Pickin' and A-Grinnin'
I enjoyed your terrific, in-depth picks in the NFL PREVIEW issue (Sept. 6). Thanks for including humor. It was very amusing to find out in your Seattle Seahawks preview how Bobby Engram's son kept reminding his daddy he was dropping the ball again. You guys may think twice, however, about that 5-11 Tampa Bay Buccaneers pick once they win the NFC South.
Travis Hart, Louisville
Dr. Z says the Dallas Cowboys will finish 6-10 and in last place in the NFC East. I predict 10-6 or better and second in the division. When the 'Boys win their seventh game, you will hear from me again.
Robert Little, Burke, Va.
Lion of a Man
Please explain Peter King's rationale for listing Reggie Brown as a first-round "flop" for the Detroit Lions. Near the end of Brown's second season, in which he returned two interceptions for touchdowns, he suffered a career-ending cervical spine injury during a crucial home game with the New York Jets. Saved by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and an emergency tracheotomy, Brown later underwent spinal surgery and made a courageous recovery. Though he would never play football again, he sprinted onto the Silverdome field with the Lions in 1998 as honorary captain and received a standing ovation from an emotional sellout crowd.
Stu Whitney, Sioux Falls, S.Dak.
It is ironic that the photo of Brett Favre used in the Tough Guys pictorial (Sept. 6) is of the play that ended up one yard short of a first down, forcing the Packers to punt. That led to the fourth-and-26 play that set up the Eagles' game-tying field goal. They ended up winning in overtime.
Aaron Bleier, Green Bay
We get the picture: You wanted your NFL PREVIEW to be tough. You used tough five times in the 100 or so words in the table of contents. Can we get a ferocious, manly or stout? Or, one might ask, where is the Lovie (Smith)?
Jeff Elder, Denver, N.C.
The Kobe Case
The circus that had become L'affaire Kobe had me leaning heavily toward the Lakers star's corner. However, Jeff Benedict's The Science of the Brief Encounter (SCORECARD, Sept. 6) outlined the crux of the matter in the clearest terms. Now that the criminal charges have been dropped, it is clear the prosecution had a much stronger case than we were previously led to believe.
Paul Tarver, Atlanta
Boy, am I glad I didn't stop reading Rick Reilly, as I promised myself I would do when he veered into politics. Mind over Medal made me want to start a fund to buy Otylia Jedrzejczak's gold medal (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Sept. 6). She puts the lie to the notion that athletes have to be self-absorbed to succeed at the highest levels. To whoever buys the medal: please give it back, for selflessness this time, rather than for swimming.
Monte Smith, Loveland, Ohio
I am not at all disappointed in our relay teams' results (Sticks and Groans, Sept. 6). I am disappointed in too many athletes trying to repeat Joe Namath's guarantee of victory yet falling short on delivery. If they would swallow their pride, get out there and just do it, fans would be as proud of them for their victories and less disappointed in their defeats.
Danny Gonzalez, La Quinta, Calif.
What does the ultimate athlete and sportsman have to do to get on the cover of SI? Cael Sanderson was slighted again by receiving only a small mention of his continued remarkable accomplishments as a wrestler (Another Streak Begins, Sept. 6). You not only failed to place him on the cover when he completed his undefeated collegiate career, but now you also missed the opportunity for a makeup call.
Norman Martin, North Canton, Ohio
The Devil You Don't Know
While I agree that John Schuerholz has done a wonderful job as the Atlanta Braves G.M., he is not the longest-tenured general manager in the four major pro sports. That distinction belongs to Lou Lamoriello, who has been the general manager of the NHL's New Jersey Devils since 1987--88. During that time the Devils have won three Stanley Cups.
Mike McDarby, Westfield, N.J.
George Yardley, one of the most influential players in the history of the NBA, dies and gets no mention in your magazine. Yardley, who played for the Fort Wayne Pistons and stayed with them when they moved to Detroit in 1957, was the first man to score 2,000 points in an NBA season and is credited with popularizing the jump shot. He ultimately succumbed to Lou Gehrig's disease, an illness for which he and his family helped raise considerable sums of money to prevent.
Justin Cohn, Fort Wayne, Ind.
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