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January 28, 2002
HeroesI felt the need to thank you for the piece by Michael Bamberger about Mike Carroll and his brothers of Ladder 3 (Everybody's All-Americans, Dec. 24-31). Your magazine has been a source of relaxation for me over the past 25 years, but never has a story touched my heart the way this one did. It was an honor to share the article with my fire company on Christmas Day. At Firehouse 16 in Sacramento, as we sat down for our Christmas dinner, we had a moment of silence for our brothers of the FDNY and a toast to Ladder 3.John P. DanciartCaptain, Engine 16 Sacramento
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January 28, 2002

Letters

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Heroes
I felt the need to thank you for the piece by Michael Bamberger about Mike Carroll and his brothers of Ladder 3 (Everybody's All-Americans, Dec. 24-31). Your magazine has been a source of relaxation for me over the past 25 years, but never has a story touched my heart the way this one did. It was an honor to share the article with my fire company on Christmas Day. At Firehouse 16 in Sacramento, as we sat down for our Christmas dinner, we had a moment of silence for our brothers of the FDNY and a toast to Ladder 3.
John P. Danciart
Captain, Engine 16
Sacramento

Your wonderful cover story helped me explain to my six-year-old—who wants to be both a firefighter and a baseball player—that a grown-up can be many different things. The men you featured were outstanding examples of the role athletics can play against a backdrop of real life.
Mark T. Rudy, Cleveland Heights, Ohio

At a January 2000 autograph show I saw Mike Piazza put his arms on the shoulders of two young brothers while their father took a picture. The smiles on the boys' faces almost brought me to tears. The shot of Mike playing video football with Brendan Carroll did bring me to tears.
Jed Conboy, St. Johnsville, N.Y.

The Fans Are Revolting
When I was growing up in Portland {Losing their Grip, Dec. 24-31), the police would encourage us kids to stay out of trouble by giving us basketball cards of Trail Blazers players. As a teen I was rewarded for raising money for charity by spending a day with the team—Clyde Drexler even stood up when my mother left the lunch table! It seems that the only pictures the police have of the current Blazers are mug shots.
Larry Rapp, Lithonia, Ga.

On Sept. 11 Mike Carroll and 342 other members of the FDNY unselfishly gave their lives while rescuing 25,000 people from the World Trade Center. They did all this in about 90 minutes. On Dec. 7 some members of the Trail Blazers exhibited little holiday cheer, incessantly checking their pagers, while participating in a benefit to distribute Christmas trees to families in need. They did all this in about 90 minutes. The average firefighter's salary: about $45,000. The average NBA player's salary: about $4,500,000. What's wrong with this picture?
Stephen Nee
Ladder 3, Portland, Maine

Blazers management will no doubt refute your article by saying that every NBA team has its problem players. No doubt, but they always seem to wind up here.
Carl Moesche, Gresham, Ore.

It is too bad the NBA banned players from wearing temporary tattoos of corporate logos (It Came from the Sports Pages, Dec. 24-31), because I can think of at least one brand name that would fit perfectly on the forehead of Portland forward Rasheed Wallace: The Gap.
Jerry N. Smith, Lawrence, Kans.

Portland's Bob Whitsitt said he "wasn't a chemistry major." I guess he was a math major if he thought that bringing together two negatives would make a positive.
Jerry Schwartz, Chamblee, Ga.

Fans do it to themselves just as much as the athletes do. Maybe it is time for people to either enjoy the games or stay home.
Andrew Tougas, Canmore, Alberta

White Magic
The next time Steve Rushin (AIR AND SPACE, Dec. 24-31) calls in sick during a blizzard, you'll know the truth. His ability to capture perfectly the idyllic mood of a childhood snow day likely means he has enjoyed a few such days in the past couple of years. Thanks for stirring the kid in all of us.
Stan Greene, Grand Rapids

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