Anna Kournikova is the Britney Spears of tennis: all hype and no
--AL REID, Houston
This is an article from the July 10, 2000 issue
Just Another Pretty Face
Tennis is boring, and women's tennis is even worse (Anna
Kournikova, June 5). The only thing that makes the sport remotely
bearable is Anna Kournikova--not because of her tennis but because
of her looks.
WAYNE KREGER, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Frank Deford's article is unmitigated fluff. Why he would choose
an overblown subject like Kournikova is beyond me. I choose to
root for steely winner Martina Hingis every time.
ROBERT MARTINEZ, Tucson
Deford's article was a treat because of sentences such as, "On
the court she is like a trim sloop, skimming across the surface,
her long signature pigtail flying about like a torn spinnaker in
the wind." That's one of the most illustrative word images I've
DOUG KOHL, Akron
What a waste of time, talent and space. Having Frank Deford
write about Kournikova is like Joyce Carol Oates penning ad copy
GARY STEWART, Ithaca, N.Y.
Many men in their mid-20s, like myself, spent their childhood
dreaming of becoming American baseball players. Who would have
guessed that as adults we would all be dreaming we were Russian
BOB HEANING, Edison, N.J.
I like my sports like everybody else, but here's hoping Anna
breaks Michael Jordan's record for SI covers!
JOSEPH N. ABRAHAM, Little Rock
The Lakers dig in their heels against the Blazers. The Knicks
come back from a two-games-to-none deficit at the Garden. The
Devils eliminate the Flyers. The Avalanche falls to the Stars.
Maurice Richard goes on to a place of honor at the big Forum in
the Sky. Pedro Martinez chases a shadow that Bob Gibson has cast
since 1968. And Anna Kournikova--a teenager who has never won a
singles title in a WTA tournament--graces the cover of SPORTS
ILLUSTRATED. What happened?
GARY M. LIOTTA, Santa Monica, Calif.
I know you will have your whiners: NBA playoffs, blah, blah. NHL
playoffs, blah, blah. But as long as those stories are on the
inside, 52 weeks of Anna covers would be fine by me!
JOHN ENGH, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Give that Man a Hand
That was a well-deserved thank you note Rick Reilly wrote to
Shaquille O'Neal (THE LIFE OF REILLY, June 5). I wish he had left
it simply as a tribute to Shaq, however, and omitted the
unnecessary potshots at Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
MELISSA PHILLIPS, Clarksburg, W.Va.
As a Magic fan living in L.A., I had become comfortable in my
smug dislike of O'Neal, still holding him in contempt for bolting
from Orlando. Then you and your simple thank you note show up.
So, all right, fine. Thank you, Rick, and (gulp!) thank you,
MIKE BRENNAN, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Shaq may be an incredible athlete and a good person, but have we
gotten to the point that we have to thank our athletes for not
doing drugs, not beating their girlfriends, not driving drunk and
actually playing hard?
JONATHAN KINGERY, Newark, Del.
Being a teacher of inner-city 10-year-olds, I've seen how the
much-publicized criminal activity of so-called role models
affects children. Reilly demonstrates how the good deeds of real
role models go underappreciated and unpublicized.
BRETT GUSTAFSON, New York City
Great article, Rick! You're the first to criticize and the first
to compliment. I respect the openness.
JEFFREY RUDD, Atlanta
Accentuate the Positive
I hope it's not too late for Bobby Morrow to snap out of it
(Blue, Blue Days, June 5). His many track contemporaries still
think highly of him. All of us were subject to the same stringent
amateur rules, but we moved on, and we rejoice in the financial
opportunities open to today's athletes. Bobby was and is a great
American sports hero. He needs to wrap those three Olympic gold
medals around his neck and come out of the starting blocks into
the sunshine. We'll all welcome him.
JIM BEATTY (Sullivan Award winner, 1962)
The Greatest Love of All
Pity poor Sergei Fedorov and Pavel Bure and anyone else who is
smitten with Ms. Kournikova (shown above in a new ad for a sports
bra). She has already found the only person she will ever truly
JUDY HECKER, Three Forks, Mont.