Mike Ditka's comment, "He had no regard for his body. But I couldn't change him. It would have ruined him," in reference to Jim McMahon, is an example of the NFL's gladiator past. While many think the league is becoming too soft, the game can no longer adhere to this leave-it-all-on-the-field-at-all-costs mentality, as it has taken a terrible toll on the quality of life for guys like McMahon.
Jay McGill, Chappaqua, N.Y.
Rich Cohen's excerpt (Da Bear) contained photos that showed how different NFL uniforms were three decades ago. Back then uniforms were meant to be worn as gear, not the ridiculous costumes and themed outfits that we see on the field today.
Pat Jameson, Westlake, Ohio
What was the point of Nate Jackson's essay on Rex Ryan and abstinence (SCORECARD)? Imagine a piece about whether or not female athletes have sex or watch porn the night before a tough game. I don't think the idea of women having difficulties containing their voracious sexual appetites would come off as endearingly as Jackson is trying to make things seem for NFL players who "struggle" with the issue.
Jeanne Hey, Saco, Maine
Up in Smoke
I found it ironic that your article about teams promoting unhealthy products (SCORECARD) was featured next to a full-page cigarette ad.
Old Saybrook, Conn.
The examples that Steve Rushin uses in his essay about athletes' hotdogging and showboating (POINT AFTER) are exactly what many fans find so annoying about some of today's athletes. I enjoy watching guys like Wes Welker, who score a touchdown and then nonchalantly flip the ball to the referee as if to say, "No big deal. This is what I'm paid to do." That type of laid-back attitude makes it easier to accept that these guys make more money than most of us will ever see in our lifetimes and that they are not rubbing our noses in it.
Gary Hamer, Oneida, N.Y.
I can't believe you have the Grizzlies finishing ninth in the Western Conference. No sane person could have the Timberwolves, Lakers and Mavericks ahead of them. Memphis won 56 games last year and made it to the conference finals. Plus, the team shed a lot of dead weight during the off-season (including replacing coach Lionel Hollins) and added three-point shooter Mike Miller and 7-footer Kosta Koufos to boost its roster.
I get that Derrick Rose is back and the Nets now have Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, but I still think you should have ranked the Pacers higher than fourth.
Shaan Mishra Carmel, Ind.
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Do you think the Dolphins were justified in suspending Richie Incognito?
Chris Bird There is a difference between teasing your teammates and the racial epithets and threats Incognito allegedly used. That is not rookie hazing. It's personal attacks and the creation of a hostile workplace.
Michael Hopfinger The league obviously missed the misconduct problems he's had in the past. He got kicked out of two universities and has been fined and flagged many times by the NFL for infractions.
Joey Austin Thees Whatever happened to practical jokes, like drawing on someone when they fall asleep?
TWEET OF THE WEEK
When I squint, my wife yells at me to put my glasses on. When Jameis Winston squints, 80,000+ roar in approval. #MIAvsFSU
Chris Lucia (@bac573)
CHARLES KELLY/AP (MCMAHON)
PERRY KNOTTS/AP (INCOGNITO)
MICHAEL HICKEY/GETTY IMAGES (COVER)
FOR OCT. 28, 2013