After reading your article, my husband and I gained new insight into the young man we met and watched in 1992 and '93, when he played for Georgia Tech. Back then David was hard, hateful and unpleasant. Over the years we have watched him change. The man who helped him see the importance of things unseen was his coach, Puggy Blackmon. He's the true hero.
JOE AND DEBRA RISON, Ardmore, Okla.
Reading Gary Smith is like reading no one else. He's the Mark McGwire of the SI staff. His portrayal of Duval was fascinating, gripping and unforgettable. Every time he picks up his pen, he slugs another homer.
MARK MALINOWSKI, Teaneck, N.J.
Thanks for the peek inside those mirrored shades and showing us a side of the man that television never shows.
BILLY ALLEN, Nashville
Smith's article attempts to link Duval's current behavior and attitudes to events from his childhood. Neither Duval nor any other athlete deserves to be made the subject of such psychobabble. It's acceptable to report on events from his past and make observations about his current behavior but not to overstep by trying to connect the two. Parenthetically, I have met many physicians, social workers and other professionals who have told me that the loss of a sibling actually led them to reach out to others rather than to withdraw.
LOUIS B. MEYERS, Alexandria, Va.
Coin of the Realm
Richard Hoffer took a dramatic Opening Day game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers and turned it into an editorial on the salaries of Randy Johnson and Kevin Brown (Money Pitchers, April 12). Raul Mondesi's homers to tie the game in the ninth and win it in the 11th received one sentence, while the rest of the article focused on whether Brown and Johnson earned their pay. I wonder who is more hung up on money: athletes or the journalists who cover them.
JUSTIN CRANDALL, Dowagiac, Mich.
Back to the Future
I have been watching hockey for going on 40 years, and I chuckled at your suggestion that the controversy over the crease in the NHL could be solved by shrinking it (INSIDE HOCKEY, April 12). Doing that would create a crease close to the dimensions of the one I remember from my youth. What hockey needs is not a return to the old crease but a return to the old referee who had to make—and live with—decisions. He won't always be right, but he'll always be the boss, and the complaining will stop.
CHUCK HALL, Gloucester, Mass.
You made some interesting points regarding the NHL crease rule, but you failed to address one issue: Many times fans are left hanging after an exciting goal because it has to be confirmed by the video goal judge. The fans' right to cheer without fear of a reversal has been removed.
VINCENT DELEO, Toronto
I want to thank Rick Reilly for his column reminding us of the truly important things in life (THE LIFE OF REILLY, April 12). Before I read the article, I had been griping to a coworker that because of my kids' soccer games, basketball games and Girl Scouts camping trips, I had no life left. Reilly reminded me that those things are what make life worth living. Thanks for the attitude adjustment.
DAVID SANDERS, Westwood, Kans.
Reilly's column made me realize how lucky I was to have a father who shared his love of life with his family through his love of sports. Reading the column reminded me that we don't always get the chance to tell those closest to us how much we love and appreciate them. Thanks to Reilly, I did just that. After reading the article, I sent a copy of it to my dad and thanked him for all of life's lessons.
BRAD D. SAGE, New York City
When my oldest son was nine years old, I had an epiphany: Half of my time with him was gone! The first nine years went by in the blink of an eye. When I share that with people, the reaction is always the same: "Wow, I never thought of it like that!" Now I make the most out of my time with my kids. I'll have the rest of my life to work. My kids are only here for a fraction of it.
LEE JOURDAN, The Woodlands, Texas