Brad Gullickson, Brandon, S.Dak.
Allison, his family and friends seemed to have completely ignored the city's religious community or any other influence that would have emphasized ethics and simple decent behavior. This cancer--athletic ability without any sense of virtue and decency--is not easily cured.
Stephen Ficke, Clay Center, Kans.
I am a lifelong resident of Peabody, a 25-year-old male who, along with almost every one of my boyhood friends, has been seriously addicted to the drug OxyContin (OC). OC is not just a problem in Peabody, it is an epidemic. It's not just high school dropouts or kids that are always in trouble who are being swept up in this--but college grads with good jobs. I appreciate Coach Niz talking candidly about the problem and about his son Brad, whom I know very well. But please, Coach, if you care about this city and your students, turn over the teams to someone else. You have been successful, but too much has gone bad at the high school. It's ridiculous to say you had no idea Allison had a problem. I was away at school in another state, and I heard from many people that Jeff was going down the wrong path.
Name Withheld, Peabody, Mass.
Matt Bonner, the newest sports idol in Toronto (INSIDE THE NBA, Dec. 20), is called the Red Rocket not only because of his hair, as you suggest, but also because he likes to ride the streetcars of Toronto to get around. The Toronto Transit Commission has a slogan, Ride the Rocket, encouraging people to use public transportation.
Jason Egbuna, Brampton, Ont.