The Sportsman
As a survivor of cancer, a stroke, a liver tumor and two bouts of meningitis, at 41 my perspective on life enables me to appreciate every day with my four children and wonderful wife. After reading the story of Dwyane Wade's life (Sportsman of the Year, Dec. 11), I am inspired to be an even better father, husband, brother and man. I will introduce my young children to basketball through this fine ambassador of the sport.
Tom O'Hara, Malverne, N.Y.

I'm a guy. I read SI. I read about Wade and I cried. I think Time should have made Dwyane Man of the Year.
Peter J. Smith, Jenkintown, Pa.

I'd never bought into the SI cover jinx, but now that even the new NBA ball has succumbed, just days after appearing with Dwyane Wade, I'm a believer!
Markus Kamp, Bonney Lake, Wash.

I've been monitoring the Sportsman message board set up on, and I'm impressed by the groundswell of support for Roger Federer. The staggering numbers behind Federer's dominance over the past three years need not be recounted here and may never be matched. As accomplished as Federer is on the court, it's possible he deserves to be Sportsman of the Year even more for his efforts off the court and for who he is as a person. Federer is UNICEF's newest international goodwill ambassador and has established the Roger Federer Foundation to fund projects for disadvantaged children, with a focus on South Africa, his mother's native country. Furthermore, Federer is universally liked and respected among his peers, which can't be overlooked in such an individual sport.
Chris Widmaier, White Plains, N.Y. Senior Director, Public Relations, USTA

As "Pastor" of the "First Church of Tiger Woods" (, I want to know how in "God's" name could you possibly ignore Tiger's 2006, which was clearly the greatest comeback season in golf history. In June, at the U.S. Open, it looked as if Tiger, burdened by his father's death, would lose his No. 1 ranking and perhaps never surpass Jack Nicklaus's records. Two majors and six straight PGA Tour wins later his ranking is as secure as it's ever been, and it seems that reaching Jack's majors mark is now a matter of when and not if.
John Ziegler, Burbank, Calif.

Zinédine Zidane was the Sportsman of the Year, no (head) butts about it.
Bernard J. Connaughton Garnerville, N.Y.

Eternal Question
While many are asking, Who is Tony Romo (Silver Star, Dec. 11)? I want to remind everyone that the last time Drew Bledsoe was replaced, everyone was asking, Who is Tom Brady?
Rob Lorton, Beavercreek, Ohio

Underhanded Behavior
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Rick Reilly's column on Rick Barry (LIFE OF REILLY, Dec. 11). It reminded me of when I was in junior high, with a big game on the line. I remembered my dad teaching me to shoot free throws like Rick Barry. As the opposing players watched and heckled—Does your husband play in this league?—I calmly stepped to the line and sank two in a row for the first time in my life. We won the game, and no one made fun of me again.
Rob Jacobs, Tiburon, Calif.

Flush the Bowls?
Phil Taylor and Mark Beech adeptly outlined all the reasons there should be a football playoff (Playoff, Please, Dec. 11). A playoff would lengthen the season, but it could certainly produce as much excitement as basketball's March Madness.
Steve Crain, Alpine, Utah

Institute a playoff and guess what the Michigan--Ohio State game would have meant? Nothing. That is what makes college football special and different. The regular season means everything. Ask anyone familiar with Division II playoffs and they will tell you it is more about surviving the onslaught of injuries than about crowning the best team.
Chad Jensen, Colorado Springs

Chris Ballard's essay on football pregame-show humor was funnier than any NFL show I've ever seen (AIR AND SPACE, Dec. 11). I've watched in fascination as Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason and Shannon Sharpe laugh and laugh over absurdly unfunny statements, apparently unaware that they are, themselves, the joke.
Matthew Roach, Middletown, Del.

If I want yuks, I'll put on Comedy Central. For my pregame information I turn on the radio and the Internet. I don't turn on my TV until one o'clock.
Wayne Dickinson, Somerset, Mass.

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