SI Vault
March 19, 2001
Funny, you use the word sleazy on your cover regarding the XFL. In what league do Rae Carruth, Ray Lewis and Mark Chmura play?—GREG GOTWALT, York, Pa.
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March 19, 2001


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Gold-digging baseball free agents leave Cleveland fans hanging to chase the big bucks in other cities, where they are hailed as heroes. A gold-digging football owner abandons Cleveland fans for the big bucks in another city, where he's hailed as a hero. Now Davis leaves Miami to chase the bucks in Cleveland. Don't hold your breath for any sympathy around here, Miami. Welcome to Cleveland, Butch. It's good to have a big-time coach in our town. Let the dirt fly. It doesn't stick. Just ask Albert Belle, Art Modell or Manny Ramirez.
ROB DAVIS, Cleveland

Davis will find out what Buddy Ryan told Jimmy Johnson when Johnson became coach of the Dallas Cowboys: "There ain't no East Carolinas on his schedule now." That's a good thing for Davis, because he lost to the Pirates the last two times he played them.

I found it curious and revealing that in the same issue that Davis is taken to task for leaving Miami, Matt Doherty is not criticized for leaving Notre Dame (Duked Devils). Yet in some respects Doherty committed an act of desertion far more egregious than Davis's. At least Davis had the decency to stay at Miami for a reasonable amount of time. Doherty bailed on Notre Dame after one season.
JIM TAL EVANS, Valley Center, Calif.

Lasting Impressions of Al
Having worked with Al McGuire on the NBC college basketball circuit in the late 1970s, I enjoyed Alexander Wolff's fine tribute (SCORE-CARD, Feb. 5). Al may have saved his most important lesson for last. As he gave away the simple treasures of his life—toy soldiers, photos, etc.—to friends and loved ones, he made it clear he was meeting death on his terms. From his tearful championship in '11 until his dying day, Al was the master of the graceful exit.
TOM MERRITT, Peekskill, N.Y.

Rare Missing Bird
THERE'S ONE more gaffe to attribute to Mr. Angelos: his inexplicable refusal to retain Jon Miller as the Orioles' radioman. Summer evenings on the radio have not been the same.

Risky Business
For those readers who think that backyard wrestling doesn't occur frequently, I beg to differ (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Feb. 12). I know a kid who does backyard wrestling with his brother. On two occasions the brother had to go to the hospital for stitches in his forehead.
Sterling Heights, Mich.

Rick Reilly's attempt to blame professional wrestling for the acts of these idiotic kids is ridiculous. When I was a kid, my next door neighbor thought he was Superman. He ran through his house and leaped from the top of the basement stairs, thinking he could fly. All he did was slam face-first into the basement wall. Should we have banned comic books? How about the X Games? Are you going to tell me those skateboard and bicycle stunts can't get you killed? Stupid is as stupid does.
KEITH MCINTOSH, Lansing, Mich.

Fighting Words
I don't expect to read about animal abuse issues in SI. I want to thank you for writing about dog fighting (SCORECARD, Feb. 12). I shudder to think of the horrible death Diane Whipple suffered as a result of people breeding dogs as death machines. People who "pull lawn chairs up to the pit" to watch two animals try to devour each other until one suffers a horrible death must be sick.

Waxing Poetic
Steve Rushin outdid himself with his Poetry in Motion (AIR AND SPACE, Feb. 12). Amazingly, he came up with six great poems and never once had to resort to the line "There once was a man from Nantucket." He has proved himself to be the Poet Laureate of Sports.
TOM GAFFNEY, West Springfield, Mass.

I greatly enjoyed Rushin's rendition of The Raven. Not only did it consistently adhere to the style and rhythm of the Poe classic, but it also served as an equally chilling reminder that today's so-called sports heroes leave a great deal to be desired. Will we see the class of legends past in the Super Bowl once more? The likely answer: Nevermore.
JEFF RICE, State College, Pa.

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