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March 23, 2009
March 23, 2009

Table of Contents
March 23, 2009

SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
SI Players: LIFE ON AND OFF THE FIELD
2009 NCAA TOURNAMENT PREVIEW
BASEBALL
PRO BASKETBALL
PRO FOOTBALL
MONEY IN SPORTS
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Incredibility Issues

This is an article from the March 23, 2009 issue

Nothing better exemplifies the greatness of the returning Tiger Woods than the fact that SI's Damon Hack, with a straight face, can write, "Woods's resumption of his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major titles—a mark Woods could tie by winning the Grand Slam this year...." And we believe him!
Michael Humm, Tigard, Ore.

While driving home from work, I was shocked to hear on the radio that Tiger Woods (Tiger to the Rescue, March 2) had been defeated, 4 and 2, by Tim Clark in the second round of the Match Play Championship. Then I arrived home, opened my mailbox and saw your cover. What's the record for the fastest SI cover jinx?
Bill Herlin, Frisco, Texas

Alex's Folly

Baseball players like Alex Rodriguez who admit to using performance enhancers (PLAYERS, March 2) need to stop making excuses about having been immature, pressured or stupid. All the public wants to hear is that 1) you made a decision to improve yourself; 2) you knew the risks and, more importantly, the benefits; 3) the only reason you are sorry is that you got caught. Will the real tainted athlete please stand up?
Waylon J. Orns, Shelby Township, Mich.

After reading Terry McDonell's essay on Rodriguez and his many advisers, it occurred to me that the only people Rodriguez should have sought counsel from were Derek Jeter's parents.
Bud McNichol, Cedar Grove, N.J.

The Return of Jason

It's nice of Lee Jenkins to remind us of what a lovable scamp Jason Giambi is (Jason Giambi Gets His Renegade Back On, March 2), but as an A's fan, I have a different perspective. I remember when Giambi, after signing a rich free-agent contract with the Yankees, went on David Letterman's program and ridiculed the A's, the city of Oakland and the fans that had done nothing but cheer for him the first seven years of his career. You can really tell who a person is when he has the world at his feet, and Giambi's behavior that night told me all I needed to know about him.
Philip Michaels, Alameda, Calif.

Giambi compares himself to Frank the Tank of Old School fame and says of his time in Oakland, "When I was here the first time, we turned this place into a frat house. I think we can do it again." Frank the Tank is a drunken loser who might be funny in a movie but is certainly not a role model. I wonder if Jason will tell his understudies about the beauty of steroid and HGH use, which he has admitted to.
Kenneth H. Alshanski, Arnold, Mo.

March Badness

Your story on Missouri's success in basketball this year (Flying Tigers, March 2) should have cautioned that the Tigers have racked up 21 NCAA tournament appearances without a single trip to the Final Four. The Tigers are to the month of March what the Cubs are to October.
Jerry Donovan, Caledonia, Mich.

Incomparable Orr

S.L. Price captured the essence of Bobby Orr (The Ever Elusive, Always Inscrutable and Still Incomparable Bobby Orr, March 2). In the hockey-crazed Boston metro area in the 1960s and '70s, whether in pickup street hockey games or during youth hockey events, Orr was the player we all emulated. If anyone was so bold as to put on his number 4, they were mercilessly ridiculed. You had to earn that jersey. Gretzky was certainly the Great One, but Orr will always be the Greatest.
Steve Rose, Rochester, N.Y.

I remember the big bad Bruins coming to Vancouver in the early '70s and running roughshod over the expansion Canucks. About the only satisfaction we would get was when one of the Vancouver players stapled Orr to the boards or goaded him into a fight. He had a quick fuse and on more then one occasion he would just lose it—a master of his craft insulted by the puny efforts of a team of muckers and grinders. He didn't suffer fools then, and I'm glad to see he hasn't changed.
Rex Moore, North Vancouver, B.C.

Hail Hoops

Chris Ballard's column about wondering how best to explain his love of basketball to his 2½-year-old daughter (POINT AFTER, March 2) brought tears and smiles. I immediately sent the article to my father and brother, thinking as I sent it of the ball handling drills assigned by my dad on the sidewalk while the two of them played game after game of one-on-one in the driveway. I will never forget my family playing basketball each and every night—except in March, of course. I appreciate your bringing back the memories, and making me realize that my five-year-old son's are just beginning.
Camilla Fuller, Flower Mound, Texas

Thanks for reminding us why we love basketball. For me it's remembering what my dad said 25 years ago: "I'm not cutting that branch. You have to shoot over it!" For my dad, it's probably knowing that the tradition of taking a Thursday off in mid-March is being passed on for generations to come.
Mike Henthorn
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

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