Letters

May 24, 1998

THE NAME GAME

Rick Reilly's musing on famous names (THE LIFE OF REILLY, April
27) struck close to home. I had to change my phone listing
because I got tired of late-night calls asking, "Do you know
Diddley?" I have seen more than a few disappointed looks upon
being introduced to a new group. On the plus side, I signed an
autograph for a young Royals fan in Anaheim Stadium, and a
couple of years ago I had a wardrobe of T-shirts with my name on
them.
BO JACKSON, Kingwood, Texas

Having been given the name of my father's sports hero, I
thoroughly enjoyed Reilly's take on ordinary joes with famous
names. While I have failed to live up to Dad's hopes in the
hitting department, I do consider my name a unique gift from
him. And when I walk down the street, I want people to say,
"There goes the greatest accountant who ever lived."
TED WILLIAMS, New Albany, Ind.

Reilly's column brought back memories of my oldest brother
Danny's first Golden Gloves boxing match, in 1970. I can still
hear the chuckles turning to laughs as the ring announcer
introduced him: "...and his opponent in the red corner, fighting
for Ed Sullivan...Danny Thomas. The referee for this bout will
be Joey Bishop."
RICK THOMAS, Poland, Ohio

Having played football for Duffy Daugherty's Michigan State
teams in the early 1970s, I got my share of razzing, double
takes and prank phone calls. But the recent inquiry from a
high-school-age sales clerk made me do a double take. She wanted
to know if I was related to James Bond!
JAMES BOND, Fond du Lac, Wis.

I never liked Lawrence Phillips's shenanigans when he was at
Nebraska and with the St. Louis Rams, but when the Miami
Dolphins signed him last year, it hit home, literally. Now I
have to deal with checkout clerks and bank tellers giving me odd
looks. I usually tell them that I was born first--therefore he
was named after me.
LAWRENCE SCOTT PHILIPS, Pembroke Pines, Fla.

FACE-OFF STRATEGY

When I saw the headline Face Off! (April 27), I expected the
article to be a colossal bore, but by the time I had finished
it, I was spellbound. Michael Farber has shown that the draw is
as important to hockey as free throws are to basketball.
PAUL HOWLEY, Wellesley, Mass.

KOBE BRYANT

Anyone who displays the determination, energy and enthusiasm of
Kobe Bryant of the Lakers deserves all the recognition he gets
(Showtime! April 27). In a few years Bryant will be compared
with Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson in the NBA's most
important measurement, championship rings.
BRIAN BRENTON CHUA, Coquitlam, B.C.

The best way to help Bryant become a second Jordan instead of a
one-shot wonder is to leave him alone. He has a maturity few
teenagers possess. He needs only time and space in which to
flourish.
I-HAN CHEN
Parsippany, N.J.

Is the world so desperate for another Jordan that we're ready to
find him in someone who isn't even the best sixth man? Sure,
Bryant has a lot of potential, but let's stop looking for the
next Jordan and recognize Jordan's true greatness--there will
never be another.
PAUL WALKER, Belmont, Calif.

PUMA CAMPAIGN

In your April 13 SCORECARD, you stated that Puma's Back to the
Game basketball advertising campaign would feature high school
basketball stars and that Puma would pay "the youngsters'
expenses to and from commercial shoots." This is not true. At no
time did Puma pay any expenses for these players, nor did Puma
provide any assistance in the form of travel, per diem, product,
meals, soda pops and/or free goods for their families. The
campaign was filmed entirely at the locations where the players
lived, so they had no travel expenses.
JAMES T. GORMAN
President, Puma
Brockton, Mass.

ALI

Regarding Austin Murphy's story about The Superstars TV show
(April 20): Muhammad Ali earned the lasting enmity of
adversaries like Joe Frazier. I can think of no one in sports
who did more to legitimize bragging, taunting, humiliating and
obnoxious self-promotion than Ali. I agree with Frazier that Ali
was not a good choice to light the 1996 Olympic flame.
GERRY GREENBERG, Blacklick, Ohio

COLOR PHOTO: WALTER IOOSS JR. [Kobe Bryant]

HERO IN THE MAKING

For some reason it seems that Americans are constantly waiting
for a hero to fall. That's the type of press coverage Kobe
Bryant seems to have attracted since the All-Star Game, and it's
a shame. The naysayers are missing the chance to watch an
outstanding young man defy the odds and become one of the great
ones.
JAMIE R. PICKERING Scottsdale, Ariz.

Bryant isn't the next Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson; he's the
first Kobe Bryant.
--Ashley Neameyer, Rolla, N.Dak.

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