Congrats for a stunning issue on 50 years of sports photography (The Pictures, April 26). SI was and is the pinnacle of the art form. Employing masters like Walter Iooss Jr., Heinz Kluetmeier, Neil Leifer, John G. Zimmerman and many others, SI has set a standard for all magazines. I chose my college major and my career because of your influence. I am now employed at a newspaper in northwestern Wisconsin—a photographer with a dream of someday having a photo run in the pages of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED alongside the work of my past and present heroes.
JED CARLSON, Superior, Wis.
I found your foldout on photographing the Kentucky Derby (We Shoot Horses, Don't We?) interesting and revealing, but it's an oversight to not include any photos of Secretariat, Seattle Slew or Affirmed, the only Triple Crown winners in SI's history. This is proving to be one of the most difficult accomplishments in sports and seems deserving of at least one image in your otherwise comprehensive collection.
MICHAEL GENARO, Greenwich, Conn.
One photo is conspicuous by its absence—Neil Leifer's picture of Ron Turcotte looking toward the camera while riding Secretariat during the 1973 Belmont Stakes. It defines the preparation and good fortune that are the hallmarks of Leifer's remarkable volume of work.
RON ROSE, Peoria, Ariz.
Where was Yankees third baseman Graig Nettles catching a line drive in the hole while fully extended about three feet off the ground during the 1978 World Series.
NATHAN KITTNER, Hackensack, N.J.
How could you publish Best of the '70s and not provide one image of Don Shula's '72 Dolphins, the only undefeated team in NFL history?
ALAN HUBBARD, Jacksonville
Never on Sunday
Rick Reilly sounded a note of gospel truth in his take on Sunday sports (THE LIFE OF REILLY, April 26). As an avid sports fan and an evangelical Christian, I've had to face the reality that the demands of sports participation effectively exclude anyone who is determined to observe the Sabbath day. As Reilly implies, the future will reveal how this total commitment to competition affects youngsters' development. The more immediate choice for Christians is which god they will serve on Sunday.
SCOTT A. SWANSON, La Mirada, Calif.
My kids' soccer league won't schedule Sunday matches earlier than 1 p.m. However, despite protests, the league continues to schedule matches on Saturday mornings, thus forcing Jewish families to choose between soccer and synagogue. This disregard for worshipful non-Christians is reflected by Little Leagues that also schedule Saturday morning games and by high schools that play football on Friday evenings. Reilly's outrage about spirituality and sports is well founded, but he should realize that not every religious person in this country attends services on Sundays.
IRA LACHER, Des Moines
I have been a pastor for 14 years, and I have two sports-crazy sons, 12 and 11, who are immersed in baseball and basketball. This country no longer seems to have time to search for answers to the nagging feeling of emptiness that eventually will plague every soul. Instead, we use our children to put one more notch on our holster in the hope that those fleeting feelings of success will overwhelm our much deeper need to understand the very purpose for which we have been made. What is that purpose, you ask? I don't know. I'll get to it later. I'm late for our first-round tournament game.
DAVID D. SWANSON, Fort Myers, Fla.
Blaming youth sports for the decline in devotion is a stretch. If the games stopped tomorrow, the churches wouldn't be full this Sunday, but the playgrounds would.
DAVE WILLIAMS, Woodinville, Wash.
Please show us Walter Iooss Jr.'s 1963 Steelers-Giants photograph of which he said, in Playing with Time, "I may never take a better football picture."
CARL ALLAMANNO, San Leandro, Calif.