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Jan. 12, 2009
Jan. 12, 2009

Table of Contents
Jan. 12, 2009

SI Players: LIFE ON AND OFF THE FIELD
NFL WILD-CARD WEEKEND
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
HOCKEY
COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Inside
Departments

Letters

Shiny Tim

This is an article from the Jan. 12, 2009 issue

Tim Tebow, whopicked apart the Alabama defense (Comeback Gators, Dec. 15), should have beenthe choice for the Heisman Trophy. Oklahoma's Sam Bradford has two greatrunning backs. Tim Tebow is a great running back. He carries his team everygame with his arm and his legs, and he is a leader.
Austin Christopher Asbury, Bel Air, Md.

SnapJudgments

I'm a high schoolfootball coach who likes to use pictures of athletes to show proper, orimproper, technique. Your Dec. 15 issue had several good ones: On pages 34--35Florida receiver David Nelson makes a perfectly formed triangle while catchinga touchdown pass, and on the next page Tim Tebow shows how to hold a footballhigh and tight. But the most instructive illustration leads off your story onNorthern State basketball coach Don Meyer (The Game of His Life, Dec. 15), wholost part of his leg in a car accident and is now battling cancer. Every playerand assistant is looking directly at Coach Meyer, making it obvious that peopleat Northern State have the utmost respect for him and the lessons that he istrying to teach.
Tim Pruitt, Boone, N.C.

A HigherCourt

I thought BaronDavis's return to L.A. was supposed to be a homecoming that would raise hisprofile as an NBA player, not as a political activist (Point of Contention,Dec. 15). Just a few years ago he was one of my favorite players on theWarriors; I will never forget the excitement of their 2007 playoff upset of theDallas Mavericks, when every Golden State fan wore those yellow WE BELIEVEshirts. Now Davis has simply become a member of that other team in L.A., and heseems to have lost interest in the Clippers' playoff aspirations.
Sam Bachelder, Wenham, Mass.

Some argue thatDavis should drop his outside interests and focus solely on basketball. But ifhe did, would the possible marginal benefit to his game (and the chance thatthe Clippers might actually make the playoffs) outweigh the benefits of hisdocumentary work or his assistance to those living in inner-city Los Angeles?Would Mr. Davis and society in general really be better off if he became aone-dimensional knucklehead hoopster?
Brad Cleveringa, Palo Alto, Calif.

It's a long shot,but am I the first to predict a President Baron Davis?
Ryan Donahue, Whitewater, Wis.

Born to Run?

Parents may hopeto learn which sport their child can excel at, but the only thing that paying$149 to have a kid tested for the ACTN3 polymorphism will accomplish is theswelling of Kevin Reilly's bank account (POINT AFTER, Dec. 15). Studies ofgenetic polymorphisms generally ignore the effect of the rest of the genes aswell as any potential environmental influences such as diet, training andopportunities.
Elizabeth T. Jacobs, Tucson

Don't theseparents know that it does not matter which sport the kid could be great at ifhe or she does not want to play it?
Simon Asraf, Long Beach, Calif.

Oscar Buzz

The estimableRichard Hoffer savaged HBO's Oscar De La Hoya--Manny Pacquaio fight (INSIDEBOXING, Dec. 15) as a big-man--small-man mismatch, although the small man won,and a cynical contrivance just to make money, as though there's something wrongwith putting on a show that fans want to see. Hoffer felt De La Hoya deservedbetter than to be beaten up at the end of a great career, the sad metaphoricaldeath of most ring kings. But he neglected to mention that De La Hoya himselfmade the so-called mismatch happen. And was consoled by an estimated $30million payday.
Larry Merchant, HBO boxing commentator, Santa Monica, Calif.

Grey Matter

Your photo of thegreyhounds in mid-race in your Pictures of the Year issue (Dec. 12) took mybreath away. As a proud owner of two retired racers, I want to thank you formentioning the British organization that finds homes for retired racers in theUnited Kingdom. Americans can visit Greyhound Pets of America atgreyhoundpets.org to learn about how these dogs make wonderful pets after theirracing careers are over and find a chapter in their area.
John Quast, Maple Grove, Minn.

No Saint Paul

Your review ofthe documentary Breaking the Huddle (PLAYERS, Dec. 22) overstates Bear Bryant'spro-integration efforts. While peaceful people in favor of integration werebeing assaulted with clubs, fire hoses, police dogs and worse in Selma,Montgomery, Birmingham and other Alabama towns, Bear Bryant, the mostuniversally admired and second most powerful man in Alabama, was silent.Suggesting he needed to lose to an integrated USC team in 1970 to justifyrecruiting black players more than 50 years after Paul Robeson was anAll-American, more than 30 years after Jackie Robinson played football for UCLAand more than 10 years after Jim Brown was the best runner in the NFL, isgiving Bryant far too much slack. Honor him as a football coach but not as acivil rights advocate.
David Machlowitz, Westfield, N.J.

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