Verdict on Vick

With last season's performance in the Sugar Bowl, Michael Vick
proved he was not only the most exciting but also the best player
in the country (A Cut above the Rest, Aug. 14). Vick reminded me
of a young Shaquille O'Neal when he was at LSU and taking over
games. Now O'Neal is the best center in the NBA and a future Hall
of Famer. Vick, in my opinion, could become the greatest college
football player ever.
JOHN FURBUSH, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Forgive me for not jumping on the Vick bandwagon, but what I saw
last season was like watching a 16-year-old who had been given
the keys to his dad's Ferrari. The Virginia Tech team of last
year was built on defense and special teams; Vick was just the
icing on the cake. How he'll do this year is the true test.
MARK NEWTON, Fort Wayne, Ind.

The new breed of quarterback (Escape Artists, Aug. 14), as
epitomized by Vick, is a throwback to the big, strong, athletes
used at tailback by Red Sanders at UCLA in the 1950s in the
single wing. They could run, pass and punt and accounted for the
only national football title the Bruins have won.
SKIP NEVELL, Los Angeles

The Sound of Music

I enjoyed Rick Reilly's article on fight songs (THE LIFE OF
REILLY, Aug. 14). My alma mater, Illinois, includes Nobel
Prize-winning physicists and Silicon Valley CEOs among its
faculty and alumni. I'm sure they're just as confused as the
rest of us Illini about what the first verse of the school song
means:

We're loyal to you Illinois
We're "Orange and Blue," Illinois
We'll back you to stand
'Gainst the best in the land
For we know you have sand, Illinois
ROBIN FENNEMA, Tallahassee, Fla.

You forgot the best college fight song: New Mexico State's. One
of the verses goes:

And when we win this game
We'll buy a keg of booze
And we'll drink to the Aggies
'Til we wobble in our shoes
JOYCE KOZELISKI, Gallup, N.Mex.

What do you mean "that's pretty much the whole song," referring
to Michigan's The Victors? The lines you quoted are merely the
refrain to a Sousa-like march. To hear the complete lyrics and
the full march, check out mgoblue.com/sounds/lyrics-victors.html.
BILL WILLIAMS, Lacey, Wash.

Modern Maturity

Congratulations to Jeff Pearlman for his article about Gary
Sheffield (Power of Love, Aug. 14). I enjoyed reading about the
maturing of Sheffield since his days in Milwaukee.
MARY TRACY, Appleton, Wis.

In your article on Sheffield, I recognized an alarming trend in
the pages of SI: the canonization of players who have come to
their senses after years of ego trips. As in your article on
Pokey Reese (Fast and Loose, June 12), your feature on Sheffield
applauds a player who is doing things he should have done a long
time ago. Let's give these players a little more time to prove
(or disprove) their good intentions before patting them on the
back.
ZACHARY MARTIN, Miami

Sheffield doesn't have a clue about the arrogant reputation he
earned early in his career. Rather than lamenting, "How long will
guys keep digging it up?" he should concentrate on setting a good
example for his children.
BILL DUNNE, Edina, Minn.

COLOR PHOTO: HEINZ KLUETMEIER, PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY MATT MAHURIN COLOR PHOTO: AP PHOTO/THE ROANOKE TIMES, ERIC BRADY

I'm upset with you for ragging on the repetitious Oklahoma fight
song, Boomer Sooner. I'm upset with you for ragging on the
repetitious Oklahoma fight song, Boomer Sooner.
--DAVID GIERHART, Bixby, Okla.

Deja Vu All Over Again

Your college football preview issue (Aug. 14) featuring Mr.
Electric, Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick, and a
lightning bolt on the cover has already proved prophetic after
the Hokies' season opener, against Georgia Tech, was canceled
because of--what else?--lightning!
JIM ALLRED, Houston

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)