In the collegepreview issue, one of your regional covers featured Notre Dame's men's andwomen's programs. I would have gone with another school from the state ofIndiana. You had the Purdue men ranked ahead of Notre Dame, and then there'sthe Boilermaker women, who are getting no media respect but are contenders inthe Big Ten.
Andy Fix, Shelbyville, Ind.
Wow! You guys aregetting really good. North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough actually got hurt beforehe appeared on one of your covers (College Basketball Preview, Nov. 17). Doesthe jinx have ESP?
Pam Bordsen, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Yourno-holds-barred portrayal of Michael Jordan's "hands-off" approach tothe Charlotte Bobcats (Charlotte's Web, Nov. 17) was refreshing. In this era ofsports hero worship, few have the courage to be frank about such legendaryfigures. You mentioned that Jordan still harbors a grudge from a 1994 magazinecover line about his baseball career; it sounds like the chance of him grantingan interview in the near future may be as unlikely as his being a dailypresence at the Bobcats practices.
M. Alan Bagden, McLean, Va.
Jordan's timewith the Bobcats reminds me of efforts by Kevin McHale, Larry Bird and IsiahThomas, and the NFL's Matt Millen, to try to run a team. Apparently, it is onething to have talent; it is quite another to recognize it in someone else.
Mike Perricone, Amityville, N.Y.
While thetemptation is to focus all the blame for the Bobcats' woes on the narcissisticJordan, he is only one third of the problem. Charlotte is also plagued by anowner who would rather conduct other business and a head coach who can't tellhis players apart. As for NBA commissioner David Stern's rosy analysis thatJordan is "deeply engaged" in the Bobcats, that phrase might workbetter as a description of Jordan in the rough at Torrey Pines.
Karl Zack, San Diego
In writing abouthow the foreclosure crisis has affected one high school football team (PLAYERS,Nov. 17), Lee Jenkins says that "an overeager mortgage lender"convinced Chaparral coach Tommy Leach and his wife that they could put nothingdown and still afford the payments on a $500,000 house. He also says that threeof the team's would-be starters' families also lost their homes to foreclosureand had to move. Were these mortgages forced upon these people at gunpoint? I'm49 years old and remember when failing to repay debts was not a cause for groupconsciousness-raising. It was a private shame.
Kevin Dillon, Houston
In your "RoleSwitch" photo (LEADING OFF, Nov. 17), you credit Alabama wide receiverMarquis Maze with breaking up an interception in the game against LSU. But yourpicture shows that Maze was blatantly grabbing the cornerback's face mask.Where was the ref?
Norman Miller, Farmington Hills, Mich.
I enjoyed youralltime college football team portrait, selected with the limit of one playerper school (Big Men on Campus, Nov. 10). But the team is incomplete withoutspecialists, and we can't ask Sammy Baugh and Doak Walker to do double duty attheir age. At punter the choice is Southern Mississippi's Ray Guy. Atplacekicker I'd add either Jan Stenerud, who at Montana State kicked a thenrecord 59-yard field goal, or Princeton's Charlie Gogolak, who set seven NCAAkicking records.
Doug Schneider, Binghamton, N.Y.
Lawrence Taylor,who made your team, may have been the best linebacker from North Carolina, butthe greatest Tar Heel is still Charlie (Choo Choo) Justice, who played therefrom 1946 to '49. Why didn't Justice win the Heisman? Twice he was runner-up—totwo men, Doak Walker and Leon Hart, who are in your portrait.
Frank Aycock, Charlotte
I had to chuckleat Dan Patrick's musings about the "mystery man" who runs collegefootball's BCS, Johnny Swofford (JUST MY TYPE, Nov. 24). Johnny was NorthCarolina's quarterback in the early 1970s, but even though I was a Tar Heelsfan, to me he was always overshadowed by his older brother, William"Oliver" Swofford, who had Top 10 hits with Good Morning Starshine andJean.
Vickie Riggsbee, Raleigh
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ROBERT BECK (COVER)
MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES (OLIVER)
BROTHER ACT Oliver (left) had '60s hits; now Johnny rules the BCS charts.
UNC ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS (JOHNNY SWOFFORD)
[See caption above]