Revisiting the Titans
Your article on T.C. Williams High was enlightening and depressing (Remember the Titans? Oct. 15). I can't imagine a high school allowing a student to settle for less than a C, regardless of how athletically gifted the student is. That would put sports ahead of academics and handicap the student before he gets a chance to face the real world. If you set the standard high, some might fail to reach it, but by setting it high, you will get all students to try harder and achieve more than they thought they could.
JIM HUNDERTMARK, Denton, Md.
Another inspiring movie, Remember the Titans 2, could be made about the success of T.C. Williams athletic director A.K. Johnson's track and field teams during the period of the decline of the football team. These teams, which landed Coach Johnson in the Virginia High School Hall of Fame, won nine state championships and were—and still are—the most racially integrated experience in the high school for many kids, including three of mine.
MICHAEL L. SELTZ, Alexandria, Va.
In academic contests T.C. Williams has on occasion outperformed the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, in Fairfax County, Va., which has the most National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists in the nation. My two children each entered Stanford with a year's worth of college credit after graduating from T.C. Williams. The high academic standards and the cultural diversity of T.C. Williams are benefits rarely available elsewhere and are recognized by the admissions departments of the best universities in the U.S.
GREGORY L. MURPHY, Alexandria, Va.
Covering the Bases
My son couldn't understand it when I told him the only player in the National League I would pay to see was Tony Gwynn (Old Glories, Oct. 15). Of course, my son didn't experience the joy, as I did, of watching Luke Appling, Stan Hack, Richie Ashburn and Rod Carew foul off pitch after pitch until they got the one they wanted, which they then slapped to the opposite field for a base hit. Tony, on behalf of the many baseball fans who treasure watching a craftsman at work, we'll miss you.
BOB YOUNGERMAN, Brevard, N.C.
I'm surprised that S.L. Price could write such an outstanding article about what discipline can do for a college football team (Discipline, Oct. 22) without mentioning what Bob Stoops has done at Oklahoma over the last three years.
JERRY MUZAR, Norman, Okla.
As a high school football coach and parent of a former Toledo football player, I want to thank you for sharing what I already knew about former Rockets and current Missouri coach Gary Pinkel. He and his staff are the kind of people who not only promote exciting, competitive athletics but also bring out the best qualities in the young men they mentor. Pinkel proves that character counts, characters don't.
JOHN SCHAEFER, Yorkville, Ill.
Rick Reilly's article poignantly describes the makeup of those conducting the air strikes in Afghanistan (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Oct. 22). As the vice president-general manager at Giants Stadium and a former naval aviator, I had the privilege of hosting Chip King and other members of the Blacklions during the Giants' NFC Championship Game against the Vikings last Jan. 14. They performed a three-plane flyover before the game, which culminated in a 41-0 victory for the Giants. I am confident that King, along with the other brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who are fighting this just war, will be as victorious.
BILL SQUIRES, West Orange, N.J.
I remember as a kid ordering SPORTS ILLUSTRATED posters of my heroes for my bedroom walls. (I still have the one of A.J. Duhe.) I was wondering when the Comdr. Chip King poster will be available. He is my new hero.
ANDY MARAFINO, Torrance, Calif.
My wife came into the kitchen crying because she couldn't understand how someone who callously views people as "targets" can be so easily glorified as a hero. Commander King said, "It's not about taking human life. It's about breaking their will to wage war." For some of us, however, it is about human life. While I hope that King can avoid the Taliban arsenal, I will continue to view Michael Jordan as my hero.
JAY HOLAVARRI, Corvallis, Ore.
I thought it was interesting you didn't include Paul Zimmerman in "Slick Pickin's" (SCORECARD, Oct. 22). The four-year-old's 7-7 record for Week 5 of the NFL season was better than Dr. Z's. The SI prognosticator was 4-7. Perhaps Dr. Z can find some consolation in knowing that in Week 4, he was a more childlike 4-4.
TOM MUELLER, Westminster, Colo.