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Erica Blasberg's sad tale is emblematic of the tragic stories of many athletes. While most don't commit suicide, after years of unhealthy behavior many seem to die younger than the average person.

Warren W. Wilson, Lincoln, Neb.

A father's responsibility is to nurture, protect and love his children, and in this respect Erica's father failed her miserably (The Mystery of Erica Blasberg, Dec. 13). Dr. Tom Hess will also have to live knowing that he violated his medical oath in regards to a very vulnerable young patient.

James A. Robertson, Athens, Ga.

Dr. Hess has been my physician and friend for almost 15 years. I have never had a more caring physician, nor have I seen a finer man in the community. If Mel Blasberg needs to find a villain in this tragedy, he should look in the mirror to see the man who turned a child's pleasure into a life of struggle, pain and despair.

Rick Howe, Las Vegas

Mel Blasberg believes girls don't know how to compete? What planet is he from? Certainly not one with the likes of Billie Jean King or Danica Patrick.

Patti Rutka, Saco, Maine

Comeback Kid

Who knows, maybe Brett Favre shouldn't have returned this season (A Long, Painful Farewell, Dec. 13). However, I'm sure I am not the only Vikings fan who is happy that he did, just for a shot at the sort of success that he brought to Minnesota last year.

Chuck Wilson, Winnipeg

I recently read an article about how well-adjusted one of Favre's contemporaries, Drew Bledsoe, is in retirement—taking his kids to school, skiing a few runs with his buddies and running a successful winery. How sad it is to compare that to Favre's inability to walk away with his health and dignity intact.

Mark Soucy, Lunenburg, Mass.

Friend or Foe?

Seeing all the friendliness between opponents (POINT AFTER, Dec. 13) really lessens the authenticity of competition. The warmth the Cavaliers showed toward LeBron James when he returned to Cleveland might have been just what he needed to settle down, feel comfortable and become a better player for the Heat. I guess it's all a by-product of free agency. Players change teams so frequently that they become more familiar with one another.

John Parke, Eureka, Mo.

What kind of an example do we expect professional athletes to display to our children? There's nothing wrong with acting like a gentleman in every instance in life. Players who fist-bump and shake hands are being respectful and honorable, exhibiting admirable traits our children would do well to learn.

Amy Hunt, Clinton, N.Y.

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