FOR JUNE 22, 2015

NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus was way off the mark when he suggested that NHL players should stop growing playoff beards. The playoff beard is a great tradition that fans have come to appreciate. Instead of trying to change hockey, NBC should be promoting the uniqueness of the sport.

Jack Nally, Erie, Pa.

While I applaud the Blackhawks for their Stanley Cup victory, perhaps the article by L. Jon Wertheim and Ken Rodriguez on the heroin epidemic should have merited the cover. Most fans are aware of who won the Cup, but many are unaware of how heroin addiction among athletes is growing.

Carol O'Neill, Cherry Hill, N.J.

The idea that baseball player Michael Duran "hardly fit the profile of an addict" because he "spent hours hitting balls in a batting cage" is misleading. Being overly persistent is sometimes a sign of obsessive compulsive behavior, or worse.

Bob Halper, Chagrin Falls, Ohio

In Chris Mannix's otherwise excellent article on the Nuggets' new draft pick, guard Emmanuel Mudiay, a scout refers to Mudiay's stint in China as a "wasted year." I wouldn't consider playing with professionals while making money to help support his family after his father's death to be a waste.

Jonathan Fiskus, Bronx, N.Y.

COVER

Three Stanley Cups in six seasons make a dynasty? The real modern dynasty is the Red Wings, who won the Cup three times between 1997 and 2002, and then again in '08?

Brian June Indianapolis

PAGE 2

SI NOW

Thanks for the interview with Mr. T. Both he and the film Rocky are reminders of a time when the only weapon a kid brought to school to settle an argument was a fist, and the punishment wasn't jail but the principal's office.

David J. Gross

St. Augustine, Fla.

PAGE 72

POINT AFTER

I think Steve Rushin's article about his neighbor David Quenah was one of the most inspiring things I have ever read in SI. Hopefully it will have the same affect on my sons as it did on me.

Tim Wegman

Clive, Iowa

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PHOTODAVID E. KLUTHO FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (HOCKEY PLAYER) PHOTOJEFF HAYNES FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (COVER) PHOTONBCU PHOTO BANK/NBC/GETTY IMAGES (MR. T) PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYER FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (RUSHIN) PHOTOCHINAFOTOPRESS/GETTY IMAGES (MUDIAY) PHOTO

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