It may be a bit premature, but I nominate Simon Bruty's cover photo of Stewart Elliott riding Smarty Jones in the Kentucky Derby for inclusion in the 2054 special issue chronicling the second 50 years of SI photography. I believe it will be among the best images of your first 100 years.
STEVE WISEMAN, Williamsville, N.Y.
I'm very impressed that trainer John Servis and owners Pat and Roy Chapman decided to stick with Stewart Elliott—and won the Kentucky Derby with Smarty Jones (Smart Money, May 10). Too often unknown jockeys have had their dreams dashed by an owner or trainer who thought a horse wouldn't win a big race without a household name in the saddle. I am rooting for Smarty Jones to win the Belmont, not just because the sport of horse racing needs a Triple Crown winner, but also to show it is possible to succeed if you believe and stick with your instincts.
DAVID DREYFUS, Aurora, Ill.
While I appreciate the intended good humor of Rick Reilly's Bred and Buttered (THE LIFE OF REILLY, May 10) and agree the pampering of horses like Smarty Jones and Tapit is a bit over the top, we shouldn't forget the grim reality: Only a very small percentage of thoroughbreds retire to, well, the life of Reilly.
CYNTHIA GRISOLIA, New York City
The Treasure State
I was surprised and extremely proud to see Josh Elliott's article on the semipro football teams of Montana (Semi Tough, May 10). I count myself as very fortunate to have played for the now defunct Bozeman Kodiaks of the Rocky Mountain Football League. Our roster included a former CFL cornerback, an ex-convict, some lawmen, a doctor, a lawyer and a couple of teachers. We had our differences, but we also had a lot in common. We respected each other, understood teamwork and loved the game of football very much.
STEVE NASH, Bozeman, Mont.
SI's treatment of Montana was hasty, shallow and inaccurate (Sports in America, May 10). We are a state of six-man football teams, generations of rodeo stars and famous bucking horses, but you slap Tom McGuane on our map and give us Bryan Di Salvatore writing about golf! What's up? Is SI lobbying to be a future Enemy of the State?
JOHN L. MOORE Miles City, Mont.
I enjoyed Di Salvatore's article about golf in Montana (Open Range, May 10). Two years ago I was playing golf at East Glacier. It was an uneventful round until we were on the 8th fairway and the course steward drove up and told us that we might want to be careful because a grizzly had just been spotted on the 9th tee. We didn't see the grizzly, but that 9th was the fastest hole of golf I've ever played.
JEFF APPELGATE, Prosser, Wash.
Red Sox-Yanks? Florida-Florida State? Ohio State-Michigan? Cheers to SI for the article on the biggest rivalry in all of sports, India- Pakistan (Diplomacy by Other Means, May 10). I appreciate that you include articles on international sports, particularly cricket and rugby.
MICHAEL DUDRICH, Middletown, Pa.
Few Americans realize the popularity of cricket in places such as India—the world's most populous democracy—and Pakistan. I'm glad you were able to illustrate the political impact of the game on the ongoing hostilities between these two nations.
SAYANTAN NIYOGI, Mount Laurel, N.J.
Who's the Boss?
I congratulate Tom Verducci for almost making George Steinbrenner likable (Mister Softie? May 10). Amazing writing.
MATT McGEE, West Richland, Wash.
I grew up a Yankees fan in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. I still regard the 1978 season as my fondest baseball memory. I was incensed to read how George "felt about...all the fans." Through his obsession with the back page and his mistreatment of players, managers and coaches, he takes all the joy out of rooting for the Yankees. With his bottomless checkbook, he makes it impossible to appreciate the drama and skill of the game or to have affection for the athletes. With his "breathing first, winning next" mentality, he reflects the poor sportsmanship and win-at-all-costs attitude that pervades our society. In short, he has made me what I am today: a Red Sox fan.
ANDY JANICIK, Westfield, Mass.