It's nice to see Shaq grow up and still be himself at the same time. I've never liked him as a player because he didn't play for my team (the Pistons), but I couldn't help but be impressed with his honesty and humility. Too many athletes do not age gracefully.
Craig Y. Lee, La Jolla, Calif.
As a Cleveland sports fan, I'm used to terrible losses (the Drive, the Fumble, the Shot). Even so, during the series between the Cavs and the Celtics, I stubbornly held on to the idea that this could be our time. On the morning of Game 6, my area of the country received the version of SI that had Shaq on the cover (The Big Sidekick, May 17). That's when I knew Cleveland was doomed.
As I read Michael Rosenberg's article commemorating Ernie Harwell (SCORECARD, May 17), I was taken back 20 years to a musty camper on Michigan's Lake Cadillac where I sat listening to the Tigers play yet another summer classic. Harwell brought a dimension to the game that captivated the fan and drew in even the least interested listener.
Justin Russell, Littlestown, Pa.
In recognizing the passing of Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts, SI's article correctly pointed out that he gave up a record 505 home runs, but it neglected to mention what I think are more significant facts—that Roberts had 286 wins and pitched 305 complete games, including one in which he faced 71 batters in 17 innings.
Glenn Jacobs, Media, Pa.
Like anyone who follows baseball, I already knew about Dallas Braden's perfect game (Happy Mother's Day, May 17). But thanks to Tom Verducci, I learned how Braden got to where he is today and why Mother's Day is so special to him. I wish Braden luck and thank his grandmother for giving him the home and love that he needed.
Rich Glass, Voorhees, N.J.
What's in an Athlete?
As a reproductive endocrinologist with an interest in preimplantation genetics, I found David Epstein's story worthy of a medical journal (Sports Genes, May 17). It was deep enough to satisfy health care professionals and written with enough clarity for lay people. He beautifully demonstrated the complexity of the nature-versus-nurture issue and how our understanding has a ways to go.
Edward L. Marut, Winnetka, Ill.
I am a ninth-grade biology student and an athlete, and I found the article fascinating. I am concerned, however, with the ways in which future athletes will most certainly take advantage of genetic therapy to enhance their performance. These athletes not only will be misusing this technology, which is intended to cure diseases, but also will be creating an athletic world in which only the wealthy will be privileged enough to compete at the highest level.
Monte Sereno, Calif.
Tragedy at UVA
L. Jon Wertheim's article (Did Yeardley Love Have to Die? May 17) was a chilling reminder that domestic violence does not discriminate. I can only echo the comments made by UVA's president, John Casteen III, who said, "Don't watch abuse. Don't hear stories of abuse and stay quiet." This message should be delivered early and often to our children, friends and loved ones.
Daniel Feigin, New York City
How to Save a Life
As someone with a history of depression and as a pediatrician who cares for children and young adults with this serious illness, I was pleased to read Selena Roberts's article on Jordan Burnham and his efforts to use his experience with depression to help others (POINT AFTER, May 17). I, too, have tried to learn from my own illness, and I apply these lessons in the treatment of my patients. All of us who care for children and young adults must take a proactive stance in looking for mental illness in our kids. In Massachusetts the state Medicaid program has recently mandated that all physicians caring for teens screen for depression at each annual visit. Validated questionnaires that look for depression are used and have proved effective. Perhaps it is time that such screening be made available in other areas.
John D. Leimert, Tiverton, R.I.
The article on depression hit very close to home for me as I lost my 16-year-old son to suicide in December 2004. The extreme pressure to succeed can be too much to deal with at any point in a young person's life, but it is especially hard if he or she has depression that has gone undiagnosed. On behalf of parents who have lost a child to suicide, I want to say thank you to Jordan Burnham for speaking to other young adults about the many challenges they face every day.
Troy Metz, Wilkesboro, N.C.
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MICHAEL O'NEILL (SHAQ)
MICHAEL ZAGARIS (BRADEN)