After reading about Antonio Barrera's being gored 23 times and seeing pictures of Julio Aparicio's getting speared through the throat, I haven't decided if being a matador is sheer bravery or complete stupidity. One would think that having to pick up your testicle in the ring or having a horn shoved through your tongue would be a sign that a safer line of work is in order.
Suzannah Herron, Tucson
Geoffrey Gray's article about bullfighting (The Dangerous Obsession of Antonio Barrera, May 9) was remarkable. It showed Barrera's pride and obsession and the dangers faced by him and his fellow matadors, while also describing in bold detail the nuances and traditions that keep this ancient sport alive.
Al Komins, Jupiter, Fla.
Gray referred to Barrera as "the Rocky Balboa of bullfighting." Perhaps Evel Knievel would be a better comparison, given Barrera's history of injuries and penchant for tempting death. Tradition be damned, those matadors really should wear cups.
Rob Johns, Leawood, Kans.
Hunting is not a real sport because one of its contestants does not choose whether he wants to engage in the competition. Still, I find bullfighting to be more barbaric and even less of a sport. Bulls are forced into the ring, tortured with intense pain and ultimately stabbed to death. Nothing about that pertains to sport or competition.
Cole Hemmes, Fremont, Calif.
Feeling the Draft
I enjoyed the piece about the 2011 NFL draft (Weirdest Draft Ever, May 9), but unlike Peter King, I thought New England had an amazing draft. The Patriots were able to strengthen their offensive line with Nate Solder, one of the top tackles in the country, and then got a third-round steal in quarterback Ryan Mallett. In addition, they chose two quality running backs and added depth to the defensive backfield.
I strongly disagree with Peter King and his assessment of how ESPN handled Alabama running back Mark Ingram. I thought the segment with Ingram and his father was the best moment of the entire draft. To hear the e-mail that Ingram's father wrote him from jail was touching, and seeing Ingram talk to his dad through the camera and tell him how much he loved him had me choked up. Human-interest stories like these make the draft worth watching.
Eric Brown, Atlanta
Thank you for your article on ABC's Wide World of Sports (SCORECARD, May 9), which conjured up hope for a short, scrawny and clumsy kid like myself. I watched it thinking that maybe I could discover a sport like barrel jumping or Mongolian wrestling. Wide World enabled me to appreciate sports beyond the everyday home run and slam dunk.
I loved your piece on Wide World but was sad that you did not mention the show's iconic opening montage. The dramatic music and footage—particularly the video of ski jumper Vinko Bogataj's spectacular fall representing "the agony of defeat"—captured the essence of athletic competition better than anything else I have seen on television.
Martin B. Sipple
Honor Thy Mother
Phil Taylor's A Mother's Day Gift (POINT AFTER, May 9) touched my heart. After I read it I gave it to my wife of 40 years and the mother of our two daughters. Her eyes also filled with tears while reading about Joe Riddle and Ellen Durfey-Wright. Taylor not only painted a moving portrait of these two warm and loving individuals but also brought back poignant memories of our own mothers and the unconditional love they showed us growing up.
Kirk and Katha Heinze
Your Mother's Day story said so much about the human condition and how we all want to be part of a family and to be loved. It's nice to know that Riddle and Durfey-Wright have found a place in each other's hearts and are able to share a special mother-son bond despite the tragedy that brought them together.
Bob Till, St. Davids, Pa.
You can't get this kind of story listening to sports talk radio or watching television. Please continue in the same spirit.
Broken Arrow, Okla.
E-mail SI at letters@SI.timeinc.com or fax SI at 212-467-2417. Letters should include the writer's full name, address and home telephone number and may be edited for clarity and space.
CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SUBSCRIPTIONS
For 24/7 service, go to SI.com/customerservice. Call 1-800-528-5000 or write to SI at P.O. Box 30602, Tampa, FL 33630-0602. To purchase reprints of SI covers, go to SIcovers.com.
For ad rates, an editorial calendar or a media kit, e-mail SI at SIpubqueries@timeinc.com