final-round pairing of Phil Mickelson and Fred Couples at the 2006 Masters
reminded me that friendship and mutual respect need not stand in the way of
all-out competition (Master Craftsman, April 17). I thank them both for a
battle worthy of the Masters. And I thank Phil especially for reminding us, in
his moment of victory, to pray for Tiger's dad.
Hall Wilson, Rochester, N.Y.
accurately described Mickelson's relentless march to the green jacket and the
balky putter that kept Tiger from challenging Phil and, perhaps, winning the
tournament. I take exception, however, to his statement that the, "...
deafening ovation ... was a reminder that around Augusta, as elsewhere, Woods
is respected but Mickelson is beloved." For myself, and many knowledgeable
golfers, it is the other way around: Tiger Woods represents all that is great
about sports--the unending pursuit of excellence, determination in the face of
adversity, fierce competitiveness, humility in victory and grace in defeat, and
a never-quit approach to the game and to life.
Rex R. Schultze, Lincoln, Neb.
Kudos to Gary Smith
on a well-written, well-researched piece that gave us startling insight into
the death of Sam Kellerman (Blood Relations, April 17) at the hands of a
bipolar boxer he had tried to help, James Butler. I hope Sam's older brother,
Max--the HBO boxing analyst-- takes the advice given to him: "Don't let
this guy kill you both."
Ryan White, Hicksville, N.Y.
Smith's article on the Kellerman brothers, I immediately phoned my older
brother, Paul, back in Michigan, to tell him that I loved him.Pete Finger, Bar
I'm a loyal fan of
the Lakers and of Kobe Bryant, and I get tired of hearing from the ever-present
Kobe-haters. Reading The Great Unknown (April 17) by Jack McCallum and L. Jon
Wertheim was refreshingly positive because it showed Kobe's deep heart and
Michael Mendelson, Valencia, Calif.
As a black man, I'm
amazed that the question Is he black enough? is still being asked--about Kobe
or anyone else. Must all black athletes be placed into the hip-hop,
bling-loving mold? And what is this "African-American experience" that
Kobe was supposed to have been divorced from because he grew up in privileged
circumstances? The backgrounds of African-Americans are as varied as those of
any ethnic group. Let's all enjoy Kobe's on-the-court talent and leave it at
that. The rest of us have our own lives to lead, and we're not really concerned
who likes him or not.
Paul Olden, Burbank, Calif.