Ricky Williams is an example of what is becoming an aberration: a gifted athlete with a responsible, caring and humble attitude when he's out of uniform.
—Brian Viktorin, Austin
Ricky Williams has been a positive part of our community for many years (Austin Power, Nov. 16). I was impressed when I watched him run over opposing players in high school, but I was more impressed this year when he returned to his alma mater ( Patrick Henry High) as the grand marshall of homecoming. He had no entourage, talked with old friends and seemed to have a good time. We are proud of his football accomplishments and equally proud of his attitude.
Mike Pieratt, San Diego
I disagree with Tim Layden in his evaluation of Williams's season. Layden says that "most running backs produce great seasons by playing for great teams." He puts Tony Dorsett's 1976 season at Pittsburgh in this category. Pitt had a record of 13-29 in the four years before the arrival of Dorsett. He and the rest of the class of '76 produced a 33-13-1 four-year record and a national championship. The mark of a great runner is that he helps take his team to new heights.
Gino Cosentino, Cerritos, Calif.
Man of Many Opinions
Jayson Williams's criticism of his fellow NBA players and the league's owners was a breath of fresh air (The Waiting Game, Nov. 16). Finally, a high-profile player who speaks for the fans and not himself. I wish this attitude were contagious.
Matthew Fudge, East Orange, N.J.
I was appreciating Williams's honest comments until he brought up race. Fan intolerance for the labor strife in the NBA has to do with the color of money, not the color of skin.
Ginger A. Fitzpatrick, Jessup, Md.
Williams has a 31,000-square-foot house on 65 acres and won't marry the woman of his dreams because he has no contract and "can't get that prenup settled without a new deal." And he is taking on the task of winning back NBA fans?
David Blenckstone, Hagerstown, Md.
Hotter Than We Thought
Thanks for mentioning Los Alamitos High on your "Hot List" in INSIDE COLLEGE FOOTBALL (Nov. 16). While writing about receivers Brad Melsby ( UCLA) and Tony Hartley ( Oregon), you forgot to mention their high school quarterback. On the same day they made big plays, Kevin Feterik threw for 422 yards and four touchdowns for BYU in a 46-21 victory over New Mexico.
Mike and Jeff Willis, Buena Park, Calif.
Point of Contention
As the co-author of Pros and Cons: The Criminals Who Play in the NFL, I must say that your distortions about Don Yaeger's and my book in the Nov. 16 SCORECARD sound like they came from a writer who had not read the book. In an attempt to portray us as exaggerating the crime rate among NFL players, SI made a claim that we were never willing to make: that players get arrested at a rate higher than their peers in the general population (21% versus 16%). The FBI will not confirm or refute such numbers. Don and I know because we asked. Pros and Cons documents the litany of crimes committed by NFL players. Our purpose was to show how many dangerous former convicts the league employs. Attempts to downplay this problem might be expected from the NFL's public relations department. That's its job, not yours.
Jeff Benedict, Norwood, Mass.
Let the X Games Begin
As a kid, I felt that Hoffer's article was degrading. My friends and I would rather spend a weekend skating or snowboarding than sitting at home watching old guys play golf on TV.
Matt Mulqueen, Oceanside, N.Y.
I would rather watch golf or baseball or even football on TV than extreme sports. Maybe it's because I was taught how to pitch and to putt, but I enjoy traditional sports more than ones that require a dress code of baggy pants and having a Nintendo machine in the living room.
Julia Carlis, Minneapolis