It breaks my heart that millions of readers will get to know an individual of Brandon Burlsworth's character not during his life but after his death.
MICHAEL SZAJENKO, Warren, Mich.
Why is it that as an avid reader of SI, I am thoroughly familiar with the likes of Latrell Sprewell, Albert Belle and Lawrence Phillips, but until his tragic death, I had never even heard of Brandon Burlsworth? With his remarkable skill and outstanding attitude, Burlsworth deserved to have been a media favorite for years. If there are more athletes like him out there, please find them soon and let the world know of their existence.
DAVE COOLEY, Lake Lotawana, Mo.
Growing up 70 miles north of Pittsburgh, I had the pleasure of watching Bubby Brister groom himself to be a top NFL quarterback (Hard Driver, June 28). I never thought Bubby was washed up. I do want to make another point. As everyone knows, in football you have to wear a helmet. As I look at the first photo in the article, I can only hope the "free-spirited" Brister is smart enough to start wearing a helmet when he's driving his all-terrain vehicle.
MARK ROWAN, Pittston, Pa.
The Great Barrier Beef
Emanuel Yarbrough's agent has it figured all wrong (SCORECARD, June 28). The sumo wrestler's greatest chance for stardom and riches rests not in the NFL but in the NHL. Can you imagine a 728-pound goaltender? Defensemen would not be needed. Surely Yarbrough would be the first unscored-upon goalie in league history.
KARL SVATEK, Wauwatosa, Wis.
It was gratifying to see recognition given to trainers (SCORECARD, June 28). A pro team trainer's day typically starts at 5:30 a.m. and stretches into the evening. A college-student trainer has it even tougher. He or she works long hours, is expected to get positive results rehabilitating injuries and must maintain a solid average in courses like anatomy, physiology and neurological-muscular development.
JIM REYNOLDS, Boise, Idaho
I couldn't believe the quotes from J.D. Drew about merely wanting to play ball (INSIDE BASEBALL, June 28). Are we to forget that this is the same player who, without having had one major league at bat, held up the Philadelphia Phillies for a year in contract negotiations, demanding a record signing bonus of about $10 million before reentering the draft the following year? I don't care how good a player he becomes; he's the epitome of what's wrong with sports today.
TOM MCCLURE, Cherry Hill, N.J.
The Winter Classic?
The dilemma of Milwaukee Brewers catcher David Nilsson—whether to play for Australia at the Sydney Olympics—made me wonder why baseball isn't a Winter Olympics sport (Another Home Run? July 5). Since basketball is included in the summer games, why can't baseball be featured indoors during its off-season? Major leaguers could represent their countries in a true World Series. Imagine the excitement that would be generated when Pedro Martinez of the Dominican Republic faced Mark McGwire of the U.S. with the gold medal on the line!
JESSE BERKOWITZ, Fairfield, Iowa
Loud and Clear
Rick Reilly's Get the Message? was a wake-up call to this married stay-at-home mother of three boys (THE LIFE OF REILLY, June 21). We don't own video games, and all of our computer games are either sports related or educational. However, we are Sacramento Kings fans, and we thought that Chris Webber's knockdown of John Stockton was very cool. We are raising our sons to respect all people and that violence is not the way to solve life's problems. I'm now asking myself why we accept violence as a part of sports. I fear our support of the Kings and excitement over their advancement to the playoffs clouded our better judgment. I think I got the message Rick. Thank you.
I must have been taking my nap when the rule was published that athletes were supposed to be saints. Darryl Strawberry didn't decide to start doing drugs once he realized kids admired him, and Mike Tyson didn't survive in New York City by making crumpets for other children. I'm not sure where Reilly thinks these kids grew up, but I'd sure like his seats the next time Webber's Kings go against Spree's Knicks if he's too scared to watch.
ERIC M. JAFFE, Potomac, Md.
Who Is That Man?
It was a thrill to see the picture of Marion Motley in your July 5th issue (SCORECARD). The reason? The man trying to tackle him in the picture is my father, Gail Bruce. After this picture was snapped, Motley dragged my father 30 more yards. My father did not let go, but he later said that he would have felt more comfortable tackling a freight train than Motley.
ELIZABETH GREGORY, Arroyo Grande, Calif.