The Pittsburgh Steelers deserve the recognition you give them, none more so than coordinator Dick LeBeau, who had 62 interceptions as a player and is now the architect of this awesome defense. There are no defensive coordinators in the Hall of Fame; that needs to change when LeBeau retires.
Marty Stewart, Plum, Pa.
What is especially impressive is that the Steelers and the Ravens ranked one-two in the NFL in defense this season (D as in Dominant, Dec. 22) while playing the toughest and fourth-toughest schedules in the league, as determined in SI's NFL Preview issue.
Paul S. Brittain, Mount Pleasant, Pa.
Is it any surprise that the Steelers and the Ravens have the best defenses over the past decade? They get to play the woeful Browns twice a year.
Pat Fitzgerald, Memphis
January 19, 2009
On the cover you referred to Pittsburgh's defense as Steel Curtain II. Steel Curtain is one of those nicknames, like Dream Team for U.S. men's basketball, which should be used once and then retired.
Steve Brown, Bowie, Md.
Going Home Again
Regarding your essay on teams bringing back coaches they had once fired (PLAYERS, Dec. 22): It worked out pretty well for the Atlanta Braves, who won 14 consecutive division titles, five NL pennants and the 1995 World Series during Bobby Cox's second stint as their skipper.
Richard Waters, Cleveland, Miss.
Red Raider Resolve
You wrote that Oklahoma's Sam Bradford beat out Texas's Colt McCoy for the Heisman (PLAYERS, Dec. 22) because of "a little luck," in the form of Graham Harrell's game-winning touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree that ended Texas's bid for an undefeated season. This "lucky" play was in fact one that Texas Tech practiced regularly. Also, Texas was physically dominated by Texas Tech for nearly three quarters of the game. It was those three quarters, and not one play, that cost McCoy the Heisman.
Danny Garcia, Lubbock
Liking a Viking
In his interview with Dan Patrick (JUST MY TYPE, Dec. 22), Minnesota tight end Visanthe Shiancoe wondered about the type of person viewing the widely circulated video of him accidentally exposed in the locker room. I'm a 52-year-old, happily married mother of three and a registered nurse who has seen plenty of naked bodies. I saw the video, and he looked fabulous! I don't recall what his face looks like though, so I better go back and check it out again.
Nancy Eckert, Mohnton, Pa.
It's nice to see Chauncey Billups, one of the NBA's most underrated players, doing well in his hometown of Denver (Home Cookin', Dec. 22). This is the last guy the opposition wants to see at the line with time running out, and he is an unbelievable leader with a great basketball IQ. Those intangibles are just a few of the reasons why he is one of the NBA's best point guards.
Tony Pardo, Weymouth, Mass.
On the Cheap
I enjoyed Joe Posnanski's article about the winter meetings in Vegas (Take Me Out to ... the Winter Meetings in Vegas, Baby, Vegas, Dec. 22). As a Twins fan I had to laugh when he quoted Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire talking about his jacket and saying, "You know what I paid for this? I paid $580. I could have bought three jackets at Target for that." That, in a nutshell, is why—if the Twins are lucky enough to make the playoffs—they will always lose in the first round.
Bret Busakowski, Cloquet, Minn.
For the Good of Mankind
Your story on The Wrestler described former WWE champion Mick Foley as "decidedly homeless-looking" when he appeared at a screening of the film and compared him with the "washed-up" main character (The Year in Sports Media, Dec. 22). Your readers should know there is more to Foley. Since 1992 Mick has been supporting needy children through the Christian Children's Fund; over the last few years he has donated more than $250,000 for early-childhood-development centers, community centers and health clinics in rural areas of the Philippines and Mexico, and for the building of seven schools in war-torn Sierra Leone. From his travels to these sites he is recognized in some of the most remote parts of the world—not for his wrestling fame but because of his generous heart.
Renée Monroe, CCF Regional Development Officer, Chestertown, N.Y.
I read your notice in the Dec. 22 issue that I may elect to not receive the annual Swimsuit Issue. Your sensitivity to the sensibilities of your readers further elevates your fine publication. In the interest of controlling any warehousing backlog that this thoughtful offer might produce, please ship all declined copies to me.
Rick Brown, Augusta
Since I am a Reds and Bengals fan, I wondered if you made the same offer regarding your MLB and NFL Preview issues?
Don Bouquot, Dayton
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