Bicycle Built for Two
The cover shot of Lance Armstrong gave me a sense of d�j� vu. With a little research I discovered why. Clearly the inspiration for Gerard Rancinan's photo is the August 1971 cover of Playboy shot by Dwight Hooker. Thirty years to the month! Congratulations on being so clever yet so subtle.
PETER SMITH, Green Bay
?Rancinan says he'd never seen the 1971 cover and then adds, "I'll be more prudent in the future and read all the issues of Playboy from the start."—ED.
I very much enjoyed your story on Lance Armstrong (Magnifique! Aug. 6). Indeed, he has delivered, as your cover line says. As a rehabilitation physician I have worked with cancer survivors, many of whom struggle just to get through routine activities of daily living. I don't think most laypeople have any sense of how fantastic Armstrong's accomplishments are. They rank among the most phenomenal of all human athletic achievements.
GREG CARTER, Centralia, Wash.
Of all the people to take cheap shots at Armstrong, I would not have guessed Greg LeMond. Considering LeMond's miracle win at the 1989 Tour de France after he had been shot in the back two years earlier, one would think he would have more respect for Armstrong, who also stared death in the face and beat it.
DAVID ELAM, Ypsilanti, Mich.
I ride a LeMond bike. Someone rides better than I do. Although I have no proof, I am sure he is using illegal components. It can't be that he is a stronger rider. I also need to take my LeMond bike in for repairs because it makes a whining sound.
LARRY KAY, Albuquerque
Will you finally give Armstrong his due and name him Sportsman of the Year?
KEVIN KAY, Easley, S.C.
Rick Reilly (THE LIFE OF REILLY, July 30) has again captured the essence of sport and of heroism. Kids, don't look to the NFL, NBA or major league baseball for inspiration. Look no further than Armstrong.
SCOTT FEIGHT, Kennesaw, Ga.
Reilly's article moved me to tears. Armstrong is the pure embodiment of sport and competition. The male passengers on the El looked on curiously—a female reading SI and tearing up? "I thought you were reading Cosmo" said one onlooker. Later that day, as I was training for the Chicago Triathlon, a strong wind blew off the lake, slowing my bike down significantly. I thought of Armstrong and pushed on even harder.
DEANNA McCLUNG, Chicago
Sermons on the Mount
After reading Rick Reilly's selections for the lacrosse version of Mount Rushmore (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Aug. 6), I wondered why he rightly picked four Syracuse alumni—Jim Brown, Casey Powell and the Gait brothers, Gary and Paul—and then placed the monument in Baltimore.
ED HEFFERNAN, Syracuse, N. Y.
Sorry, Rick, turn the car around. I've got to point out a few glaring omissions: In baseball you missed Cy Young; in pro football you left out Walter Payton; in auto racing you need Dale Earnhardt; and in mascots the Phoenix Gorilla doesn't come close to the Phillie Phanatic.
TOBY ANDERSON, Weaverville, N.C.