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July 05, 1999
"I miss the days when you quoted Cecil Cooper instead of Alice Cooper"—JIM RODDY, Erie, Pa.
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July 05, 1999


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"I miss the days when you quoted Cecil Cooper instead of Alice Cooper"
—JIM RODDY, Erie, Pa.

Rock Around the Clock
Your cover story on jocks and rock epitomized for me why the Shaquille O'Neals of the world will never win anything (Rock 'n' Roll Is Here to Play, May 24). Some athletes are so caught up in their own hype that they have little time to commit themselves to becoming champions. As for SI stories about jocks and rock, if I want to hear such nonsense, I'll turn on MTV.
DANIEL VASSAR, Highland, Ind.

You left out a terrific example of jocks and rock enjoying a close relationship. How many sports facilities are named for a rock musician? Indiana University's 100,000-square-foot indoor training center is called the John Mellencamp Pavilion. Mellencamp, the Grammy Award-winning singer who is a resident of Bloomington and an avid supporter of Hoosiers athletics, made a substantial donation to the university which helped to finance the structure.

I wish you had included the Grateful Dead's big contribution to sports: sponsoring the Lithuanian basketball team at the 1992 Olympics. The Dead's generosity was crucial in helping the team prepare for the Games that year. I'll never forget the smiles on the Lithuanians' faces as they received their bronze medals, clad in their tie-dyed shirts and warmups.

A mature observer might conclude that the real bond between athletes and musicians is their mutual egomania and delusions of hero status, wrought by the ridiculous incomes a sycophantic society affords them.
PETER HUSTON, Sudbury, Mass.

Two Detroit Lions, Hall of Fame defensive back Lem Barney and running back Mel Farr, can be heard on Marvin Gaye's classic What's Going On as background singers and in the banter between choruses. Barney and Fair were big fans, and Gaye was a frustrated wide receiver with decent hands and speed.
CHUCK BLOOM, Lancaster, Texas

Who's Counting?
I enjoyed Tom Verducci's article on the Cleveland Indians (Scoring Machine, May 24). It's funny, however, that he refers to Cleveland's $70 million payroll, twice mat of any other team in the American League Central. Then he says that Indians general manager John Hart "has had to make his moves while conforming to the demands of fiscal responsibility laid down by owner Richard Jacobs." I wonder how the other general managers in the division would do with a $70 million payroll?
Galloway, Ohio

Real World Intrusion
Regarding Rick Reilly's piece on Sacramento center Vlade Divac (THE LIFE OF REILLY, May 24): I find it difficult to sympathize with a man who's struggling with fear and worry because his brother fought in a war on a side that practiced ethnic cleansing.

If Divac is against the NATO campaign, how can he justify making a good living in the country that bombed his family? Do Divac's sleepless nights in the Salt Lake City Marriott really compare with the troubled nights that thousands had in refugee camps?
JOHN RYAN, Alexandria, Va.

Chuck Chuck, Bo Buck
How could you put Charles Barkley in the same sentence with Wilt and Dr. J, (Philly Fanatic, May 24)? Barkley's legacy in Philadelphia was spitting on fans. When he left, there were no tears shed. Barkley's still looking for his first ring. Time will tell whether Allen Iverson belongs with Wilt and Dr. J. or with Barkley.
BILL CONROY, Crofton, Md.