Verdict on Vick
With last season's performance in the Sugar Bowl, Michael Vick proved he was not only the most exciting but also the best player in the country 04 Cut above the Rest, Aug. 14). Vick reminded me of a young Shaquille O'Neal when he was at LSU and taking over games. Now O'Neal is the best center in the NBA and a future Hall of Famer. Vick, in my opinion, could become the greatest college football player ever.
JOHN FURBUSH, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Forgive me for not jumping on the Vick bandwagon, but what I saw last season was like watching a 16-year-old who had been given the keys to his dad's Ferrari. The Virginia Tech team of last year was built on defense and special teams; Vick was just the icing on the cake. How he'll do this year is the true test.
MARK NEWTON, Fort Wayne, Ind.
The new breed of quarterback (Escape Artists, Aug. 14), as epitomized by Vick, is a throwback to the big, strong, athletes used at tailback by Red Sanders at UCLA in the 1950s in the single wing. They could run, pass and punt and accounted for the only national football title the Bruins have won.
SKIP NEVELL, Los Angeles
The Sound of Music
I enjoyed Rick Reilly's article on fight songs (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Aug. 14). My alma mater, Illinois, includes Nobel Prize-winning physicists and Silicon Valley CEOs among its faculty and alumni. I'm sure they're just as confused as the rest of us Illini about what the first verse of the school song means:
We're loyal to you Illinois
We're "Orange and Blue," Illinois
We'll back you to stand
'Gainst the best in the land
For we know you have sand, Illinois
ROBIN FENNEMA, Tallahassee, Fla.
You forgot the best college fight song: New Mexico State's. One of the verses goes:
And when we win this game
We'll buy a keg of booze
And we'll drink to the Aggies
'Til we wobble in our shoes
JOYCE KOZELISKI, Gallup, N.Mex.
What do you mean "that's pretty much the whole song," referring to Michigan's The Victors? The lines you quoted are merely the refrain to a Sousa-like march. To hear the complete lyrics and the full march, check out mgoblue.com/sounds/lyrics-victors.html.
BILL WILLIAMS, Lacey, Wash.
Congratulations to Jeff Pearlman for his article about Gary Sheffield (Power of Love, Aug. 14). I enjoyed reading about the maturing of Sheffield since his days in Milwaukee.
MARY TRACY, Appleton, Wis.
In your article on Sheffield, I recognized an alarming trend in the pages of SI: the canonization of players who have come to their senses after years of ego trips. As in your article on Pokey Reese (Fast and Loose, June 12), your feature on Sheffield applauds a player who is doing things he should have done a long time ago. Let's give these players a little more time to prove (or disprove) their good intentions before patting them on the back.
ZACHARY MARTIN, Miami