Jan. 16, 2006
Jan. 16, 2006

Table of Contents
Jan. 16, 2006

SI Players: Life On and Off the Field
Pro Basketball
NFL Playoffs
College Basketball
NHL Midseason Report



This is an article from the Jan. 16, 2006 issue Original Layout

Your Dec. 19 cover asks, DO YOU KNOW HIS NAME?, but anyone who has played fantasy football in the last five years knows who Shaun Alexander is. I was a genius last year when I stole him as the No. 6 pick in our draft and rode him to a championship. This year he was the No. 2 pick, and the league winner is the guy who picked him.
Gary Wagner, Austin

Your cover almost makes it look as if you had Alexander pose and then dropped his image into a picture from a 49ers game. The Heisman Trophy stance is just too perfect.
Nathan Davis, Chicago

When Shaun Alexander was preparing for his senior season at Alabama, I had the opportunity to work with him in a speed-training program in Cincinnati. One day after his workout he, a few of the trainers and I were talking about the Heisman candidates for the coming season. Strengths and weaknesses were discussed, and someone asked Shaun, "What's your weakness?" He was always humble, so we all got a good laugh when Shaun smiled broadly and said, "Kryptonite."
Eric Seibert, Amelia, Ohio

American Idols

I really enjoyed A Star in the West (Dec. 19), which depicted the friendship between Gonzaga's Adam Morrison and Duke's J.J. Redick. My son Daniel, 16, a high school shooting guard, has a PLAY LIKE J.J. sign in his room. Meanwhile, my son Michael, 13, a type 1 diabetic (like Morrison) and a middle school shooting guard, has a shrine to Morrison with photos, an autographed basketball and quotes from Adam hanging by his bed. To have my sons idolize these two college greats is fantastic.
Melinda Vahradian, Santa Cruz, Calif.

Frozen Moment

The photo by Bob Rosato that leads off INSIDE THE WEEK IN SPORTS (Dec. 19) is a classic: Bears versus Steelers, December, snowstorm, Terrible Towels waving, playoffs on the line. It captures the ultimate moment in the ultimate spectator sport.
Jack Amrein, Abingdon, Md.

Mourning Person

It was great to see the update on Alonzo Mourning (Playstrong, Dec. 19). As someone who has focal glomerulosclerosis, the same kidney disease that afflicts Mourning, I have rooted for Zo to get that elusive NBA ring to show the world that kidney patients can lead productive lives. Although I must do daily dialysis and I'm awaiting a transplant, I do my best not to let FSGS slow me down. Play on, Zo.
Adrian Smith, Gastonia, N.C.

Crimson Tie

In his column on tie games in sports (AIR AND SPACE, Dec. 19) Steve Rushin failed to mention one of the most unforgettable ties in college football history. On Nov. 23, 1968, Harvard and Yale were each undefeated going into their season-ending game. The Bulldogs, led by running back Calvin Hill (later of the Dallas Cowboys) and quarterback Brian Dowling (BD to Doonesbury fans), were favored and led 29-13 with 42 seconds to go in the game. Then the Crimson's backup quarterback, Frank Champi, threw for two touchdowns and one of two two-point conversions to forge a remarkable tie. The banner headline in The Harvard Crimson, in a font befitting the start of a world war, reported, HARVARD BEATS YALE, 29-29.
Reed Pyeritz, Radnor, Pa.

As a Central Michigan alumnus I can remember quite clearly the tremendous confusion during my undergraduate days over whether our Chippewas football team had had a good season when it went 6-1-4 in 1991. Four ties! You'll never guess what fashion accessory then coach Herb Deromedi got in abundance that Christmas.
Keith Matheny, Cathedral City, Calif.

Bearing Up

Your Dec. 19 SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE, which said that an Illinois legislator is planning to introduce a bill proclaiming the 1985 Chicago Bears to be the best football team ever, shows that politicians have no sense of history. The '85 Bears were not even the best Bears team ever. That distinction belongs to George Halas's 1940 Bears with Sid Luckman, Danny Fortmann, Ken Kavanaugh, George McAfee, Bill Osmanski, Joe Stydahar and Bulldog Turner. They only beat the Redskins in the NFL Championship Game 73-0.
Bob Youngerman, Brevard, N.C.

Travelin' Man

I was surprised to see Rick Reilly's column about my old coach Dave Moffitt's travels to see thousands of sporting events (LIFE OF REILLY, Dec. 19). When I attended Balboa High in Panama, many of us enjoyed being on Moffitt's teams. He was a great coach with a terrific sense of humor and really cared about his athletes. I now coach the Yokota High volleyball team in Japan. Last season, as we were warming up for a game down in Tokyo, I looked up and saw Coach Moffitt in the stands. For him I'm sure it's not quite the same as it will be watching the Steelers win the Super Bowl this year, but I'm sure that I appreciated his visit more than Bill Cowher will.
Troy Oliver, Yokota, Japan

To Contact SI > LETTERS • E-mail us at or fax us at 212-467-2417. Letters should include the writer's full name, address and home telephone number and may be edited for clarity and space. CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SUBSCRIPTIONS • For 24/7 service, go to You can call 1-800-528-5000 or write to SI at P.O. Box 30602, Tampa, FL 33630-0602. To purchase reprints of SI covers go to ADVERTISING • For ad rates, an editorial calendar or a media kit, e-mail us at