Soccer is a sport completely devoid of excitement. It may have significance in the rest of the world, but it no more belongs on the cover of the premier sports magazine in the U.S. ("The U.S. Steps Up," June 24) than does billiards or bullfighting. I guess the Lakers' three-peat or Tiger Woods's U.S. Open victory weren't as politically correct as trying to build a sport into something it's not.
A World Cup cover when the Red Wings win Lord Stanley's? Give me a break! I realize that hockey is the fourth sport in the U.S., but soccer is waaaay below that, even in a World Cup year.
FRANK G. SMITH
The Red Wings win another Stanley Cup...yawn. Tiger wins another Open...yawn. The Lakers win another NBA Finals...yawn. The U.S. soccer team advances to the World Cup quarterfinals...hell must have frozen over. Thank you for giving credit where it is due and putting the most deserving team on the cover of your magazine.
KATRINA HULL, Bethany, W.Va.
You were right in your assessment that the Detroit Red Wings are becoming the Yankees of the NHL (Reign Men, June 24). Who didn't think the Wings would win the Stanley Cup this year? It is sobering that three of the four major sports seem to have their champions predetermined because a select few teams can scoop up all the talent that is too expensive for all other teams to even consider.
CURT GILL, Atlanta
Well, once again the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup, and what does SI do? Compare them with the Yankees. There is one difference, though: Not everybody hates the Red Wings.
ED SZYKULA, Berkley, Mich.
Granted, Scotty Bowman is possibly the greatest coach ever, but my grandmother could have coached this All-Star team to a championship.
JAROD MCATEER, Casper, Wyo.
Life on the Links
Rick Reilly was dead-on when he wrote about the ever-increasing "luxuries" provided on a golf course (THE LIFE OF REILLY, June 24). It seems foolish to pay $150 to be hurried along after waiting 15 minutes on each hole for the group in front of you.
As a municipal course golfer who isn't ashamed to score a double bogey, I was glad to see Rick Reilly take shots at courses that the everyday man doesn't always get to play. I'm more than happy to pay my $12 to walk the back nine at 6:45 on a Saturday morning.
MIKE BENDER, Baltimore
I have played, coached, umpired and observed tennis for more than 50 years. Pancho Gonzalez (The Lone Wolf, June 24) was the best I have ever seen, and I am always surprised when his name does not come up when people discuss who was the best ever. Had he been allowed to play the Grand Slam events in his prime, he would have records that would never be matched.
GEOFF MORTON, Cleveland
I paid �1.51 and sat front row, Centre Court for the second day of the 1969 Gonzalez-Charlie Pasarell match. I couldn't have told you the difference between a volley and a rally at the time, but Pancho's competitive fire and athleticism made me a lifelong fan of tennis.
JAY MARGOLIS, Boynton Beach, Fla.