What's so funny about Rick Reilly's article on the 4,008 reasons why he hates the Yankees is that those are the same reasons that I love them.
—JOHN F. PORTELLE, Staten Island, N.Y.
Encomiums for Payne
Thank you for your moving piece about Payne Stewart (The Final Journey, Nov. 1). It was a pleasure to see Stewart stand out not only as a result of his play but also because of his wit. The sporting world will be less fun without him.
JOEY BUTLER, Nashville
If ever a photo depicted the soul, the intensity and the competitive spirit of an individual, Simon Bruty's shot of Payne Stewart at the Country Club during the Ryder Cup certainly did.
DOC WHITE, Eatonville, Fla.
Frank Deford's splendid and cerebral profile of Phil Jackson notes that a decade ago Jackson underwent personality testing to determine his ideal vocation, only to find mat he was best suited for housekeeper and trail guide (Father Phil, Nov. 1). Now Jackson is likely to learn how good he might be at those jobs. The Lakers' house needs tidying, and the trail to a title is overgrown. L.A. fans can only hope that Jackson's decade-old test result still applies.
PHIL DE HAAN, Grand Rapids
I found it surprising that there wasn't more mention of longtime Jackson assistant Tex Winter. Without Tex, Jackson's Bulls might never have won six championships. He is the master of the Triangle offense, and he sat players down and taught them where to go on the court. While Jackson was the team molder, Winter was the team driver.
STEPHEN BORG, Evanston, Ill.
I am so tired of sportswriters fawning over Phil Jackson's Zen Master snow job. By making up his moral rules as he goes, it appears he has achieved his goal of eliminating all feelings of guilt.
MARWOOD STOUT, Camarillo, Calif.
Payne Stewart, one of the classiest golfers in PGA history, dies in a tragic plane crash, and we get Jackson on the cover holding a crystal ball with Shaq and Kobe in it? What's more important: the death of Stewart or another Lakers team that will choke at the finish line?
PATRICK ALESHIRE, Hartland, Wis.
The Bucks Stop Here
How could you omit Milwaukee's Glenn Robinson and Ray Allen from your list of dazzling duos (The Power of Two, Nov. 1)? You ranked both ahead of the New York Knicks' Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell in your player value rankings but decided to go with the lesser, according to you, tandem in the piece on pairs. Robinson and Allen deserved to be there.
DENNIS SCHULTEIS, Hartford, Wis.
Lovable or Loathsome
Thanks to Rick Reilly for explicitly putting into words the true feelings so many fans have for the Yankees (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Nov. 1). His three-volume set sounds like the perfect holiday gift. Put me down for seven sets.
JANN GARRETT, Everett, Wash.
As a Brooklyn-born, lifelong Yankees fan, I immensely enjoyed Reilly's jealousy-induced column. One bit of advice, however: Next time save the poetic line, "overdog-loving, Eveready-chucking, bandwagon-hopping, fair-weather, brownnose, pucker-lipped human goiters" for a story on Cowboys fans.
BRIAN LIEBMAN, Jupiter, Fla.