I was a proud teammate of Kenny Washington's at UCLA in 1939. Our coaches would not travel to cities where the entire squad could not stay in the same hotel. Nonetheless, wherever we went, it didn't take our opponents long to see what fine players were welcome on our team.
Stu McKenzie, Newport Beach, Calif.
What a great piece of writing by Alexander Wolff (The NFL's Jackie Robinson, Oct. 12). I hope some of today's players will read it and understand the trials of those who came before them. That should also not be lost on owners and league officials. While progress has been made, there remains work to do regarding minority hiring for team, front-office and league staffs.
November 2, 2009
Elmwood Park, N.J.
What a strange coincidence that the story on Kenny Washington and Woody Strode's breaking the NFL's color barrier was published the same week that Rush Limbaugh was in the news for his attempt to become a partial owner of an NFL franchise—the Rams, the same one that signed Washington and Strode. The last thing the NFL needs is another George Preston Marshall (Marshall Law, Oct. 12) creating unnecessary controversy.
Jed Levine, Forest Hills, N.Y.
You referred to Strode as "ever the supporting actor." Director John Ford gave Strode a starring role in Sergeant Rutledge (1960). Though Strode didn't receive top billing, he played the title character and is unquestionably the star of the movie.
Rick Fooshee, Tenafly, N.J.
What were players thinking when they voted in your poll on the most overrated NFL players (SCORECARD, Oct. 12)? Of the top five finishers, three of them—Brett Favre, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger—have Super Bowl rings.
Leap for the Frogs
Thanks for the awesome piece on TCU (Horned Frog Formula, Oct. 12). Why can't college football have a relegation system as in European soccer, whereby a bottom-feeder such as Baylor would get demoted to the next conference down, while a top lower-tier team such as TCU would take Baylor's place in the Big 12? Or, for that matter, we could swap Washington State for Boise State in the Pac-10.
Jon Gilbert, Portland
In the Pink
Hats off to SI for showing support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It's great to see such a "manly" magazine showing it's not too manly to sport pink on its cover. This is one way to show the boys how to be real men!
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Your story on the Broncos (Bustin' Loose, Oct. 12) touted the team's defense, deservedly so, but you have to give some credit to quarterback Kyle Orton, who has quickly made Denver fans forget Jay Cutler.
Dick Rooney, Lincoln, Calif.
Chris Ballard's column When a Hit Hits Home (POINT AFTER, Oct. 12) needs to be read by every coach at every level of play. As a certified athletic trainer, I deal with many concussion-related injuries sustained by athletes at Catawba College. My worry has always been the glamorization of the big hit by the pros, and how it has spread to college, scholastic and pee-wee play. We need more officials throwing more penalty flags for helmet-to-helmet direct hits and for helmet-leading tackles or blows. These penalties need to be more severe, in which case coaches will then stress proper tackling technique and reprimand players who are penalized for the illegal hits. When this occurs, I'll bet we see a decrease in concussions.
Bob Casmus, Salisbury, N.C.
Ballard writes, "all we really want is for sports not to be complicated. The rest of life is complicated enough." It's ironic that he makes this observation in the same issue that has articles about a soccer match affecting political upheaval in Honduras (SCORECARD, Oct. 12) and about the integration of the NFL. As much as we might want sports to be uncomplicated, life always intrudes.
South Milwaukee, Wis.
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