How would one describe Serena Williams during the women's final at this year's U.S. Open? Let me count the ways: spoiled, moody, brash, obnoxious, talented, strong, powerful, embarrassing, disappointing. Her boorish behavior and bullying on the court are getting quite old and counter her desire to be a role model for young women. Makes you wonder if this great tennis champion will ever grow up.
Marty Bernstein, Midvale, Utah
What Novak Djokovic accomplished at the U.S. Open (The Outrage Open, Sept. 19) and on the ATP Tour this year is stunning. Few accomplishments require the athleticism, endurance and composure that it takes to win a Grand Slam—and he won three this season. Case in point: After being down two sets and then fighting off two match points against Roger Federer in the Open's semifinals, Djokovic had to face Rafael Nadal, the tournament's defending champion. Djokovic, in true championship fashion, won convincingly.
Trip Strauss, Little Rock
There are no good explanations for UCLA's lack of success (INSIDE COLLEGE FOOTBALL, Sept. 19), except maybe a lack of will when it comes to winning. That attitude starts at the top. Given the school's tradition and resources, if athletic director Dan Guerrero wanted to have a top 10 football team, he could. The fact that he doesn't after nine years means he should fire himself, not the coach.
Mike Gay, La Jolla, Calif.
Ace of Diamonds
Using new math to discount the Diamondbacks' Ian Kennedy for the Cy Young Award (INSIDE MLB, Sept. 19) is absurd. The award should be based on a pitcher's contribution to his team, with consideration given to the team's accomplishments. If Kennedy is the only 20-plus-game winner with a team in the playoffs in the NL, he should win the award.
Brode Meyer, Tucson
Good Old Days
I enjoyed your feature on Junior Johnson (Junior Johnson Has a Lot to Say, Yes, Sept. 19) and the concept of returning to the old style of stock car racing. NASCAR needs to put racing back into the hands of the drivers by taking away the splitters, which slow cars down. That would let fans see who can actually race and who's just out for a Sunday drive. It would also bring excitement back to the track and expand NASCAR's following.
Jeff Blanch, Birchwood, Wisc.
My oldest son is a huge Jets fan, so when I first saw the image of Mark Sanchez on your Sept. 19 cover, I knew he would be thrilled. However, when I read the cover's headline my heart sank. I couldn't have been more disappointed. With all of the great performances from the NFL's opening weekend, I don't understand why you chose to quote two of the most foul-mouthed coaches in the league. Not only did I get upset for my own children but also for all of the other kids out there who are fans of your magazine.
EDITOR'S NOTE: SI received more than 100 letters objecting to the Sept. 19 cover language. While the intent was to reflect the exuberance of coaches Rex and Rob Ryan, the use of the quote was ill-advised. It was an error in judgment.
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With the 2011--12 NHL season starting on Oct. 6, which team do you pick to take home the Stanley Cup?
Eric Kelleman: I'm going to go with the Flyers. Last season goaltending proved to be their biggest weakness, and they were able to improve on that by adding Ilya Bryzgalov.
Romeo Morales (@xLEntE627): The Capitals! They have been so close the past few seasons. Plus the taste of nearly getting there every year is starting to get old in the mouths of Caps fans.
Brandon Harder (@DiP0nAcHiP): If Sid Crosby and Evgeni Malkin can stay healthy in Pittsburgh, then the Penguins should win the Cup easily this season.
Joshua Bolduan: It's all about Hockeytown's Red Wings. I guarantee there will be plenty of octopuses on the ice in Detroit for the Cup!
Randy Pizzo (@pizzo23): I think the Flyers will win it. They are still seeking revenge for losing to the Penguins in the playoffs two seasons ago.
BRUCE BENNETT/GETTY IMAGES (BRYZGALOV)