The Texans and the Cowboys (Choosing Sides, Aug. 19)? A team that has won five games in each of the last two seasons and a team that probably won't win five games total in the next two years hardly deserve a story, let alone a cover. The only thing I could see that was slightly exciting about this so-called "war" of Texas was which team had the better-looking cheerleaders.
MICHAEL CAMPAGNA, Bristol, R.I.
All that the Cowboys and Texans will be battling for is last place in their respective divisions. The Texans have a rookie at quarterback, and the Cowboys don't have a quarterback at all. That adds up to two losing seasons. I hope Texas fans have fun on Sept. 8 because that is the only excitement they'll be seeing all season.
RYAN KOZUL, Boston
Your interview with several Texans fans once again validates the old Texas saying, The best thing to ever come out of Houston? Interstate 45 to DALLAS! Win five Super Bowls and let's talk in 30 years.
KENT DOUGLAS, Piano, Texas
"War for Texas"? Wasn't there at least one editor who said that using the word war to describe a game would be a bad idea? War is what our dedicated servicemen and-women are waging half a world away on our behalf. I love football, but it ain't war.
DEAN DIGIACOMO, San Clemente, Calif.
Rick Reilly's column Welcome to the Real World (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Aug. 19) should be required reading for all athletes, coaches, managers and business executives who think their job is No. 1. It took a Jobian disaster before John Elway realized how important family really is. I hope that people learn from him.
HUGH GITLIN, St. Paul
The loss of Elway's father and twin sister in such a short period of time is certainly tragic. However, there's nothing else in Rick Reilly's article that evokes any sympathy, compassion or admiration. Poor John was so busy letting people kiss his feet that he ignored his wife and kids. Elway found out that being famous and being a smart businessman are two different things.
HOWARD DAVIS, Wilmette, Ill.
Having Their Phil
Whether or not he ever wins a major, Phil Mickelson (Major Issues, Aug. 19) will always be my favorite PGA player for one reason: grace. I follow him every year during the practice rounds at the International at Castle Pines in Castle Rock, Colo., and without fail he gives out gloves and balls to kids, thanks them for coming and smiles as if he understands how fortunate he is. In my eyes Phil has already won the grand slam of life.
DAVID ROSENTHAL, Littleton, Colo.
As foreign as it may seem to the world of golf, Phil Mickelson may simply be analogous to the corporate middle manager: happy to go home having done an honest day's work without bringing with him all of the tensions and baggage that come from being the top dog.
JENNIFER E. TURCK, Homer, N.Y.
So, who really wrote that piece on Phil Mickelson, Jack McCallum or Phil's mom? Phil's lazy work habits were minimized, his gambling habits were downplayed, his poor mental approach was overlooked, and his perpetual tendency to tighten up in majors was completely dismissed.
BILL TOOMEY, Newark, Del.
I wonder if all of the people who criticize Phil Mickelson for not having won a major realize that he is far better at his job than they will ever be at theirs.
AARON HENDRICKSON, Hancock, Mich.