Hosannas for a Hero
Though I don't consider myself a huge hockey fan, I now understand what Wayne Gretzky meant to the game (One of a Kind, April 26). Thank you for capturing the essence of a true sports hero. I hope that Albert Belle and Dennis Rodman read the article.
BRADY MESENBERG, Wausau, Wis.
You mean to tell me the Great One hasn't fathered three children by different women? Hasn't been arrested for cocaine use or for DUI? For spousal abuse or propositioning a hooker? How boring. How wonderful!
M. BINKE MILLER, Seattle
I made my 13-year-old son watch Gretzky's retirement press conference. I told him that he would be lucky to see that kind of class ever again. He agreed.
HAL SISSON, Addison, N.Y.
I've seen some of the best in person: Aaron and Mays, Bo and Joe, Magic and Michael. But what I witnessed on the night of Nov. 17, 1981, tops it all. Gretzky, taking a seemingly meaningless third-period face-off, scored directly on the play. He went on to get 92 goals in 1981-82, breaking the single-season NHL record. That moment in St. Louis will be the greatest sporting memory I'll share with my children.
TIM GREGG, Houston
The image of a Gretzky pass or goal will always be in my mind.
JOE GOFF, Sky Valley, Calif.
My wife, son and I were waiting to enter Madison Square Garden early to watch my older son play in a youth hockey game before a Rangers game. My five-year-old son spotted Gretzky and ran to him. He handed Gretzky a pen and a piece of paper to autograph, but Gretzky handed the paper back and began turning my son around, looking at his Rangers jersey. Gretzky bent over and signed on the white border of the shoulder patch. Nobody knows whose small, illegible signature is on that jersey but us.
JOE LOGIUDICE, East Brunswick, N.J.
No Longer in Style
Scottie Pippen claims that the Houston Rockets' offense is "not my style" (INSIDE THE NBA, April 26). Mr. Pinocchio, your nose is growing longer with each word you speak. Every basketball fan with just an ounce of common sense knows that your style depended entirely on Michael Jordan.
JOSEPH DAUDISH, Westchester, Ill.
Coach of the Year?
Any discussion of the NHL coach of the year for 1998-99 must include Ken Hitchcock of the Presidents' Trophy-champion Dallas Stars (INSIDE THE NHL, April 26). A coach who was able to prod formerly one-dimensional stars like Brett Hull and Mike Modano to play a two-way game while orchestrating a defense that allowed three goals or more only once in 27 straight road games deserves the honor.
ROB JANSSENS, Burlington, Ont.
Saying that the Ottawa Senators' Jacques Martin should be coach of the year is off the wall. Mentioning that the Senators have only one star, Alexei Yashin, is fine, but not taking into account Yashin's supporting cast is just plain crazy. Toronto failed to make the playoffs two years in a row, but under new coach Pat Quinn the Leafs skated to a club-record 45 wins. Toronto won the season series with Ottawa, too. Quinn is the better choice.
MICHAEL REED, Kingston, Ont.
A Full Nelson
I disagree with Phil Taylor's assessment of Don Nelson. True, Nelson is different from the other coaches, but that is because he is not afraid to be unorthodox. I applaud his guts and his innovation during dark times for Dallas.
MARK STERNS, Grand Prairie, Texas