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L. Jon Wertheim was right on the money (pun intended) on why men cheat in sports (SCORECARD). It's all about the dollars. The penalties for cheating will never be big enough to deter a player who is only thinking about getting paid. Maybe you can understand why a kid from a very poor background would cheat, but guys like Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez, who are already multimillionaires? To me, that is unforgivable.

Esteban R. Lugo, Maple Grove, Minn.

Anchors Aweigh

Brian Curtis's masterful story on the 1942 Rose Bowl (War and Roses) highlighted a type of courage and selflessness among men that is often rare in today's society. Every time I cross Dethman Ridge Road (named after then Oregon State halfback Bob Dethman's family) in Hood River, Ore., I am reminded of how the '42 game revealed that integrity and heroism are not defined by geography, class or race.

Sean Corcoran, Hood River, Ore.

There's one interesting fact from the '42 Rose Bowl regarding Duke quarterback Tommy Prothro that was not mentioned in Curtis's article. Like many of the players from Duke and Oregon State, Prothro joined the Navy during WWII, serving as a lieutenant for 39 months. In '55 he took over as head coach of Oregon State's football team, leading the Beavers to two Rose Bowls ('57, '65) and a record of 63-37-2.

David A. Birch, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Hot Prospects

As a die-hard Twins fan who for several years has felt the void of not having a competitive squad, I appreciated your article on minor league prospects Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano (Glimmer Twins). Sure, Torii Hunter was a great leader and outfielder during his 10 years in Minnesota, and Joe Mauer has been a phenomenal hitter on the current roster. However, not since the great Kirby Puckett have the Twins had a player with such transcendent all-around skills as Buxton or Sano.

Dan Chang, Woodbury, Minn.

Excused Absence

While I enjoyed your article on UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley (SCORECARD), author Andy Staples was a bit off in his assumption that increased attendance at the Rose Bowl was due primarily to Hundley's play ("The student section that wasn't even at half capacity in September?"). As it turns out, UCLA's academic schedule is on the quarter system. Therefore the majority of the student body doesn't arrive on campus to start classes until late September.

Bob Locke, Glendale, Ariz.

Team Building

Staples's feature on the huddle (Too Old School?) was a great read. I've long made the argument that the huddle wasn't just meant for calling plays. It was also meant to be a place for the quarterback to rally the troops on the field. In the huddle a good QB often challenges and motivates his teammates to go beyond their limits. Looking a teammate in the eye and saying, "We need to do this" or "You can do that" is much more powerful than any hand or voice signal on the line of scrimmage.

Mike Janney, Houston

Cardinal Sin?

Seeing Stanford ranked No. 2 in the SI Top 25 poll made me think, Stanford? Wow. How is an elite educational institution doing this well against all of these other dominant athletic programs? Then I read the article on Shayne Skov (Revenge of the Nerd), who got into Stanford despite being thrown off the football team at one school and getting a DUI and subsequent suspension for an academic quarter at another. The answer became clear: Stanford does it just like everybody else.

G.D. Holcombe, Minocqua, Wis.

That Nebraska could have been left out of your preseason poll is incomprehensible. Look at the talent of the Cornhuskers' returning starters on offense and the fact that they play just four games on the road all season. Those two things alone should get them a spot on your list.

Ron Freiburger, Omaha

Who can beat Bama? Probably Ohio State, Oregon or Stanford if the Crimson Tide would dare play in their stadiums.

Tom Lang

Scottsdale, Ariz.




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With the Jets still searching for a No. 1 quarterback, do you think coach Rex Ryan should be fired?

Adam Ragle No. They need to fire G.M. John Idzik and get someone who knows what they're doing. Mark Sanchez is not an NFL-quality quarterback, and they still have no talent at any of the skill positions.

Ryan Barthel I would fire him today. The Jets keep giving Ryan chances, but he fails over and over again. Who plays their starting QB in the fourth quarter behind a second-string [offensive] line during a preseason game?

Jim Kennedy I think Ryan has some kind of man crush on Sanchez. Hence the reason Tim Tebow hardly played and Greg McElroy doesn't play. The Jets should have gotten rid of Ryan instead of Tebow.


Hey @McIlroyRory - I'm working on my short game. (Only a few strokes behind my niece Fiona and nephew Simon.) Bill Clinton (@billclinton)



FOR AUG. 19, 2013