Here in Southern California we've had rain on and off for the last 40 days, sodoes it surprise anyone that the Florida Gators--the only team to weather thestorm that was UCLA hoops--would be led by a kid named Noah (Go-Go Gators,April 10)?
Axel Kyster, Bradbury, Calif.
Two things aboutthe national champion Florida Gators' basketball team that may have made adifference: The players complemented each other, and they complimented eachother.
Ken Clarke, Orlando
Kudos to DavidMaraniss for The Meaning of Roberto Clemente (April 10). Clemente's physicalskills--the rifle arm, quick bat and tremendous speed--have been wellchronicled, but his true greatness was shown in his death. Roberto got it rightwhen he said, "If you have a chance to make life better for others and failto do so, you are wasting your time on earth." No matter what our stationin life, we are here to serve, even if that sometimes means making the greatestsacrifice of all.
Gregory L. Daniels, Franklin, Tenn.
April 30, 2006
It seemed thatthere was trouble brewing even before Clemente's aircraft took off. When it didtake off, matters just kept getting worse and worse. The moral of the story is:There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old boldpilots.
Steven Phy, Pittsburgh
Clemente's lovefor children was genuine. When I was nine, he came to our church banquet, and Iremember that he spent almost four hours holding kids on his lap, signingautographs and telling stories. I am not ashamed to say that 11 years later, asa 20-year-old, I cried when I heard of his death.
Duane Randa, Cumming, Ga.
There has beentalk about retiring Clemente's uniform number (21) from all major leaguerosters. Reading this article will help anyone understand why this should beconsidered. As great a ballplayer as he was--and he was as good as theycome--he was an even greater human being.
Carlos B. Martinez, Bronx, N.Y.
Highs of theTigers
LSU gets its men'sand women's teams to the Final Four, and they're Not Hot because neither madeit to the championship game (Players, April 10)? LSU's young and inexperiencedmen's team was never supposed to make it past Duke or Texas, but it did and farexceeded most people's expectations. And the women, while top contenders formost of the year, really had only two consistent scoring threats: SeimoneAugustus and Sylvia Fowles. Just because they lost to an excellent team in theFinal Four doesn't make them a flop. Besides, I didn't see any other schoolwith teams in both Final Fours, did you?
Julie Kammer, Metairie, La.
If they have anybrains at all, the Houston Texans will draft D'Brickashaw Ferguson as the No. 1pick (D'Man Behind D'Name, April 10). Houston has a potential 3,000-yard passerand a 1,000-yard rusher in David Carr and Domanick Davis, respectively. Theywould each benefit from playing with the top offensive lineman in the country.Carr got sacked over 60 times last year and needs to have betterprotection.
Josh Mandell, Charlottesville, Va.
Thanks to SteveRushin for his column about MLB's attempt to assert ownership of the game'sstatistics (Air and Space, April 10). If ballplayers' stats aren't deemed partof the public domain, what's next? Selling the rights to individual numbers tothe highest bidder? I'd love to see how much Joe DiMaggio's 56 or TedWilliams's .406 would fetch at auction.
Pat Miller, St. Louis
On the Ball
Wow! How do you guys at SPORTS ILLUSTRATED do it? With65 teams and some 780 players in this year's NCAA field to choose from, theonly player to actually appear on the basketball on the cover of your 2006 NCAATournament Preview (March 20), was the tournament's eventual Most OutstandingPlayer. How could you have possibly known that Florida center Joakim Noah wouldlead his team to the NCAA championship? So much for the SI cover jinx.
Michael P. Nash, Columbus, Ohio
To Contact SI > LETTERS • E-mail us atletters@SI.timeinc.com or fax us at 212-467-2417. Letters should include thewriter's full name, address and home telephone number and may be edited forclarity and space. CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SUBSCRIPTIONS • For 24/7 service, go towww.SI.com/customerservice. 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 towww.SIcovers.com. ADVERTISING • For ad rates, an editorial calendar or a mediakit, e-mail us at SIpubqueries@timeinc.com.