Skirting the Issue
Thank you, Rick Reilly, for revealing the absurdity of Ryan Sherburne (above) and other high school boys playing field hockey with girls (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Nov. 26). It is appalling that any guy would enjoy beating up on girls in a sport in which he is obviously superior. As a young man who loves sports, I would give my left arm to play on a varsity team, but I would never consider playing against girls.
STEVEN J. PIMENTAL, Frankfort, Ill.
I would like to commend S.L. Price for his sensitive treatment of the tragedy mat has so deeply affected the University of Wyoming (Crossroad, Nov. 26). This has been a difficult autumn for the nation and the world, and the deaths of eight accomplished young men who chose to further their educational and personal growth in Laramie compounded the grief already being felt across this close-knit state.
These young men left a legacy of athletic spirit and academic excellence that will inspire their friends, teammates and successors. I deeply appreciate SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's contribution to this legacy and to their memory.
PHILIP L. DUBOIS, President
University of Wyoming
Your article on the Wyoming eight tore my heart out. I hope it did the same to the people who really need to read it—those who drink and drive.
KATHY SHILLINGS, Humble, Texas
It's early the day after Thanksgiving. I am alone in my family room reading this tragic story. When my children—ages 25, 21 and 15—wake up, I will hug them tighter. Life is precious, a gift from God. Thank you for reminding me.
JIM LAVOLD, Wauwatosa, Wis.
Boys Will Be Girls
I'm amazed at the attitude of the girls playing field hockey and their coaches and parents. I played for Longmeadow (Mass.) High in the mid-1980s and faced off against several teams that had boys. Although the boys hit the ball harder, the girls had better stickwork. It was an exciting challenge to play against boys—and extremely rewarding to get the ball from one of them. There were always more fans when we played a team with boys, so I thought it was great for raising the profile of the sport.
ABIGAIL ROTH, Washington, D.C.
You can't have your cake and eat it too. When people were fighting for girls' rights to participate in boys' sports, those people should have realized they were wielding a double-edged sword. To complain it's not fair for boys to compete in girls' sports is, well, not fair.
BRIAN P. FISHER, Glen Ridge, N.J.
Kudos to Rick Reilly for exposing the dirty little secret that Massachusetts high school field hockey coaches have been dealing with for years. The people losing are the girls who want to play field hockey. For every minute a male is playing in a game, or a scrimmage, a female is sitting on the bench. We already compete with boys' teams for field space and budget money, and now our female players must compete with young men who can knock them over with a slap shot. Where is the sense of decency and sportsmanship from the parents who encourage their sons to participate against these girls?
SALLY ANN JOHNSON, Secretary
C. Mass. Field Hockey Coaches Assoc.
Varsity coach, Gardner High
Those field hockey boys in dresses wouldn't last long in these parts.
JOHN L. DAVIS, Birmingham
Should the Hall Call?
Tom Verducci's "Bash Call" (SCORECARD, Nov. 26) raises some telling points about Jose Canseco's bid for a plaque in Cooperstown and reminds me of a more pressing issue: Why is Jim Rice not in the Hall of Fame? His homer total of 382 is lower than Mark McGwire's or Canseco's, but he is comparable to them in extra-base hits (834), while his career numbers exceed McGwire's and Canseco's in RBIs (1,451) and runs (1,249), and far surpass them in total bases (4,129), batting average (.298) and hits (2,452). Also, while McGwire and Canseco had zero 200-hit seasons, Rice had four.
ERIC STEWART, Chicago