I agree that Ole Miss over Florida and Oregon State over USC were upsets, but the Alabama over Georgia game wasn't. Not one member of BamaNation was surprised by the outcome. Make no mistake, Alabama is back, and the only upsets in Alabama's future will be if it is beaten by a lesser team.
Billy McCue, Panama City Beach, Fla.
You guys did a great job of downplaying the USC upset and sensationalizing any upset in the SEC (Block Party, Oct. 6). USC was supposed to be the Greatest Team Ever again this year, and the Trojans blew it again. I'll give the AP about three to four weeks to have USC back at the No. 1 ranking. And I will enjoy watching USC blow another game just before it is ready to play for the national title.
Mark Broussard, Crowley, La.
Everybody Loves Rays Man
All season long we've watched the Tampa Bay Rays play as if they were the baseball equivalent of the team in the movie Hoosiers. In fact, your full page photo of Rays manager Maddon (Joe Maddon Has a Vision, Oct. 6) makes him look like a long-lost brother to Gene Hackman as Hickory High coach Norman Dale.
Steve Little, Pittsburgh
My late brother was an award-winning journalist for The Boston Globe. He traveled with the Red Sox, and I was an avid Sox fan. Now I am labeled as a traitor by my family for rooting for the Rays. Still, your inspiring story about Joe Maddon has reaffirmed my choice.
Jack Fitzgerald, Fort Myers, Fla.
Joe, when is your contract up? If it's after the 2010 season, how would you like to replace Lou Piniella again? As an econ major you should know you will get more money from a team that sells out all their games than from a team like Tampa.
Matt Anthony, Las Vegas
Kudos on your coverage of the "Latinization" of sport (The Latino Athlete Now, Oct. 6). This should help the movement to retire Roberto Clemente's number on every team, just as Jackie Robinson's was. Clemente, like Robinson, shouldered burdens that today's athletes don't face.
Ernesto Rodriguez, Nashville
In your story on breakout rookie running backs (Runaway Rookies, Oct. 6), how about a mention of Arizona's Tim Hightower? A much-needed complement to Edgerrin James, the rookie had five touchdowns through six games, and he has given the Cards something they needed badly: a goal line presence.
Bryan Amann, Scottsdale, Ariz.
For your list of standout rookies at other positions, how about Redskins safety Chris Horton? A seventh-round pick (249th overall), he was barely projected to make the practice squad. But through four games this season he had three picks and a fumble recovery, and was leading the NFC in takeaways.
Damon DeLapotaire, Cumming, Ga.
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.
For reprints of SI covers, visit SIcovers.com.
J. MERIC/GETTY IMAGES