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FOR DECEMBER 31, 2018

FAMOUS LAST WORDS

William Nack and my father grew up in Skokie, Ill., together and spent the summer of 1959 walking hots at Washington Park and Arlington Park. Bill was a frequent guest in our Southern California home in the 1970s, while he was covering races. He always heralded his arrival with a remarkably authentic elephant imitation and left without ceremony, running out the door for a dilapidated rental car and holding a suitcase trailing shirts. He wrote his columns at our Ping-Pong table on the patio, hunting and pecking on his typewriter, drinking jug wine and smoking cigars while we kids implored him to watch us jump in the pool. He always cheerfully obliged. As an adult, I became a fan of his writing. Better than anyone, he imbued each narrative piece with poetry, literature, history, stats, drama and sweeping, compelling storytelling. His life was an ode to the meticulous, extravagant documentation of everything he witnessed. In print and in person, he is sorely missed.

Kelly von Hemert Santa Ana, Calif.

Reading Nack's heartfelt story in SI was like finding an unwrapped Christmas gift under the tree. Thank you for sharing it.

Gail Pinto Palatine Bridge, N.Y.

TAKE TUA

Greg Bishop's article eloquently captured the spirit of Tua Tagovailoa.However, to say that Tua, who had an impressive 2018 season, could be the "best SEC QB ever," after just 13 starts, is doing a disservice to the legions of great QBs who have hailed from the conference.

William McCarthy Athens, Ga.

EVERYTHING TO PROVE

Dan Greene did a masterly job of portraying the "conversion" of Tennessee's Rick Barnes from a coach who cursed and blamed others to one with a more positive approach. He has not lost his ability to inspire. Kentucky and rest of the SEC have been warned!

George Bertram Campbellsville, Ky.

DRAWING INSPIRATION

Thank you for the heartening story of Desmond and Devon King. As an arts educator on Skid Row in Los Angeles, I know how creativity in the arts can open up the world to young people on the autism spectrum—especially those with the added burden of trauma—and give others access to their often hidden genius. Your highlighting the relationship of these two exemplary brothers shines a much-needed light.

Mike Halverson Los Angeles

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ON DECK

The next edition of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED will be the Jan. 28, 2019, issue. Look for it on newsstands and in your mailbox beginning on Jan. 23.