By putting both the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears on your cover in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, were you trying to negate the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED cover jinx? Or just to guarantee that fans of the losing team would be able to blame the loss on the jinx?
Drew Stein, Manalapan, N.J.
Champion Versus Champion
Comparing a golf superstar like Tiger Woods to a tennis superstar like Roger Federer is absurd (SCORECARD, Feb. 5). Golf requires a stationary person to swing at a stationary object 70 times over five hours. World-class tennis requires superb hand-eye coordination, speed, leaping, agility, power, touch, plus split-second reactions. Golf is to tennis as free throw shooting is to basketball.
Paul Fein, Agawam, Mass.
Roger Federer takes on the top tennis players one at a time, one-on-one, while Tiger Woods plays one on 100-plus in his competitions. Woods, or any other top golfer, is clearly dominant over a tennis player.
Dave Gustafson, Eden Prairie, Minn.
When is the last time Roger played against 30-, 40- and 50-year-olds in a tournament?
Brenda Boyd, Shawnee, Kans.
Body of Work
Hats off to Serena Williams, not only for her astonishing performance at the Australian Open (Slam-Bang Return, Feb. 5), but also for defending her fit, healthy and full-figured body. I can only hope my two young daughters admire this confident woman who understands what's important. We need more Serenas and fewer Mary-Kate Olsens.
Cathie Conner, Modesto, Calif.
You forgot Tony Dorsett on your list of rookies who rushed for 1,000 yards and appeared in the Super Bowl (Super Stats, Feb. 5). In his first year, when Dallas made it to Super Bowl XII against Denver, Dorsett ran for 1,007 yards. And he did it in 14 games instead of 16.
John Risi, Eastchester, N.Y.
The Real Super Man?
David Halberstam is, I think, indulging in some revisionist history (The Ritual Begins, Feb. 5). In referring to the Super Bowl, he asserts, "Pete Rozelle was the prophet of it all, the man who saw the future.. . " and, "The Super Bowl game of today is, more than anything else, what Rozelle wrought." I submit that the true visionary was in fact American Football League commissioner Joe Foss. The Dec. 16, 1963, issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED includes the text of a letter from Foss to commissioner Rozelle, urging a game between the NFL and AFL champions at the end of the 1964 season. You also show Rozelle's response, which reads, "As I have said on a number of occasions, we have no plans for such a game."
Jeff Griffith, Glendale, Ariz.
Your piece on one-finger salutes (SCORECARD, Feb. 5) missed what may the biggest biennial display in the world: the one that takes place in November of each even-numbered year when thousands of rabid Buckeyes fans welcome Michigan's football team into the Horseshoe.
Richard F. (Dick) McHugh Gatlinburg, Tenn.
Your commentary on the five athletes who were killed in Iraq (LIFE OF REILLY, Feb. 5) broke my heart. As Herbert Hoover said, "Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die."
Linda E. Horton, Charlotte
Great article, Rick. Al-Qaeda and Jane Fonda would be proud of you. To call our cause a game that "can't be won" is a slap in the face to our government, our armed forces and our country.
Mike Castelluccio, Liberty, Mo.
Your column on those five great American heroes made this retired Army colonel cry. My son-in-law is an infantryman with the 82nd Airborne Division who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is safely back, but some of his troopers made the ultimate sacrifice. My son, a former high school athlete, graduates from Army infantry and airborne training this month, and then he goes on to a Ranger battalion. You are right: They will all chew through concrete. Thank you for giving readers the chance to think about the real "gamers."
Col. Tom Brady, U.S. Army (ret.) Washington, D.C.
On January 19 I came home from Fallujah, Iraq, with non-combat-related injuries. It was sad to hear that just days after I left, my good buddy Lance Cpl. Luis Castillo was killed in action. I shared the job of a radio operator with him, and he taught me everything I know. He would also talk about his wrestling days, which would ultimately lead to our wrestling each other. I never expected to open my favorite magazine to my favorite column and see my good friend's name. Thank you for recognizing his and other military members' bravery and discipline. We are all very competitive, and we will win.
Lance Cpl. Bryan Miller Portland, Mich.
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