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The Joy ofDwight

Those who sayDwight Howard is too nice to win a title should take a look at the historybooks. Nice guys do finish first, including Tony Dungy, David Robinson andcountless others who critics claimed could never win the big one.
Ray Bailey, Ottawa, Ill.

One thing isclear: Dwight Howard (The Happy Dunker, April 20) has more class than ShaquilleO'Neal. Sounding quite jealous and bitter, Shaq could learn something fromHoward, whose joy transcends the game. While it is unfortunate that Howard'scoach and G.M. in Orlando don't seem to embrace this, I hope Howard doesn't tryto conform to what they think he should be. By being himself, I have a feelinghe will be just fine. Check that—Super.
Jonathan Fiskus
Jamaica Estates, N.Y.

Masters Class

Kenny Perry'scharacter transcends any failures on the golf course (Last Man Standing, April20). What a breath of fresh air to hear him accept his own shortcomings.Perhaps he will redeem himself at the Masters next year.
Jerry L. Ream, Glasgow, Ky.

I don't agree withyour statement that because Phil Mickelson will turn 39 during the week of theU.S. Open, "the window is closing for the onetime boy wonder." Afterall, you say that Masters champ Angel Cabrera, 39, "may just be gettingstarted" after winning his second major. And Phil is still nine yearsyounger than Masters runner-up Kenny Perry.
Ken Akerman, Tempe, Ariz.

Poor AngelCabrera. I didn't watch the Masters, but SI's opening photograph gives a goodindication of whom the crowd was cheering for. Cabrera has his arm raised injubilation after scrambling to save par on the first playoff hole. Hundreds ofspectators can be seen in the background, but only one other guy has his armsraised in excitement. Turn the page and you can see Kenny Perry's near chip-inon the same hole, and the crowd seems much more elated.
Scott Root, Springville, Utah

Head Shots

I was there whenthe Jets beat the Colts in Super Bowl III, when Hank Aaron hit number 715, whenFuzzy Zoeller holed a putt to win a three-way playoff in the Masters and whenKerri Strug vaulted with a bad ankle to clinch an Olympic gold medal for theU.S. gymnastics team. But my most vivid memory is from a baseball game in thelate 1960s at the University of Miami, when head coach Ron Fraser was knockedunconscious by a line-drive foul ball while in the third base coaching box (Hitin the Head, April 20). He lay on the ground for what seemed an interminabletime before a hushed crowd. Fortunately he was not seriously injured.
Gary Leshaw, Decatur, Ga.

I was at RFKStadium 30-plus years ago and saw Tony Oliva rocket a foul ball over the thirdbase dugout that smacked a poor woman in the mouth. He looked absolutelydevastated and got on one knee while the medics attended to her. Since then Ihave always wondered why stadiums don't place screens behind the dugouts likethe ones behind home plate. Fans may resist the obstruction, but drivers alsofought seat belts, which are now mandatory and accepted by everyone. I hopeyour story emboldens baseball to do the right thing.
Reed Bartron, Carmel, Calif.

Anyone who thinksextra protective netting would take away from the experience of attending abaseball game has never been hit in the mouth with a line drive. A few yearsago I took a shot to the chops during batting practice before a Triple A game,and I was fortunate to keep all my teeth and only end up with a scarred lipafter a couple of stitches. But I will never feel comfortable sitting anywhereclose to the field again, unless a foul screen is involved. It took a death ata hockey game in 2002 to bring about more protection from the puck for NHLfans. I hope the same isn't the case for baseball.
Kevin Ingram
Hermitage, Tenn.

Heart of theMatter

Thanks for SelenaRoberts's article about PGA golfer Erik Compton and the success of his secondheart transplant (POINT AFTER, April 20). I am the dad of two girls who eachhad a heart transplant at age 10 as a result of their cardiomyopathy. After aharrowing wait on the list before the transplant and some rejection episodessince, our family lives with a new perspective on life. I left my job to startthe business I always wanted to have. My wife has rediscovered her passion forcommunity service. And the girls, well, they seem to understand the realimportance of teen angst. We don't know what the long-term future holds, but inthe near term we live a more thankful life.
Dave Murrow
Highlands Ranch, Colo.

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