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Original Issue


Manning's Moment
I loved your article on Peyton Manning's taking the Indianapolis Colts to the Super Bowl (It's Our Time, Jan. 29). It's good to see Peyton got the chance to prove himself in the big game: A win in February puts the final touches on a Hall of Fame career. My only question is, When does Eli get his chance?
Jim Walsh, Oneonta, N.Y.

Block Associations
I enjoyed Chris Ballard's article on the lost art of shot blocking (Dealing with Rejection, Jan. 29), but anyone who has played the four and five positions knows that the most effective defense is played with the feet on the hardwood. I still remember the U.S. big men in the World Championships last summer—they were flying all over the place trying to block shots as the Greeks drove past them for uncontested layups.
Peter Diamessis, Ithaca, N.Y.

Don't blame the big guys for the decline in shot blocking; blame the refs. Anything remotely resembling contact during a layup attempt is called a foul. So many rules have been created to enhance the offense—but players and fans alike are thrilled by a great block.
Win Watson, Madbury, N.H.

Buoyed by Boise
Kudos to Austin Murphy for the great read on the Boise State Fiesta Bowl win (How Did They Pull That Off?, Jan. 29). I never had so much fun watching a college football game. For inspiration I watch the incredible finish every day on YouTube. It was nice to finally read about how and why the plays were called.
Doug Campbell, Niles, Mich.

While reading your article on Boise State's amazing win over Oklahoma, I was thankful that college football does not have a playoff. Imagine hearing afterward, "Great game, Boise State, good luck next week."
Mark Sievers, Lincoln, Neb.

The best part of your Boise State article was the last two paragraphs. The statement by Oklahoma's Rufas Alexander—"It was an honor just to play in that game"—should be required reading for everyone associated with sports.
Dwain Hartzler, Elkhart, Ind.

Jermareo's Example
Jermareo Davidson's courage and strength following the death of his brother and girlfriend give people like me hope (Playing with Pain, Jan. 29). My family recently lost my sister, Christine, in a car accident. She was 21, just like Jermareo's girlfriend, Nikki. Jermareo's attitude makes me think that I can better learn to adjust to my new life.
Ed Twardzik, North Royalton, Ohio

The Rub with Vick
You reported that Michael Vick, after first refusing to surrender his "trick water bottle" to airport security in Miami (SCORECARD, Jan. 29), "finally chucked the bottle into a recycling bin." Vick's mediocre passing numbers (a career 53.8 completion percentage) hardly justify his $137 million contract—but at least his completion percentage with trick bottles and recycling bins is 100%!
Phil Krause, Dallas

Your Michael Vick article confirms what I've maintained all along: that Michael Vick is the NFL's most overrated quarterback. Signal-callers who get rid of the ball quickly take their teams deepest into the playoffs.
Stephen V. Gilmore, Charlotte

Too Many Chips?
I saw Chris Moneymaker (PLAYERS, Jan. 29) at the Atlantis Resort and Casino in the Bahamas in early January during a World Poker Tour event. He was at the pool, and I am "all in" that he weighs at least 225, not 185, as he claims. Good bluff, but I am going to have to call.
Tad (Dead Money) Pinegar
Republic, Mo.

Missed Shipp
In the Jan. 29 LEADING OFF a caption states that UCLA forward Alfred Aboya is dribbling past Arizona's Chase Budinger; it is UCLA forward Josh Shipp, not Aboya.
Jack Salisbury, Arcadia, Calif.

SI regrets the error.

Bo Knows
I was happy to see Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan get the acknowledgment he deserves (LIFE OF REILLY, Jan. 29). What many may not know is that this fall his basketball team had the highest GPA of all Wisconsin men's athletic teams for the second straight semester, just edging out the golf team.
Chris Scheuer, Appleton, Wis.

I was a player on the baseball team at the bankrupt College of Racine (Wis.) that Bo Ryan coached in 1974. Bo came to us at a practice and said the school had cut his position. He told us if we wanted to play the season, he would stay on and coach for free. It turned out that the school had also cut the baseball team's season from the budget. So when it came to umpire fees, buying game balls or sometimes even getting players to games, Bo paid. That is why he was our favorite coach, and when he got married, the entire team drove down to Illinois to attend his wedding.
Ron Scarcelli, Tampa

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