Revisiting the Titans

Your article on T.C. Williams High was enlightening and
depressing (Remember the Titans? Oct. 15). I can't imagine a
high school allowing a student to settle for less than a C,
regardless of how athletically gifted the student is. That would
put sports ahead of academics and handicap the student before he
gets a chance to face the real world. If you set the standard
high, some might fail to reach it, but by setting it high, you
will get all students to try harder and achieve more than they
thought they could.

Another inspiring movie, Remember the Titans 2, could be made
about the success of T.C. Williams athletic director A.K.
Johnson's track and field teams during the period of the decline
of the football team. These teams, which landed Coach Johnson in
the Virginia High School Hall of Fame, won nine state
championships and were--and still are--the most racially integrated
experience in the high school for many kids, including three of
MICHAEL L. SELTZ, Alexandria, Va.

In academic contests T.C. Williams has on occasion outperformed
the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, in
Fairfax County, Va., which has the most National Merit
Scholarship semifinalists in the nation. My two children each
entered Stanford with a year's worth of college credit after
graduating from T.C. Williams. The high academic standards and
the cultural diversity of T.C. Williams are benefits rarely
available elsewhere and are recognized by the admissions
departments of the best universities in the U.S.
GREGORY L. MURPHY, Alexandria, Va.

Covering the Bases

My son couldn't understand it when I told him the only player in
the National League I would pay to see was Tony Gwynn (Old
Glories, Oct. 15). Of course, my son didn't experience the joy,
as I did, of watching Luke Appling, Stan Hack, Richie Ashburn and
Rod Carew foul off pitch after pitch until they got the one they
wanted, which they then slapped to the opposite field for a base
hit. Tony, on behalf of the many baseball fans who treasure
watching a craftsman at work, we'll miss you.

Strictly Speaking

I'm surprised that S.L. Price could write such an outstanding
article about what discipline can do for a college football team
(Discipline, Oct. 22) without mentioning what Bob Stoops has done
at Oklahoma over the last three years.
JERRY MUZAR, Norman, Okla.

As a high school football coach and parent of a former Toledo
football player, I want to thank you for sharing what I already
knew about former Rockets and current Missouri coach Gary Pinkel.
He and his staff are the kind of people who not only promote
exciting, competitive athletics but also bring out the best
qualities in the young men they mentor. Pinkel proves that
character counts, characters don't.
JOHN SCHAEFER, Yorkville, Ill.

Warrior King

Rick Reilly's article poignantly describes the makeup of those
conducting the air strikes in Afghanistan (THE LIFE OF REILLY,
Oct. 22). As the vice president-general manager at Giants
Stadium and a former naval aviator, I had the privilege of
hosting Chip King and other members of the Blacklions during the
Giants' NFC Championship Game against the Vikings last Jan. 14.
They performed a three-plane flyover before the game, which
culminated in a 41-0 victory for the Giants. I am confident that
King, along with the other brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and
Marines who are fighting this just war, will be as victorious.
BILL SQUIRES, West Orange, N.J.

I remember as a kid ordering SPORTS ILLUSTRATED posters of my
heroes for my bedroom walls. (I still have the one of A.J. Duhe.)
I was wondering when the Comdr. Chip King poster will be
available. He is my new hero.
ANDY MARAFINO, Torrance, Calif.

My wife came into the kitchen crying because she couldn't
understand how someone who callously views people as "targets"
can be so easily glorified as a hero. Commander King said, "It's
not about taking human life. It's about breaking their will to
wage war." For some of us, however, it is about human life. While
I hope that King can avoid the Taliban arsenal, I will continue
to view Michael Jordan as my hero.
JAY HOLAVARRI, Corvallis, Ore.

Child's Play

I thought it was interesting you didn't include Paul Zimmerman
in "Slick Pickin's" (SCORECARD, Oct. 22). The four-year-old's
7-7 record for Week 5 of the NFL season was better than Dr. Z's.
The SI prognosticator was 4-7. Perhaps Dr. Z can find some
consolation in knowing that in Week 4, he was a more childlike
TOM MUELLER, Westminster, Colo.


Stolen Spotlight

Go figure:

3--Sentences SI devoted to Rickey Henderson (right) when he
became the 25th baseball player to reach 3,000 hits.

1--Sentence on Henderson's becoming baseball's alltime
runs-scored leader.

0--Pictures celebrating the season in which Rickey also set the
career record for walks.

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)