Given Oklahoma State's loss to Houston after publication of your Sept. 14 issue, do you regret not putting sports' greatest flop (Dick Fosbury) on the cover instead of just the latest one?
Tom Remes, St. Louis
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The subhead on Uprising in Stillwater (Sept. 14) states that "Oklahoma State is the team to beat in the Sooner State." How can this be when Oklahoma State has not beaten Oklahoma since 2002? Yes, Sooners quarterback Sam Bradford is injured, but he'll be back in time for the Oklahoma State game in Norman on Nov. 28. To be the best team in the state, the Cowboys must first beat the Sooners head-to-head.
Steve Anthony, Dallas
Nothing like a good SI cover jinx to kick off the college football season. Congrats to Oklahoma State for falling right in line.
Gareth Stearns, Greensboro, N.C.
I had no idea that the quirky Fosbury Flop technique had been invented by such a quirky guy (The Revolutionary, Sept. 14). Richard Hoffer's account of the exploits of U.S. athletes Dick Fosbury and Gary Stenlund during the 1968 Mexico City Olympics read like a scene from Jack Kerouac's On the Road. Outstanding.
Mike Brunsman, Greensboro
In describing Fosbury's motivation for coming up with the Fosbury Flop as a tall, gangly-to-the-extreme 15-year-old, Hoffer penned one of the best lines I've ever read in SI: "There is no swifter, more terrible saber-toothed tiger than the ritual humiliation of adolescence."
Lee E. Lott, Seattle
The best part of Fosbury's story is toward the end, when he quits track and rededicates himself to his engineering studies—something that contributed to the betterment of society.
C.D. Gray, Kerrville, Texas
Don't Pull the Plug
I really liked Peter King's speaking out against the possibility of local television blackouts in the NFL this season (SI.COM, Sept. 14). In this economic climate the league needs to ease up on its blackout policy. Commissioner Roger Goodell drops the hammer on players who make the NFL look bad; he should also drop the hammer on a rule that makes the league look greedy and out of touch.
Adam Foster, Saginaw, Mich.
I held back tears on the bus while reading Lee Jenkins's story about how the Angels have made Jon Wilhite a part of their family in order to carry the memory of Nick Adenhart (Touched by an Angel, Sept. 14). Originally from Pittsburgh, I am a transplant to L.A. and have been searching for a team to get behind since my move west (and also because of the Pirates' 17 consecutive losing seasons). I am heading out to buy my rally monkey this weekend!
Matthew Krause, Los Angeles
I am a senior at Cal State--Fullerton and a lifelong Angels and Dodgers fan. Some friends of mine knew Courtney Stewart [who died in the crash with Adenhart and Henry Pearson], and I have seen how hard losing her has been on them. I can't imagine what the Angels must have gone through having to play baseball days after losing a member of their clubhouse. I am rehabbing a broken right ankle and torn ligaments suffered while sliding back into first base in a rec-league game. Although nothing in my experience compares to what Jon Wilhite dealt with, it makes you take a step back, look at your life and really value the simple things. It also reminds us that even though there is more to life than the game of baseball, sometimes the game is what helps us get through unexpected tragedies.
Ben Green, Tustin, Calif.
A Life Lesson
I am a teacher at an inner-city school, and Selena Roberts's article on Kaleb Eulls, The Ride of His Life (POINT AFTER, Sept. 14), really hit home for me. Every week, after I've read SI, I give my magazine to a deserving student. This reward encourages them to read more and to develop an interest in sports that they might not be exposed to. This week they will all get a chance to learn about more than sports—what it's like being a real hero!
Mary Ogburn, Richmond
Another issue raised by the story may be not so much Eulls's heroism but what caused the situation on the school bus: Why does a 14-year-old child, in the face of peer abuse and bullying, feel so helpless that she must pull out a gun? My surmise is that the young girl had been relentlessly bullied and that no responsible adult had intervened and the child was desperate.
Norton Rosenthal, Dallas
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JOHN BIEVER (COVER)