FOR NOV. 3, 2014
Another thing to add to the case for Gregg Popovich's being SI's Sportsman of the Year is his decision to hire Becky Hammon as the NBA's first female assistant coach. The hire wasn't a publicity stunt, but rather recognition of talent while also breaking down a few barriers.
Bruce Riefenstahl, Mount Joy, Pa.
Thank you for Al Michaels's book excerpt on Howard Cosell. Irascible, yes. Vain, you bet. But as the article implies—and as Cosell himself never doubted, even though he felt slighted—his career will be revered, and he will be talked about far longer than Jim McKay and Chris Schenkel.
David Lehman, New York City
Michaels's book doesn't really disclose anything new regarding Cosell or his character. Everyone knows that Cosell was a polarizing figure. I grew up watching and listening to him, and even though I was often frustrated with the guy, I always tuned in. In fact, I still miss his style.
Jim Singh, La Mesa, Calif.
Tom Verducci's article about Madison Bumgarner's performance in Game 5 of the World Series reminded me of Lew Burdette in the 1957 Series for the Milwaukee Braves against the Yankees. Burdette's three complete-game wins included a 5--0 shutout in Game 7 after only two days' rest.
Phil Scott, Littleton, Colo.
When I look at the Super Bowl champion Seahawks, I don't see a team that is in disarray or that has chemistry issues as you suggest. I simply see a team that is suffering from a championship hangover, something that happens all the time in sports.
Your column about baseball anthem options mentioned Aretha Franklin as a seemingly endless supply of Motown talent. Franklin was never on the Motown label. In her prime, she was signed to either Columbia, Atlantic or Arista.
How can you fail to mention the band Green Day, which is from the Bay Area, as an option for the Athletics? The A's honored the band during a game on Aug. 31, 2013, and even scored their fireworks display to the band's music.
Chris Cruz, Irvine, Calif.
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ABC/COURTESY EVERETT COLLECTION (COSELL)
SIMON BRUTY/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (COVER)
WALTER IOOSS JR./GETTY IMAGES (FRANKLIN)
DENISE TRUSCELLO/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES (GREEN DAY)
ROBERT BECK/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (BUMGARNER)
GARRETT ELLWOOD/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (POPOVICH)