golf whirlwind thatshe's gotten swept up in. There's plenty of time for Wie to become a golflegend; for now, she needs to enjoy her fleeting teen years.

Jeff Shapes,Stamford, Conn.

Of course Lopezis right about Wie and the PGA Tour: The players don't want her there. How dowe know this? Because SI did a poll in March 2003 after Annika Sorenstam saidshe wanted to play a men's tournament. SI asked, "Should women be allowedto play PGA Tour events?" The result from 75 pro golfers: 72% said no, 14%gave an unqualified yes, 14% said yes if the women qualified for the event orplayed from the men's tees.

Bill Williams,Grand Junction, Colo.

What may be trulysad is that by the time Wie gives up her misplaced effort to become TigerWoods, she may have become so confused and disheartened that she also fails tobecome Michelle Wie.

Robert P.Friedman, Eugene, Ore.

Wake-up Call

I had very mixedfeelings when reading your article about Darren Clarke (Heavy Heart, July 31).First I felt compassion for him as his wife fights for her life against breastcancer. Then I felt like slapping him silly when I read that he smokes. Assomeone whose mother recently died from lung cancer, I find it unbelievablethat the family member of a cancer victim would still be smoking. Mr. Clarke,please stop smoking now so your children won't wind up losing both parents tocancer.

Steve Richardson,Sierra Vista, Ariz.

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In its 2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame CommemorativeIssue, Sports Illustrated Presents mistakenly illustrated a story about Hall ofFame inductee Rayfield Wright of the Dallas Cowboys with a photograph ofanother player. To the right is a picture of the real Mr. Wright. SI regretsthe error.







POINTS OF VIEW Like their fans, Woods (left) and Mickelson seem to lead parallel lives.



STILL WAITING In her quest to prove she belongs, Wie has yet to win a tournament.