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Ol' Collage Try

I enjoyed your cover featuring all the college basketball teams that were going to battle it out on the court to determine a true national champion. I can't wait to see a similar cover in about nine months, featuring the top eight college football teams who will meet on the gridiron and decide who is really ... oh, wait. Never mind.
Chris Barno, Tampa

Here's a sure sign you're getting old: You spend more time looking at the March Madness cover (March 23) than the entire Swimsuit Issue.
Todd Stinson, Grapevine, Texas

Making a Point

In your story on the challenge of making clutch free throws (Pressure Points, March 23), John Calipari hits on the problem when he tells players, "You're thinking too much." Being overly concerned with technical correctness has been shown to interfere with the execution of well-learned skills. Our studies, published in the 2007 Annual Review of Golf Coaching, have demonstrated that drills designed to enhance concentration and composure for self-paced tasks such as free throw shooting or hitting a golf ball result in better outcomes.
Bill Moore, performance consultant
Norman, Okla.
John Stevenson, associate professor
Grand Valley State, Grand Rapids

When you mention the NCAA tournament and free throws, I think about Bo Kimble's lefthanded foul shots in honor of his deceased Loyola Marymount teammate Hank Gathers. Moments like that are more important than any win or loss.
Tyler Alt, Prairie Village, Kans.

Pure Hockey

Thank you for the article about Minnesota's state high school hockey tournament (PLAYERS, March 23). There is nothing better—no Sean Avery celebratory push-ups, no Todd Bertuzzi muggings and no contracts equal to the GDP of some countries. It is about kids who have waited their whole lives to play in the event and who give everything they've got.
Ryan Niemela, Rogers, Minn.

Dunn Right

Thanks for the introduction to Adam Dunn (Where's the Love? March 23), the first certifiable slugger in the short but difficult history of the Washington Nationals. It sounds as if Dunn offends baseball's self-important gasbag class simply by having a sly sense of humor and letting his bat speak for itself. Since Dunn doesn't seem to mind such static, he'll be a refreshing presence in the self-important gasbag capital of the U.S.
Pedro Golkin, Arlington, Va.

Odom to Joy

Like a lot of other Lakers fans, I have often wondered how much better my favorite team might be if Lamar Odom played with a little of Kobe Bryant's passion. After reading Lee Jenkins's article (Another Sunny Day in Lamar's L.A., March 23), I couldn't help but wonder how much greater the Lakers might be if Kobe possessed a little more of Lamar's compassion.
Michael Liedtke, San Ramon, Calif.

Odom sounds like a great guy. After reading that he has his own clothing line and record label and is part owner of a restaurant about to open, I only hope he saw your story in that same issue on how many athletes lose all of their money.
Matt Patterson, Gainesville, Va.

Athletes Going Broke

In your story on the reasons for players' money woes (How [and Why] Athletes Go Broke, March 23), add ego to your list. In the 1960s I was the banker for the NFL Players Association, and numerous athletes asked my opinion on various investment opportunities. I can't remember ever convincing one of them to make conservative investments (i.e., publicly traded, high-quality stocks and bonds). These players could run the 40 in 4.5 seconds, throw a 70-yard spiral or run through a brick wall, and they thought that their mere association with a business would guarantee its success—hence, failed ventures in restaurants, franchises, highly leveraged real estate and so on.
D. David Pippel, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Your explanations for why athletes go broke seemed perfectly understandable to me, with this exception: "How to limit paternity obligations is a challenge for pro athletes." Perhaps Chapwood Investments could tack on a field trip to the drugstore, where a vast array of paternal-obligation-avoidance devices can be obtained for far less than your average signing bonus.
Michael Zakos, Broomall, Pa.

The argument that athletes are disadvantaged by "a far shorter peak earnings period [in sports] than in any other professional" is ridiculous. You mention that Rocket Ismail earned $18 million to $20 million in salary alone during his career. I am a successful physician, and it would take me 70 years to earn that much. The average blue-collar worker would need closer to 300 years.
David Peaslee, Lake Oswego, Ore.

As most of America deals with the aftermath of an economy ravaged by greed, I have a hard time feeling sorry for millionaire knuckleheads who let vast amounts of money slip through their fingers.
Randy Pritchett-Behymer, Sacramento

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