This is an article from the Feb. 16, 2009 issue
I had to smile when I saw your Cardinals cover—not because of any warm, fuzzy feelings about Kurt Warner's comeback but because his stance reminded me of your April 1, 1985, photo of Sidd Finch (far right), the Tibetan pitching phenom who was signed by the Mets. Actually, the Cardinals in the Super Bowl (Red Storm Rising, Jan. 26) seems about as believable as Sidd was.
Scott Pusich, Lawrence, Kans.
On the Big Screens
Your story on the arms race in giant video screens (Jumbo Dreams, Jan. 26) was timely, but I take exception to the premise that fans "love it" and "want it" as part of the game-day experience. Big screens are often an annoying distraction. Ultimately we go to games to, you know, watch the game. At the annual Cubs convention recently, a team official broached the subject (half-jokingly, I think) of a big screen at Wrigley Field, and the suggestion was met with a chorus of boos.
Andy Buchanan, Chicago
I thought of your jumbotron story while watching Super Bowl XLIII. As Larry Fitzgerald streaked down the middle of the field for a touchdown in the fourth quarter (right), he watched with the rest us as the Pittsburgh defense was left in his dust.
Angel Santiago, Rockville, Md.
In recounting the ways athletes have used jumbotrons during competition, you could have mentioned mixed martial artist and former SI cover boy Roger Huerta's 2007 fight against Alberto Crane. Huerta used the screen as a guide to throw his elbow into Crane's face while Crane was on Huerta's back. Huerta won the fight by TKO in that round.
Chuck Gilbert, Boise
Years ago I attended an exhibition cricket match between the world champion Caribbean team and an international all-star team at Toronto's SkyDome. A fielder made a spectacular catch and, being unfamiliar with jumbotrons, got caught up in watching the replays. While he was distracted, another ball came his way. To his great embarrassment, this all-star player allowed runs to score—and that, of course, was also replayed on the big screen.
Robert Munroe, London, Ont.
As a cameraman for WGN-TV, I covered Super Bowl XX in New Orleans. By halftime it was apparent that the Bears were going to blow out the Patriots, and the electricity had left the building. Then, just before the halftime show began, the jumbotrons showed The Super Bowl Shuffle, and the fans began to cheer and dance; the end zone screens had taken center stage.
Highland Park, Ill.
According to my soon-to-be boss, I was being "methodical, but dull" in my interview for a job as an insurance agent when he asked, "Is there anything unusual or interesting that you could tell us about yourself?" After a pause I replied, "I dance on jumbotrons. The cameras always find me doing my disco moves. I've been on screen in eight major league ballparks." That answer got me the job.
Paul Cossentine, Fresno
Bill Scheft's article on Peyton Manning the pitchman (PLAYERS, Jan. 26) was right on. No football player has been this funny since Dick Butkus and Bubba Smith graced the airwaves. Let's go, insurance adjusters, let's go!
Anthony Mickelbury, Colorado Springs
Scheft's essay referenced Red Sox pitcher Tom Murphy dressing his identical twin, Roger, in his uniform and scaring his manager with the twin's inept throwing. A decade earlier Roger, a star wide receiver at Northwestern, and his twin actually pulled the same stunt in reverse, leaving Wildcats coaches wondering why Roger suddenly couldn't hang on to the football.
John Carson, Berlin Heights, Ohio
Your story on J.J. Redick's and Adam Morrison's difficulty translating their college stardom into pro success (Coming of Age [or Not] in the NBA, Jan. 26) left out an important factor. In his senior year Redick shot 229 free throws in the regular season while committing a mere 41 fouls. Morrison had similar numbers. But unfortunately for them, NBA refs don't seem to give a rip about which players the college basketball analysts had man-crushes on. I think you'll be able to reprint this article in a couple of years, just inserting the name Tyler Hansbrough.
Jonathan Hamilton, Fenton, Mich.
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