July 05, 1999
July 05, 1999

Table of Contents
July 5, 1999


"I miss the days when you quoted Cecil Cooper instead of Alice
--JIM RODDY, Erie, Pa.

This is an article from the July 5, 1999 issue Original Layout


Your cover story on jocks and rock epitomized for me why the
Shaquille O'Neals of the world will never win anything (Rock 'n'
Roll Is Here to Play, May 24). Some athletes are so caught up in
their own hype that they have little time to commit themselves
to becoming champions. As for SI stories about jocks and rock,
if I want to hear such nonsense, I'll turn on MTV.
DANIEL VASSAR, Highland, Ind.

You left out a terrific example of jocks and rock enjoying a
close relationship. How many sports facilities are named for a
rock musician? Indiana University's 100,000-square-foot indoor
training center is called the John Mellencamp Pavilion.
Mellencamp, the Grammy Award-winning singer who is a resident of
Bloomington and an avid supporter of Hoosiers athletics, made a
substantial donation to the university which helped to finance
the structure.

I wish you had included the Grateful Dead's big contribution to
sports: sponsoring the Lithuanian basketball team at the 1992
Olympics. The Dead's generosity was crucial in helping the team
prepare for the Games that year. I'll never forget the smiles on
the Lithuanians' faces as they received their bronze medals,
clad in their tie-dyed shirts and warmups.

A mature observer might conclude that the real bond between
athletes and musicians is their mutual egomania and delusions of
hero status, wrought by the ridiculous incomes a sycophantic
society affords them.
PETER HUSTON, Sudbury, Mass.

Two Detroit Lions, Hall of Fame defensive back Lem Barney and
running back Mel Farr, can be heard on Marvin Gaye's classic
What's Going On as background singers and in the banter between
choruses. Barney and Farr were big fans, and Gaye was a
frustrated wide receiver with decent hands and speed.
CHUCK BLOOM, Lancaster, Texas


I enjoyed Tom Verducci's article on the Cleveland Indians
(Scoring Machine, May 24). It's funny, however, that he refers
to Cleveland's $70 million payroll, twice that of any other team
in the American League Central. Then he says that Indians
general manager John Hart "has had to make his moves while
conforming to the demands of fiscal responsibility laid down by
owner Richard Jacobs." I wonder how the other general managers
in the division would do with a $70 million payroll?
Galloway, Ohio


Regarding Rick Reilly's piece on Sacramento center Vlade Divac
(THE LIFE OF REILLY, May 24): I find it difficult to sympathize
with a man who's struggling with fear and worry because his
brother fought in a war on a side that practiced ethnic cleansing.

If Divac is against the NATO campaign, how can he justify making
a good living in the country that bombed his family? Do Divac's
sleepless nights in the Salt Lake City Marriott really compare
with the troubled nights that thousands had in refugee camps?
JOHN RYAN, Alexandria, Va.


How could you put Charles Barkley in the same sentence with Wilt
and Dr. J, (Philly Fanatic, May 24)? Barkley's legacy in
Philadelphia was spitting on fans. When he left, there were no
tears shed. Barkley's still looking for his first ring. Time
will tell whether Allen Iverson belongs with Wilt and Dr. J. or
with Barkley.
BILL CONROY, Crofton, Md.

COLOR PHOTO: WALTER IOOSS Rock critics among our readers point out some omissions from our time line. Match up (from left) Lem Barney, Cecil Cooper, the Lithuanian Olympic basketball team and John Mellencamp with the relevant letters.COLOR PHOTO: JAMES DRAKE [See caption above]COLOR PHOTO: ANDY BERNSTEIN [See caption above]COLOR PHOTO: TIM MOSENFELDER/CORBIS [See caption above]