How about you stop putting people on the cover of SI? On the Jan. 17 cover is Indianapolis wideout Reggie Wayne. On Jan. 16, two days after I received the issue, the Colts lost to the New England Patriots. Last year Donovan McNabb appeared on the cover (Jan. 19, 2004) just before the NFC title game. Philadelphia lost to the Carolina Panthers--I was not upset, because I am a Carolina fan. The following week, Jan. 26, the Panthers were on the cover, and as we all know, they lost by a field goal in the Super Bowl. The smartest move you ever made was when you decided to make a collage of all 65 teams for the NCAA basketball tournament. I would stop putting a single person or team on the cover, at least before playoff games.
Gideon Rosenthal, Charleston, S.C.
Grant Wahl writes of college basketball, "TV ratings are up and so is the quality of play" (Hoops Renaissance, Jan. 17). Wahl in part used as evidence Kansas' 65-59 win over Kentucky, providing plenty of details about Ashley Judd but failing to mention that the game was a horror show of terrible shot selection and turnovers. Kansas was 21 of 53 from the field (39.6%), including 4 of 16 from three-point range, and had 21 turnovers. Kentucky shot 21 of 68 (30.9%), including 6 of 26 from beyond the arc, and had 13 turnovers. I think Wahl has officially joined the Packer-Vitale brigade of those who blindly praise college basketball because that is where their bread is buttered. Many of us who still love the college game can tell the obvious truth: It isn't as good as it once was.
Chris Ekstrand, Rossford, Ohio
Man of Steel
Let me get this straight: Bill Cowher--who happens to be the longest-tenured head coach in the NFL at age 47 and who has reached five AFC title games with three different quarterbacks--is not one of the hopeless workaholics sadly described in SCORECARD (Jan. 17) as "OD'ing on OT" but instead is a man who is devoted to his family (Life of Reilly, Jan. 17)? How refreshing to cheer for someone whose success hasn't come at the price of neglected spouses and children. I am eagerly looking forward to at least 13 more years with Cowher at the helm in the Steel City.
Shawn Buehler, Columbia, Md.
As a formerly long-suffering Patriots fan, I recall basking in the joy of the Pats' win over the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Jan. 27, 2002. My team was going to the Super Bowl, baby! Then the TV cameras showed three pretty girls crying and their mother trying to console them. The announcer said it was Cowher's family. It was then I realized there are always two sides to every victory, and I wasn't quite as joyful. Now that those girls are athletes themselves, they probably know that whether they win or lose, the sun will rise, life will go on, and their father will be the one watching in the stands with tears in his eyes.