It was difficult reading the accounts of how the tornadoes ravaged Alabama and took so many lives. The effects they had on the student athletes made me even more sad, because instead of simply equating tragedy with something they would read in Shakespeare, they learned first-hand about the tragedy of mass destruction and loss of life.
This is an article from the June 13, 2011 issue
Daniel Feigin, New York City
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I want to thank Lars Anderson and photographer Simon Bruty for taking the time to go beyond the usual sports coverage and bring us a beautiful story about the devastation in Tuscaloosa (Terror, Tragedy and Hope in Tuscaloosa, May 23). Watching helplessly as the tornadoes swept across the Alabama campus and then seeing the killer storms jump over the Birmingham suburb of Trussville, where much of my family lives, is an experience I don't want to relive but unfortunately will never forget.
South Orange, N.J.
I graduated from Auburn and have rooted for the Tigers my entire life. However, as I read through your heart-wrenching article on the horror in Tuscaloosa with tears in my eyes, all my athletic animosity toward Alabama faded into insignificance.
Jim Riddle, Naples, Fla.
In the wake of the destructive tornadoes that leveled parts of the South, altruism and selflessness have been displayed by athletes across the nation such as former Crimson Tide players DeMeco Ryans, Shaun Alexander, Julio Jones and Marcel Dareus, who all returned to Tuscaloosa to aid and support those in need. In addition, student athletes from neighboring schools have played a role in the rebuilding of the city. While playing in the 2011 NCAA softball championship regional in Tuscaloosa, the University of Memphis women's softball team spent a day volunteering with the city's emergency services unit, helping to clear debris from the streets and sorting clothes for the needy. Even the student-athletes at Auburn have worked with their university to help organize Toomer's for Tuscaloosa to aid those in need. It's amazing how the worst situations can bring out the best in people.
Michael S. Beckenstein
All Djoking Aside
I enjoyed reading your article on Novak Djokovic (Staring Down History, May 23), as he is my favorite tennis player. I've always admired how on the one hand he can ferociously attack an opponent on the court but then graciously applaud if he gets beaten. I think the new rivalry between him and Rafael Nadal is great for tennis and will bring more interest to the sport.
Erik Ubel, St. Paul
Your article on Djokovic was disheartening, to say the least. Nowhere does Djokovic acknowledge or denounce the genocide and ethnic cleansing by Serbia against Bosnia and Croatia. His silence on the matter is deafening. I guess as long as one is a stellar athlete, he gets a free pass on such issues.
Curt Johnson, Bloomington, Ill.
Not So Fast
I was absolutely shocked to find Mets manager Terry Collins declared a "Not" in your Who's Hot/Who's Not section (SCORECARD, May 23). Although Collins may have struggled early on in adjusting to his job as the Mets' skipper, he has most definitely righted the ship. After a dismal 5--13 start, the Amazin's are finally playing with some heart. With David Wright, Ike Davis and Johan Santana on the disabled list, Collins has a roster full of minor leaguers and career journeymen who are playing respectable and competitive baseball.
Alex Izen, Dix Hills, N.Y.
The Way We Were
Your article on ESPN (SCORECARD, May 23) brought back fond memories of what once was. ESPN used to be my favorite channel. Back in the 1980s and '90s, when it provided just sports news, scores and great plays, it was a gift to all sports fans. However, once it decided dunks, touchdown dances and home runs were the only thing that mattered, it lost me.
I think Tiger Woods's best shot at getting his game back (INSIDE GOLF, May 23) would be for him to get his left knee replaced. The recurring problems he's having with the knee, even after four surgeries, suggest he has scar tissue, bone bruising and possibly arthritic issues that cannot be repaired with rehab alone.
I had a blast reading Phil Taylor's Tough Love column (POINT AFTER, May 23) on the NBA. Taylor hit the nail on the head when he said that players should focus more on just playing their games rather than pouring their hearts out and whining about everything. It's the playoffs, guys. Play like it, no excuses.
Luke Bond New Freedom, Pa.
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