When I saw your Cole Hamels cover touting his fabulous new life, I was worried. That's not the Phillies—they're never the glamour team, they're always the gritty guys. Then, with some trepidation, I read the story, and it turned out better than I thought it would. Even though Cole has gone Hollywood, he's still hardworking and gritty.
Jeff Gove, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
The best thing about Cole Hamels (The Fabulous New Life of Cole Hamels, Feb. 23) is that he loves Philly and loves playing here. Take that, Scott Rolen.
Jim Duffy, Newark, Del.
Imagine my shock when I saw your declaration (Stimulus Needed, Feb. 23), in reference to Sidney Crosby, that "the Penguins have the best player in hockey." Had I missed the Washington Capitals' trading Alexander Ovechkin to the Penguins?
Steve Davidson, Washington, D.C.
Crosby is not even the best player on his own team; Evgeni Malkin is.
Sam Rosen, Arlington, Va.
I question your choice of the Big East as the best conference in college basketball (The Big Brutal, Feb. 23). The Big East has cupcake teams like DePaul, which is winless in the conference, and Rutgers, which had only beaten DePaul at the time of your story. In the ACC, last-place Georgia Tech has a win over formerly top-ranked Wake Forest, and second-to-last-place Virginia beat a ranked Clemson team and a very good Virginia Tech squad. Plus, the ACC is 10-6 against Big East foes this season.
Tony Pardo, Weymouth, Mass.
I disagree that the Big East and the ACC are clearly the top two conferences (ACC: Also Crushingly Competitive, Feb. 23). The Big East is indeed a monster, but you mention that the ACC has seven teams in the RPI's top 50. That's great, but the Big Ten has seven in the top 47, and five of those teams have a strength of schedule no worse than 29th. Yes, the Big Ten has only three in the top 25, but of its 11 teams, nine have winning records.
Dave Robach, Rockford, Mich.
On the occasion of Brett Favre's retirement, Peter King examined the question of the quarterback's legacy (PLAYERS, Feb. 23). The Green Bay Packers have 21 players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame but have only honored five with retired numbers on the north facade of Lambeau Field—Tony Canadeo, Don Hutson, Bart Starr, Ray Nitschke and Reggie White. The team has said it will be adding number 4, Brett Favre. That should tell you Favre's legacy is safe.
Gerald Guindon, Escanaba, Mich.
Early by 331½ Years
I am writing in response to Penny Ward Moser's article A Fan for the Ages in your Sept. 9, 1987, issue. Yes, 1987. The article stated that at the pace fans were moving up the waiting list for Washington Redskins season tickets, a new prospective buyer would have to wait 353 years to get to the head of the line—which prompted me to put my name on the list. Well, I just got a letter in a burgundy envelope with a big bold CONGRATULATIONS on the front in yellow. My name reached the top in only 21½ years.
At the time that I read Moser's article, I was single and 25 years old, had no children or money to buy even one ticket to a Redskins game, and I was living in Cincinnati. But I figured that by the time my name got to the top of the list, I'd be back home in Maryland (I am) and I'd have a family (I do) and I'd have the money to buy season tickets (therein lies the rub).
I suppose I could go ahead and buy the tickets and worry later about paying for a new water heater, the kids' braces and a replacement for the minivan that we bought when I was 12,063rd on the waiting list. But then the tickets would probably just become another thing for the divorce attorneys to split up.
It's a tough call—I'm still not sure what I'll do, and I have until the end of the month to decide—but it could be worse. At least I'm not a Dallas Cowboys fan who will have to pay for a personal seat license knowing the team probably won't win another playoff game for, I don't know, 21½ years.
Larry Shaughnessy, Germantown, Md.
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Swimsuit Issue 2009
I am a police officer, and on a recent Wednesday afternoon I pulled over a speeding teenager. He explained, "Sorry, sir. I was trying to beat my dad to our mailbox. The Swimsuit Issue comes out today!" I let him off with a warning.
Ricky Thurman, Schnecksville, Pa.
I must be getting old. The only thing that aroused my interest was Cintia Dicker's freckles (right).
Bob Youngerman, Brevard, N.C.
WALTER IOOSS JR. (HAMELS)
STEVE ERLE (DICKER)