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Original Issue


Until there is a playoff system in place, arguments about programs such as Boise State's will get decided by everyone except the people who should be making the decision: the players on the field. And a playoff system, if done right, would make more money than the current system by a long shot. How about some good, old-fashioned capitalism to fix this mess?

Andy Mathis, Austin

There really is no debate (Contender or Pretender, Oct. 4). It's the gantlet that matters, not just the record. Put another way, you can't be the world champ in boxing by fighting against stand-ins in 10 of the 15 rounds.

Bernie Hubert, Morristown, N.J.

I imagine Penn State coach Joe Paterno remembers that the digs being leveled at BSU and TCU are the same ones he heard in the '60s when his Lions were derided as an "Eastern" team that even President Richard Nixon deemed unfit to be champion.

Robert Fillman, Indianapolis

Remember the debate about whether Butler should be permitted to play for the national championship? That's right—college basketball has a playoff.

Richard Massey, Memphis

Fond Farewell

SI's tribute to the ageless wonder George Blanda (SCORECARD, Oct. 4) brought back good memories of glorious seasons past. In the words of Bay Area broadcaster Bill King, Blanda truly was "king of the world" to Raiders fans everywhere.

Glenn Hang, Peoria, Ariz.

Time to Move On

Although I agree that the Michael Vick scandal has raised awareness about dogfighting and animal cruelty, I want to stress that he is not a role model for anyone (SCORECARD, Oct. 4). His case has shown only that even if you break the law, you can still make millions of dollars doing something that in no way benefits our society.

Jennifer Thurheimer

Altoona, Pa.

I have been a fan of Vick's play as a quarterback for a long time. He has served his time and now does good work with his public speaking about his role in a dogfighting operation. Vick deserves to move on with his life, not be continually ridiculed about his past.

Sheila Colclazier

Temecula, Calif.

Awards Season

Joe Sheehan believes that there is more to winning the Cy Young Award than a pitcher's won-lost record (INSIDE BASEBALL, Oct. 4), so consider the following: Seattle's Felix Hernandez is a fine pitcher, but there was very little pressure on him when he took the mound because he played on a team that was going nowhere this season. Where would they be without him? Still in last place? CC Sabathia of the Yankees, on the other hand, is the marquee pitcher on a team expected to compete in the World Series every year. He is always expected to win the big game or stop a losing streak, and this year he has been the only really consistent member of the Yankees' rotation. How about considering intangibles like those at awards time?

Jack M. Rode, Whitefield, N.H.

To determine the best candidate for the Cy Young Award, Sheehan should also dismiss ERA, strikeouts and workload, and instead compare the relative strengths of the divisions. David Price pitched in the AL's strongest division, against three teams with winning records. The AL West, where Hernandez pitched, was the weakest division (only one team had a winning record). Price (2.72) had a slightly higher ERA than the King (2.27) because he faced better teams more often. The King had more strikeouts but faced weaker hitters. That's why Price should get the Cy Young this year.

John Franke, Palmetto, Fla.

Statue Limitations

While it's true that funds may be used for better things than to erect statues (POINT AFTER, Oct. 4), I think administrators at Purdue, at least, have their priorities straight. Two bronze statues have been unveiled on campus in the last five years. One is The Boilermaker, which honors the spirit of hard work, and the other is of a Purdue graduate. It's not Drew Brees, Bob Griese or even John Wooden, but rather Neil Armstrong.

Scott Bodecker

Fort Wayne, Ind.

Perhaps Selena Roberts would approve of the bronze statue that immortalizes a quarterback who started in 1983 and '84 for the Division II West Chester (Pa.) University Golden Rams. The larger-than-life likeness of Michael Horrocks was dedicated on Sept. 11, 2010, nine years after Horrocks, a former Marine aviator and a first officer on United Airlines Flight 175, was murdered by the terrorists who hijacked his plane and then crashed it into the South Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. Friends and relatives raised over $100,000 for the statue and continue their efforts to endow a $500,000 scholarship fund to serve as a tribute to a man who was a hero not just because of how he died but because of how he lived, both on and off the football field.

Mary J. Walter, Glen Mills, Pa.

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