Hockey needs toget back to its roots by contracting the league and moving teams to Canada andthe Northeast. Original Six fans and fans in the East stay true to their teams.In places like Carolina, Tampa, Phoenix, Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose, thefans are front-runners. Enough with the phony warm-weather cities; they don'tdeserve teams.
This is an article from the Oct. 26, 2009 issue
Your NHL Previewarticle (It's All About the Six, Oct. 5) captures the essence of Original Sixhockey. Preexpansion hockey was a better game than what we have now, and thenewer teams just don't have the tradition and—as writer Michael Farber pointsout—the uniforms. With all due respect to the San Jose Sharks, if they'replaying the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup finals next June, I won't bethe only Boston fan who will be cheering on the Habs.
I was surprisedyou didn't mention perhaps the biggest reason the Blackhawks should be favoredto win the Stanley Cup this season (NHL Scouting Reports, Oct. 5): They havethe brightest mind in the history of hockey working for their organization,Scotty Bowman.
More Than aCloser
As a lifelong RedSox fan, I have been arguing with Yankees fans for years that you can't justifyAlex Rodriguez's winning the AL MVP award twice in New York when he wasn't eventhe MVP of his own team. Subtract Mariano Rivera (Mariano Saves, Oct. 5), andthe Evil Empire is still trying to buy world championship number 23.
Having been aDodgers fan and therefore a Yankees hater for 60 seasons, I found TomVerducci's article on Rivera quite disturbing. Even a grumpy old man like mehas to like a player with Rivera's composure and very un-Yankee-likehumility.
As a lifetimeYankees fan living in Portland, I would often take my family to Seattle whenthe Yanks were playing there. In 1999 we were fortunate to meet Rivera in ahotel lobby. He was kidding around with my young son, saying he didn't playbaseball much but would autograph my son's ball anyway. I laughed, and I toldRivera it was a pleasure meeting the greatest closer of all time. He smiled andsaid, "I am just using the gift God gave me." Rivera, with hishumility, is a true role model.
A Good Sign
This week's Signof the Apocalypse: SPORTS ILLUSTRATED ran a four-page feature (The CincinnatiShuffle, Oct. 5) on Bearcats football.
Albert Chen wrote,"Yes, Cincinnati ... is the beast of the Big East and perhaps the best teamin the state of Ohio. (That includes you, Buckeyes.)" Well, Cincinnati isnot, has not and never will be the best team in the state of Ohio as long asJim Tressel is the coach at Ohio State. He is one of the best recruiters incollege football and gets the best of the best from talent-rich Ohio. If[Bearcats quarterback] Tony Pike is as good as everyone seems to think, hewould be playing for the Buckeyes, and under Tressel he sure wouldn't haveridden the pine for three years.
If Joe Posnanskibelieves that striking out a lot doesn't matter if you hit home runs like MarkReynolds (SCORECARD, Oct. 5), I have only one thing to say: Dave Kingmanbelongs in the Hall of Fame.
Lauding thestrikeout-prone Reynolds for his .400-plus average when hitting fair balls is alittle like evaluating a drunken surgeon on the basis of his success rate whensober. Reynolds's strikeout rate might have something to do with why his teamis in the cellar.
Daniel W. Stiller,Milwaukee
Posnanski mentionsBabe Ruth, who at one time held the all-time career strikeout record. What heforgets to point out is that the most times Ruth ever whiffed in a season was93, less than half of Reynolds's total. And, oh yes, Ruth had a lifetimebatting average of .342.
Blue Bell, Pa.
Knock on Woods
To even suggestthat Tiger Woods won't beat Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major championships(POINT AFTER, Oct. 5) is akin to saying the sun won't rise tomorrow. Tiger'sentire career has been about one thing, and that is to be the best.
Kevin Mogee,Oreland, Pa.
I'm sure the restof the players on the PGA Tour are most uncomfortable with Selena Roberts'scalling out Tiger. The last thing his competition needs is for Tiger to havemore motivation to succeed in 2010.
If Brett Favre cankeep throwing touchdown passes at 40, Tiger will be able to play golf until hegets major number 19.
While Tiger's lossto Y.E. Yang at the PGA Championship may have been the end of perfection (14for 14 at closing out 54-hole leads in majors), it certainly is not the end ofexcellence.
Jeff Guerin,Scottsdale, Ariz.
Six wins is acareer on the PGA Tour. Six wins in the first season back after major kneesurgery—what Woods did—is extraordinary. No player in the history of the sporthas won a major every year, and anyone who knows the sport knows that Woods,with 71 wins at 33 years old, is well on his way to 100-plus Tour wins and20-something majors.
John Hobbs, Lewes,Del.
In your photo ofDetroit Lions fans celebrating the team's first win in 19 games (LEADING OFF,Oct. 5), some fans were wearing the jerseys of Chris Spielman and BarrySanders—players who were on the last Lions team (1991) that won a playoffgame.
This week's SIPlayoff Bracket
13 Penn State
6 Boise State
SI Playoff Bracketis released every Sunday for the rest of the season at SI.com/bonus
Playoff ArgumentRages On
Thank you for TheSI Playoff Bracket (Oct. 5)—now give us those games on TV and watch the moneyroll in! What are college presidents trying to protect in order to leave thismuch excitement and money on the table? No playoff, no true champion!
In the first weekof October, there probably are 16 teams that can make a credible case forinclusion in your 16-team championship playoff. By the first week of December,you will be lucky if four such teams remain. A college football playoff is adubious concept at best.
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