Letters

March 22, 2004

Wolves at the Door

The Twin Cities sports sections are saying Kevin Garnett would
only pose for your cover if you included Sam Cassell and Latrell
Sprewell (Three for All, March 1). In a league full of me-first
players it's refreshing to watch this guy and to be able to
appreciate his team-first attitude. Thanks to Jack McCallum for
giving KG the credit he is due.
Dean Brinkman Sleepy Eye, Minn.

I couldn't believe it when I saw Sprewell's $1,000,000 grin on
your cover. It erased in my mind the
mad-at-the-world-while-running-down-the-court look I had once
pictured every time I read Spre's name.
J. Stewart, Upland, Calif.

Hand Jive

The Leading Off (March 1) image of Rod Strickland's blatant
palming of the ball while being guarded by Sam Cassell
illustrates the NBA's disdain for the rules of basketball, which,
I believe, contributes to the degradation of the game.
Ralph C. Thomas, Bethesda, Md.

Trivial Pursuits

Steve Rushin lies awake at night, sports trivia running through
his head, counting uniform numbers, and Harmon Killebrew is 3
(Air and Space, March 1)? Killebrew is 3? Not the Babe? Jan
Stenerud is 3? Not the Babe? The Babe is 3 as much as A is Ali, B
is Bird and C is Chamberlain.
T.A. Allan, Cave Junction, Ore.

Although I'm a sophomore in high school, I can't remember what
the cosine of 2.5 is, but I can tell you that on Feb. 9, 1920,
the spitball became an illegal pitch.
Lance Madden, Tucson

My oldest son learned that it was time for bed when the little
hand hit Mike Modano, and nap time was at Derian Hatcher.
Needless to say, both times he'd fall asleep wearing one of his
many Dallas Stars shirts.
Jennifer Cassell, Dallas

After reading Rushin's column, I questioned whether my brain
still worked like his. In my younger days sports knowledge was
far more important than any academic endeavor, but I have become
a mature adult with responsibilities. Then, the next morning as I
started my car, the digital clock flashed 7:14, and to my
amazement I said out loud, Babe Ruth.
Steve Polevoi Santa Clara, Calif.

Bad to Wirtz

I am extremely concerned about the Chicago Blackhawks' 43-year
rebuilding program (Blackhawks Down, March 1). I attended a Hawks
game earlier this season and was astounded at the lack of talent
displayed as the scoreboard ranted on about the "Hawk Tradition."
Our only hope is that the Wirtz family sells the team to a new
owner who knows how to put together a winning organization. In
the short term ... Go Red Wings!
David C. Hack, Wheaton, Ill.

Blackhawks Down brought to mind other recent disappointing sports
franchises: The Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Florida State
Seminoles, Illinois Fighting Illini, Kansas City Chiefs, and
last, but certainly not least, the Washington Redskins. These are
also teams which, despite considerable pressure, have chosen to
adhere to mascots that offend the indigenous peoples of North
America. Perhaps it's the Curse of the Tomahawk Chop.
Raymond Pierotti, Oskaloosa, Kans.

I can always count on SI for the best archival photographs, many
of which I have framed. Your photo of Stan Mikita, although more
than 30 years old, hasn't lost its luster. And isn't that a very
young Phil Esposito behind him?
Albert W. Saunders III, East Boston, Mass.

Hawkeye Hooray

Iowa is the fourth state among the first 32 profiled that
expressed a preference for college over pro sports (Sports in
America, March 1). I've never been to the Hawkeye State, but
somehow I now understand W.P. Kinsella's affection for a state
(State of Dreams) which is emblematic of what is too often
referred to as Flyover Country.
Adrian J. O'Connor, Stephens City, Va.

How can Tom and Terry Brands not be mentioned in an article about
wrestling in Iowa (Wrestle Mania, March 1)?
Leah Sherman, Kihei, Hawaii

Any description of Iowa's sports landscape that fails to mention
six-player girls' basketball is incomplete. Played continuously
for almost a century, the game had one of the highest
participation rate for females of any interscholastic sport
before the Title IX era. Six-player girls' basketball regularly
drew bigger crowds at its state tournament than the 89,000 fans
the wrestling tournament now attracts.
Max McElwain, Wayne, Neb.

Whose Dream Is It, Anyway?

Rick Reilly on SportsCenter (The Life of Reilly, March 1)? That's
as cool as the other side of the pillow.
Fred Robson, Ventura, Calif.

Media Critic

Great article by Michael Lewis (Out of Their Tree, March 1).
Could he write a book about the NBA? More interesting to me than
the response of baseball people to his book Moneyball was the
role of the media. Like the NBA, Major League Baseball has had
its share of writers for whom the facts of a story never get in
the way of kissing someone's backside.
Mark Cuban, Dallas

COLOR PHOTO: JEFFERY A. SALTER

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