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March 22, 1999
March 22, 1999

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March 22, 1999

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Thanks for telling the NBA that a simple "we need you" won't be
enough to mend the fans' broken hearts.
--MEHDI EMRANI, Evanston, Ill.

This is an article from the March 22, 1999 issue

TROUBLED RELATIONSHIP

That was nothing short of a great piece of writing by Steve
Rushin (Hey, Look Us Over, Feb. 15). What happened to the days
when basketball players competed simply because they enjoyed the
game? I loved it when the young man stepped on to the floor and
threw money at the players. Isn't that what we're doing by
buying tickets to these circuses called NBA games?
EDDIE BECKER, Chesnee, S.C.

So your lover, the NBA, dumped you, disappeared for seven months
and then showed up at your door with some free CDs, a T-shirt
and a weak "I'm sorry," and you actually considered going back?
You even went on a couple of dates? Hey, I'm no basketball Dr.
Ruth, but I think you're trapped in a codependent relationship
and you are the enabler. I haven't messed with the NBA since
Jordan betrayed me and went to Birmingham.
TIM FOGLE, Louisville

I find it ironic that you answer the question posed on your
cover: Should we still love this game? It seems SI won't allow
readers to snub the NBA the way NBA players and team owners
snubbed us. While I have had no trouble finding other sports to
capture my interest, you have. This issue has three NBA feature
stories, your regular NBA report, an NBA mention in SCORECARD, a
commentary on the NBA by Rick Reilly and strict instructions on
page 19 to "don't miss" the telecast of a Lakers-Pacers game. I
can see that if we want to enjoy SI, we'd better love the NBA.
REED DYER, Palisades Park, N.J.

EVERYONE INTO THE POOL

Limited aesthetic value, no morally redeeming qualities, thanks
for another great swimsuit issue (Winter 1999).
DAVID VEENSTRA, Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

You missed the boat with your decision not to go to Bikini
Island. Not only are the islands that make up Bikini Atoll
richly beautiful, but also someone interested in scuba diving
will find world-class adventure while visiting ships sunk more
than 50 years ago when nuclear bombs were tested on those
islands in the Marshall chain. By the way, your cartoon showing
a figure in a gas mask was both ignorant and extremely
insensitive.
DIANE W. PERESIE, Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Joe Montana was way off base when he didn't want his wife,
Jennifer, posing for SI. My guess on the real reason for Joe's
reluctance: He knows Jennifer's abs look better than his ever did.
STEVE RUNDELL, Seattle

First it was women in swimsuits. Then it was women in skimpy
swimsuits. Then it was women in skimpy outfits that weren't
really for swimming. Now it's women with painted-on parts of
skimpy attire and a woman standing naked next to skimpy attire.
What's on tap for next year--naked women thinking about skimpy
attire?
JONI DANIELS, Elkins Park, Pa.

Your Jockey underwear ad (Feb. 15) with the Dallas firemen
nearly made up for your tacky swimsuit issue. Not quite. But
paint some undies on those guys, and we can call it even.
JUNE GREER, Kirkwood, Mo.

Please consider doing regular readers a huge favor by not
printing 20 letters this year by those in favor of and those
against the swimsuit issue. There is nothing left to say after
all these years: Cancel your subscription if you don't want the
kids to see this sexist pornography, and don't tell me about
some guy who thinks Supermodel X is dang cute and how it
brightened up his cold winter day. Been there, done that.
GREG JENSEN, Arlington, Texas

I have been a subscriber for 20 years. SI has been a source of
inspiration throughout those years. It would please me if you
could figure out a way not to send me the swimsuit edition
anymore since it has not one shred of sportswriting in it.
MITCH SKREEN, Port Orchard, Wash.

--Subscribers who would prefer not to receive the annual
swimsuit issue should write to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, P.O. Box
60001, Tampa, Fla. 33660-0001, or call Customer Service at
800-528-5000.--ED.

HEAVY LIFTING

Your analysis of the decline in college basketball scoring
ignores some material evidence (INSIDE COLLEGE BASKETBALL, Feb.
15). The scoring decrease seems to coincide with the increase in
the size of players' shorts. Who can fast-break or hit a clutch
second-half jumper with several pounds of sweat-laden fabric on
his legs?
C.E. RICHARDS, Alpharetta, Ga.

COLOR PHOTO: DAVID E. KLUTHO

LOSERS NO MORE

It's interesting that five of the teams in the Stanley Cup
finals since 1991 are on your list of the seven most consistent
losers in the NHL since the league's 1967 expansion (SCORECARD,
Feb. 15). That includes two repeat champions, the Red Wings
(above) and the Penguins.
STEVE HICKS, Kalamazoo, Mich.