Us vs. Them
Although I may be tempting the wrath of Woody and die-hard Ohio State fans, congratulations to Michigan on a well-played game and its outright Big Ten championship. I thought that Austin Murphy's Bigger Than Ever (Dec. 1) accurately described the history and intensity of the OSU-UM rivalry, but I have to object to his referring to it as the Big Game. Any West Coast college football fan will tell you the Big Game is Cal-Stanford. Here in the heartland, Ohio State-Michigan is The Game. Capital T, capital G, no superlatives are necessary.
LARRY GIFFIN, Columbus, Ohio
Thanks for the breathtaking photos and the wonderfully written article about the greatest college football rivalry in the country. The rest of the season just doesn't matter. (Too bad our neighbors in East Lansing don't get it.) It's a week later, and I'm looking at the cover and still getting goose bumps, just as I did when I left the Big House on that beautiful Saturday. Yes, this is the football rivalry, and Michigan got it done.
LYNDA KRUKOWSKI, Saginaw, Mich.
I have lived in Ohio, Michigan and Oklahoma, and I must say that the intensity of Ohio State-Michigan pales in comparison to that of Oklahoma-Texas. In Oklahoma the anti-Texas feelings are strong not only as the big game approaches, but also throughout the year, almost to the point of irrationality. That's what makes it fun. My family, which wears nothing orange, is now lobbying for sainthood for coach Bob Stoops and his staff.
After reading about an NHL game played outdoors in front of more than 57,000 fans (Cold Comfort, Dec. 1), I started thinking how the struggling, cash-strapped Pittsburgh Penguins could prosper playing in an arena with a retractable roof. I then remembered they already have one and fail to utilize its potential.
WILLIAM SAX, Pittsburgh
Stamp of Approval
While I agree wholeheartedly with your contention that three different Ail-Star teams from the NBA's Western Conference could beat the Eastern Conference All-Stars (Will the West Rule Forever?, Dec. 1), I disagree with one of your selections for the California All-Stars. Brad Miller at power forward? Karl Malone, even at 40, is still the best power forward in the game and a perfect complement to Shaq, Kobe and the Glove. In fact, although I haven't played much basketball since my high school days in Utah, when the Mailman was a rookie, if you put me out there with the Lakers' big four, we could handle the Eastern Conference All-Stars.
BILL HERLIN, Frisco, Texas
I hope Freddy Adu will ignite a passion for soccer in the U.S. (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Dec. 1). More important, I hope Freddy's mother will ignite a passion in parents to nurture their children the way she has nurtured Freddy. This young man is polite, personable and puts his education and family first—thanks to his mom.
MIKE REZAC, Dover, Del.
Nolan Richardson and Frank Broyles, enemies of the state of Arkansas (SPORTS IN AMERICA, Dec. 1)? They've each done more for the University of Arkansas than any other two people I can think of. Sure, we're a little perturbed at the way Nolan's coaching career ended and with the ongoing lawsuit, but how about that national championship? We've always gotten upset with Frank's meddling, but who can argue with a guy who brought us our only national championship in football and has given almost his entire life to Arkansas?
MARK D. POTTER, The Woodlands, Texas
How can you fail to mention John McDonnell, the Arkansas track and field coach who has won 38 NCAA titles—more than any other coach in any collegiate sport, ever"? I realize the traditional revenue sports garner most of the attention, but failure to recognize such unparalleled accomplishments is flat wrong.
TODD BEAVER, Atlanta
I grew up among the Brett Brothers—John, Ken, Bob and George—in El Segundo, Calif., in the 1960s. For 30 years I have scoured your magazine for mention of them, and you have come through many times. Today, when I read A Brother's Memories (SCORECARD, Dec. 1), for the first time you made me cry.
CHUCK BIALESCHKI, Chattanooga
George, Then and Now
It was fascinating to read the speculation by his HBO colleagues about how George Foreman's personality change could have taken place (Born Again and Again and Again, Dec. 1). During George's early professional career, I was a sports reporter at a college radio station and would regularly cover boxing. My best interview was always Foreman. He was just as you perceive him now: funny and fun, loving, warm and attention-seeking in a poignant way. He came across as a big kid, not some barely harnessed violence machine. He didn't start out Tysonesque and somehow become the jolly George Foreman Grill pitchman. His behavior may have changed as he matured, but he hasn't had a personality transformation.