I was very surprised and disappointed, when I received SI in the mail yesterday, to discover that Lance Armstrong was not the focus of the cover (Aug. 2). What does a guy have to do? Inside I discovered that as a subscriber I had received a special Olympics cover, while newsstands were selling a cover of Lance. A preview of the Olympics inside the magazine is fine, but to put in on the cover instead of a man who just won a record sixth straight Tour de France is pathetic.
On the 35th anniversary of Neil Armstrong's historic step on the moon, Lance's sixth straight victory in France cements his name in sports history (The Joy of Six, Aug. 2). Vive L'ance!
August 22, 2004
Brian L. Buckley
Obstacles That Lance Overcame to Win: 10) a divorce; 9) an accusatory book; 8) rivals Jan Ullrich, Iban Mayo, Ivan Basso and Tyler Hamilton; 7) L'Alpe d'Huez; 6) spitting, booing, cursing, beer-throwing fans; 5) Greg LeMond's negative comments; 4) hotel room searches; 3) Filippo Simeoni's lawsuit; 2) cancer; 1) the SI cover jinx (June 28).
Ilene Winters, Monmouth Beach, N.J.
In a single page, Rick Reilly captured the drama of the Tour--that it is not simply Lance versus the other riders (The Life of Reilly, Aug 2). It's Lance against 101 years of ghosts. It's Lance against a world culture that cannot reconcile its love-hate relationship with America. It's Lance versus journalists who refuse to recognize the evolution of a hero right before their eyes.
Eric Goodwin, Chicago
Armstrong's reply when asked if he will compete in another Tour de France should be, "Only if it's not held in France."
Ron Myers, Rockport, Texas
Over the years SI has printed many great photographs, but I can't remember one that I enjoyed more than the photo of 52 Hall of Famers (Inside the Week in Sports, Aug. 2). It was fun going through the names and remembering whom I had seen play. Too bad that Hank Aaron, Luis Aparicio, Al Lopez, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson, Nolan Ryan, Mike Schmidt and Carl Yastrzemski couldn't be there.
Jack Sheppard, Westerville, Ohio
A fan of the game is forced to stop and examine each face, which evokes 30- or 40-year-old memories of games and companions. There is Koufax, Maz, Killebrew and Brock. And there is Whitey Ford holding up a glass, perhaps toasting his absent teammate and friend Mickey Mantle.
Mark Rosenberg, Boca Raton, Fla.
The Big O
I wish I could come up with a more descriptive word, but when looking at your Olympic Preview issue (Aug. 2)--particularly Julia Morrill's 16-page Meet Team USA--all I can say is, Wow. The photographs, especially the sepia-toned images and the picture of the swimmers titled "Pool Sharks," were spectacular, and the amount of information presented was impressive. I hope your coverage during the Games is just as riveting.
Kristin Ingwell Goode, Lexington, Ky.
I have an interest in our women's softball team after catching Cat Osterman's act as she mowed down batters for Texas in last year's College World Series. She is a remarkable athlete, one of the two college players suiting up for our team, and I was disappointed that she was not listed as one of our "aces" even though she led the team in wins and ERA--it's hard to do better than her 0.00--during the team's pre-Olympic exhibition tour. How about some props for the new kid?
Steve Scott, Signal Hill, Calif.
Which presidential candidate is the better athlete (Scorecard, Aug. 2)? The 58% of your on-line voters who chose George W. Bush must be kidding. John Kerry plays hockey, skis, windsurfs and snowboards. The man rides a Harley, for crying out loud. Bush waved pom-poms in college and then went on to be the managing general partner of the Texas Rangers. Now he fishes.
John D. Pence Jr. Washington, D.C.
Agony of the Feet
Vasili Alexeyev (Catching Up With, Aug. 2) was the source of one of my family's favorite stories. One day as we were watching a weightlifting competition on TV, Alexeyev stepped onto the floor to attempt a prodigious lift, and my son, then about four, said, "Look, Mom, there's Human Drama!" It took a minute, but we finally realized that every week when Jim McKay introduced ABC's Wide World of Sports, he spoke of "the human drama of athletic competition" just as Alexeyev's image appeared on the screen. We still laugh at the memory and often wondered what happened to Human Drama. Thanks for the update.
Carla Stewart, Framingham, Mass.
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