How could you put
Cleveland running back Jamal Lewis on the cover of your NFL training-camps
issue (Game On!, Aug. 6)? Putting a Brown there is like showing a Devil Rays
player on your baseball spring training issue or an Atlanta Hawk on your NBA
preseason issue. First, those teams need to earn respect and win.
Mark Weese, Monterey, Calif.
While the veteran
Tour de France riders again gave us reason to doubt the legitimacy of their
sport (thank you, Alexandre Vinokourov, Iban Mayo, Michael Rasmussen, Ivan
Basso and Christian Moreni), the emergence of athletes like Alberto Contador,
Linus Gerdemann and Juan Mauricio Soler shows the Tour will survive. I was glad
to see that Austin Murphy didn't just bash the Tour (False Positive, Aug. 6);
he also detailed the final time trial, which led to the closest-grouped top
three ever. That one hour, two minutes and 44 seconds of racing helped me
forget all the controversy and get lost in the pure excitement that I expect
from the Tour.
Ken Rodgers, Massapequa, N.Y.
I am amazed at
the death sentence cycling is dealt for actually doing something about doping.
Besides forfeiting a year's salary, the riders kicked out of this year's Tour
de France will not be allowed to participate in any race for two years.
Meanwhile, a steroid user in the NFL is suspended for four games and can almost
be named Defensive Player of the Year—a certain Chargers linebacker comes to
mind. Baseball has a new home run king, and is anyone still wondering what
"help" Barry Bonds got along the way to breaking the record? Maybe it's
not cycling that gets it wrong on performance-enhancing drugs. The Tour is
alive and, if not well, at least getting better.
Neil Ward, Syracuse, Utah
The problems in
cycling may well be a direct result of its evolution into a team sport. The bad
behavior grows from the peer pressure that exists within the team construct.
Over time, an every-man-for-himself format could return the sport to its purer
Jim Bracey, East Greenwich, R.I.
Joe Lemire quotes
Jon Lester, who recently returned to the Red Sox after being treated for
anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (PLAYERS, Aug. 6), as saying, "I just want
to get attention for the way I play baseball. I want to get back to being
normal." Jon, fat chance of that ever happening. There is nothing
"normal" about the way you play baseball. Godspeed, son. And a hearty
John Hamblin, Medway, Mass.
Soccer in Iraq
What a relief it was to read Grant Wahl's uplifting story on the Iraqi national
team and its success at this past Asian Cup (PLAYERS, Aug. 6), particularly
after reading so many negative stories about our own sports icons. Soccer has
done something in Iraq that even the president of that country could not do.
Ali Rasoulinejad, New York City