The Essence of Super
Thanks for Michael Silver's outstanding article about Super Bowl XXXIV (The Greatest, Feb. 7). In today's world of bad-boy athletes, Kurt Warner's story of faith and football is an inspiration. With apologies to famed baseball manager Leo Durocher, this is a story in which nice guys finish first.
Andy Gankoski, Hartville, Ohio
Some may lament the era of parity in the NFL, but I think it is what gave us such an electrifying Super Bowl. Balanced matchups of hungry teams make for great football.
Sam Van Fleet, Vashon, Wash.
A couple of other Super Bowls come to mind as perhaps the most exciting played: XXIII in 1989—49ers 20, Bengals 16. That game featured the mother of all Super Bowl drives (92 yards), and it was decided in San Francisco's favor by the memorable Joe Montana to John Taylor touchdown pass with 34 seconds left. Then there was Super Bowl XXV in 1991—Giants 20, Bills 19. With Ottis Anderson of New York and Thurman Thomas of Buffalo each rushing for more than 100 yards, this classic was in doubt until the final eight seconds.
Adam W. Thornberry, St. Louis
Playing the Super Bowl one week after the conference championship games is much better than playing it two weeks after. Most of the one-week games have been close, and the two-week games have usually been blowouts.
Ron Thomsen, Katy, Texas
March into Madness
Seth Davis makes a plea to the NCAA to preserve more spaces for traditionally "low-rated" conferences in the NCAA tournament (INSIDE COLLEGE BASKETBALL, Feb. 7). As part of his argument he asserts that the NCAA will bypass teams from the lower-ranked conferences "to protect a berth for a going-nowhere fifth-, sixth-or seventh-place finisher from a big-time conference." In 1997 Arizona, which finished fifth in the Pac-10, was granted an NCAA tournament bid. All that this fifth-place team from a big-time conference did was win the national championship.
Randolph Pritchard, Raleigh
Davis's viewpoint on the NCAA's so-called play-in is one more reason that I no longer enjoy the NCAA tournament. In the 1994-95 season Ohio won the preseason NIT but didn't win either the Mid-American Conference regular season or tournament. The NCAA didn't take a third team from the MAC that year, though I believe
Ohio, with a 24-10 record, was more deserving than, say, Indiana, which went 19-12. Why not limit the Big Ten, Pac-10, Big 12 and ACC to three or four bids each and let in another team from conferences like the MAC, MEAC or Missouri Valley?
Michael D. Roeger, Fort Wayne, Ind.
I just read Rick Reilly's column on the parallels between Derrick Thomas and Isaac Bruce (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Feb. 7). If Bruce is quoted accurately, he needs to get in touch with reality. Jesus touches all lives, not just those who invoke his name in times of crisis. He didn't save Bruce because Bruce invoked his name any more than Jesus paralyzed Thomas and killed the Columbine High student and Payne Stewart.
While he may be a great football player, Bruce is a horrible theologian. Bruce's comments were heretical and cruel. The Bible is filled with examples of just and godly people whom God chose to take before their time.
The Reverend Charles Chamblee
Two men: Bruce and Reilly. Isaac knows Jesus. He just doesn't understand the Biblical view on death or suffering. Rick knows how to be antagonistic toward Christians. He just doesn't understand the love of God from which a believer in Jesus is never separated—even in death or suffering.
Kirk Goss, Oklahoma City