Letters

June 13, 2004

Rocket Gibraltar

I received my May 24 copy of Sports Illustrated with Roger
Clemens on the cover 20 years to the day after he won his first
game, with the Red Sox (May 20, 1984). Who would have thought
that two decades after his first career victory he'd be 7-0?
Jake Serafini Schaumburg, Ill.

As an Orioles fan trapped in a Yankees-dominated purgatory, it's
great to finally be able to cheer for Roger Clemens (Home Fire,
May 24) now that he's moved to the National League. He's clearly
a gentleman and a family man. Now I can finally root for him as a
pitcher, too.
Justin Miller, New York City

Facing a 95-mph Clemens fastball must be scary. Sharing the
highway with Clemens and others who are driving three-ton Hummer
H2s while they watch in-dash television must be terrifying.
Wendell Albright, Arlington, Va.

Magnificent 7s

The list of Game 7s to remember was very well-done (It's That
Time Again, May 24), but how can Jack McCallum not mention the
1996 NHL Western Conference semifinals between the Detroit Red
Wings and the St. Louis Blues? Steve Yzerman's magical shot from
the blue line ended the scoreless game in double overtime and,
though the Wings lost in the next round to Colorado, set the
stage for their back-to-back Cup wins in '97 and '98. It's also
the signature goal in Stevie Y's Hall of Fame-bound career.
Dana Buck, San Diego

How could any serious list of top Game 7s in basketball not
include the 1962 L.A. Lakers-Boston Celtics matchup? The Celtics
won in overtime after the Lakers missed a last-second shot in
regulation. It was the first series in what was to become the
NBA's most intense playoff rivalry. It was tough on old-time
Lakers fans to lose Game 7 in '69, but I think most of us regard
the '62 Finals as the foundation of the Celtics curse that took
the Lakers 23 years to shake.
Steve Mager Hermosa Beach, Calif.

Oct. 4, 1955: The Brooklyn Dodgers finally defeat the New York
Yankees. Gil Hodges knocks in both runs, and Johnny Podres, SI's
Sportsman of the Year for '55, wins 2-0. Now that was a Game 7.
Lee Caryer Columbus, Ohio

How could you have omitted Game 7 of the '62 World Series between
the Giants and the Yankees, a 1-0 complete-game thriller won by
Ralph Terry in which Willie McCovey--with Willie Mays on second
and Matty Alou on third--after pulling a pitch just foul that
would have been a Series-winning home run, hit a ball as hard as
can be hit, but right at Yankees second baseman Bobby Richardson
for the last out?
Alan Y. Medvin, Princeton, N.J.

The '68 Detroit Tigers came back from a three-games-to-one
deficit to beat the St. Louis Cardinals. In Game 7 the seemingly
unhittable Bob Gibson, who had already won two games in the
Series, started at home but was vanquished as Mickey Lolich won
his third game of the Series.
Tom Brandt, Hubbard Lake, Mich.

Remembering Gus

Many thanks to Rick Reilly for his honest portrayal of the Gus
Christofi tragedy (The Life of Reilly, May 24). I hope Rick will
have one more piece to write on my uncle's death--an article on
Jayson Williams's being found guilty of the lesser charge that
remains. Williams's being held accountable would help to restore
my faith in our judicial system.
Anthony Christofi Jr., Fair Lawn, N.J.

Thank you for letting America know what kind of man Christofi
was. Gus could have taught Jayson a thing or two. He could have
taught him to learn from his mistakes, as Gus had by overcoming
alcoholism and drug abuse. He could have taught Jayson to love
and respect his family, as Gus clearly did. Jayson obviously had
no respect for his family as he demonstrated by brandishing
loaded weapons in their home while he was intoxicated.
Brian G. De La Cerda, Milwaukee

The cheap shot Reilly took at Williams was unworthy of SI. We
live under the basic tenet that the accused is innocent until
proven guilty. Williams was found innocent of the charge of
aggravated manslaughter, but Reilly was unable to control his
bias and wrote a defamatory and insulting column. He should
apologize to Williams and to the jurors--whom he clearly depicts
as his intellectual inferiors.
Jim Wisler, Columbus, Ohio

Maybe Williams will now have extra time to assist O.J. Simpson in
his effort to find the real killers of his ex-wife Nicole and Ron
Goldman.
Richard Reina, Altamonte Springs, Fla.

Joe Grandpa

As reported in the May 24 Scorecard, under the terms of his new
four-year contract extension Joe Paterno will still be coaching
the Penn State football team at age 81. After three losing
seasons in the last four, the Nittany Lions should during the
next four years move from the Big Ten to the less competitive and
newly realigned Big East to ensure a respectable showing.
Paterno, as with too many others in positions of power, has been
reluctant to let go, hurting both his reputation and the
university that he loves.
Nelson Marans, Silver Spring, Md.

