Ms. Campbell will be sorely missed. Thanks for the memories, Jule.
JOHN ROWE, SAN LUIS, CALIF.
The Swimsuit Issue
Once again SI has lightened our winter blues with another fabulous swimsuit issue (Hot Spots, Jan. 29). Of course, there will be the inevitable critics complaining that SI is promoting pornography and treating women as objects. These people should consider that the senior editor of the swimsuit issue is a woman, obviously intelligent and talented. The models choose to do what they do. Should they be dismissed because they are beautiful? They work hard at their chosen field, just like professionals in other fields.
Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland
I would like to thank senior editor Jule Campbell for many years of beautiful pictures and beautiful women. Her choice of photographs has always been tasteful. Whoever replaces her will have Shaq-sized shoes to fill.
SCOTT ANDREW SHIFF, San Francisco
It's time to stop trying to excite young men (and even some old ones) with such drivel and devote more space to genuine sports topics, like the fine piece on the Bulls in the same issue (Toy Story).
DONALD B. IZBAN, Chicago
When are you guys going to get it? The swimsuit issue is nothing more than a blatantly sexist vehicle used to sell magazines on the newsstand. The connection between sports and bikini-clad women is, at best, a thin one. Take the high road and become an example for other sports magazines and society as a whole: Sack the swimsuits.
MATTHEW AZANO, Norfolk, Va.
It nauseates me to see you continue this tired tradition. When will you realize that promoting women in this manner, in a magazine supposedly devoted to sports, only serves to push the world of women's athletics further into isolation. A story about a female athlete, even if it were only one page, could reach many young girls and teach them that there is a place for women in sports. Yet you choose to devote more than 30 pages to women who have absolutely nothing to do with sports, teaching young girls the noble values of perfect white teeth, tan bodies and, oh, yes, lying in the sand.
SARA GOWER, Schenectady, N.Y.
I don't see what the big deal is about this issue every year. You can see the same thing in department-store ads in newspapers across the country or in a Victoria's Secret catalog.
KELLY GOLDEN, Denver
I don't mind if my husband receives one issue a year highlighting the intensely competitive sport of swimsuit modeling. As I see it, I receive 51 issues a year with photo spreads of Troy Aikman, Brett Favre, Roberto Alomar, Steve Young, Pete Sampras...the list goes on and on. Let the men have one issue a year. Wake up, ladies, we have a good thing going here!
KATY COLELLA, Haughton, La.
I find some contradictions in the attitudes of the people who run Phinda, the private game preserve in South Africa (Wild Things, Jan. 29). On the one hand, they show concern for endangered species by establishing the preserve. On the other hand, the tour guides carry loaded guns for protection on the off chance that a tourist is threatened by an animal. If there are only 2,200 black rhinos left, show some common sense and stay away from them. They have a big enough fight just surviving without getting shot by guides "defending" a bunch of camera-toting thrill seekers.
STEPHEN OSTROWSKI, Mount Penn, Pa.
South African Success
Rick Reilly's piece on sports in the South African township of Soweto, the second most interesting article in the swimsuit issue (Swinging for the Fences, Jan. 29), told a good story, but there is a more significant tale to be told. On Feb. 3, the South African soccer team won the African Nations' Cup, and the outpouring of support by racially mixed crowds for the racially mixed team has been incredible. President Nelson Mandela again worked his magic by donning the jersey of the team captain, Neil Tovey (right, with Sports Minister Steve Tswete and Mandela), at the finals, as he did last year at the Rugby World Cup final (which we also won) and, more recently, at a key cricket match during England's tour (we moidered da bums). It may sound like a clich� to some, but it is commonly believed here that the sporting successes of the past year have done more to bring this country together than anything except Mandela's election.
JIM MCNAMARA, Cape Town, South Africa