Tex Hex?

We Texans have suffered for two decades with one of the worst
franchises in all of sports. Mark Cuban purchased the team, and
within two years the Mavericks moved into the NBA elite. They
even swept a playoff series. We had our sights on the finals, and
now you slap us down with the SI Cover Jinx (Style Points, May
6). Thanks for ending the season for us.
MARTY L. FABER, Arlington, Texas

Ice Storm

Michael Farber's article on the horrifying first round of the
NHL playoffs (Down and Dirty, May 6) was not critical enough of
league management. If the NHL came down harder on dirty
play--with suspensions that match the time lost by the injured
player--the maiming might subside.

As usual you have chosen to focus on the negative side of
hockey. Although there were some incidents in the first round of
the NHL playoffs that were uncalled for and extremely stupid,
you did exactly the type of reporting that contributes to
hockey's negative reputation. Instead of that garbage, why not
mention the three shutouts each by Patrick Lalime and Brent
Johnson, Montreal's stunning upset of the Bruins or Carolina's
victory over the Devils? There was a lot more to the first round
than just the hits and suspensions.
SCOTT ALLEGRINI, Santa Clarita, Calif.

NHL coaches, players and officials are paid handsomely to act
like professionals. It is time they did so.
JAMIE MCLEAN, Hamilton, Ont.

Twenty years ago cheap-shot artists like Darcy Tucker and Kyle
McLaren would have left the rink a few teeth lighter. Everyone
looks to the league for suspensions when a little on-ice justice
would go a lot further. No retribution stings as much as that
which comes from your peers.

As a 14-year-old hockey player and fan, I found it disheartening
to see teams I had grown to love and respect turning ugly. It
was even worse when I heard adults blaming it on Michael Peca
and Kenny Jonsson, saying they weren't paying attention. Then I
heard teammates' parents encouraging players to take out their
opponents' knees and hit cheap. Hockey is losing its integrity.
MIKE WERNER, Mentor, Ohio

Deadly Descent

With Unforgiving Mountain (April 29) you have outdone
yourselves. This terrific article is indeed a disturbing story
and a warning to outdoors lovers of the inherent dangers of
extreme sports. However, the spirit of the four people who
attempted this incredible feat actually motivates me even more
to try exciting outdoor activities.
Arlington, Mass.

Four dumb guys thought they could ski a "45-degree pitch of rock
and ice." Two fell and died. What a surprise! Their folly shows
how desperately competitive we are to be first at something. I
have an idea: I'll be the first to skateboard off the Grand
Canyon. I may die, but at least I will have tried. Anyone want
to join me?
DANIEL CURRAN, Cambridge, Mass.

Bear Necessity

Thank you for the wonderful article on Cal rugby, Jack Clark and
the success of the team on and off the pitch (Papa Bear, May 6).
In 1998 I was sitting in a cafe in Sarajevo watching the United
States-Ireland match during the Rugby World Cup. Across the
table was a Brit who, when he learned I was an American who had
some interest in rugby, stated, "You must have attended
Berkeley." Go Bears!

Sullivan's Travails

Richard Hoffer's The Outlaw Brawl (May 6) is the finest article
I have ever read in your consistently excellent magazine. It is
historical writing at its best. Can anyone dispute the central
point, that Sullivan was our country's first sports superstar?
And can boxing fans not laugh at and lament the fact that the
sport has been plagued by out-of-shape fighters, corruption and
bad officials for more than 100 years?
LOUIS A. IRMO, Skokie, Ill.

I was disappointed that you failed to mention Sullivan's
consistent refusal to fight the top contender for his title.
Throughout the late 1880s and early 1890s he repeatedly ducked
Peter Jackson, the Australian champion, who happened to be a
black man. Sullivan stubbornly drew the color line and never
gave the Black Prince, who was widely hailed as one of his era's
finest boxers, a shot.
GREGORY BOND, Madison, Wis.

Speedy Centenarian

I love SI, and one of the items I like best is Faces in the
Crowd. How wonderful to see 100-year-young Everett Hosack
competing in track and field (May 6). He certainly made this
grandmother get out her running shoes. Thanks, Everett.
HELEN ALLISON, Fairhope, Ala.


In an April 1 SCORECARD item on the federal government's
investigation of former Michigan booster Ed Martin, you indicated
that I am the lawyer for former Michigan players Louis Bullock
and Maurice Taylor. In fact, I represent Bullock and Robert
Traylor, both of whom cooperated fully with the government's
investigation. I have never represented Maurice Taylor nor have I
met with or spoken to him about the Martin investigation.

--We regret the error. --ED.


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