SPORTS ILLUSTRATED received more than 36,000 letters last year.
These letters could be challenging or funny or ironic, but they
were always well-informed. Many were requests for specific
information (one reader even asked for a Christmas gift
suggestion), many more offered opinion (our Dec. 16 list of the
Top 100 Sports Books of All Time has already prompted more than
100 letters), and some even thanked SI for changing their lives
(a man told of how he broke the ice with his future wife by
asking to borrow her copy of SI on an airplane). If you read
these letters each week, you see a common subtext: Give us
more--more of almost everything the magazine does. They remind
me of a sign painted across the front of New York City's
hard-core country music joint back in the 1970s and '80s: TOO
MUCH AIN'T ENOUGH. That was the Lone Star Cafe, and a lot of SI
writers used to drop in, which might've had something to do
with the fact that a number of them were Texans and the place
had a 40-foot-long plastic iguana on the roof. In any case the
Lone Star was really a sports bar, even if Willie Nelson played
there, and the hilarious Don Imus did stand-up. And like all
such establishments, it was a high-spirited proving ground for
the idea that a passion for sports holds America together,
connecting people who can't agree on what's wrong with the
Lakers this season, or if Ohio State can beat Miami, but who
probably know they could run Major League Baseball better than
Bud Selig. Of course there's more to it: Scores matter, we know
that, but not as much as heart. That's why when you look at our
covers this year--from Sarah Hughes to Ted Williams to Notre
Dame to high school sports to Lance Armstrong--you'll remember
why 2002 was a great sports year. And by the way, we answer
most every letter, even if we don't have an iguana on the roof.

Managing Editor