THE MAIL

November 19, 2012

Penn State coach Bill O'Brien and university president Rodney Erickson should be commended for their efforts to turn over a new leaf with the athletic program in Happy Valley and firmly establish what the "We are Penn State" mantra really means: being honest and doing what is right. The positive light they are shining on the university is looking very bright.

Mark Joseph Williams, Mendham, N.J.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

After reading your article about the culture of Penn State one year after the Jerry Sandusky scandal (We Are Still ... Penn State), I had to express how disgusted I was by the photo on page 65 of a Nittany Lions T-shirt that reads SCREWED VS. TATTOOED. Given the nature of Sandusky's crimes, I think to use that type of language is appalling. It appears that for some Nittany Lions fans, the more they defend the school's legacy, the more insensitive and outrageous they become.

Sandi Contreras, Lakeland, Fla.

Spirit Raising

I enjoyed Steve Rushin's essay on the connection between election night and sports (SCORECARD). Here is another analogy along similar lines: presidential conventions and high school pep rallies. As the big game against the archrival looms (Election Day), students (delegates) rally in support of their teams (candidates). Hyperbolic speeches, screaming crowds, sign waving, goofy hats, certitude that their side will win—it's all there at both events. Like high schools, political parties even have mascots.

Gary Baxel, Joshua Tree, Calif.

Intrastate Battle

Your comparison between the Texans and the Cowboys (Still Starry-Eyed) reminded me of the Yankees and the Mets. Like the Cowboys, the Yankees get a huge amount of national media coverage and have a large fan base from coast to coast. The Mets, win or lose, are forever second-class citizens.

Alan Weinstein, Brooklyn

Bliss on the Bay

Tom Verducci's story about the Giants and their second World Series win in three years (Upon the Shoulders of Giants) was such a refreshing read. Not only was it a positive article about San Francisco's magical season, but it also gave insight into the organization's winning methodology. We have waited a long time in the Bay Area for a baseball team like this.

Dennis O'Bayley, Castro Valley, Calif.

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TRENDING

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

WORLD SERIES

NOV. 5

THE 63-YARD KICK

OCT. 29

PENN STATE

NOV. 5

JOE BUCK

OCT. 29

TWEET OF THE WEEK

"IF I WAS INVOLVED W/ THE FIRING OF MIKE BROWN, I WOULD OWN IT LIKE I DID W/ PAUL WESTHEAD.

EARVIN MAGIC JOHNSON (@MAGICJOHNSON)

FEEDBACK

With Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame undefeated and sitting atop the BCS standings, which teams do you think will play for the national championship?

Irish Evans: It'll be Marcus Mariota and the Ducks versus Collin Klein and the Wildcats. The Irish have no business being considered. They don't have the strength of schedule, and Pittsburgh would have knocked them out of the running completely had it not been for some home-cooked calls in the fourth quarter.

Martin Feehan: I'm hoping it's Oregon versus Notre Dame, but in all honesty any BCS championship game without an SEC team would make me happy.

Jason Jobke: KSU versus Oregon. I think the Ducks would win that matchup. But if it's Notre Dame against Oregon, the Irish would get embarrassed big time.

Chris Willingham: Probably Oregon versus K-State—though I'm not buying that they, along with Notre Dame, are the only three options. I think an SEC team will still slip into the BCS championship game.

Eugene T. Lee: (@EugeneTLee) If Notre Dame finishes 12--0, there is no way the Irish don't play for the national championship, even if the two other teams finish undefeated. #ND

PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYER (COVER)FOR Nov. 5, 2012 PHOTOTWITTER.COM (TWEET) PHOTOROBERT BECK (MARIOTA) CHART PHOTO

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)