"As a high school coach, I would like my players to display the same passion for winning that Laettner does."

Christian Laettner
Although I'm neither a Minnesota Timberwolf fan nor a Duke fan, I'm sick and tired of the press downgrading a fine athlete like Christian Laettner. Here's a kid who has excelled at every level of basketball but is criticized for not being friendly enough. Michael Angeli did an excellent job of simply telling Laettner's story (The Lone Wolf, March 21). I think others in the media should follow his example instead of turning a few isolated incidents of frustration on Laettner's part into a segment from Days of Our Lives.
EDDIE MILLS, Florence, S.C.

When will Laettner become known as a great basketball talent instead of a head case or a crybaby? His performance against Kentucky in the 1992 NCAAs has to go down as the greatest in tournament history, and he has shown in the pros that he can play with Charles Barkley, Larry Johnson, Karl Malone and the like. Having lost some of its biggest heroes, the NBA needs a new generation to step up. Laettner has the potential to become one of the greats.
THOMAS R. BASTA, Westfield, N.J.

Bill Clinton
In his excellent story on President Clinton, Alexander Wolff reveals yet another side of this multifaceted man (The First Fan, March 21). It's interesting to note that a great president has a lot in common with a great athlete—to compete in a high-stakes arena like Washington, Clinton must confront seemingly insurmountable obstacles and hone his determination, perseverance and endurance. Not to mention his having to deal with snarling opponents like Bob Dole.
ANTHONY PACCIONE, Cerritos, Calif.

It was great to see your coverage of Clinton's relationship with the Arkansas Razorbacks, but you err in suggesting that Clinton might have been the first sitting president to attend a basketball game. President Gerald Ford attended the Portland Trail Blazers' 113-106 victory over the Buffalo Braves on Nov. 1, 1974. That was the rookie season of a well-known political activist turned Trail Blazer, Bill Walton.
JIM O'DONNELL, Tualatin, Ore.

Bill Clinton and I were on the Georgetown campus last June for our respective class reunions. As the President hammed it up for the crowd, I bore down on him and shook his hand. I said, "Hoya," expecting to hear him exclaim, "Saxa," thus completing the exchange traditionally chanted at Georgetown games. Instead, the President appeared befuddled. I didn't want to hog his time, so I refrained from grilling him about his lack of support for Georgetown basketball. But I must query, What kind of swine would fail to learn the cheer for his alma mater?
New York City

I find President Clinton's appearance on your cover offensive. If anyone represents the antithesis of sportsmanship and character, it is he. The closest Clinton ever came to athletic prowess in any sport at the Division I level is to don the Arkansas basketball team warmup jacket for this shameless photo op.

Clinton deserves to be on the cover of newsmagazines, but SI? This honor should go to athletes and others who have made a contribution to sports.
TIM GOLDEN, Ellisville, Mo.

You say Clinton is high on the Hogs? Well, anyone who believes that raising taxes and increasing government involvement in health care is good for the U.S. must be high on something.
VINCENT A. JOY, Irvine, Calif.

How could Clinton be high on his Hogs when, as he assured us during his presidential campaign, he didn't inhale?
South Bend

This Week's Sign That the Apocalypse Is Upon Us: Bill Clinton on the cover of SI.
New Market, Va.

I've always been fascinated by your covers. Which U.S. presidents besides Clinton have been cover subjects?
Union City, Calif.

Howe's Record
I enjoyed your article on Wayne Gretzky's drive to break Gordie Howe's goal-scoring record (The Greatest, and Howe!, March 14). It's true that Gretzky broke the record in two thirds of the games it took Howe to set it, but you didn't mention that Howe scored the majority of his goals in a league with only six teams. I wonder how many goals Gretzky would have scored if he had played against only the very best goalies, not to mention the best defensemen and forwards. Gretzky deserves his many awards and records, but he did score most of his goals against teams that would have been minor league-level teams during Howe's years.
RANDY EDWARDS, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

PHOTODAVID DREW ZINGGThree future or sitting presidents preceded Clinton on the cover.
PHOTOJAMES DRAKE[See caption above.] PHOTOLANE STEWART[See caption above.] PHOTOJAMES DRAKE[See caption above.]

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