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THE MAIL

March 03, 2014
March 03, 2014

Table of Contents
March 3, 2014

SI.com
THE MAIL
2014 OLYMPICS
MOTOR SPORTS
BASEBALL
  • THE MONEYBALL ERA MOCKED SMALL BALL, BUT DIDN'T TOTALLY DISCREDIT IT. WITH THE GAME IN THE MIDST OF A SCORING DROUGHT, TAKING CARE OF THE LITTLE THINGS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER

THE BIRTH OF SHOWTIME
  • In the early '80s, Pat Riley and Magic Johnson began a transformation that put the Lakers on the leading edge of sports culture. But it took a really, really strange series of events—and some Magicavellian maneuvering—to set the stage

Brazil
  • AS THE WORLD TURNS ITS EYES TOWARD THE NEXT OLYMPIC GAMES, IN RIO, AND ON THE EVE OF A WORLD CUP IN THE SPIRITUAL HOME OF SOCCER, A QUESTION HANGS IN THE AIR LIKE A LINGERING CLOUD OF TEAR GAS: HOW DO YOU RECONCILE

Departments

THE MAIL

I find it sad that the only way the world is finding out about Michael Sam's talent is because of his sexual preference. NFL players have been arrested for assault, domestic violence, possessing weapons—yet there's concern about a gay man playing in the league. My concern is for those teams who would bypass drafting Sam because of whom he dates over what really matters: his athletic ability.

This is an article from the March 3, 2014 issue Original Layout

Kate Owens, Buffalo

Who Will Step Up?

S.L. Price's article (Moment of Truth) portrays Michael Sam's honesty, his courage and his qualifications for playing on Sundays. While it is difficult to imagine that Sam will fail to be drafted, Price missed the boat. Why didn't he focus more on the real elephant in the draft room and speculate on which of the 32 NFL owners will have his moment of truth and select Sam strictly on his ability to play football at the highest level? Who will have the courage to say, If not now, when? Al Davis, you left us far too soon.

Randolph M. Grossman San Leandro, Calif.

Price's story was a study in contrasts. Sam showed his maturity by taking control of his coming out. On the other hand, an unnamed (how courageous!) player personnel assistant, ostensibly a team leader, indicated how a gay player might poison a locker room environment, with "half the team cracking jokes, whispering behind his back" and name-calling prevalent. That description reminded me of the worst kind of kindergarten class. It's not hard to predict that the organization that takes Sam will see an improved team culture.

Gisele Pansze, Durango, Colo.

He Will Always Be Royal

Steve Rushin's POINT AFTER was excellent. Henry Aaron is an icon. He is also still the home run king, in my opinion.

Mike Martin, Pawhuska, Okla.

Thanks for Rushin's piece. I bought tickets for the first two Atlanta home games of the 1974 season. That first game, I was sitting behind the Braves' dugout when Aaron hit his record-breaking home run. I'll never forget the lights going out and Hammerin' Hank rounding the bases to an ovation I can hear to this day. I still have the ticket stub. I didn't return for the second game, but I got my money's worth.

Bob Stanton, San Antonio

Vintage Kiner

I grew up in New Jersey a Yankees fan, but I followed the Mets and enjoyed listening to Ralph Kiner (SCORECARD). One afternoon in the early '70s, after a John Milner home run, my dad and I heard Kiner say, "That's the first home run for the Mets in a long time ... except for one [Ken] Boswell hit yesterday."

Dick Cooke, Davidson, N.C.

The most amazing thing about the Michael Sam story is that none of his teammates took it to the press before he did. I have never been more proud of an individual, a team, a whole university.

Tom Murphy Overland Park, Kans.

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SOCIAL MEDIA

What was your reaction when Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Daytona?

RICHARD S. CLINES Hell yeah baby

ANTHONY LEONE He didn't really survive the slew of crashes.... He was in front of them all.... Lol

VINCE GARZON So happy for Dale Jr. This is his year. GO DALE.

WILLIAM ZINSELMEIER He has won two races in six years. That is not a sign of a good driver.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

Because of the extended rain delay during Sunday's Daytona 500, Fox replayed last year's race.

I hear I won the #Daytona500? Haha! I also have friends confused and texting congratulations to me. #2013Replay

(@JimmieJohnson)

PHOTOBILL GREENBLATT/UPI/LANDOV (COVER)FOR FEB. 17, 2014PHOTOJERRY MARKLAND/GETTY IMAGES (EARNHARDT)PHOTOFIVE ILLUSTRATIONS