Second to One
I wouldn't put Tim Duncan (All About Winning, June 4) ahead of Michael Jordan. But if I were building a team around one other player from the last 30 years, I'd take the San Antonio forward ahead of Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O'Neal, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.
Lawrence Wang, San Marcos, Calif.
I think that anyone who is involved in dogfighting should be put in a cage and attacked by a pit bull and have to fend for himself (The House on Moonlight Road, June 4). Vick's excuse is that he didn't know what was going on at the house he owned. I'm 11 and even I know that whatever my friends do in my room, I am responsible.
Chance Carlton, Mona, Utah
Michael Vick chose to play football and can walk away anytime he feels his body has endured enough. Not so with those dogs that were taken from his property. They had no free agency and could not choose whether or not to fight for a living.
Cheryl Bleiler Veldman
Round Rock, Texas
A source says of Vick's dogfighting, "It's the country side of him coming out" and "It's a cultural thing." Whose culture? Certainly not mine, and I was raised in the country.
Greta Burgert, New Castle, Del.
As a police canine handler, I was appalled to read about professional athletes participating in the barbaric act of dogfighting. Ironically enough, police dogs are used to make stadiums secure and safe so that these so-called men can make their millions.
Christopher Donadio, Middletown, N.J.
As abhorrent as dogfighting is, I wonder how many sports fanatics could honestly say they would never tune in to dogfighting if it were telecast on ESPN?
Kyle Shetterly, Portland
View to a Kill
I found it ironic that an issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED that exposed the inhumane and despicable practice of dogfighting would also extoll the prolonged death of a wild boar at the hands of an 11-year-old (PLAYERS, June 4). If an animal is to be hunted for the food it will provide, it deserves a quick and merciful death, not three hours of torture while enduring eight gunshot wounds.
E. Mitchell Arion, Goldsboro, Md.
You describe Ottawa Senators goaltender Ray Emery as "the first African-American goaltender in 19 years to lead his team to the finals" (PLAYERS, June 4). But Emery hails from Cayuga, Ont. Wouldn't that make him African-Canadian?
Dan Dyas, Rocklin, Calif.
I like Duke, and I feel its pain for what the lacrosse team went through (All But the Ending, June 4), but let's give props to the team that beat the Blue Devils in the championship game, Johns Hopkins—which now has nine national lacrosse titles and counting.
Patrick Russell, New Canaan, Conn.
St. Louis Blues
Kudos to S.L. Price for a superbly insightful view of Tony La Russa (Dark Times for a Baseball Man, June 4), a complex and largely mysterious figure. Somehow Price's portrait showed the Cardinals' manager as both supremely self-confident and completely unsure of himself.
J. David Pincus, Fayetteville, Ark.
Seems as if S.L. Price tried hard to sell us on the fact that Tony La Russa, Renaissance man and animal activist, is a groovy dude. However, any man who treats stray dogs and cats better then biological daughters from a previous marriage is not cool at all.
Warren Kaplan, Coral Gables, Fla.
If La Russa is so bright, why does he come across as dim regarding baseball's biggest stench—the use of steroids?
Scott Gibbons, Winnipeg
S.L. Price suggests the Cardinals' failure to sanction La Russa for his DUI arrest may have led Josh Hancock to believe that he could drink without risk of serious punishment. Hancock was a 29-year-old man who should have known the perils of driving after drinking regardless of what action his team took.
Lawrence Schwartz, Norwalk, Conn.
Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock was killed when he plowed into a stationary vehicle while driving drunk, speeding and talking on a cellphone. Now his father is filing a lawsuit (PLAYERS, June 4). I'm very sorry for your loss, Mr. Hancock, but your son died because he did something stupid and irresponsible.
Mark Patterson, Essexville, Mich.
After reading about the suffering that shooting victim Tommy Urbanski is enduring following the melee that Titans cornerback Pacman Jones helped whip up at a Las Vegas strip club, (LIFE OF REILLY, June 4), I think Pacman should ride the sidelines for as long as Urbanski rides in a wheelchair.
Michael Holland, Glenolden, Pa.
To Contact SI > LETTERS • E-mail SI at letters@SI.timeinc.com or fax SI at 212-467-2417. Letters should include the writer's full name, address and home telephone number and may be edited for clarity and space. CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SUBSCRIPTIONS • For 24/7 service, go to www.SI.com/customerservice. Call 1-800-528-5000 or write to SI at P.O. Box 30602, Tampa, FL 33630-0602. To purchase reprints of SI covers, go to www.SIcovers.com. ADVERTISING • For ad rates, an editorial calendar or a media kit, e-mail SI at SIpubqueries@timeinc.com.
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH