Ducks Flambe

The Oregon Ducks start the season as if Joey Harrington is still
with us, and we are already smelling roses. The team fashions an
amazing upset, soundly defeating Michigan by shutting down one of
the best rushing teams in the nation (Make Way for Ducks, Sept.
29). Then a strange--or maybe not so strange--thing happens. You
put the Ducks on your cover before their game against the
Washington State Cougars, and Oregon makes mistakes they haven't
made all season, including nine turnovers, two blocked punts and
innumerable other errors leading to coach Mike Bellotti's worst
loss ever. A lot of people are scratching their heads wondering
what happened. I'd say the SI cover jinx is alive and well!
Susan Miller, Lake Oswego, Ore.

Why is it that SI is enamored of the Ducks' butt-ugly uniforms?
Max R. Moore, Bellevue, Neb.

Missing Persons

Your NL Rookie of the Year choice is mind-blowing (The Way It
Looks from Here, Sept. 29). Fittingly, your choice, Brandon Webb,
lost his final start of the year to reach the lofty record of
10-9, while Dontrelle Willis cruised to yet another victory to
finish 14-6. And what about the Marlins' rise in attendance and
the way that South Florida rallied around Dontrelle? Did Arizona
do the same for Webb?
Dan Street, Myakka City, Fla.

Cleveland's Jody Gerut should have been mentioned in the AL
Rookie of the Year discussion. Gerut's numbers are comparable to,
if not better than, those of Rocco Baldelli and Angel Berroa, and
he got them on a team that afforded him little protection in the
Evan Fitzgerald, Southern Pines, N.C.

Without Shannon Stewart the Twins were mired in third place and
getting worse. With him, and largely because of him, they had the
best record in the majors after the All-Star break and won their
division going away, but he didn't even make your list of top 10
candidates for the AL MVP. Neither A-Rod nor anyone else on your
list came close to having such a demonstrable impact on his team.
Isn't that a better measure of Most Valuable than the individual
statistics you cite?
Bob Marshall, Deephaven, Minn.

When Hideo Nomo and Ichiro were being considered for the Rookie
of the Year award, I at first thought it undermined the notion of
a rookie. The comparison with Jackie Robinson--who played in the
Negro leagues and for whom the award is named--gave me pause, but
what convinced me that Hideki Matsui should be eligible was the
picture of him in his pimp suit (Scorecard, Sept. 22). If he's
hazed like a rookie, he must be a rookie.
Rich Pacelle, Statesboro, Ga.

Rule of Three

Roy Blount Jr.'s article 12 Reasons Why the Triple Is the Most
Exciting 12 Seconds in Sports (Sept. 29) was so entertaining, I
had to read it three times.
Paul Chechanover, Forest Hills, N.Y.

Blount mentions that there have been no big league triplets, but
there were minor league Triplets, specifically the Binghamton
(N.Y.) Triplets who played in the Eastern League from the
League's founding in 1923 through the '60s. Johnson Field, their
home, had a pump house in deep left center that was an ideal
target for triples. So, how many triples did the Triplets hit
when the Triplets got good wood?
Thomas N. Steenburg, Barrington, Ill.

Lone Star Legends

Thanks for your fantastic profile of sports in Texas (Sports in
America, Sept. 29). However, you failed to mention boxer Jack
Johnson, the first African-American--and first Texan--to win the
world heavyweight championship. Johnson, born and raised in
Galveston, remains a local icon and is surely one of the greatest
athletes to emerge from the great state of Texas.
Damon Mimari, Galveston, Texas

Perhaps the most important sporting event with ties to Texas was
absent from your section on Texas sports. Don Haskins and the
Texas Western (now UTEP) basketball team deserved at least some
recognition for defeating Adolph Rupp's Kentucky Wildcats for the
1966 NCAA title. Not only did Haskins make a statement by
starting five African-Americans against Rupp's all-white Kentucky
team, the game was played at the height of the civil rights
movement and ushered in a new era for minorities in college
Brandon Silverstein, El Paso

Ready Teddy

Your interview with President George W. Bush (Sports in America,
Sept. 29) was to the point and amusing. However, I don't agree
with your claim that Bush "may be the most physically fit
President ever." Although the White House has certainly known its
share of slugs over the years, the title of fittest president
must go to our 26th, Theodore Roosevelt. After a full day of
administrative responsibilities in the West Wing, he would hike
the rugged terrain of Rock Creek Park, do chin-ups from a bridge
over the Potomac--or go swimming in it--play a full set of tennis
or practice jujitsu and wrestling in the White House residence.
Pete Matthews, Brooklyn


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