How happy did it make me to read that my Indians offered Alfonso
Soriano $1.6 million, and then the Yankees came in and almost
doubled it (He's Arrived, Aug. 26)? About as happy as I am
watching my team go from perennial contenders to also-rans in one
year as the Yanks roll on. Go get 'em, Alfonso, all the ice cream
you can eat, baby.
Marc Nichol, Youngstown, Ohio
On the Beem
Congratulations to Rich Beem for becoming an American success
story and coming across as a likable guy (Tiger Tamer, Aug. 26).
I hope his father can finally acknowledge he has amounted to
Brad D. Bianucci, Rockwall, Texas
First an exciting Tour win at the International on Aug. 4 that
gets him an invitation to the PGA, and then--in your own words--a
win at "the most exciting major of the year." So what does Beem
have to do to get on SI's cover?
Adele L. Reester, Longmont, Colo.
Hazeltine won, the PGA won, the spectators won, Rich Beem won,
and Tiger didn't lose--he just got beat.
Gary Jennings, Rochester, Minn.
Terrorism Then and Now
As a 26-year-old journalist I had the good fortune of covering
the Munich Olympics for my hometown newspaper. With the tragic
events of Sept. 5, 1972 (When the Terror Began, Aug. 26), I
matured both in the profession and as a person. Every now and
then I have flashbacks to the awful events of that day. Alexander
Wolff's article made me reflect, and cry, one more time.
It's interesting that the only victim you chose to profile in
your excellent article about Munich was the American. Don't the
Israeli victims deserve profiles? The attack was against them,
after all, not America. The least you can do, if you publish an
interview with the mastermind of this horrible event, is provide
equal time to all the victims, not just the one who happened to
be an American.
Paul DeBruler, Hartford
Your in-depth retrospective on the Munich massacre was an
important reminder that terrorism thrives on media attention. The
attack was seen by the Palestinians as a media coup that put them
on the map. Media focus should be on the victims of terrorism to
avoid giving terrorists victories on the p.r. battlefield. That
is one of the important lessons of the horrible events 30 years
ago that is still to be learned.
Samuel M. Ehrenhalt, Brooklyn
Although I was only 12 years old at the time, the horror of the
1972 Olympics is still vivid in my mind. I agree with Ankie
Spitzer. Why has no one ever sat in court for the internationally
televised murder of 11 innocent Olympians?
Perry Mark Williams, El Dorado, Ark.
Though I love ESPN, John Walsh's denial that TV has hurt
sportsmanship is pure rubbish (SCORECARD, Aug. 26). As a
basketball coach I know the well-executed pass, screen, mid-range
jump shot or box out are rarely shown on the highlights. What we
get are the dunks, trifectas and celebratory woofing. Kids know
what will be rewarded with a few seconds of televised fame and
emulate that behavior. Television doesn't necessarily dictate
behavior, but it certainly does influence it.
Richard Sotiros, Lakewood, Colo.
Your Elite Eight pitchers who have a chance to win 20 games with
ERAs under 3.00 should have been a Nifty Nine (INSIDE BASEBALL,
Aug. 26). Pitching for Cleveland and Montreal, Bartolo Colon has
won 18 games with a career-best 2.64 ERA, not to mention a
major-league-leading eight complete games (stats as of Sept. 8).
Those numbers, for a pair of losing teams, should be more than
enough to reserve a spot for him on your short list of impressive
Matt LaWell, Hudson, Ohio
I was quite pleased to see the SCORECARD item on Ed Headrick and
Ultimate Frisbee (Aug. 26), but it was with great disappointment
that I read, "Ultimate is about the only sport you can play well
stoned." I am not going to deny there are Ultimate Frisbee
players who use illegal drugs, just as do some professional and
college athletes. Ultimate, however, is far from a casual sport
for drug-using college kids. The Ultimate Players Association has
over 13,000 members of all ages in the United States, and is both
a college and postcollege sport played widely on recreational and
competitive levels. The assertion that it is a game better played
stoned paints it as a joke instead of a sport.
Bill McNary, Washington, D.C.
Franz Lidz really captured the essence of Frisbee. When a friend
and I heard that Ed Headrick had passed away, we listed our
favorite Frisbee follies: watching a plump pal teeter into the
shrubs at Brooklyn College while stretching to make a catch;
accidentally hitting a lady with a beehive hairdo flush in the
forehead as she dozed in a lawn chair; and pulling the serial
number from my wallet to prove a Frisbee in dispute was mine.
