In my 20 years of reading SI, no article has so upset me as Rick Reilly's Miami Vice Twice (Oct. 6). Instead of lauding the team for one of the finest performances in recent college football history, Reilly instead chose to dwell on the off-the-field brushes with the law of some of the Miami players.
I found your story compelling. The "University of San Quentin," as Oklahoma's Brian Bosworth referred to Miami in your story, is as smooth an operation as can be between the white lines. Outside those boundaries, it is a sad statement for college athletics.
On Saturday the 27th, the Boz gained me as a fan.
While one cannot dismiss all of the trouble certain Miami players have gotten into, I think that most of the so-called infractions have been minor and blown out of proportion by an overzealous press seeking a story.
If one is to be fair, one should also note the positive things members of the team do for their community. Many of the players are actively involved with such charities as the Special Olympics, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Leukemia Society of America, the "Just Say No" anti-drug abuse campaign and others here in Dade County.
Last year I received a phone call from a friend who works at a local hospital. A small child was dying of sickle-cell anemia and his last wish was to meet some Miami Hurricanes. I made one phone call to the school, a note was posted on the players' bulletin board, and by that afternoon 10 players had taken their own time to go visit the child. He died two days later.
On Saturday, Sept. 27, after their victory over Oklahoma, several players found the time to stop by a United Way fund-raiser to help kick off a local campaign to raise money from a younger segment of our community.
If Rick Reilly is worried about the next generation, he need not be. These are only two examples of the many deeds Miami players do for our community.
JOHN A. JOFFRE, D.D.S.
God bless Atlanta's Jeff Van Note (An Old Bird You Beard At Your Peril, Oct. 6). What an inspiration to us average guys who still work in the backyard on improving our athletic skills for love of the game. Van Note lives our dreams. He battles the young, the strong and Father Time, and always finds a way to triumph. A Super Bowl ring would fit nicely on Jeff's crooked ring finger, but it will not be a necessity. For 18 years he has proved he is a champion in every sense of the word.
TRUE TO FORM
As a Nolan Ryan fan for many years, I was extremely touched by Ron Fimrite's article on him (A Great Hand With The Old Cowhide, Sept. 29). Here is a man who seemingly has everything yet hasn't forgotten where he came from or who he is. How refreshing to find an athlete, whom I had previously known only by his performance and the box scores, to be exactly the kind of person I had always hoped he was.