LETTERS

January 23, 2012

Eric LeGrand is an inspiration. His fortitude and determination to walk again have encouraged me to push forward, no matter the circumstances. If LeGrand can have a fighting spirit after everything he has been through, I can surely endure life's minor irritations.

Joseph Morra, Mount Vernon, N.Y.

I was in the stands at Rutgers's stadium on Oct. 29 to see LeGrand lead the Scarlet Knights onto the field, but the image on your cover made me appreciate the moment even more. After a year in which some of the worst aspects of college sports were front-page news, it was fitting that your year-end cover showed one of the best aspects of them.

Matthew Waters

Matawan, N.J.

In Remembrance

I read your tribute to the athletes who died over the past year (The Farewells, Dec. 26) and noticed there was no mention of Wes Leonard, the Fennville (Mich.) High basketball star who collapsed and died at age 16 after making the game-winning shot to end his team's perfect season. It's a shame that this young man's life ended so tragically.

Donald Shafer

East Rochester, N.Y.

As a St. Louis Browns fan, I appreciated seeing Marty Marion in a Browns uniform, though a photo of Marion as a St. Louis Cardinal would have been more appropriate. While Marion played 70 games for the Browns and managed them in 259, he played the majority of his career, 1,502 games, for the Cardinals.

Bill Christine

Redondo Beach, Calif.

I can't believe there were so many suicides among athletes. It is sad to think that for some, life was never as good as when they were young and playing the sport they loved.

Bill Perry, Tallahassee, Fla.

Who's to Blame?

While I agree with Chris Ballard's take on the events leading up to the Vancouver riots (The Kiss, Dec. 26), he failed to mention measures the city could have taken. During the 2010 Olympics the Royal Canadian Mounted Police brought in extra officers from across Canada to help manage the crowds, and that proved to be a huge success. Unfortunately, the Vancouver police department was heavily undermanned for the riots that ensued after the Stanley Cup finals.

Shane Lamb, Surrey, B.C.

The Game Must Go On

Peter King overlooked the most obvious reason the NFL emerged unscathed from the lockout (SCORECARD, Dec. 26). The only two things fans really care about went on as scheduled: the draft and the games. As long as Roger Goodell is calling names at Radio City in April and the players are on the field in September, none of the other junk matters.

Don Richardson, Norway, Mich.

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FEEDBACK

Derrick Rose has led the Bulls to a 12--3 record, their best start in 15 years. Are they the team to beat in the East?

Sergio Carmona: Wait, who are the defending Eastern Conference champions? The Heat! Dwyane Wade has proved he's a clutch player, while Derrick Rose shrank in crunch time in last year's playoffs.

Gene Arnold: The Heat should be the team to beat, but it can't close games. The Bulls can, so, yeah, they're it. Plus, Rose is more effective in the clutch than LeBron James will ever be.

David Scheffke (@dave1120): Yep. The Bulls have beaten top-tier teams like the Lakers, Magic and Celtics so far this season. Besides, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah aren't even playing at their full potential yet, and the Bulls are still 12--3.

Glen Gleissner: I'd say yes. Signing Richard Hamilton in the off-season was huge for Chicago. He is the missing piece that they needed to get to the Finals.

Daniel Ramirez: The Bulls are taking the East because they are a balanced team and their defense is kicking butt, while the Heat is floundering in inconsistency.

PHOTOMEL EVANS/AP (COVER) PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (ROSE)

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