I applaud Michael Silver's The Saints Come Through (Sept. 19) because it shows what football means to players and fans. The Saints demonstrated bravery, resilience and unity by pulling together to defeat a Super Bowl hopeful less than two weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastated their home city. I hope New Orleanians continue playing the game of life with the same qualities that led the Saints to victory.
Will Wright, Richmond
Taking On Texas
Reading Austin Murphy's Don't Mess with Texas (Sept. 19) made me wonder if he had watched the game or just the highlights reel. I was at the Horseshoe and know two things: The first is that Texas didn't win the game so much as Ohio State lost it. When the Buckeyes turned three Longhorns turnovers into a measly nine points, they let Texas hang around long enough to scratch out a victory. The other thing is, the Longhorns are the most one-dimensional team in the national championship picture. If Vince Young ever gets hurt, everyone will mess with Texas.
Kevin Druckenmiller, Fremont, Ohio
Missing in Action
I just received the Sept. 19 issue, and there was something missing: The U.S. women winning back the Solheim Cup. Three great days of golf and you couldn't spare a word? Nancy Lopez--remember her?--did an awesome job as the U.S. captain. I'm sure if it had been the guys in the Ryder Cup, there would have been four or five pages devoted to it.
Monica Stevens, Leesport, Pa.
In the Haze
As a student-affairs professional, I was disappointed to see the "annual initiation rite" captured in Picture This (Scorecard, Sept. 19). We at the college level have spent much time, energy and money to educate student-athletes and others on campus about institutional and NCAA hazing policies, and the potential physical and emotional harm of initiation rites. Although the "embarrassing getups" worn by Oakland A's players seem harmless, we continue to hold our students and athletes accountable for these and other types of hazing practices. It appears, unfortunately, that at the professional level hazing is both acceptable and celebrated.
Colleen Sasso, Salem, Va.
I enjoyed your article on the Indians (Growing Threat, Sept. 19), but I'm not surprised attendance lags: No one in Cleveland can pick that one big-name guy to admire. Each of the players is as important as the one next to him. G.M. Mark Shapiro, don't screw up a winning team!
Bernadette Vielhaber, Avon, Ohio
Having a Ball
As a former ball kid and the current chairman of the ball kid committee at the RCA Championships in Indianapolis, I enjoyed Rick Reilly's hilarious column on serving as a ball person at the U.S. Open (Life of Reilly, Sept. 19). I will be certain to make my future ball kids read this article so they can know that their work has been recognized and appreciated.
Dylan Reynolds, West Lafayette, Ind.
Apparently, some of my subscription money is being set aside so Reilly can live out his little participatory sports fantasies. O.K., I get it, Rick: You can go places the Average Joe can't because you're Rick Reilly. Now grow up.
M.G. Missanelli, Wynnewood, Pa.
Steve Rushin's Some High, Hard Ones (Air and Space, Sept. 19) omitted the most obvious sports question of them all: Why do boxers circle each other in a square ring?
Jerry Schwartz, Chamblee, Ga.
Rushin asked what former Reds outfielder Cesar Geronimo yelled when jumping out of an airplane? I am going to guess he yelled, "Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."
Scott Moore, Manchester, N.H.
If one synchronized swimmer drowns, will they all drown?
Jim Wolff, Berlin, Wis.
'Tis Better to Receive
Peter King's comparison of receivers Jerry Rice and Don Hutson (INSIDE THE NFL, Sept. 19) with their peers has a historical footnote: When Hutson, who was from Pine Bluff, Ark., played college ball for Alabama, the Crimson Tide's other end was from nearby Fordyce, Ark.--a guy named Paul Bryant. The Bear had been a high school teammate of the same Jim Benton who was second to Hutson in King's chart. Maybe the sticky pine resin on their hands accounted for two such remarkable receivers as Hutson and Benton growing up so close to each other.
Warren Wiltshire, Ridgeland, Miss.
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