Sept. 01, 2003
Sept. 01, 2003

Table of Contents
Sept. 1, 2003

NFL Preview 2003


Mind Games

This is an article from the Sept. 1, 2003 issue

What a wonderful article about Ohio State quarterback Craig
Krenzel in SI's College Football Preview (A Beautiful Mind, Aug.
11). I was delighted to read about a young man who has his head
on straight and is doing great things not only on the football
field but also in the classroom. Last year's run to the national
championship was a thrill every step of the way, and I am eager
for this year to begin so I can watch Krenzel, coach Jim Tressel
and the rest of the Buckeyes fight their way to another national
championship. Let's go Bucks!

As a college athletic administrator, I found it refreshing to see
features on guys like Craig Krenzel and Jonathan Vilma (All
Business, Aug. 11). In a year when college sports have been
marred by lying, cheating, drugs, immoral behavior and even
homicide, SI deserves kudos for pointing out that there are still
plenty of good values, good stories and, most important, good
people in college athletics.
TIM MCMURRAY, New Braunfels, Texas

Why does Krenzel, the poster boy for brain power, require a band
on his arm with all the plays listed? Can't he remember them, or
was that his grocery list?
LINDSAY BROWN, St. Simons Island, Ga.

While your lineup of top college coaches (Wise Guides, Aug. 11)
was a fine one, it quacked me up that you left out Oregon's Mike
Bellotti. During his tenure the Ducks have amassed one of the
best records in the Pac-10 and won several bowl games, not to
mention earning a No. 2 national ranking. Maybe we need another
billboard in Times Square to get your attention.
NEAL ROSEN, San Mateo, Calif.

Rank Injustice

So let me get this straight. Your 2003 college football report
contains no non-BCS teams in the Top 25, no non-BCS players in
your Heisman Watch, no non-BCS players on your 2003 All-America
team and no non-BCS Must-See Games. It's sad that the BCS has
clouded your approach to reporting college football just as it
has for the rest of our nation's sports media.
JAN R. HORSFALL, Colorado Springs

I was surprised SI did not have Northeastern ranked in the
Division I-AA Top 10. The Huskies won their conference last year,
and coach Don Brown has several returning lettermen.
Easton, Pa.

I'm disappointed your D-III rankings did not include any teams
from the Northwest Conference. Last year the Linfield Wildcats
completed their regular season without a loss, their 47th
consecutive winning year, and made it to the quarterfinals of the
D-III playoffs. They look very ready to make it 48.
ALEX BAXTER, Boise, Idaho

Crime and Punishment

Thanks, Rick Reilly, for sticking up for Rick Majerus (The Life
of Reilly, Aug. 11), one of the sports world's truly good men.
Corrupting Our Utes may have been funny, but it was also right on
target in its depiction of Majerus's compassion for his players
and the absurdity of the NCAA's rules. The real crime here is
that the NCAA spends time and money busting Majerus while
neglecting serious problems that fester, ironically, because
there simply aren't enough leaders of his caliber.
LAURA MARRAN, Kenosha, Wis.

We desperately need the NCAA to enforce important things central
to the mission of a university, such as graduation rates and the
integrity of the concept of the student-athlete. That a school
can be penalized for buying players $20 worth of groceries, but
not for graduating less than 30% of its athletes, shows exactly
what's wrong with the NCAA.
ART MILLER, Lisle, Ill.

Your examples of nitpicking hit home. My niece was on a
basketball scholarship at Fort Hays (Kans.) State when her dad
(my brother) died suddenly. The basketball coach and his wife had
to tell my niece. Since the coach could not drive her home--it
would have been a rules violation--he arranged for a senior
player to drive my niece, while the coach and his wife followed
them in his car. My family is forever grateful to the coach, but
find it hard to believe these rules exist. Coaches who try to
take care of their student-athletes in such situations deserve to
be thanked, not punished, by the NCAA.
KATHRYN BUNNELL, Grand Lake, Okla.

Instead of punishing him and his program, the NCAA should be
holding up Majerus as an example of what a college coach should
be: focused on more than the game, caring and compassionate
toward his athletes and dedicated to his school.

Ship Shape

No NASCAR drivers on the ark (Air and Space, Aug. 11)? Steve
Rushin mustn't be aware that NASCAR is the only widely televised
sport that broadcasts a prayer before the start of each event. I
think NASCAR drivers not only would be allowed to board the
mighty vessel, but also would be seated at the captain's table.

Off the Mark

You wrote that Missouri's greatest sports moment was when Mark
McGwire broke Roger Maris's single-season mark of 61 home runs
(Sports in America, Aug. 11) and "all of America stood and
cheered." As a Yankees fan, I can tell you that many of us stayed
seated and kept our hands apart.
JEFF APLEY, Howard Beach, N.Y.

