A Tragedy in Ohio
My fellow Blue jackets' fans and I are not upset that SI decided to make Brittanie Cecil's death a cover story (The Death of a Fan, April 1). However, we are profoundly disappointed in your choice of the player's photograph used on the cover. We believe you chose Espen Knutsen's picture as a means to sensationalize a tragedy. You have pointed a crooked finger at an innocent, caring and now heartbroken man who did nothing wrong.
BILL COSGROVE, Columbus, Ohio
While I appreciated the memorial to Brittanie Cecil and the special report on the available safety devices that are unused at NHL rinks, I found it distasteful that the cover also included a picture of Espen Knutsen. Knutsen's play was part of the regular on-ice action and should not have been construed to be the cause of the tragedy. Let the blame lie not with those who play the game fairly, but with those who reject the idea of fan safety.
ANDREW J. GRAHAM WILMORE, Ky.
Ken Dryden says we wouldn't even notice the nets after a while, so let's put them up. We owe it to our families, to each other and to a little girl named Brittanie.
THOMAS PERRY, STURGIS, Mich.
I am disappointed in the NHL for not taking quick action to mandate new safety guidelines such as nets and higher plexiglass. It was only a matter of time before something disastrous took place. Apparently, the league has learned nothing from this tragedy.
KEVIN MCELLIGOTT, Neenah, Wis.
I was interested to learn that the Red Sox are adding new seats at Fenway (SCORECARD, April 1) from the same issue that featured a cover story about the death of a fan—and the danger to fans from flying pucks, foul balls, etc. Having attended about 150 games at Fenway, I am familiar with where the new seats have been installed. Unless the individuals who sit there are Brooks Robinson or covered in armor, you may want to start preparing part two of The Death of a Fan.
JOHN L. HAMBLIN JR., Medway, Mass.
Grappling with the Issues
Thanks for an outstanding article on Cael Sanderson of Iowa State (Perfect, April 1), his amazing four NCAA Division I wrestling titles and his undefeated career record of 159-0. The qualities of self-discipline, dedication to hard work, responsibility for one's actions and maintenance of a high fitness level that are inherent in wrestling are traits we all could use more of. What a relief to hear responses from a champion that are "short and polite."
JAMES R. MEEHAN ASHTON, Md.
As a wrestling fan, a sports fan and the author of one of the 100 e-mails you received campaigning for more wrestling coverage (SCORECARD, April 8), I would like to express my displeasure and shock at your mock cover of Cael Sanderson. You portrayed wrestling as a second-rate endeavor and made those of us who wrote seem extremely out of line in promoting our sport.
ANDREW FARRAR, Alexandria, Va.
The Cael Sanderson article was a good read, but you were guilty of a major April Fool's Day issue oversight when you didn't even mention Minnesota's second straight NCAA wrestling team title. J Robinson's Gophers, who have also won two consecutive Big Ten team championships, have of late taken some of the spotlight from the teams from Iowa and Oklahoma.
SCOTT NELSON, Mankato, Minn.
Rick Reilly (THE LIFE OF REILLY, April 1) is dead on in his Missing Persons column. I'm much more interested in what Shane Battier is doing in the NBA than in what Kwame Brown is doing. I never saw Brown play in college and therefore never became his fan.
GREG LEET, Cape Girardeau, Mo.
The problem with college athletics is not that players leave early for the pros, but rather that many players go to college with no intention of being students. Players who leave college early or choose not to attend college are at least being honest that their goal is to play basketball, not to earn a degree. To me it would have been a far greater tragedy for Michigan to have accepted a nonstudent like Kevin Garnett than it is that college basketball doesn't include the best college-age players.
DAN LEDASIL, Mentor, Ohio