Letters

April 21, 2002

A Tragedy in Ohio

My fellow Blue Jackets' fans and I are not upset that SI decided
to make Brittanie Cecil's death a cover story (The Death of a
Fan, April 1). However, we are profoundly disappointed in your
choice of the player's photograph used on the cover. We believe
you chose Espen Knutsen's picture as a means to sensationalize a
tragedy. You have pointed a crooked finger at an innocent, caring
and now heartbroken man who did nothing wrong.
BILL COSGROVE,Columbus, Ohio

While I appreciated the memorial to Brittanie Cecil and the
special report on the available safety devices that are unused at
NHL rinks, I found it distasteful that the cover also included a
picture of Espen Knutsen. Knutsen's play was part of the regular
on-ice action and should not have been construed to be the cause
of the tragedy. Let the blame lie not with those who play the
game fairly, but with those who reject the idea of fan safety.
ANDREW J. GRAHAM
Wilmore, Ky.

Ken Dryden says we wouldn't even notice the nets after a while,
so let's put them up. We owe it to our families, to each other
and to a little girl named Brittanie.
THOMAS PERRY, Sturgis, Mich.

I am disappointed in the NHL for not taking quick action to
mandate new safety guidelines such as nets and higher plexiglass.
It was only a matter of time before something disastrous took
place. Apparently, the league has learned nothing from this
tragedy.
KEVIN MCELLIGOTT, Neenah, Wis.

I was interested to learn that the Red Sox are adding new seats
at Fenway (SCORECARD, April 1) from the same issue that featured
a cover story about the death of a fan--and the danger to fans
from flying pucks, foul balls, etc. Having attended about 150
games at Fenway, I am familiar with where the new seats have been
installed. Unless the individuals who sit there are Brooks
Robinson or covered in armor, you may want to start preparing
part two of The Death of a Fan.
JOHN L. HAMBLIN JR., Medway, Mass.

Grappling with the Issues

Thanks for an outstanding article on Cael Sanderson of Iowa State
(Perfect, April 1), his amazing four NCAA Division I wrestling
titles and his undefeated career record of 159-0. The qualities
of self-discipline, dedication to hard work, responsibility for
one's actions and maintenance of a high fitness level that are
inherent in wrestling are traits we all could use more of. What a
relief to hear responses from a champion that are "short and
polite."
JAMES R. MEEHAN
Ashton, Md.

As a wrestling fan, a sports fan and the author of one of the 100
e-mails you received campaigning for more wrestling coverage
(SCORECARD, April 8), I would like to express my displeasure and
shock at your mock cover of Cael Sanderson. You portrayed
wrestling as a second-rate endeavor and made those of us who
wrote seem extremely out of line in promoting our sport.
ANDREW FARRAR, Alexandria, Va.

The Cael Sanderson article was a good read, but you were guilty
of a major April Fool's Day issue oversight when you didn't even
mention Minnesota's second straight NCAA wrestling team title. J
Robinson's Gophers, who have also won two consecutive Big Ten
team championships, have of late taken some of the spotlight from
the teams from Iowa and Oklahoma.
SCOTT NELSON, Mankato, Minn.

Truancy

Rick Reilly (THE LIFE OF REILLY, April 1) is dead on in his
Missing Persons column. I'm much more interested in what Shane
Battier is doing in the NBA than in what Kwame Brown is doing. I
never saw Brown play in college and therefore never became his
fan.
GREG LEET, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

The problem with college athletics is not that players leave
early for the pros, but rather that many players go to college
with no intention of being students. Players who leave college
early or choose not to attend college are at least being honest
that their goal is to play basketball, not to earn a degree. To
me it would have been a far greater tragedy for Michigan to have
accepted a nonstudent like Kevin Garnett than it is that college
basketball doesn't include the best college-age players.
DAN LEDASIL, Mentor, Ohio

Casting a Giant Shadow

Count me among the SI faithful who automatically turn first to
the back page to see what Rick Reilly's going to do to my senses
each week. I've laughed, cried and marveled at the humor, pathos
and peccadilloes he has spotlighted. I've never been more blown
away than I was by The Real New York Giants (THE LIFE OF REILLY,
March 25). That was a laser beam focused on what teamwork really
means.
MARY BILINKAS, Chandler, Ariz.

How do the men of the FDNY continue playing football after losing
so many of their brothers in the WTC tragedy? Let us not forget
why they are called the Bravest--because they are.
MATTHEW HILTON, West Lafayette, Ind.

Correction

Our article Rich Get Richer (Dec. 24-31) featured a photograph of
Jason Giambi based on a photograph of Babe Ruth taken by Nickolas
Muray in 1927. Mr. Muray's name was inadvertently omitted from
the credit for the photo illustration.

COLOR PHOTO: CHRIS PUTMAN/AP (KNUTSEN) COLOR PHOTO: PAT TAYLOR/ZUMA PRESS

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