Letters

July 25, 2004

The Grand Tour

What a great cover (June 28)! The three-word headline captures
the essence of Lance Armstrong.
Dominic J. Clementi Hillsborough, N.J.

Not only does Lance have to contend with a mob of French media
vultures and yet more slanderous doping allegations, but you also
saddle him with what may be his biggest obstacle to a sixth Tour
de France win: the SI cover jinx. Still, if anyone can beat the
jinx, it's got to be Lance.
Brandy Yarbrough, North Beach, Md.

Finally: A nonbiased, poignant, smart article about my favorite
athlete (Lance in France, Part 6). Armstrong is such a talented
man--with so much stamina and personal drive--we could all learn
something from him.
Lauren Hufford, Tempe, Ariz.

I felt as if I was reading another article from the
blame-America-first crowd. Mr. Price, please stick to writing
about sports. I'd much rather read about the Tour de France than
have you take me on your own Tour Detente.
Dan Deming, La Habra, Calif.

Pumping Up the Pistons

Jack McCallum's Scorecard essay, Why Is This Man Smiling?, and
article, Nicely Done, Joe (June 28), perfectly illustrate two
franchises headed in opposite directions. Congratulations to the
Detroit Pistons on their well-deserved championship. Substance
didn't just defeat style, it destroyed it. Maybe now I can read a
newspaper or watch TV without being bludgeoned over the head with
a purple-and-gold sledgehammer--but I doubt it.
Bob Riz, Los Angeles

Let's stop calling Phil Jackson "one of the greatest coaches of
all time." If he were a great coach, he would have figured out a
way for Kobe, Shaq, Karl and Gary to play together. Larry Brown
turned a shooter into a point guard, another shooter into a
rebounder and defender, a defender into an offensive threat, a
guy with a bad rap into a team player and a whole squad into a
believing cohesive bunch that annihilated Phil's All-Stars. That
is coaching.
Ronald Gries, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

In the Minority

It's time to retire your 101 Most Influential Minorities in
Sports report (June 28). The list is as ridiculous as a 101 Most
Influential White People in Sports report would be. At least you
had enough sense not to list what kind of minority these people
are. We live in a global society, as evidenced by the article in
the same issue on the NBA hunting for talent in Africa (On Safari
for 7-Footers). As one of more than a billion Chinese people, Yao
Ming is not a minority in the world we live in.
Mike Lyons, Yonkers, N.Y.

Your list is testing my extrasensory perception skills. Gee. What
minority is Eugene Parker? Wendy Lewis? Jonathan Mariner? Are we
supposed to guess based on what their names sound like? Perhaps
you can tell my minority status by my name. You'd probably be
wrong.
Annamarie DeCarlo, Annapolis, Md.

I know it is just a trick to see how observant we are, but
where's Kobe? He's in the midst of dismantling the NBA's most
successful franchise, and he is not one of the 101 most
important? He's just caused the winningest coach ever to leave
L.A. and one of the greatest centers to be traded away. Ask Dr.
Buss how important he is.
Everett F. Sanborn, Irvine, Calif.

Big Miss

How can Mississippians say their greatest athletes are Archie
Manning and Brett Favre, when the state has produced Walter
Payton and Jerry Rice, two of the best players in NFL history
(Sports in America, June 28)? When is Mississippi going to join
the rest of the modern world in recognizing and acknowledging
black athletes?
Daemon Woods, Albany, Ga.

Tiger Tracking

Rick Reilly wrote what every sportswriter and broadcaster should
have known many tournaments ago: Tiger Woods is an outstanding
golfer, but he's not playing at the same level as he was two
years ago (The Life of Reilly, June 28). TV doesn't usually show
every shot of someone nine strokes off the lead, and we don't
need to see Tiger when he's in that position.
Scott Anderson, Huntsville, Ala.

Remembering Revson

I read with interest Jackie Stewart's rating of the top five U.S.
F/1 drivers (INSIDE MOTOR SPORTS, June 28). Stewart is entitled
to his opinion and certainly knows of what he speaks, but I was
shocked that he omitted Peter Revson, a contemporary of his in
the early 1970s. After a brief flirtation with F/1 in 1964,
Revson returned in '72, won two Grand Prix races in '73 and
likely would have gone on to more success had he not been killed
when his car's suspension broke during prerace car testing in
South Africa in March '74. While his achievements don't match
those of Dan Gurney, Mario Andretti or Phil Hill, I would say
that what he achieved in a very brief career exceeded the
accomplishments of Eddie Cheever or Danny Sullivan.
John Hopkins, Toronto

COLOR PHOTO: JONAS KARLSSON (COVER TWO COLOR PHOTOS: PETER BIRO (2) SPEED KILLS The Revlon heir died prepping for the 1974 South African Grand Prix.

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