Alphabet Soup

I thought Steve Rushin's The First and Last Annual Alphabet
Awards (Air and Space, May 24) was creative and a fun read.
However, I believe he skipped over a few deserving candidates.
Jerry Rice and Jackie Robinson deserved to be noted in the R's.
Rice is, arguably, the best wide receiver ever, and Robinson is a
pioneer and hero of America's pastime. The H category was missing
Brett Hull, the Y's Steve Yzerman and the S's Barry Sanders.
Ryan Pfeiffer, Concord, Calif.

I was dismayed by the absence of female athletes in Rushin's
Alphabet Awards. Not a single woman won a letter, and of the 85
notable athletes mentioned, only three were women. Why would
Rushin acknowledge the great contribution to sports by Bobby
Fischer but ignore such notables as Venus and Serena Williams,
Martina Navratilova, Mary Lou Retton, Janet Evans, Florence
Griffith-Joyner, Dorothy Hamill, Wilma Rudolph, Mia Hamm, Jackie
Joyner-Kersee or Joan Benoit Samuelson?
Helen Cargill, Cambridge, Mass.

Most of Rushin's choices were brilliant, except for one glaring
mistake. Yes, Secretariat was probably the greatest horse of all
time for one glorious year, but S belongs to Pete Sampras, the
greatest artist ever to wield a tennis racket, a man full of
grace and power and the holder of 14 Grand Slam titles, the most
for any man.
Timothy P. Finley, Minneapolis

America's Best

Austin Murphy's story about the Army Rangers was awe inspiring
(Test of the Best, May 24). How lucky we are to have these
selfless men protecting our country.
Tom Evans, Ringgold, Ga.

I love sports, but it's unfortunate that we pay our athletes
millions of dollars to entertain us and pay our Army Rangers less
that $50,000 a year to protect us. I wish you had put Adam Nash
and Colin Boley on the cover.
Brian Hegna, Aptos, Calif.

An article about the U.S. Army Rangers? What does that have to do
with sports? Has SI become a recruiting device for the armed
services?
Robert Colbert, Seattle

Greatest Show on Ice

How is it that the NBA's postseason TV ratings are higher than
the NHL's (Faster, Younger, Cheaper, May 24)? Could it be the
sports-viewing public hasn't caught on to what Michael Farber
pointed out: The NHL is now faster, younger and more entertaining
to watch? No longer is the NHL only a Northern sport, not when
there are two teams in Florida and only one in Quebec. Maybe the
NHL is the way NASCAR formerly was, a hidden television gem that
your neighbors and colleagues at work tell you is truly good to
watch. All I know is that the excitement of the NHL postseason
has far surpassed what the NBA has put on display.
Jeff Dickson, Sarasota, Fla.

What a shame. Out of roughly 175 "fans" in your photograph of the
Lakers-Spurs Game 5 (Leading Off, May 24), I count fewer than 10
people in the stands wearing Spurs apparel. I turn the page to
see approximately 20,000 Philadelphia fans sporting Orange Crush
shirts and team jerseys in support of their Flyers. I'll take the
NHL and its enthusiastic fans anytime over the corporate media
marketing farce that the NBA has become.
Kyle A. Payne, Hershey, Pa.

Short Shrift?

I don't understand why your coverage was so poor for the Roy
Jones Jr. loss to Antonio Tarver (Inside Boxing, May 24). Jones
has been the most dominant fighter in boxing for more than a
decade--at least since his November 1994 defeat of James Toney.
He has marched through the ranks from middleweight to heavyweight
and outclassed everyone. Despite this, his stunning and decisive
loss to Tarver was relegated to a one-page piece that was the
second-to-last story in the magazine. What gives?
Peter Attia, Silver Spring, Md.

New Mexico's Greatest

The 1983 NCAA final may have been the greatest game ever played
in New Mexico, but it involved teams with no connection to the
state (Sports in America, May 24), North Carolina State and
Houston. A better choice for Greatest Moment would have been Al
Unser Jr.'s 1992 Indianapolis 500 victory. The Albuquerque native
won the biggest prize in motor sports driving for an
Albuquerque-based team owned by another Albuquerque native.
Jim Kreuch, Denver

Not a Fan

Although it was disappointing to see my university take it on the
chin again, I was glad you called it correctly about Quin Snyder
(Scorecard, May 24). His poor decision-making has hurt the
reputation of the University of Missouri and its basketball
program.
Mike Barnett, Wildwood, Mo.

COLOR PHOTO: JED JACOBSOHN/GETTY IMAGES B/W PHOTO: RALPH MORSE/TIME LIFE/GETTY IMAGES (ROBINSON); A-LISTERS Readers thought Robinson, Hamm and Serena Williams should have made Rushin's roll.
TWO COLOR PHOTOS: SIMON BRUTY (2) A-LISTERS Readers thought Robinson, Hamm and Serena Williams should have made Rushin's roll.

To Contact SI

LETTERS

--Please e-mail us at letters@si.timeinc.com or fax us at
212-467-4049. Letters should include the writer's full name,
address and home telephone number and may be edited for clarity
and space.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

--For subscription services, inquiries and address changes
please use our website, www.sicustomerservice.com, or call
800-528-5000.

ADVERTISING

--For ad rates, an editorial calendar or a media kit, e-mail us
at sipubqueries@timeinc.com.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)