While I was reading Alan Shipnuck's article on Phil Mickelson (Amen, April 19) over breakfast, my five-year-old daughter asked me if "the man who won the green jacket was a good guy." It really felt good to answer her. I told her he's a really good guy who never gave up in the face of adversity. (Of course I had to tell her what adversity means.) I said it took him nearly 50 tries over 13 years to win a very important golf tournament, that he worked very hard and never lost confidence in himself and as a result he achieved his goal. (Achieve needed some explaining.) She got the picture and said, "That's what I'm gonna do with my swimming and tennis lessons." Thanks, Phil, for helping me raise my kid.
CHRIS MELENDES, Short Hills, N.J.
Viewing the cover shot of Mickelson's victory leap, I had two reactions. First I was heartened by his look of sheer joy. However, disappointment quickly set in when I noticed the utter lack of ethnic diversity in the crowd behind him. If the group in this photo is representative of the whole gallery, it appears as though the Tiger Era has not brought with it the progress many of us had hoped it would.
JOSHUA WILSON, Corrales, N.Mex.
Going the Distance
As a former Connecticut resident, I was extremely pleased to read about the UConn women's basketball team ( UConn's Flashy Finish, April 19). I couldn't agree more with fellow Nutmegger Frank Deford's appreciation of Diana Taurasi and her teammates for sticking around for a full four years of college.
Mill Valley, Calif.
Albert Chen's Earning Their Stripes (April 19) eloquently described the Detroit Tigers' trek back to respectability. After 10 years of misery, things might actually be changing. I went down to Comerica Park and witnessed the Tigers' first loss of the season, but I have not seen that much excitement since Comerica opened. Detroiters are just happy to see a roster with bona fide major league players.
DAN TIMMIS, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Croom at the Top
It's a good thing your magazine doesn't have too many stories each week like the one about Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom (Long Time Coming, April 19). I'd never stop reading except to wipe my teary eyes.
JEFFREY PATTISON, Maryland Heights, Mo.
On April 4, 1968, my view of the evil called racism crystallized as I sat alone in my freshman dorm room at Mississippi State and listened as a number of my fellow freshmen—like me, white and raised in the segregated South—"celebrated" the assassination of Martin Luther King that day in Memphis. I learned to hate racism that night, and now, 36 years later, I wish Sylvester Croom every success as he leads our Bulldogs football team—and our nation—to a better future.
CY NOBLES, Addison, Texas
Not long ago Green Bay was probably the NFL equivalent of Mississippi State: Our football fortunes were down, and we were not a place where most big-time players, particularly those of color, desired to be. Croom, and players like Leroy Butler and Edgar Bennett, helped change that through their dedication to the team and the class they showed the community. Croom may experience difficulties trying to revive a troubled program, but I wouldn't bet against him. The character shaped by his father and the football acumen he learned from Bear Bryant will surely be passed on to his players.
MIKE QUILLIN, Milwaukee
I find it ironic that while Mississippi moves ahead with racial harmony quicker than any other state in the country—with little or no fanfare—your magazine chooses to put our great state in a negative light. Why did you make Croom's skin color the subject of the story? Those of us in Mississippi don't judge him by his race.
BOBBY MCKAY, Waterford, Miss.
Update: It Happens Again
"My first thought was Derek Jeter's slump was done on purpose for the good of baseball," says Kenneth Yorik. "It was so blatant! Coming so soon after our study was released!"