Just because Pete Sampras doesn't throw his shirt into the crowd shouldn't make him any less "da man."
ERIK WILLIAMS, HOUSTON
Anyone who thinks Pete Sampras is boring has probably never seen him play (POINT AFTER, July 14). The photo on your July 14 cover captures everything that is exciting about him—his remarkable athletic skill and grace, stunning good looks and a perfect body that doesn't have an arrogant bone in it. Pete Sampras boring? No way!
IVY TONG, San Francisco
Sadly, in today's ultrahyped, ultracommercialized athletic atmosphere, the camera shuns you unless you dress up in women's evening wear or bite your opponent's ear off or kill your ex-wife.
JUSTIN M. WILSON, Springfield, Va.
Thank you for the Gallery of Unforgettable Portraits (July 21). It was terrific! I especially appreciated the picture of the OF Professor, Casey Stengel. Let's do this again in six months or so.
I thought the portraits were supposed to be from the pages of SI. That's a great picture of Casey peering into the future via his baseball crystal ball, but the caption says it was taken in 1949. What is he foreseeing? The birth of your magazine in 1954?
HAYFORD PEIRCE, Tucson
?The photo of Stengel ran in our Sept. 22, 1958, issue in connection with a look back at Stengel's 10 years and nine pennants as the Yankees manager.—ED.
No Gretzky, Orr, Howe, Roy, Richard? Your Gallery of Unforgettable Portraits forgot one thing—hockey! Seven portraits for baseball, six for basketball, three for football, three for boxing, two for tennis, one each for golf, track and Howard Cosell. Why is hockey treated like the drunk uncle that no one in the SI family wants to talk about?
PETER M. QUINE, Winchester, Mass.
I am disappointed that you failed to include what sticks in my mind as one of your best photographs: the March 18, 1996, cover photo of Jay Buhner of the Mariners. Buhner has his teeth around the handle of a bat, a good depiction of Buhner's menacing appearance, but not of his family-man personality as portrayed in the story inside.
JEFF BEAM, Princeton Junction, N.J.
I greatly admired the cover. I've always suspected that Frank Gifford was the Count Dracula of the NFL.
STEVE MUELLER, Vashon, Wash.
Who doesn't know that Martina Navratilova is an animal-rights activist? That she has done ads and public service spots for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals? That she is on the board of the Doris Day Animal League? That she has been an outspoken critic of fur and how furs are trapped? So how does a photo of her wearing fur taken for a Women's Tennis Association promotional calendar in 1986 qualify as being part of the "finest portraiture in our archives"?
LINDA DOZORETZ, Los Angeles