This is an article from the May 3, 2004 issue
As a longtime fan of UConn basketball, I enjoyed your profile of
Connecticut's remarkable scholar-athlete, Emeka Okafor (The Conn
Game, April 12). Unfortunately, you did a disservice to the team
by ignoring the contributions of everyone not named Emeka.
Alexander Wolff barely mentions the sharpshooting of Rashad
Anderson, the confident guard play of senior Taliek Brown, or the
unstoppable Ben Gordon. Shame on you.
Glenn Holley, Hebron, Conn.
There's no need to wait until December to proclaim UConn's Emeka
Okafor and Diana Taurasi Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year
for their accomplishments on the court and in the classroom. No
better story will surface in the Olympics or any pro sport.
Richard S. Order, Simsbury, Conn.
I applaud Steve Rushin's attempt to quantify what it is about
UConn basketball that attracts so many types of people (Air and
Space, April 12). Bill Walton would probably tell you the
followers of the Grateful Dead have not disappeared; they have
reinvented themselves as Huskies basketball fans. Jim Calhoun and
Geno Auriemma are the Jerry Garcias of Connecticut.
Bob Hall, Gales Ferry, Conn.
I hope Rushin will do his part in relaying to UConn Nation the
embarrassment that most UConn alumni felt when they saw how the
students chose to celebrate. Starting fires, overturning cars and
destroying property is not the best way to show your jubilation.
I am not a Husky, but I am a fan of the program. I hope in the
future the students will act as if they had been there
before--especially since they have.
Robert Boughton, Pearland, Texas
Not So Peachy
What a terrible week to be a Georgia alumna! First, I have to
watch Georgia Tech play UConn in the NCAA title game, and then I
open SI to find that Roy Blount Jr.'s essay about Georgia focuses
on Georgia Tech (Football Magic, April 12)! Couldn't you get Fran
Tarkenton or, better yet, Herschel Walker to write about the
University of Georgia?
Jana Emmert Duluth, Minn.
Somewhere in your Sports in America section on Georgia (April 12)
you should have mentioned that the great Jackie Robinson was born
at home in a sharecropper's house just outside Cairo, Ga., in
Cal Johns, Hawkinsville, Ga.
Chris Crossed (April 12) was dead on. Chris Webber's return just
exposes the Kings' lack of defense. The Kings won't win a
championship because they're soft, and soft teams don't win
Joe Allen, Rancho Cordova, Calif.
As a proud Michigan graduate I was disgusted to read Webber's
pleasant reminiscences of his Michigan days. Those memories
should bring him nothing but shame. Chris, your selfishness not
only crippled a great basketball program but also disgraced a
great university. You haven't even apologized. If you want fans
to treat you better, try being a better man.
Jeffrey H. Kaplan, St. Charles, Ill.
If Theo Epstein really does practice Moneyball tactics, he should
be sending out Pedro Martinez trade feelers to all major league
teams--including the Yankees (Inside Baseball, April 12). Pedro's
biggest contribution to the Red Sox this year could be how much
he can fetch. And shedding $17.5 million of payroll would allow
the Sox to retain many of the players who will be free agents at
the end of the year. They have a good pitching staff without him.
Mark Kramer, Cambria, Calif.
The Big Picture
I realize how digital photography can create outstanding images,
but I also realize that you still have to be there at the right
time and right angle. The Leading Off (April 12) picture of
Travis Nederpelt at the Australian Olympic swimming trials is one
of the best moments I have ever seen captured in a photograph.
The combination of the clear rippling water, the color of his
goggles and the sharpness of the photo combine in a truly
captivating way. A pat on the back to photographer Adam Pretty.
Dan Waite, Upper St. Clair, Pa.
A Tale of Two Joshes
Kudos to Jeff Pearlman for giving America a baseball story that
even many enthusiasts hadn't heard (180 Degrees of Separation,
April 12). The tragic demise of Josh Hamilton's baseball career
shows how quickly pressure, injuries and drugs can completely
change a man and his future. The story also proves that a
self-assured, succeed-on-my-own-terms attitude can make a
postseason hero out of a .500 pitcher like Josh Beckett. I am
glad I didn't have to make the decision that Chuck LaMar made the
day he sealed the fate of the Devil Rays and the future of the
Dustin Tuggle, London, Ky.
In the wake of all the drivel resulting from Ted Williams's
horrific after-death fate, Leigh Montville's article on Williams
(An American Original, April 12) was like a beacon showing us all
the ways in which the great ballplayer should be remembered.
David Yockelson, Rye Brook, N.Y.
I find it ironic to read that Williams, one of the most revered
and idolized athletes in this country's history, exhibited much
of the same self-indulgent, boorish behavior as the so-called
selfish athletes of today.
Michael Hoover, Reno
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