And, of course, this one: ten years ago this month, an hour
before my wedding ceremony, playing catch in the park. We call it
My Final Fling.
Michael Barnes, Los Angeles
I first met Ed Headrick when I was grouped with him for the
next-to-last round of the 1999 Amateur Disc Golf World
Championships. I had played terribly in the previous round, but
Ed's positive attitude helped me improve my performance. He
taught me that the player who has the most fun truly wins, a
philosophy I've followed since. Ed's presence in the sports world
will be greatly missed by all disc sports players.
Kevin Cox, Ocala, Fla.
It's nice that you remembered Don Gutteridge (SCORECARD, Aug.
26), but how could you not mention his service with the St. Louis
Browns? In 1944 he was on their only American League pennant
winner as they lost the World Series four games to two to their
tenants, the Cardinals.
Roger Godin, St. Paul
Hard Hat Area
My high school recently purchased the new Ridell Revolution
helmets (SCORECARD, Aug. 26). They're remarkably comfortable,
ventilated, light and ugly! Our team has learned to look past
this problem. Football isn't a fashion show, so why treat it that
way? I believe that everyone should have one of these helmets so
that all athletes will be able to play longer and not risk
becoming another Steve Young or Troy Aikman.
Mark Winslow, Arlington Heights, Ill.
If Seattle Linebacker Chad Brown thinks the new Ridell helmet is
"dorky," he ought to turn the page and check out Kyle Rote's
MaryAnne Smith, Salt Lake City
I am a fortysomething wife, mother and nurse who is a big sports
fan--spectator only. I just loved Rick Reilly's recent column on
going to the demolition derby with his sons (THE LIFE OF REILLY,
Aug. 26). I was howling! He has a great perspective on sports and
Tricia Patterson, Kennesaw, Ga.
On a recent Monday when I got to work, my coworker and famous
northern Michigan demolition derby driver Richard (Goober) Berry
asked if I had taken the family to see him destroy the
competition at the Otsego County Fair (above). I told him we'd
been performing in the local community theater production of
Oliver! The next day I got my SI in the mail and read with great
interest Reilly's article on his experience at a demolition
derby. I now believe that I will pass on the auditions for next
summer's Peter Pan in favor of following Goober on the demolition
Peter M. Hohn, Gaylord, Mich.
After reading Reilly's piece on the demolition derby, I couldn't
help but think, And people get upset with the violence in
professional hockey. The Vancouver Canucks could use some of the
demolition derby's take-no-prisoners, last-man-standing-wins
Ed Rogers, Coquitlam, B.C.
Was that great stuff or what? I loved spending a Sunday afternoon
watching two professional golfers, Fred Funk (GOLF PLUS, Life of
the Party, Aug. 26) and Rich Beem, in the final round of a major
tournament show enthusiasm, big smiles and openly talk and joke
as they competed. Other than Lefty, who smiles a lot, these guys
are real heroes to those of us who never had the good fortune to
compete for a million dollars.
Jim and Pat Dye, Saginaw, Mich.
Beem put together a great run at the PGA--capped by his brilliant
68 in the final round--but I must take exception to some of the
comments about Tiger Woods written by Alan Shipnuck (GOLF PLUS,
THE WEEK, Aug. 26). Woods did not "blink" under pressure. He
never once held or shared the tournament lead on the final day,
and it took a flawless effort by Tiger on the last four holes to
salvage what otherwise would have been a lackluster finish. Also,
to say that Tiger's legend has shrunk is completely absurd.
Unless, of course, you believe that winning the Masters and the
U.S. Open in the same year is somehow a sign of fading talent and
Will Gibson, Indianapolis
The Women's Game
Thanks for remembering the WNBA in your magazine: I am a huge
fan. I am only 16 years old, but I think that Ed Toebes from Iowa
(LETTERS, Aug. 26), who highlighted his anti-WNBA bias with a
plea for saving trees, should realize that all athletes are to be
recognized for their hard work no matter what their sport. I'm
not a fan of NASCAR, but I would never say you waste paper by
publishing articles on it.
Liz Ryan, Bayonne, N.J.