Lots of Puck
Is there a SPORTS ILLUSTRATED math whiz who can explain to me how, according to your rankings ( NHL 2002-03 PREVIEW, Oct. 14), the Detroit Red Wings are rated higher than the San Jose Sharks in offense (second vs. fourth), defense (first vs. sixth), goaltending (fourth vs. 10th), special teams (fourth vs. sixth) and management (third vs. sixth), yet still fall below the Sharks in the overall rankings? Does San Jose have an incredible postgame spread that put them over the top?
ROD DUNN, Brighton, Mich.
I manage approximately 30 people, and I understand the importance of keeping a team together as long as you can, simply because the longer they work or play together, the better they become. In the case of the Los Angeles Kings you report that G.M. Dave Taylor virtually stood pat in the off-season. I believe the Kings will be better this year because of Taylor's decisions. The hardest thing in sports today is keeping a team together.
JOHN STEGER, Riverside, Calif.
What an inspiration Amy Trask is to me and my daughters (Raider Family Values, Oct. 14)! As women and avid Raiders fans we enjoyed learning that there is room in the organization for females other than the Raiderettes.
MARGARET M. SHODA, Pioneer, Calif.
Please tell Trask that the issue with Al Davis is not his introduction of Hispanics, blacks and women to the coaching and management ranks. Davis is reviled because most people perceive him to be the biggest carpetbagger since the end of the Civil War. It's too bad that will be his legacy, because Davis does know how to run a football team.
L.J. LAGRAVE, Cave Creek, Ariz.
Although your article acknowledges Trask, Bill Callahan and, of course, Al Davis, you fail to mention the man who has owned the Raiders since 1995: Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan (12 wins and two losses).
ED MARRIOTT Madeira Beach, Fla.
I thoroughly enjoyed your article on Trask. She periodically visits the Alameda Boys & Girls Club, where I am the executive director, and I've seen her keep a group of 30 or so children enthralled as she encourages them to work hard in school and avoid bad influences in their lives so they can become successful. While she's not much bigger than some of the kids she talks to, she represents a huge role model to children throughout the East Bay.
GEORGE PHILLIPS, Alameda, Calif.
As for the NFL's dramatic scoring increase this season (SCORECARD, Oct. 14), isn't it obvious? The football is juiced.
NORMAN E. THIBAULT, St. George, Utah
More Than a Player
I've never been a big baseball fan, but Gary Smith hit a home run with his story about Hank McGraw (An Uncommon Life, Oct. 7). It was not a story about a washed-up wannabe baseball player, but a journey into the meaning of life and being your own man.
LANCE MESSINGER, Canterbury, N.H.
I've never in 23 years of reading SI been so conflicted by one of your stories. Do I deplore the middle McGraw for not maximizing his God-given baseball abilities or respect him for not compromising himself in that quest? Both, it appears.
KRIS JOHNSON, Charlotte
No Place Like Dome
Thank you, Steve Rushin, for sharing the downright goofiness of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (AIR AND SPACE, Oct. 14). I've come to hate the cartoonlike plastic appearance, narrow concourses, lack of rest rooms, excessive volume of the public address system, disappearing pop-ups, shoddy carpet, Hefty Bag outfield walls, dirty roof, malfunctioning scoreboard, blinding light structures and winds that push you out of the park after a game. All that said, if and when a new ballpark takes its place, I will miss the family-friendly ticket bargains, the ability to park less than a block away for pennies, the guarantee of a game regardless of weather, Wally the Beer Man and the Dome-field advantage the Twins and Vikes have enjoyed since the early 1980s.
STEVE MANN, Minneapolis