Brenda Warner questioned coach Mike Martz's honesty, on a radio
call-in show last year. Thanks SI: The city of St. Louis had
almost let Brendagate become a distant memory when your article
on Kurt Warner (The Marked Man, Sept. 1) hit the newsstands!
Seriously, though, the story was a fair and balanced look at
Warner's situation. Regardless of the chatter at bars like J.
Buck's, St. Louis still loves Kurt Warner!
Deborah Lettner, Sunset Hills, Mo.
The account of Marshall Faulk defending Kurt to a preppy in a bar
was a great scene-setter. Your article gave great insight into
the debacle that was last season, and without trying to once
again stir up the pot.
Steve Midgley, Ellisville, Mo.
There is a huge mistake on the cover of your 2003 NFL Preview
issue. The quarterback is wearing number 13, not 14, and a Rams'
jersey instead of a Bucs'. Not only is Brad Johnson far more
deserving of being on your cover than Warner, but also, as much
as I hate to tell them this, the Bucs are again going to be
seeing the 49ers in January, long after the Rams are done.
Tom Gagnier, Odessa, Fla.
September 21, 2003
Old School Ties
Imagine my surprise reading about the Houston Texans' Chester
Pitts in SI's 2003 NFL Preview (NFL SCOUTING REPORTS, Sept. 1). I
had the pleasure of coaching Chester on his high school track
team. At our league finals Chester won the shot put, the discus
and the high jump, and was named league MVP. Coming from the
academically oriented California Academy of Math and Science,
Chester chased a distant dream of playing football--our school
didn't have a team. His journey to the NFL proves that with
talent and hard work you can overcome many obstacles--including
starting your football career at the collegiate level.
Kevin Geddes, Lincoln, Neb.
How could your list of Who and Where for Maryland omit Mount
Saint Mary's Jim Phelan (Sports in America, Sept. 1)? Bow-Tie
Phelan coached the Mount for 49 years in an NCAA record 1,354
basketball games. His 830-524 career record makes him the
third-winningest coach of all time, in all divisions. With never
a scandal, recruiting violation or academic impropriety, Phelan
is what college coaching should be about--integrity. On the day
of his final game last season, then Kansas coach Roy Williams,
Cincinnati's Bob Huggins, John Calipari of Memphis and Jay Wright
of Villanova, to name a few, all paid their respects to Phelan by
wearing bow ties while coaching.
Joe Gaba, Morristown, N.J.
I find it very hypocritical of Maryland sports fans to hold Bob
Irsay as their No. 1 Enemy of the State because he took their
beloved Colts from Baltimore--yet they welcome, with open arms,
Art Modell, who took our beloved Browns from Cleveland. Before
the NFL awarded us the new Browns, there was not a Cleveland fan
that wanted a team from another city. We never wanted to cause
the pain and sorrow we experienced. Obviously Baltimore is either
heartless or short on memory.
G. Lincoln, Shaker Heights, Ohio
Peter the Great
Pete Sampras (SCORECARD, Sept. 1) provided my favorite sports
moment. After beating Ivan Lendl in the quarterfinals of the 1990
U.S. Open, Pete closed his eyes as a smile crept across his face.
He didn't beat his chest or urge the crowd to applaud him. He
just quietly savored the moment. Pete knows he wasn't beloved by
the masses, and that's probably O.K. with him. What he deserves
to know is that his true greatness did not go unnoticed.
Paul Wenglewski, Ottawa, Ill.
Thanks to the courageous fight of Gunnar Esiason and the efforts
of his dad, Boomer (CATCHING UP WITH ... , Sept. 1), my
one-year-old son, William, born with cystic fibrosis last year,
has a great chance of leading a productive life. My family
certainly appreciates all the Esiason family has done to raise
awareness of this disease. William undoubtedly faces many
struggles ahead, but he will join Gunnar in beating this thing.
Tom Adair, Richmond
Who says sports personalities don't make good role models? The
Esiasons have shown how boundless love and determination can make
all the difference in the world.
Dave Hutcheson, Stephenville, Texas
As Rick Reilly's story on Bill Romanowski went to press (THE LIFE
OF REILLY, Sept. 1), Romotron took it upon himself, in a
practice, to perhaps end the career of an unsuspecting teammate
by pulling off his helmet, punching him in the left eye and
fracturing his eye socket. This is the same guy who broke Kerry
Collins's jaw, kicked Larry Centers in the head and ripped the
helmet off Eddie George. Maybe Reilly should glorify someone
worth a dime--and maybe Romo should spend more time controlling
his anger than controlling his protein.
Matthew J. McGuire, Uniontown, Ohio
Good thing Reilly wrote a complimentary piece on his old Broncos
buddy or he may have been stuffed headfirst into one of Romo's
Larry Sirhall, Bend, Ore.
With all the supplements he's taking, don't you think the
quarterbacks can hear Romanowski rattling as he comes around the
Pat MacDonnell, Springfield, N.J.
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