SI Vault
January 08, 2001
Since when does the color of a man's skin have anything to do with his competence as a football coach?—RUSSELL W. SHURTS, Aurora, Colo.
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January 08, 2001


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Since when does the color of a man's skin have anything to do with his competence as a football coach?
—RUSSELL W. SHURTS, Aurora, Colo.

Sighs of Relief
Thanks to Leigh Montville for his article about Red Sox pitcher Bryce Florie (Sight for Sore Eyes, Nov. 27). I too have been hit by a line drive in the eye, and it's a terrifying experience. I'm happy to say that I've recovered and have 20/20 vision again. I was in the front row, behind home plate, at the game when Florie was hit. I heard the crack of ball against bone, I heard 33,861 people gasp in horror. Most people haven't experienced the pain of such an injury, but there are many who have. Your article was for them.
Lexington, Mass.

As a New York Yankees fan I've always enjoyed the rivalry with the Boston Red Sox, but the game's outcome became meaningless when Florie was hit. I went from rooting for the Yankees to rooting for Florie in the split second it took Ryan Thompson's line drive to hit him.

Though I'm too young to remember the tragedy of Tony Conigliaro, the brilliant young Red Sox rightfielder who was struck by a pitch thrown by Jack Hamilton in 1967, I could not help but compare the two events. It is nice to hear that Florie is doing well. All members of Red Sox nation hope that he may pitch again.
Milford, Conn.

The Color Line
Thanks for the Peter King article acknowledging the lack of NFL head coaching opportunities for African-American assistant coaches (INSIDE THE NFL, Nov. 27). This lack of opportunity is not surprising, since only recently have NFL owners and general managers discovered they can be successful with African-Americans leading their offenses. If it took this long for African-Americans to get the opportunity to run a large number of offenses, how long will it take for them to get the chance to run a large number of teams?
ED BENSON, Far Rockaway, N.Y.

Why do NFL teams keep recycling the same coaches who have proved they can't win? Three who come to mind are Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll and Bruce Coslet. Why not bring in some fresh blood? Tony Dungy has shown that a first-time coach can win.
STEVE HAGOOD, Tecumseh, Mich.

It's Not about the Money
Steve Rushin couldn't have said it any better in his article What Price Happiness? (AIR AND SPACE, NOV. 27). I turned 40 this year, and I've reflected on what I think happiness means. Yes, I have financial security, more than I imagined I would. I have four beautiful and healthy kids for whom I thank God every day. I have friendships that I cherish each day more than I did the day before. I agree that happiness is not all the things A-Rod supposedly asked for, but the intangibles. I pulled out my high school yearbook and recalled what I'd written as my senior ambition. It read simply, "To live a happy life." I wouldn't change a thing.
KATHY CONNORS, Medina, Wash.

Rushin's spin on happiness is similar to the parable of the rich fool found in the Gospel of Luke. A-Rod might be able to pile up a mountain of material wealth in this lifetime, but the true measure of his life will be what he did for others without asking for anything in return.
IVAN BENKO, Chatham, Ont.

Rushin is doubtless green with envy over the fact that big league athletes make more money than he does. What else would induce him to write the drivel that the players' "strange" and "silly" perks do not bring them happiness but merely fulfill "cravings" that "give way endlessly to new ones." Rushin's quotation of Benjamin Franklin, arguing that players should settle for the "little advantages that occur every day," is inane nonsense. Professional athletes should have the ability to negotiate fair salaries.

Nice Batting Average
I compared your Olympic predictions (Medal Picks, Sept. 11) with the results (Final Results, Oct. 18). By my count you made 926 predictions, covering both individual and team events. Assuming that one medal winner among the top three (or four in a few cases) counted as a correct prediction, you were right 469 times, an admirable 50%! Bravo to Brian Cazeneuve for such a terrific job.
IAN WALKER, Boca Raton, Fla.

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