He may be an awesome defender, but somehow "Joey" Porter as the name of the most feared player in the NFL just doesn't work for me (Play Loud, Sept. 4). Think back to another time in Steelers history. Would Mean "Joey" Greene have inspired terror in the hearts of opponents?
Skip Nevell, Los Angeles
The article on the Steelers' Joey Porter provides insight into a powerful defensive force. Unfortunately, Porter seems to allow his furious attitude to affect his everyday life, permitting his rage to make him late to his own wedding and to publicly disrespect his hometown and the police. When will professional athletes understand that on-field intensity has to be controlled off the field? I hope Porter learns that he has a chance to set a good example for his beautiful children and the NFL before it is too late. Do yourself and your team a favor: Keep it on the field, Joey.
Rob Hoonan, Kahului, Hawaii
September 24, 2006
I am greatly encouraged by the possibility of a Carolina Panthers championship this year (NFL Scouting Reports, Sept. 4). Not only did your experts predict a Panthers Super Bowl victory—the same prediction you made last year—but this year's issue didn't feature a Panthers player on the cover. It isn't that I'm superstitious, but is there any chance you could not feature the Carolina Hurricanes if you do a 2006--07 NHL Preview cover?
David Dausch, Raleigh
The NFC champ will be the home team in Super Bowl XLI at Dolphin Stadium in Miami. If the Dolphins are playing—as you predict—they would become the first team to compete for the Lombardi Trophy as the visiting team in their own house.
W.J. Vanella, Burlingame, Calif.
I read with interest Alan Shipnuck's essay that reported on PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem's remarkable assertion that there is no steroid use among PGA competitors (SCORECARD, Sept. 4). Less than a week later, as I watched the Deutsche Bank Championship, to my astonishment the TV commentators reported that Shaun Micheel had been "short of energy," that a doctor had told him he was low on testosterone and that he now has more energy since he's been using a testosterone gel. Duh! That's why testosterone is classified as a performance-enhancing drug—because it gives you a jolt of energy, helping you to perform better. Micheel finished tied for seventh and earned $160,050. If the top 10 finishers were given urine tests, you can bet that Micheel's A and B samples would have been positive. It is incomprehensible to me that a golfer can openly admit using a performance-enhancing anabolic steroid while any cyclist, sprinter, football or baseball player would face punishment. The fact that Mr. Micheel was under a doctor's care does not make it fair or right.
Dr. Charles M. Strom
San Clemente, Calif.
What a wonderful article on Dikembe Mutombo (AIR AND SPACE, Sept. 4). When too much of what we read about sports concerns drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, children born out of wedlock and players crying that the millions they earn isn't enough, it was refreshing to hear about an athlete making an enormous difference in his impoverished "hometown" of Kinshasa, Congo.
Michael J. Magner, Weston, Conn.
Democracy in Action
Rick Reilly's column about the Schaumburg Flyers' fans who get to choose their team's lineup online and have "managed" their team into last place in the Northern League, provided a chuckle (LIFE OF REILLY, Sept. 4)—but Flyers owner Rich Ehrenreich could use a history lesson. He says, "The American people decide who sits in the White House. I think they can handle a baseball lineup." In fact the framers of the U.S. Constitution were so concerned about the judgment of the American people that they created the electoral college to choose the president on behalf of the people. Perhaps that's what the Flyers need. Or maybe it's just a manager with the power to choose his own lineup.
Jonathan Kaden, Highland Park, Ill.
Reilly, as he so often does, brings sanity to a disturbing universe by publicizing the inexcusable eccentricities of the Schaumburg Flyers. But care should be taken to distinguish minor league teams engaging in "wacky promotions" from those that have mastered the still young art of fan-friendly professional baseball. The Long Island Ducks' insistence upon both fun and fundamentals has resulted in their stadium being consistently filled to capacity by baseball purists, major league scouts and Long Island families just seeking to "take a nine-inning vacation" (as their 2006 slogan goes). And no one gets voted into playing first base without a cup.
Scott Colesanti, North Babylon, N.Y.
Fans managing a baseball team is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard of. Isn't that what fantasy leagues are for?
Beth Heinrich, Milton, Mass.
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