Letters

February 24, 2003

Bucs Bowl

Thanks for the insightful Super Bowl article by Michael Silver
(What a Steal!, Feb. 3). Your photographers--as professional as
the teams they cover--captured the emotions of the day, from
pregame to the victory celebration. However, I'm left wondering
why the Buccaneers' unbuckled belts were flapping in the wind?
And where were the Uniform Police hiding?
Ken Donnelly
Eagle Point, Ore.

Congratulations to Jon Gruden, who joins fellow Dayton alumnus
Chuck Noll as coaches of Super Bowl champion teams.
Donald E. Bennett
Westlake, Ohio

Forget the loss to Tampa and the five interceptions for Rich
Gannon. As a Raiders fan my biggest disappointment about the
Super Bowl came from Jon Gruden's comments about his sudden
departure from Oakland: "Maybe I should've called some people
when I left, but I don't know--I was leaving, you know? It's
unproductive to talk to them." It may have been uncomfortable for
you, Jon, but it would have been the right thing to do. You won
the Super Bowl, but you lost a fan. Go Raiders!
Tracy Lape, Discovery Bay, Calif.

What a pleasant surprise to see Joe Jurevicius featured on your
cover. In the face of his wife's difficult and premature delivery
of their son, Jurevicius put his family ahead of his team and his
team ahead of himself.
Michael J. Dinga, LaGrange, Ky.

Going Digital

Kudos for the extraordinary digital photographs taken at the
Super Bowl (CONTRIBUTORS, Feb. 3). Starting with John Biever's
exquisite cover shot, the technology's proof is obviously in the
pictures.
Mike Burns, Turnersville, N.J.

The soft images from your "first all-digital Super Bowl" weren't
a great credit to your 12 photographers and the 12,000 images
they produced. Where's the crystal-clear, knock-you-out crispness
that has characterized your best sports imagery?
Peter Spurr, Saanich, B.C.

Understanding Barry

Although I've never been a fan of the Detroit Lions, I am a fan
of great people who understand the meaning of humility. I bet if
all NFL athletes behaved more like Barry Sanders does (Barry
Sanders, Feb. 3), everyone would tune in to NFL games on Sundays.
Todd W. Norden Vineland, N.J.

Your article on Sanders was uplifting and troubling. I admire a
man who has the courage to quit a child's game because he no
longer has fun playing it, and the wisdom not to try to explain
that ethic to the world. It's nuts that so many people can't
understand the values of a man whose effort was never in question
and who does not care if he is listed first in a record book.
Sanders is simply a good person and a model teammate who had
reached a position of financial security. Is that really so hard
to understand?
Kelly Michael Weiss, Austin

While Sanders showed such class on the football field, he showed
little while abandoning the game. I can never forget how he hung
his teammates, the Lions organization and the city of Detroit out
to dry just before training camp.
Matt Blyth, Chicago

Too many great athletes stay too long on the playing field, then
mock their legends with embarrassing television stints. Barry let
his running do the talking and gave Detroit football fans
something to be proud of. Thanks for the effort, Barry, and enjoy
your retirement.
Ted Theodoroff Jr., Ferndale, Mich.

Down on Davis

Is there so little news in college basketball that SI had to
devote six pages to Mike Davis (He's in Control (Really!), Feb.
3)? Please, if he were in control, the Hoosiers would not be
struggling the way they have been this year.
Margaret Binkley, West Lafayette, Ind.

Raider Nation Responds

I was disappointed to read Rick Reilly's account of the illness
that cost Oakland's Barret Robbins his chance to play in the
Super Bowl (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Feb. 3). Having played and
coached football--including, coincidentally, being part of a
staff that had to stop high school star Rich Gannon 20 years ago
in Philadelphia--I understand the anger of Robbins's Raiders
teammates. As someone who lost a job while battling depression
and the side effects of medication, I wish Reilly had shown that
at least he knows the difference between an imbalance in brain
chemistry and a character flaw. Had Robbins been healthy, he
surely would have wanted to play. He needs better help, not
Reilly's ridicule.
Chris Teare, Beverly, Mass.

Do you people believe that the Raider Nation cannot read between
the lines? In that piece of flaming, biased trash, all that the
Bronco-loving, living-in-the-Denver-suburbs Reilly did was piss
off tens of thousands of Raiders faithful.
Terry Dorsey, Cornelius, Ore.

Yes, the Raiders were outplayed--by themselves as much as by the
Bucs--but dead? Raider-haters be advised, the Raider Nation does
not live and die by one game. We also know that we do not live
and die by Al Davis. We bleed Silver and Black. We loved the
Raiders in L.A. and in Oakland; through droughts and through
lawsuits we still wear our spikes and skulls and our jerseys with
pride.
Lenora Duncan, Long Beach, Calif.

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER

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