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Original Issue


Lion in Winter
Your photo of a snowy day in Green Bay, with Brett Favre standing calmly in the pocket as he waited for a receiver to come open, was the perfect cover shot. Seeing the Packers defeat the Seahawks in a playoff game on Lambeau's frozen tundra reminded me of why I watch football on Sundays.
Ben Briggs, Mount Laurel, N.J.

As a mom I had tears in my eyes when I read the opening of your story on the Packers (Winter Wonderland, Jan. 21). The vignette of the Favre family saying grace together certainly contrasts with the Hollywood image of Tony (oh, how far you've fallen from your Wisconsin roots) Romo. What a great competitor, athlete, dad and husband Brett Favre is.
Karen Schick, Muskego, Wis.

And the SI cover jinx lives on. You would think with all that was going against the Giants (surging Brett Favre and his precocious Packers playing at Lambeau, Ryan Grant's impressive play down the stretch, Eli Manning's history in cold-weather games, New York's depleted secondary), Green Bay should have won handily.
Mike Cometz, Marlton, N.J.

My Dad, Steroid Supplier
Hats off to your story about in-line skater Corey Gahan and his dad, Jim, who put the teen on a regimen of steroids and HgH (Sins of a Father, Jan. 21). Even if Corey never skates again, he has shown that he has what it takes to become a fine person. He had the foresight to realize he was headed down the wrong path, and he chose to take a stand against something illegal, even if it meant turning on his dad.
Mary Amerman Weir, Dallas

As part of his apology Jim Gahan said, "It started out as an innocent thing." How can any father possibly think injecting his 13-year-old son with illegal steroids and HgH is "innocent"? He deserves to be in jail; not just for the drugs but also for taking away his son's youth.
Paul Broderick, White Plains, N.Y.

Playing with God
After reading her debut column Losing Their Religion (POINT AFTER, Jan. 21), about big-time athletics at church-affiliated schools, I believe that Selena Roberts will be read eagerly by those who prize gorgeous prose and appreciate subtle spurs to genuine thought.
Martin S. Bell, New York City

Roberts reproached church-affiliated schools such as Notre Dame and Southern Methodist for the expensive contracts given to football coaches Charlie Weis and June Jones, but she failed to mention the strong academic traditions at these schools where "bleachers function as corrugated church pews." The most recent graduation-rate statistics for student-athletes lists the national average at 62% and football at 56%. Notre Dame graduates 89% of its student-athletes and 79% of its football players. SMU had similarly strong numbers (76% and 73%). Schools such as Florida, which graduates only 35% of football players, could learn a lesson from these two.
Matt LaFortune, Granger, Ind.

Having gone to a large state school with an active athletic department, I saw firsthand the role team sports can play in the morale and spirit of a university. Division I athletic programs certainly have their flaws and bad actors, but it is an overgeneralization to imply that they are the seedy underbelly of campuses nationwide.
Adam Goldstein, Washington, D.C.

The Wizard of Odd
Rick Majerus has always appeared to me to be out of place, whether in coaching or commentating—a portly, happy-go-lucky clown. S.L. Price's story on the Saint Louis coach (The Life and Times of Rick Majerus, Jan. 21) gave me a jolt, smashing the lovable myth and revealing a profane, unbalanced bully.
Marc Calvert, Cypress, Texas

Maybe it's because I live in the Milwaukee area, where he used to coach, or maybe it's because I am a bald, 300-pound man, but I feel a connection with Rick Majerus, and I truly believe he has taught a valuable lesson to every player he ever worked with. Those who were able to handle his coaching style, however crude at times, will be able to succeed in life. It's too bad I'm a terrible basketball player; I would have enjoyed playing for him.
Craig A. Ketola, Muskego, Wis.

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