We Can't Get No Respect
What am I supposed to whine about now that you've finally
overrated Oregon's and Oregon State's football teams (Scouting
Reports, Aug. 13)? As an Oregon student who grew up in
Corvallis, I've spent countless enjoyable hours complaining
about how Pac-10 football gets little attention from the
national media, and now you've given my beloved Ducks and the
evil Beavers more than they deserve. Thank you for at least
having the courtesy, as you do every year, to grossly overrate
the Texas Longhorns.
ZACH MULL, Corvallis, Ore.
Oregon State as No. 1? The stuff you are smoking is banned by
PHIL WOJTALEWICZ, Grand Island, Neb.
Oregon and Oregon State on the cover? Since when do you publish
your April Fools' Day issue in August?
MATT NORLING, Yakima, Wash.
As a Kent State football fan--yes, such a thing exists--I am
dismayed you rate us as the 109th best college team in the
country. The Golden Flashes are at least a 104.
CHRIS WILSON, Austintown, Ohio
The Son Also Rises
Your article on Texas quarterback Chris Simms (Steer Crazy, Aug.
13) underscores a harsh reality of athletics these days--playing
time isn't based on talent or accomplishments. Instead it's
based on your last name and how much influence you have. If
that's not the case, why is the son of former NFL star Phil
Simms the Longhorns' starting quarterback instead of Major
Applewhite? Simms's career numbers entering this season, which
include nearly as many interceptions (8) as touchdown passes
(10) in 16 games, pale in comparison to Applewhite's 7,974
yards, 57 touchdowns and 27 interceptions over 33 games.
SCOTT NANNEY, Paris, Tenn.
I was glad to see that you included a picture of Gene Conley in
THE LINEUP (Aug. 13), but how could you not include him among
the best of the tall pitchers (Tall of Fame)? In his 11-year
career he won 91 games with an ERA of 3.82, finished third in
National League Rookie of the Year voting in 1954 and struck out
Al Kaline, Mickey Vernon and Al Rosen in the 12th inning of the
'55 All-Star Game (and became the winning pitcher when Stan
Musial homered to win it). And all while moonlighting as a
center for the Boston Celtics.
BILL HENRY, Glenwood, Md.
I was disappointed you did not cite my cousin, 6'6" Dick Hall. A
reliable reliever known for his excellent control--he had only one
wild pitch in more than 1,200 innings pitched--he spent much of
his 19 years in the major leagues with the Baltimore Orioles, who
in 1989 inducted him into their hall of fame. He won 93 games,
and he's a great guy.
THOMAS S. HALL, New Providence, N.J.
Korey, We Hardly Knew Ye
Like Steve Rushin, I knew little of Korey Stringer as a player
or as a person (AIR AND SPACE, Aug. 13). I don't follow the
Vikings, but I haven't ever been as affected by the passing of a
public figure as I was by Korey's. Everything I've read depicts
him as the sort of person all people should have in their lives
and the sort of person many people should aspire to become. Like
Rushin, I feel privileged to "have met him."
BRIAN ANDERSON, San Francisco
It's easy for Steve Rushin to admonish Terrell Davis, Andruw
Jones and the other athletes involved in the Atlanta Gold Club
trial (AIR AND SPACE, Aug. 6). If Rushin were a great-looking
millionaire with bulging muscles and women falling at his feet,
would he really turn down free sex with several gorgeous women at
once? I doubt it. I know I wouldn't!
DANIEL THOMAS DELELLIS, Clearwater, Fla.
I congratulate Mr. Rushin for creating a new "ism" to go along
with racism and sexism: jobism. He has decided that all exotic
dancers are disease-ridden and untouchable, obviously without
taking the time to get to know any of us. Had he made that
effort, he would have found that we are mothers, sisters, wives
and even grandmothers who have decided to provide for ourselves
and our families by working in a somewhat unorthodox business.
Yes, some of the ladies in my profession do engage in the
behavior he described, but the vast majority of us do not.
MAXI MOUNDS, Englewood, Fla.
The Big 12 (including Nebraska and Oklahoma, above) is the only
conference that had three teams ranked in your top 10 and four
in your top 15, and one of only two that had five teams in your
top 25, yet you rated it the fourth-best conference, behind even
the downtrodden Big Ten.
SCOTT JOHNSON, Boise, Idaho
--Each conference was listed by the average ranking of all its
teams. The 11 teams in the Big Ten averaged 39.73, while those
in the Big 12 averaged 39.83 --ED.