Congrats for a stunning issue on 50 years of sports photography
(The Pictures, April 26). SI was and is the pinnacle of the art
form. Employing masters like Walter Iooss Jr., Heinz Kluetmeier,
Neil Leifer, John G. Zimmerman and many others, SI has set a
standard for all magazines. I chose my college major and my
career because of your influence. I am now employed at a
newspaper in northwestern Wisconsin--a photographer with a dream
of someday having a photo run in the pages of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
alongside the work of my past and present heroes.
Jed Carlson, Superior, Wis.
I found your foldout on photographing the Kentucky Derby (We
Shoot Horses, Don't We?) interesting and revealing, but it's an
oversight to not include any photos of Secretariat, Seattle Slew
or Affirmed, the only Triple Crown winners in SI's history. This
is proving to be one of the most difficult accomplishments in
sports and seems deserving of at least one image in your
otherwise comprehensive collection.
Michael Genaro, Greenwich, Conn.
One photo is conspicuous by its absence--Neil Leifer's picture of
Ron Turcotte looking toward the camera while riding Secretariat
during the 1973 Belmont Stakes. It defines the preparation and
good fortune that are the hallmarks of Leifer's remarkable volume
Ron Rose, Peoria, Ariz.
Where was Yankees third baseman Graig Nettles catching a line
drive in the hole while fully extended about three feet off the
ground during the 1978 World Series.
Nathan Kittner, Hackensack, N.J.
How could you publish Best of the '70s and not provide one image
of Don Shula's '72 Dolphins, the only undefeated team in NFL
Alan Hubbard, Jacksonville
Never on Sunday
Rick Reilly sounded a note of gospel truth in his take on Sunday
sports (THE LIFE OF REILLY, April 26). As an avid sports fan and
an evangelical Christian, I've had to face the reality that the
demands of sports participation effectively exclude anyone who is
determined to observe the Sabbath day. As Reilly implies, the
future will reveal how this total commitment to competition
affects youngsters' development. The more immediate choice for
Christians is which god they will serve on Sunday.
Scott A. Swanson, La Mirada, Calif.
My kids' soccer league won't schedule Sunday matches earlier than
1 p.m. However, despite protests, the league continues to
schedule matches on Saturday mornings, thus forcing Jewish
families to choose between soccer and synagogue. This disregard
for worshipful non-Christians is reflected by Little Leagues that
also schedule Saturday morning games and by high schools that
play football on Friday evenings. Reilly's outrage about
spirituality and sports is well founded, but he should realize
that not every religious person in this country attends services
Ira Lacher, Des Moines
I have been a pastor for 14 years, and I have two sports-crazy
sons, 12 and 11, who are immersed in baseball and basketball.
This country no longer seems to have time to search for answers
to the nagging feeling of emptiness that eventually will plague
every soul. Instead, we use our children to put one more notch on
our holster in the hope that those fleeting feelings of success
will overwhelm our much deeper need to understand the very
purpose for which we have been made. What is that purpose, you
ask? I don't know. I'll get to it later. I'm late for our
first-round tournament game.
David D. Swanson, Fort Myers, Fla.
Blaming youth sports for the decline in devotion is a stretch. If
the games stopped tomorrow, the churches wouldn't be full this
Sunday, but the playgrounds would.
Dave Williams, Woodinville, Wash.
Please show us Walter Iooss Jr.'s 1963 Steelers-Giants photograph
of which he said, in Playing with Time, "I may never take a
better football picture."
Carl Allamanno, San Leandro, Calif.
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