I do not think anyone could have lived up to the expectations placed upon Ron Powlus.
ANTHONY FREDELLA, LYNDHURST, N.J.
As a radio play-by-play announcer who had the privilege of broadcasting every high school game that Ron Powlus played (The Can't Miss Kid, Sept. 23), I can attest to his considerable physical skills. Off the field he is a poster boy for everything that is good about athletics. At Notre Dame's media day in early August he excused himself from the usual swarm of reporters surrounding him to come to me and offer his condolences on the death of my father, who had passed away the week before. To borrow the approach that Rick Reilly used for this story, This is the number of people better than Ron Powlus that you will meet in the sport of football: zero.
JIM DOYLE, Bloomsburg, Pa.
Reilly failed to mention that Notre Dame's best season since Powlus arrived in South Bend was his first, when he sat out with a broken collarbone. In 1993, while Powlus watched from the sideline (a season in which he surely would have started each game), the replacement quarterback, Kevin McDougal, led the Irish to an 11-1 season and won that year's Game of the Century, between Notre Dame and Florida State. The Irish finished No. 2 in the polls after beating Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl, and they haven't won a bowl game since.
MARK RYAN, San Anselmo, Calif.
I enjoyed the story about talk radio, especially the focus on The Jim Rome Show (Calls of the Wild, Sept. 16). Since I left Los Angeles for this swamp, all I can find on the dial are homers talking collegiate sports, sycophants advancing the deification of Ted Turner or flummoxed fans trying to figure out if Jeff George is brilliant or just a jerk. I got hooked on the show back in L.A. while I was part of the jobless group that Romey regularly castigates. Aside from the unfettered irreverence, the interviews with sports figures are "real." For the most part, the guests don't spout all the pat, trite answers we usually get from them. I attribute much of that to Rome, his style and the nature of his questions.
SUSAN CHITTUM, Atlanta
World Cup Hockey
As a lifelong hockey fan, I enjoyed Michael Farber's article about the U.S.'s defeat of Canada ( USA over DNA, Sept. 23). It is unfortunate that most Americans don't have a clue as to what this victory means in the hockey world. Just ask Canadians the significance of winning the World Cup.
PAT WYPLER, Bogota, N.J.
A wonderfully talented Team USA thumps Canada to win the World Cup of Hockey, and you folks put an underachieving quarterback from Notre Dame on your Sept. 23 cover!
ROBERT BREHL, Port Credit, Ont.
Idealist or Egotist?
The only infraction that Greco-Roman silver medalist Matt Ghaffari is guilty of is accepting all the invitations extended to him and not having an agent to spoon-feed him noble pabulum to regurgitate for the media (SCORECARD, Sept. 23). How long would you take to say yes if your hometown baseball team asked you to throw out the first ball, especially if that team were the playoff-bound Cleveland Indians? I don't know if Ghaffari is the inheritor of the "leadership of the Olympic spirit," but I do know he's closer to the ideals embodied by that spirit than such overpriced ringers as that shoe salesman Shaq.
GARY L. COOK, Kennewick, Wash.