The Grand Tour
What a great cover (June 28)! The three-word headline captures the essence of Lance Armstrong.
DOMINIC J. CLEMENTI
Not only does Lance have to contend with a mob of French media vultures and yet more slanderous doping allegations, but you also saddle him with what may be his biggest obstacle to a sixth Tour de France win: the SI cover jinx. Still, if anyone can beat the jinx, it's got to be Lance.
BRANDY YARBROUGH, North Beach, Md.
Finally: A nonbiased, poignant, smart article about my favorite athlete (Lance in France, Part 6). Armstrong is such a talented man—with so much stamina and personal drive—we could all learn something from him.
LAUREN HUFFORD, Tempe, Ariz.
I felt as if I was reading another article from the blame-America-first crowd. Mr. Price, please stick to writing about sports. I'd much rather read about the Tour de France than have you take me on your own Tour Detente.
DAN DEMING, La Habra, Calif.
Pumping Up the Pistons
Jack McCallum's SCORECARD essay, Why Is This Man Smiling?, and article, Nicely Done, Joe (June 28), perfectly illustrate two franchises headed in opposite directions. Congratulations to the Detroit Pistons on their well-deserved championship. Substance didn't just defeat style, it destroyed it. Maybe now I can read a newspaper or watch TV without being bludgeoned over the head with a purple-and-gold sledgehammer—but I doubt it.
BOB RIZ, Los Angeles
Let's stop calling Phil Jackson "one of the greatest coaches of all time." If he were a great coach, he would have figured out a way for Kobe, Shaq, Karl and Gary to play together. Larry Brown turned a shooter into a point guard, another shooter into a re-bounder and defender, a defender into an offensive threat, a guy with a bad rap into a team player and a whole squad into a believing cohesive bunch that annihilated Phil's All-Stars. That is coaching.
RONALD GRIES, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
In the Minority
It's time to retire your 101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports report (June 28). The list is as ridiculous as a 101 Most Influential White People in Sports report would be. At least you had enough sense not to list what kind of minority these people are. We live in a global society, as evidenced by the article in the same issue on the NBA hunting for talent in Africa (On Safari for 7-Footers). As one of more than a billion Chinese people, Yao Ming is not a minority in the world we live in.
MIKE LYONS, Yonkers, N.Y.
Your list is testing my extrasensory perception skills. Gee. What minority is Eugene Parker? Wendy Lewis? Jonathan Mariner? Are we supposed to guess based on what their names sound like? Perhaps you can tell my minority status by my name. You'd probably be wrong.
ANNAMARIE DeCARLO, Annapolis, Md.
I know it is just a trick to see how observant we are, but where's Kobe? He's in the midst of dismantling the NBA's most successful franchise, and he is not one of the 101 most important? He's just caused the winningest coach ever to leave L.A. and one of the greatest centers to be traded away. Ask Dr. Buss how important he is.
EVERETT F. SANBORN, Irvine, Calif.
How can Mississippians say their greatest athletes are Archie Manning and Brett Favre, when the state has produced Walter Payton and Jerry Rice, two of the best players in NFL history (Sports in America, June 28)? When is Mississippi going to join the rest of the modern world in recognizing and acknowledging black athletes?
DAEMON WOODS, Albany, Ga.