Remembering Payne

You neglected to mention one of Missouri's and America's greatest
sports heroes. Payne Stewart, a native of Springfield who died in
an October 1999 plane accident at age 42, not only was a great
golfer but also gave back to his community through the Stewart
Family Foundation. He always had time for children. No discussion
of Missouri sports legends is complete without Payne Stewart.
ANNIE DUNN, Rogersville, Mo.

Art of the Deal

I could not believe Tom Verducci listed the 2002 trade sending
Scott Rolen from the Phillies to the Cardinals for Placido
Polanco as one of worst July deals (Inside Baseball, Aug. 11).
The Phils got a valuable player before Rolen walked, and with the
same money they had offered Rolen, the Phils signed Jim Thome in
the off-season.
WILLIAM HILTNER, Langhorne Manor, Pa.

What your article regarding Laveranues Coles and his new deal
with the Redskins (You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet, Aug. 11) fails to
mention is that the Jets had to weigh the merits of matching a
$13 million signing bonus for an above-average receiver, while
their star quarterback (Chad Pennington) and defensive lineman
(John Abraham) are approaching restricted free agency. Any Jets
fan will tell you that although we'll all miss Coles, we'd much
rather have the cap room to ensure that Pennington and Abraham
will be wearing green and white for a long time to come.
RICK ROSENBERG, New Rochelle, N.Y.

A Child's Inspiration

As the father of a seven-year-old boy with Tourette's syndrome, I
was touched by Grant Wahl's story on Tim Howard (A Keeper of
Promise, Aug. 11). I have told my son that TS won't prevent him
from accomplishing anything, whether it's straight A's or a
college basketball scholarship. I wrote to Howard last year, and
he sent my son a letter of encouragement, an autographed picture
and a trading card. They hang above my son's bed and remain an
inspiration. Howard's next challenge is to educate insensitive
British tabloid "journalists" who believe TS sufferers are circus
RICK WEBER, Katy, Texas

Unhappy Endings

That Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand was slaughtered in Japan was
both heartbreaking and eye-opening (Scorecard, Aug. 11). I was
naive in thinking that these magnificent athletes lived out their
retired lives eating apples in fields of flowers as thanks for
their hard work and devotion. It's good to hear that Arthur and
Staci Hancock cared enough to rescue one of their horses from
uncertainty, but what about the others? If horse owners know the
eventual fate of these beautiful animals and decide to ship them
overseas anyway, I feel sorry for their souls.

Open Debate

Josh Elliott's article on qualifier Hilary Lunke, the winner of
the U.S. Women's Open, was as inspiring as she was (Hot Stuff,
July 14-21). It was as exciting as watching her hold it together
for 18 arduous playoff holes.

You missed a fine opportunity to present SI's readers with a
positive article about the Women's Open. I would have enjoyed
reading about Lunke's background, coaches and golf experience. In
winning, she demonstrated enormous class and poise.
ROBERTA MILES, Otsego, Mich.

I was confused that all but the opening paragraphs focused on
tattletale tactics between a veteran and a 13-year-old, neither
of whom finished near the top. Sorry, Ms. Lunke, you deserved
MIKE CARTER, Newport News, Va.

Shame on the USGA for letting children play in the Open. Shame on
the media, including SI, for spending so much time on the
Michelle Wie-Danielle Ammaccapane contretemps. Shame on
Ammaccapane for forgetting the time when she didn't know it all.
And, perhaps most of all, shame on Ralph Ammaccapane--golf's
version of a Little League parent--for his unhelpful additions to
the dialogue: your daughter is 37 years old, for heaven's sake.
Banning, Calif.

Nifty at 50

Fifty-year-old Craig Stadler wins on the Champions and regular
tour in consecutive weeks--the only golfer to do so--and all he
gets is a picture riddle in The Week (Golf Plus, July 28). With
his final-round 63, one son participating and another caddying,
it would have made a compelling story.
BOB PARKER, Temecula, Calif.

Club Controversy

Tiger Woods is right about weighted golf clubs (Teed Off, July
14-21). As an amateur golfer I have seen a ball or custom-made
club improve an opponent's score by two to three strokes--a lot
when thousands of dollars hang in the balance. Thanks, Tiger, for
reminding us that our competitions should be about skill, not
DALE LOSHER, Pekin, Ill.

I wonder if Tiger thinks that everybody is using the same clubs
and golf balls that Arnie, Jack, Gary and the rest of the boys
had to use during their heydays. Come on, Tiger, start using the
latest stuff.
GERALD L. GUINDON, Escanaba, Mich.

Between blaming his caddie for influencing club selection, crying
about photographers and now complaining about other players using
illegal drivers, Tiger is whining more than he is winning.
BRIAN DICKENS, Lexington, Ky.


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