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Worth the Wait

The first time Ohio State's Ted Ginn Jr. was on the cover of SI (Sept. 12, 2005), he followed it with a two-catch, nine-yard performance in a loss to Texas. Regarding his second appearance (Sept. 18), I think I speak for the entire state of Ohio when I say, "Thank you for waiting until after the Texas game!"
Michael Renner, Chillicothe, Ohio

As a lifelong Ohio State fan, I was thrilled by the Buckeyes' 24--7 win over Texas (First Class, Sept. 18). I am most proud, however, of the way quarterback Troy Smith handled himself off the field. His postgame interview, in which he shrugged off the idea that the players were seeking revenge for last year's loss to Texas, was proof that some troubled athletes can and should be given a second chance. He has emerged not only as a great QB but as a good man. It gives me hope that with the right guidance from tough but caring coaches—such as Jim Tressel—college football soon might be as satisfying off the field as on.
Pamela Mason, Lawrenceville, N.J.

The photo of Troy Smith pointing with both hands brought back memories of Texas quarterback Vince Young's cover shot from last Dec. 5. With the same gesture, commanding presence and uniform number, Smith cannot avoid comparisons with Young. Perhaps this image will foreshadow a championship for Smith and the Buckeyes, as it did last year for Young and the Longhorns.
Matthew McEvoy, Dallas

Aces All the Way

Kudos to S.L. Price for a terrific recap of the U.S. Open (As Good As They Get, Sept. 18), but his warm description of the moments that tournament men's champion Roger Federer shared with Tiger Woods raises the question: Should a high-profile American athlete such as Tiger sit courtside at the finals of a U.S. championship cheering for a foreigner who is playing against his countryman, Andy Roddick? This American living abroad thinks not.
P.G. Martin, Rome

What does Federer have to do to earn an appearance on the cover of SI? His name has entered the discussion about who is the greatest men's tennis player of all time. Maybe there's a Sportsman of the Year cover in his future.
Jamie Sierra, Malden, Mass.

Clock Management

Reading Mark Beech's Time Bomb (INSIDE COLLEGE FOOTBALL, Sept. 18), I found it interesting that in order to shorten the game for TV, the NCAA Football Rules Committee decided to reduce the time the game is actually played rather than cut the number of times the game is interrupted by commercial breaks. Maybe the committee would consider banning commercials for the last four clock minutes of each half—that would shorten the games and make them more exciting.
Tom Wall, Raleigh

The rules committee should be commended, not criticized, for taking steps to reduce the duration of games. I love college football, but I prefer games closer to three hours than four.
Randall Schau, Portage, Mich.

The cost of college football tickets has risen as steadily as the national debt, and what have we gotten for increased prices? Shorter games.
Ronald L. Trowbridge, Conroe, Texas

Flying Bat

Ron Jenkins's photograph of Kelly Shoppach's bat flying into the crowd (LEADING OFF, Sept. 18) took me back to my childhood, when I would study Norman Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post covers and be amazed at the detailed facial expressions and body language of each person in the composition. Jenkins's photograph had that same kind of power.
Robert Villamagna, Wheeling, W.Va.

In the photo showing a fan being struck by a flying bat, I was appalled to see the almost total lack of concern for the children sitting near the bat's flight path. The adults saved the nachos, the cellphone and the water bottle, yet no one appears to be covering up any of the four children. If you are going to take a child to a ball game, pay attention to the child—that is what family time is all about.

Chip Armstrong, Eclectic, Ala.
Paging Mr. Howard

Phillies fans have had little to cheer about for far too long, but Ryan Howard's accomplishments have electrified us all (Listen to His Bat, Sept. 18). A special thanks to SI for placing the article precisely where it belonged: on page 62 (no asterisk needed).
David Schachter, Dresher, Pa.

Tall Tales

As a rather-short-for-my-age ninth-grader who reads SI, I couldn't believe that Steve Rushin was complaining about being tall (AIR AND SPACE, Sept. 18). Maybe he feels that height is a plague, but I wish that I could just once take a jump shot without its being blocked by someone who is six feet tall.
Eli Langson, Charlotte

When someone asks me how tall I am, I respond, "I'm 5'19". You do the math."
John Wyman, Lake Worth, Fla.

Shock and Awe

The Detroit Shock wins the WNBA championship, and all it merits from your magazine is a paragraph and a small photo (SCORECARD, Sept. 18). After 10 years of women leaping to the fore in a sport too often dominated by egotistical, endorsement-driven characters, they should have gotten more exposure. What a shame that fans of this growing sport—especially young girls—still have to deal with the short shrift the WNBA gets from the media and the countless purists out there who aren't able to appreciate the physical and distinctive differences that women bring to basketball.
Nelson Davis, Rutherford, N.J.

School of Thought

It's very interesting that the Duke lacrosse team has adopted the motto Succisa Virescit (Cut down, it grows again) as they emerge from the turmoil of the events that cost them the 2006 season (SCORECARD, Sept. 18). It is also the motto of Delbarton School in Morristown, N.J., which has provided Duke with accomplished players from its successful program. The virtues and character taught by the Benedictine Monks of Delbarton are embodied in the motto. Yes, graduates of Delbarton have been implicated in the events at Duke, whatever they may truly be, but it is heartening to know that the young men in the Duke program, cut down in their quest for success last season, will rebound and grow again by following this invaluable guiding principle.
Robert E. Farrell, Florham Park, N.J.

Spare Parts

Rick Reilly forgot one body part in his Body Parts Hall of Fame and Diner (LIFE OF REILLY, Sept. 18): Greg Ostertag of the Utah Jazz donated one of his kidneys to his sister Amy in 2002. Greg then became the first NBA player to compete after donating an organ.
Will Hadley, Salt Lake City

Great museum, Rick, but you failed to mention the largest room, the one for the Arms and Legs of Pro Sport Fans. That's what we have to pay to get a decent seat at most sporting events.
Michelle W. Larson, Union, Mo.

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