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Reggie Bush's hotdog flip into the end zone for the first touchdown of USC's regular-season-ending 29-24 defeat of archrival UCLA, immortalized on your Dec. 13 cover, justifiably resulted in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for excessive celebration. If across the country next season there's a rash of impressionable high school players pulling similar stunts, Sports Illustrated will have only itself to blame.
One Pill Makes You Larger
While Richard Hoffer may have intended to make a point about human nature in The Blind Pursuit of Perfection (Dec. 13), he whiffed badly. While noting that people like to improve themselves in sundry ways, he let dishonest and immoral athletes off the hook by saying that "character is sometimes neglected in the pursuit of perfection." Athletes who use drugs to enhance their performance are not only breaking the law but also being dishonest with themselves, their fans, their teams and, most important, the sport they often profess to love. Drug use is the coward's way. Making excuses for pampered cheats does not serve sports well.
Doug Magill, Solon, Ohio
I think my son Jason should be on the cover of SI. He not only takes steroids, he also injects himself daily with growth hormone--just like the athletes. Jason is fighting a battle, but there isn't a pennant at stake. He's fighting for his life. The real story isn't that million-dollar athletes are cheating to get to the top of their field; the real story is that children who truly need growth hormone can't afford to get it. Our family had to rely on a charitable foundation called Genetec Access to Care to obtain the growth hormone that enables Jason to fight the chronic disease cystic fibrosis.
Linda Robichaud, Lanesborough, Mass.
I teach personal trainers and know that when a trainer recommends dietary supplements, the trainer may stand to benefit financially by making a commission on the sale of the supplement. Before taking any over-the-counter nutritional supplement, people should consult an appropriate medical professional. Many supplements have not been laboratory tested, and taking them could cause an adverse reaction with other medications. If a personal trainer encourages you to purchase any nutritional supplement, run, do not walk, away (consider it a free workout).
Pete McCall, Washington, D.C.