My favorite player, Peyton Manning, will certainly be inducted into the Hall of Fame as soon as he's eligible. But after reading about Tom Mackie's crusade for Floyd Little, I wish Manning's walk into Canton weren't going to be so easy—just so I could show the same loyalty for my hero that Mackie did for his.
Sara Nguyen, Harrisburg, Pa.
I'm very upset with Gary Smith for writing about Tom Mackie's insane devotion to Floyd Little and Mackie's crusade to get Little into the Hall of Fame (The Unexpected Hero, July 26). Now I need to quit my job and begin researching 54 facts to support the candidacy of linebacker Chris Spielman. And either Smith or Mackie is going to have to explain my decision to my wife because I won't be able to do it with such eloquence.
Steve Brown, Fair Lawn, N.J.
Gary Smith's story is one of the many reasons I subscribe to SI. I was reading it yesterday when my wife passed by. "You're crying," she said. "Sad story?"
"No," I replied. "Happy one!"
Walt Brown, Roseville, Calif.
Floyd Little shouldn't have been angry about Benny Friedman and Fritz Pollard going into Canton instead of him in 2005. Friedman was the outstanding pro football player of his time—in 1929 Giants owner Tim Mara bought the Detroit Wolverines just to acquire Friedman. Pollard was the first African-American coach in the NFL and one of the first African-American players in the league. Walter Camp said he was among the greatest runners he had ever seen.
Abbot Friedland, New York City
The Ejection Section
Thomas Lake's article on Bobby Cox fascinated me, especially the way Cox's players step up to repay him for "taking one" for them (Thumbing His Way Back Home, July 26). I love to think about how many games they have won for him because of his loyalty—if only that were calculable. I want the Braves to repay him this fall with one more pennant.
Kyle Garcia, Atlanta
It is always refreshing to hear about young athletes coming from not-so-typical backgrounds, so I really enjoyed Pablo S. Torre's story on Cowboys receiver Miles Austin (Get Ready!, July 26). Austin has his whole career ahead of him. I just hope fame, money and Kim Kardashian don't overwhelm him.
Melissa Michel, Pomona, Calif.
You've got to be kidding me! A no-name golfer wins the British Open at historic St. Andrews and he doesn't make the cover? I'm as big a football fan as anyone, but I have months to suffer through Cowboys.
All you could muster on the death of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was an essay in SCORECARD (July 26)? Pathetic. The occasion deserved—demanded—a full-blown story and the cover of the magazine.
Steve Taghon, East Moline, Ill.
Thank you, Selena Roberts, for your beautiful piece about Bob Sheppard, the late great Yankee Stadium announcer (POINT AFTER, July 26). I grew up going to Lakers games and listening to Los Angeles's late public-address announcer, John Ramsey, whose smooth baritone gave me great pleasure. I'm also a former on-tour P.A. game announcer for the Harlem Globetrotters, for whom I worked from 1979 to '86. When I first interviewed for the position, I was told that the players were the show and all I had to do was my job. Having listened to Ramsey, I found that was easy.
Woodland Hills, Calif.
Hooray for Selena Roberts, who writes very well. I just can't bring myself to say, "Boo-yaa!"
Comparing Sheppard's work with that of modern-day sportscasters is like comparing apples to dairy products. Sheppard's smooth delivery fit the bill for a P.A. announcer, but a play-by-play broadcaster is tasked with describing the game and underscoring its excitement. This holier-than-thou notion of calm, cool and collected broadcasting stinks of misappropriated superiority.
East Brunswick, N.J.
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JAMES D. SMITH/DALLAS COWBOYS (COVER)