My job wants me, advertisers want me, my ex-girlfriend still wants me, Uncle
Sam wants me and now U.S. Soccer (June 5)? I applaud how far the program has
come in just under 10 years, but this is still America, home of the Hail Mary,
the dinger and the dunk. I'll watch the World Cup, but I'm not going to paint
my body or skip work. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to be wanted--but there are
Steve McGinnis, Leesburg, Va.
When I saw the
sleepy-eyed photo of USA soccer's best, I said to my wife, "Doesn't look
like these guys are too psyched to be on the cover of SI, huh?" Then I
caught their World Cup opener against the Czechs. Apparently they weren't too
psyched for their first game in Germany, either.
Daniel Campaigne, Oceanside, Calif.
I hate soccer. I'd
rather watch the WNBA or lawn bowling. That said, of course I'll cheer for the
U.S.'s team in the World Cup. I'll even buy a USA Soccer jersey and watch the
games at my favorite sports bar. Those guys have logged countless hours
training and traveling and are out there representing the flag. Go get 'em,
John Porter, Portland
Thanks to Grant
Wahl for an excellent piece on U.S. soccer's Golden Generation (Where in the
World? June 5). Although it probably won't be this year, DaMarcus Beasley,
Bobby Convey, Landon Donovan and Oguchi Onyewu could be the ones to lead the
U.S. to the pinnacle of international soccer--in 2010 or 2014.
Rick Bourdeau, Woodbridge, Conn.
The Tigers? Believe It (June 5), on Detroit's rise from being one of the
alltime worst teams to enjoying contender status, should give hope to Kansas
City Royals fans. If the Royals follow the Tigers' model of hiring a World
Series--winning manager who played for their organization early in his career
and is not shy about going into a tirade, you may be preparing an article about
the resurgent Royals in a few years. Of course the guy who fits this
description for the Royals is Lou Piniella.
Jeff Appelgate, Prosser, Wash.
As a member of the
Goochland (Va.) High Bulldogs baseball team, I'm delighted to see Justin
Verlander, a former student from this small school, draw comparisons with one
of the greatest Tigers rookies of all time, Mark Fidrych (Birds of a Feather,
June 5). Justin is the first athlete from Goochland to make it to the big
leagues, and he has inspired us to make it into the state tournament. You never
know--a state title and World Series ring would look good in our trophy
Zachary Burton Wilcox, Sandy Hook, Va.
After watching the NCAA championship in April, I figured it was time to turn
off basketball until November, when college hoops starts up again. But Phil
Taylor's On the Rebound (Scorecard, June 5), about the NBA playoffs, got me to
tune in to a few NBA playoff games, and I realized it was time to give the pros
another chance. Now my basketball season will run from October to June.
Joanna Shapes, Stamford, Conn.
Do you see the irony in Kansas State's dismissing point guard Mario Taybron for
violating its substance-abuse policy when it just hired coach Bob Huggins
(Inside College Basketball, June 5), 19 of whose Cincinnati players or recruits
were charged with crimes as he led the Bearcats onto NCAA probation for lack of
institutional control? Oh, and in 2004 he was himself arrested for DUI.
Ronnie Short, De Graff, Ohio
Just Saying No
I was touched by Rick Reilly's column about Nick End, the Carnegie Mellon
runner who was disqualified from the NCAA Division III 10,000-meter final
because his coach, Dario Donatelli, clicked the wrong button on the online
entry form. (Life of Reilly, June 5). You confirmed for me that the NCAA is
made up of bureaucrats rigidly devoted to inconsequential rules and hypocrites
enamored of fame and money. Their victim is a true student-athlete whose
integrity the NCAA is supposed to uphold. As a grad of Carnegie Mellon,
however, I wonder how a university with a strong reputation in computer
sciences has a track coach who can't properly manipulate a mouse?
Kevin Shields, Wilmette, Ill.
NCAA should now
stand for No Corrections Are Allowed.
John Walsh, Weymouth, Mass.