THE MAIL

April 01, 2013

I was happy to finally see a [regional] cover story about hockey in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. The Blackhawks' 24-game points streak was a delight for many fans, like myself, who were put off by the NHL's nearly four-month lockout. Commissioner Gary Bettman owes Chicago a big thank you for putting hockey back on the map.

Randy Hauck, Ocala, Fla.

Steady Interest Rates

The Blackhawks may have brought hockey back (The Win City) for some parts of the country, but in cities like Detroit and Pittsburgh it never left. The Red Wings rank third in attendance (behind the Blackhawks and the Canadiens), and I recently went to the 270th consecutive home sellout for the Penguins—proof that while the NHL may be beleaguered elsewhere, in these cities it is alive and well.

Jim Brown, New Martinsville, W.Va.

Imported Goods

I enjoyed Kelli Anderson's article on Canadian players in college basketball (Canada's Got Talent). Another name that should be added to the list is Boston College guard Olivier Hanlan. The Quebec native averaged 15.4 points on 45.7% shooting and is the 2013 ACC rookie of the year. He also set a conference tournament scoring record for freshmen with 41 points in an 84--64 win over Georgia Tech.

Matt O'Hara, Boston

Big Breakup

Alexander Wolff's feature on the rise and fall of the Big East (Pearl, in the Lane, with the Kiss) left me with two feelings: anger and sadness. The demise of the best conference in basketball is just another example of the way football dollars dominate college athletics. To think that Madison Square Garden will never again have Connecticut, Georgetown, Pittsburgh and Syracuse square off in March in a conference tournament is heartbreaking.

Lance Coderre, Waterford, Conn.

It's a shame that when conferences disband, storied rivalries also part ways. As a Villanova fan, I grew up loving to hate Syracuse. Now that the Orange is headed to the ACC, it will rarely be on the Wildcats' schedule. It will be strange to think of Syracuse as just another school.

Scott Overholt, Langhorne, Pa.

There were some notable differences between the players on your LAST DANCE OF A GIANT cover and college basketball players today. For starters, all the players in your photo were upperclassmen—four seniors and two juniors. Most of the top players now are freshmen and sophomores. Still, the most glaring difference is that Bill Wennington and Walter Berry of St. John's are wearing sneakers from different shoe companies. A coach today could get fined or fired for that type of violation.

Steven Blutig, Randolph, N.J.

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SOCIAL MEDIA

Which move will have a greater impact on the Broncos? Gaining wide receiver Wes Welker or losing defensive end Elvis Dumervil?

Daniel Alexander Bellay Dumervil's going to the Ravens is a huge loss. Players like that are irreplaceable on defense. Besides, I think Welker is a mediocre receiver.

Jim Godec If the Broncos can sign Dwight Freeney, then there won't be a huge drop in production. Freeney can play linebacker or defensive end. Adding Welker is going to be a nightmare for opposing defenses.

Gary A Krout Krout Dumervil is weak against the run. Having Welker gives Peyton Manning yet another lethal weapon.

Tim Buck Dumervil's departure is bigger. Welker is problematic because he drops too many passes.

Thomas Sartain Manning can turn just about any wideout into a marquee slot receiver like Welker. However, the Broncos will be all shook up now that Elvis has left the building.

Tim Hart Welker's 100-plus catches are much more important than losing Dumervil, who has slowed down over the last two seasons.

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PHOTOJERRY WACHTER FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (COVER)FOR March 18, 2013 PHOTOPETER READ MILLER/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (DUMERVIL) PHOTOTWITTER.COM (TWEET) PHOTO

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