Elf You
At least the New England Patriots finished the regular season undefeated. I heard that Santa didn't have as much luck. Two of his reindeer came up lame on Christmas Eve, his sled got lost in Poland, and somehow half a dozen kids on the naughty list received presents anyway. Way to go, SI cover jinx.
John McBride, Fort Dodge, Iowa

You should have colored Patriots coach Bill Belichick's face green (The Year in Sports, Dec. 31--Jan. 7). To many football fans, he is the Grinch.
Ken Glazener, Clemmons, N.C.

Highlighting athletes in each sport who are giving back was an awesome addition to your annual year-end review. We are quick to hammer spoiled athletes for their transgressions, so it's great to showcase the deeds of these philanthropic role models.
Dean Johnson, The Woodlands, Texas

As a Texas Rangers fan who has suffered through hard times with his team, I was surprised to see you define one of our better moments with a downward-turned thumb. Scoring 30 runs against Baltimore on Aug. 22 was just about the only bright spot in an otherwise thumbs-down season.
Adam C. McCloskey, Navarre, Fla.

Your recounting of sports figures who left us in 2007 (Farewell, Dec. 31--Jan 7) failed to mention the toughest hockey player of all time. John Ferguson skated eight seasons for the Montreal Canadiens, winning five Stanley Cups and racking up more than 1,200 penalty minutes.
Steve Lansky, Toronto

You should have noted the passing of Wally Parks, founder of the National Hot Rod Association, and Eric Medlin, champion Funny Car driver.
Ted Hunter, Brunswick, Maine

... Bill Robinson. Between 1966 and '83 the infielder-outfielder played for the Braves, Yankees, Phillies and Pirates, and he was a valuable member of the Bucs' '79 championship team.
Wayne Holton, Scotch Plains, N.J.

... Shelby Metcalf, who coached men's basketball at Texas A&M for 27 years.
Gary Spence, College Station, Texas

... USC kicker Mario Danelo.
Brian Bernstein, Oak Park, Calif.

... Damien Nash, Broncos tailback, and Marquise Hill, a Patriots lineman.
Chris Nelson, Berkeley Lake, Ga.

... Parry O'Brien, who permanently redefined shot-putting technique with his "O'Brien glide." He also won two golds and a silver over four Olympiads from 1952 to '64.
J.J. Shaughnessy, Long Beach, Calif.

... WWE wrestler Chris Benoit. Perhaps he does not deserve a farewell after killing his wife and son in a double murder--suicide. But his death is important because it has raised many questions about both the use of steroids and the effects of concussions in professional wrestling.
Curtis Saville, Newmarket, Ont.

Upset Special
Alexander Wolff's exemplary article on the 1982 Virginia-Chaminade game (The Greatest Upset Never Seen, Dec. 31--Jan. 7) brought back vivid memories for this Virginia alum, class of '68. I had moved to Honolulu shortly after graduation (to accept a job at Pearl Harbor), and I was thrilled to secure courtside tickets for the slaughter about to be perpetrated by my beloved alma mater. Decked out in Cavaliers orange and blue, my wife and I certainly stood out among the rabid Chaminade fans. Unfortunately, "the Game of the Century" brought me the worst possible Christmas present, not to mention merciless ribbing, during and well after the unimaginable conclusion. Try as I might, I have never been able to forget the scenario recounted by Wolff.
William H. Nordstrom Jr., Honolulu

The Audacity of Hoop
Your Dec. 31---Jan. 7 issue featured a story about Chaminade's upset of Virginia and also a column by S.L. Price about playing basketball with Barack Obama (POINT AFTER) but did not make the connection between the subjects. Richard Haenisch, shown in the photo on page 94 being mauled by Ralph Sampson, was a teammate of Obama's at Punahou School in Honolulu when it won the Hawaii state basketball championship in 1979.
Fred Giannini, Kealakekua, Hawaii

I hope Obama registered this page in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED as a political donation.
Eric Halfpap, Dayton

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