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Original Issue


Alpha Dawgs

The answer to your cover question, "Who Will Challenge the Dawgs?" is found on the foldout: No. 5 Florida, No. 7 Auburn and No. 9 LSU. Not to mention South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. It's easy to imagine Ohio State or USC breezing through to the championship game while SEC teams knock each other out week after week. If Georgia gets through with two losses or fewer, it'll be a miracle.
Larry Pope, Asheville, N.C.

Your regional cover featuring Ohio State had a headline that looked incomplete to me. It should have read, "Ohio State: Loading Up for Another Title Run in the Mediocre Big Ten So That It Can Get Its Butt Kicked by Another SEC Team."
Timothy Ball, Long Island City, N.Y.

Missouri finishing higher than OU and winning the Big 12 title? Unlikely. The Tigers growled but didn't bite in 2007, losing twice to the Sooners.
Charles R. Poor, Houston

I know this year is not going to be one of Michigan's greatest, but how can you pick the Wolverines to finish with a losing record and eighth in the Big Ten? This is still Michigan, and there is no way they will finish below .500.
Megan Vuillemot, Swartz Creek, Mich.

Your cover photo breaks one of the first tenets of football, at least as I was taught as a high school football player and as I still teach today as a youth football coach: Never sit on your hat! The helmet protects your melon (skull) and your mush (face). It should always be respected and never used as a chair.
Marty Dolley, Wantagh, N.Y.

Spread Heads

Your stories on the spread offense and the trouble it causes for defenses (Can't Beat the Spread and Wrestling with the Beast, Aug. 11) were enlightening—and encouraging. Could it be that the day of ponderous behemoths, or human Hummers, dominating football is fading?
Jim Lein, Minot, N.D.

Manny in Cali

In a piece about Manny Ramirez going to the Dodgers (PLAYERS, Aug. 11), Kostya Kennedy refers to Ramirez as someone "who plays the game so well." But anyone who has ever witnessed Ramirez dogging it down the baseline on a ground ball, playing leftfield like a slapstick routine or sitting out an important game with a phantom injury would never say he played the game well. Just refer to him as the great hitter that he is, but don't ever mistake him for a baseball player.
Chuck Woodhams, Wrentham, Mass.

Kennedy states that "one of the enduring satisfactions of baseball is that the way you play defines your legacy." Could someone please let the voters for the Baseball Hall of Fame know this the next time Pete Rose comes up for election?

Troy Snyder, Berlin, Md.

Mercury Falling

Dan Patrick praises Chris Long for being careful with his money (JUST MY TYPE, Aug. 11) because Long's first splurge after signing with the Rams was a 1983 Mercury Grand Marquis, for $4,000. I am a Lincoln-Mercury dealer, and although I love that line, there is not an '83 on the planet worth anywhere near $4,000. Long would have been better off buying a two-year old Ferrari for $250,000 and driving it for the summer; barring any accidents he could trade it in next spring for right around what he paid for it. Instead, he paid $4,000 for a car he'll get about 50 bucks for.
Greg Santo, Moosic, Pa.

Second Chance

In your otherwise insightful story on the Rangers' Ian Kinsler and other prominent second sackers in baseball (Second to None, Aug. 11), you left out any mention of the Orioles' Brian Roberts. Roberts is getting cozy with .300 and is in the American League's top five in runs, doubles, triples and stolen bases. All this while playing from the cellar in the toughest division in either league.
John Hughes, Wilmington, Del.

How could you leave out the Tigers' Placido Polanco? Your own player survey (PLAYERS, June 30) identified him as the most underrated player in the game.
Ken Tippery, Royal Oak, Mich.

Say You're No Jet, Brett

Being a Minnesota guy, I never was a Pack man. But it's clear that like DiMaggio as a Yankee or Banks as a Cub, that Mississippi boy deserves to be forever a Packer (POINT AFTER, Aug. 11). Seeing Brett Favre in a Jets uniform is like seeing Joe Louis as a professional wrestler.
Jim Fogel, Ithaca, N.Y.

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