The Prince of Crashers
The guy sitting next to me at an invitation-only pre-Super Bowl brunch at New Orleans's Wyndham Hotel was familiar, but I couldn't place him until he started pulling out pictures of himself with Gwyneth Paltrow (above), Tiger Woods, Linda Evans and a bunch of others. It was Dion Rich, the world's best gate-crasher. He was one of the most personable and unassuming people you'd ever want to meet. His stories were incredible and usually backed up with pictures. As we were leaving the hotel, I asked him what the last event was that he had crashed. He looked at me and said, "The private brunch we just had."
William Martin, St. Peters, Mo.
Super Bowl XXXVI was enjoyable and memorable, and the Patriots earned the victory by playing smart and nearly error-free football (Pat Answer, Feb. 11), but the Rams again made crucial mistakes—as they did in their two regular-season losses. New England took full advantage of the St. Louis errors, but a turnover-free performance by the Rams would very likely have resulted in a different outcome.
Gary Altfillisch, Albert Lea, Minn.
Michael Silver felt obligated to note that the Patriots were able to advance to the AFC Championship Game and, ultimately, the Super Bowl only after a controversial call in the divisional playoffs against the Raiders. It's time for Mr. Silver and those whiny Raiders, Steelers and Rams fans to get over it! The Pats showed in all three games that they were the better team. Why ruin an otherwise good article about New England's triumph by again referring to the controversial call?
Sean Holleran, Hooksett, N.H.
So Kurt Warner chose not to pose on the SI cover with the black cat representing the SI Jinx (Jan. 21)? Well, Kurt, sometimes the Jinx chooses you.
Michael Klein, Plainview, N.Y.
Interesting that Patriots coach Bill Belichick is credited with having "had his finger on the pulse of a team" because he enforced a midnight bed check on his team, while the favored Rams roamed free during Super Bowl week in New Orleans. At the 1981 Super Bowl, Dick Vermeil was universally ridiculed for keeping his Eagles under lock and key while the Raiders raised hell to their hearts' content. The difference? Belichick's Patriots won, while Vermeil's Eagles lost. Funny how that works.
Steve Martarano, Sacramento
Rick Reilly's column "In Like Flynn" infuriated me (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Feb. 11). Dion Rich should be arrested for trespassing and fined an amount equal to the highest ticket prices for all the events he crashed—retroactively. Reilly, find someone worthy of your hero worship. Rich is worthy of nothing.
Jo Anne Gori, Bethlehem, Pa.
I have a question for Dion Rich: Can I come with you to Super Bowl XXXVII?
Adam Michael Koziol, Lockport, N.Y.
Should we admire Dion Rich? He wonders, "Why pay when you don't have to?" Isn't that what every thief wonders?
Doug Reeves, San Clemente, Calif.
As a lifelong Bulls fan, I cheered for Jerry Sloan when he played and coached in Chicago. When he left and took the job in Utah, I still rooted for him because of his intensity and commitment to his job and the game. Reading your story (Getting Straight, Feb. 11) has made it easier to applaud Jerry Sloan, the husband.
Ed Nelson, Taylorville, Ill.
Sloan, Karl Malone, John Stockton and Jeff Hornacek may have never won a tide, but their loyalty, professionalism, work ethic and commitment to family make them champions in a much bigger game.
Alex Marks, Sterling, Ill.