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Original Issue


Saints and theCity
In this era it is hard to find players interested in bettering the team insteadof themselves (Marching In, Jan. 22). Drew Brees chose New Orleans because ofthe chance to help rebuild. Deuce McAllister mentored Reggie Bush while seeinghis own playing time split. And Bush has done as much for the city off thefield as on. Thanks, Saints.
Chad Roberts, Gretna, La.

Beck's Appeal
There is only one problem with David Beckham's coming to the L.A. Galaxy(SCORECARD, Jan. 22): Soccer is still BOOOORRRIIINNNGGG!!
Dick Meyer, Matthews, N.C.

Nude Descending aMountain
Can you explain to my two children why there is a naked man skiing on page 21of this week's issue (SCORECARD, Jan. 22)?
Phillip Woeckener, Conover, N.C.

I beg to differwith the caption for the picture of Rainer Schoenfelder—"ugly"? Are youkidding me? If this is the result of global warming, bring it on.
Susan DiGirolamo, Pittsburgh

Report Retorts
While it was great for this hockey fan to see so many pages devoted to a sportincreasingly marginalized by the mainstream media (NHL Midseason Report, Jan.22), I did have to wonder why, in all those articles, I never saw these twowords: Alexander Ovechkin. The league would do well to not just push SidneyCrosby as the next Jordan but also to shine the spotlight on both players,making them hockey's Bird and Magic.
Mark Coale, Virginia Beach

Your NHL midseasonreport stated that the St. Louis Blues' attendance was down 43% versus lastseason. I feel compelled to correct the number. Through 23 home games the Bluesaverage attendance was 11,829, down 15% versus last season. Our attendance wassoft in the beginning of the season, but for the first 10 home games after AndyMurray became the head coach on Dec. 11, we averaged 13,268. And since ourcoaching change the team has gone 14-7-4. The Blues are playing competitivehockey, and our great fans are showing their excitement.
Peter McLoughlin, CEO
St. Louis Blues Enterprises, St. Louis

SI regrets the error.

Dance Lesson
In Who's Hot, Who's Not (PLAYERS, Jan. 22) the Chargers' Shawne Merriman saidthe Patriots didn't need to "rub it in" by imitating his Lights Outdance after their 24--21 playoff win in San Diego. His comment shocked me.Every time Merriman does that postsack celebration, he rubs it in to theopposing team. Tough luck on the loss, but be a man about it. If you can dishit out, you shouldn't complain when you get it.
Ian O'Neill, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Meal Plan
Your story on the young Muhammad Ali (The Lost Photographs, Jan. 22) broughtback this recollection: In February 1961 I was 11, and our family was gettingready to go out to dinner: My dad wanted to listen to Cassius Clay's fight withJim Robinson on the radio but didn't want to upset my mom by making us late.Two minutes into the first round Clay knocked Robinson out. Problem solved.
Hugh W. Baca, El Dorado Hills, Calif.

Alas! I confess tobeing among the 98% of the great uninformed populace who doesn't know whatadvice Polonius gave to young Laertes. Stick and move? Stay off the ropes? Iawait enlightenment.
Brian Stockton, Grand Island, N.Y.

Among Polonius's many pearls of wisdom from Hamlet: To thine own self betrue.

A caption in the Feb. 5 story The South Has Risen mistakenly referred to thePanthers, rather than the Carolina Hurricanes, as winning last year's StanleyCup.

Flower Power
How fun to revisit the Great One's covers (PLAYERS, Jan. 22)! However, SPORTSILLUSTRATED's best Gretzky "coverage" had to be in the summer of 1988when Janet Jones and Wayne graced your pages exiting the church after theirwedding. I took that picture to my florist to have the bouquet re-created formy October 1988 wedding. "This is a first," she said. "No bride hasever brought me SPORTS ILLUSTRATED before!"
Edie Keller, Estes Park, Colo.

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CATCHY BOUQUET Gretzky wasn't the only one who liked what he saw.