Getting the Pictures
Kudos for running the Faces of the NFL (Dec. 9) portfolio. Walter Iooss Jr. is one of the greatest sports photographers of all time. Thank you, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, for continuing to set a high standard for photography.
JED CARLSON, Superior, Wis.
Why are you dedicating valuable space to promoting the tired notion that attitude—especially macho attitude—is America's image du jour? Your Faces of the NFL brought the men-to-boyz phenomenon to a new low. Some of these stars are great guys, but in your piece they all look like little kids posing as toughs. As one who's sick to death of all the 'tude going around, I ask, why such a piece in SI?
JOHN DIEBEL, Grosse Pointe, Mich.
Did Iooss ask the NFL stars not to smile, or were they just worried about penalties for excessive celebration?
No economic imperative for pro sports to get tough on pot (Scorecard, Dec. 9)? How about impaired coordination and concentration, or shouldn't we expect those basic physical attributes to be available in a multimillion-dollar player? You could also have noted memory impairment and loss of visual acuity, but who needs that stuff? Aren't you even curious why high school girls can shoot free throws better than NBA pros do? I'm waiting to hear some TV commentator get honest in a postgame interview and ask a player something like, "You missed five free throws in a row down the stretch there—was that from the pot you smoked last night?"
MARK YOUNG, Sioux Falls, S.Dak.
The prevalence of marijuana use among professional athletes must make drug cops sick with fear. They have tried to make us believe that marijuana makes you stupid and lazy. The fact that so many athletes use marijuana and are still able to compete at the highest levels of sports makes these claims sound even more absurd.
MATTHEW HOGG, Burlington, Vt.
The account of the Kirkwood-Webster Groves high school rivalry was an outstanding piece of Americana I won't soon forget (The Game of a Lifetime, Dec. 9). I felt as if I had participated in the pep rallies, heard the locker room speeches and cheered in the stands. Both teams and cities left that field winners. What a great story to end a great series of articles!
BRIAN FOSTER, Olathe, Kans.
I had the honor and the privilege of participating in two Turkey Day games for the Pioneers. We won in my junior season but regrettably lost the Bell in my senior year. Today, tossing a football around with my son almost always ends with three neatly run pass routes and receptions: the first to win the Turkey Day game for Kirkwood, the second to beat Kansas for the Missouri Tigers and the last to win the Super Bowl for the Rams. The first one is still the sweetest.
BRUCE S. CHAPMAN
My adult friends who didn't grow up in Kirkwood or Webster Groves, Mo., may now understand why the Turkey Day game remains a topic of excited conversation this time of year, even though I live 250 miles away and am 28 years beyond high school graduation. The game is as much about shared values, community history, pride and generational bonding as it is about the score. However, the bragging rights that come with having the Bell will be enjoyed all year by Kirkwood High School graduates around the globe.
DARCY A. HOWE, Kansas City, Mo.
Thanks to SI and Mark Bowden for the article on the Thanksgiving Day rivalry between Kirkwood and Webster Groves. I graduated from Kirkwood in 1948, and it brought back vivid memories of sitting on the hard and windswept bleachers in the cold or rain watching my buddies do battle. However, I couldn't find what die won-lost records are after all these years. Perhaps it isn't the most important element, but I am curious.
ROBERT L. FRANZ, Placentia, Calif.
? Webster Groves leads 45-36-6. —ED.