Anyone who attends a Navy game and does not shed a tear while watching the Midshipmen face the crowd and sing Navy Blue and Gold with their hands on their hearts does not have a soul. I believe this tradition is one of the most poignant moments in all of college sports.
Bob Lastowski, Holyoke, Mass.
SI praises the game-day tradition at Florida State (Bringing Out the Best, Aug. 22) in which Seminoles mascot Chief Osceola, who's dressed in tribal costume, throws a flaming spear into the ground at midfield. Yet Illinois mascot Chief Illiniwek, who was dressed in native Sioux regalia and danced at halftime, was banned by the NCAA for being "hostile and abusive"to American Indian culture. How is that fair?
Jeff Koebel, Lake Zurich, Ill.
Don't you find it odd that your top-ranked tradition, the Ohio State University Marching Band's formation of Script Ohio, was actually first performed by the band from archrival Michigan during a game in Columbus in 1932, four years before the Buckeyes began doing it?
Brian Resutek, Atlanta
One look at your Heisman predictor (Heisman Formula, Aug. 22) and it's obvious that the best chance of being considered for the award is to play for a team with red uniforms. Nine of the top 15 candidates mentioned are wearing red.
Robert D. Phipps Idaho Falls, Idaho
Making the Grade?
Your column on Don Bosco Prep (INSIDE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL, Aug. 22) reveals that coach Greg Toal implements a year-round training program, including two-a-days and film sessions, that keeps the players busy for nine hours. If that's the case, when do these kids have time to study and focus on schoolwork?
Alan Torkel, Brooklyn
As Bad as It Gets
I assume Joe Sheehan will publish a mea culpa for arguing that A.J. Burnett should stay in the Yankees' rotation (INSIDE MLB, Aug. 22). I read Sheehan's column less than three hours after watching Burnett allow seven earned runs in 12/3 innings against the offensively challenged Twins. Six days later he allowed nine earned runs in a loss to the woeful Orioles. I can't believe the Yankees wasted $82.5 million on this guy.
Yankees fans have come to the same conclusion about Burnett that Blue Jays fans did after being forced to watch him flounder for three seasons. Without someone to hold his hand the way Brad Arnsberg did when he was Toronto's pitching coach, Burnett is just a smug disaster waiting for an excuse to become unwound.
Rick Pierce, Oakville, Ont.
They Can't Be Serious
NCAA president Mark Emmert's meeting with university presidents, athletic directors and conference commissioners regarding reform in college athletics (SCORECARD, Aug. 22) was intended to be an act of sarcasm, right? If there was ever a group of people who represents the foxes guarding the henhouses, it's these guys. All of them are raking in millions of dollars by continually turning a blind eye to the abuses in college sports. Reform? Not in my lifetime.
Rich Oliver, Mount Joy, Pa.
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What was your top moment from Week 1 of the college football season?
Thomas Hoskins (@optomeye1): The 68-yard punt return for a touchdown by South Carolina's Ace Sanders, the Gamecocks' first since 2003.
Mikey McSpartan: Although Boise State looked great, it's got to be Auburn struggling to put away Utah State.
Stan Gilbert: Boise State defeating Georgia. The Broncos played a near-perfect game and proved that they can not only play ball with the big boys in the SEC but they can also soundly beat them.
Jerome Andrews (@ESPN_SwingCoach): Notre Dame losing to South Florida, which showed that the Irish's entire offense is still one step behind and that their defensive backs can't cover anyone.
Cori Broussard: LSU doing exactly what needed to be done to quiet the critics: whipping Oregon's tail.
SAM SHARPE/US PRESSWIRE (SANDERS)