Head Games

Thanks to SI for celebrating the Giants' Super Bowl win—and David Tyree—all over again. However, as a mom, I'm a bit worried: When my husband and our sons toss the football around the backyard now, they insist on using just their heads and one hand to catch it.
Cara Schefer, Vienna, Va.

I still can't believe Tyree made that catch (Remember? Aug. 4). One camera shot clearly showed that, as he was going down with the ball pinned to his helmet, its nose actually grazed a blade of turf. If the ball had moved upward even slightly because of contact with the ground, the pass could have been called incomplete.
Eric G. Nef, Allendale, N.J.

Watching a replay of the game, I counted four right-in-their-hands interceptions that the Patriots dropped (including Asante Samuel's unforgivable miss on the play before "the catch"). The real MVP of the Super Bowl was the Giants' defense, which held New England to under 20 points, the first time that had happened since 2006.
Dom DeBaggis, Centennial, Colo.

Blood Simple

Lee Jenkins calls Peyton and Eli Manning "sports' most famous siblings" (His Own Manning, Aug. 4). What about Venus and Serena Williams? They own 15 Grand Slam singles titles, play an international sport and are recognized all over the world.
Tim Neumark, Columbia, Md.

Baseball and Race

I was thrilled to see the story on pitcher David Price (Young, Gifted and Black, Aug. 4), but I would like to point out that Hillsborough and Middleton are not the only Tampa-area high schools that have turned out successful African-American baseball players. C. Leon King High alums include 1988 Olympic gold medalist Ty Griffin and Derek Bell, who played for 11 years in the majors.
Michael Hollowell, Tampa

I don't understand why the fact that "only" 8.2% of major league baseball players are black is so dire. Blacks make up about 13.4% of the U.S. population. So, yes, the percentage of black players in the majors is lower than that in the general populace, but approximately 70% of the players in the NFL and the NBA are black. This is an issue of choice, not a "problem."
Edmund Han, Washington, D.C.

Amended Response

Terry Francona's answer—"I plead the eighth"—to the question of whether it was harder to handle his 14-year-old daughter or Manny Ramirez may have been unintended (PLAYERS, Aug. 4), but it was appropriate. The Eighth Amendment, after all, protects against cruel and unusual punishment.
Vito Perricelli, Lancaster, N.Y.

Profile in Courage

The photo of quad rugby player and retired airman Delvin McMillian at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games (LEADING OFF, Aug. 4) is one of the most inspirational images I have ever seen. The look of determination on his face left me awed and humbled. I plan to look at it daily to remind me how lucky we are to have heroes like McMillian.
Elaine Snow, Austin

Choosing Sides

Becky Hammon is not being unpatriotic by playing basketball for Russia in the Olympics (Changing of the Guard, Aug. 4). She's just an athlete who wants to compete at the highest level. If Team USA didn't want her, why shouldn't she play for a team that does? No one should fault her for trying to live out a dream. I'll be rooting for her.
Tom Mandes, Annapolis, Md.

I understand Hammon's wanting to play in the Olympics. But how does an American who is playing for Russia and will earn $2 million—plus a six-figure incentive if she wins a gold medal—embody the "original Olympic spirit"?
Kerry Walsh, Clinton, Ind.

Give Hammon a break! The only unpatriotic thing about the situation is that she is being slammed for making a choice, which is what living in a free country like America is all about.
Adrienne Smythe, Mogadore, Ohio

Ten Years After

Kudos to Phil Taylor for crystallizing my thoughts on the anniversary of baseball's "summer of self-deception" (POINT AFTER, Aug. 4). Reflecting on how we all fell for Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa during their home run chase in 1998, I think of this old saying: "Smart people learn from their mistakes; wise people learn from the mistakes of others." That should be posted in clubhouses and gyms the world over.
George Lagogianes, Toronto

In 1998, at age 11, I made the step from SI FOR KIDS to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. My first issue was the Sportsmen of the Year cover that commemorated the accomplishments of McGwire and Sosa, so that story has always been special to me. Like everyone else, I sincerely believed in my home run heroes, which is why Taylor's column brought me to tears. Self-deception is one thing; being deceived by your heroes is devastating at any age.
Collin Ostroot, Elk River, Minn.

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