After we've heard about the saintlike character of Dwyane Wade for the
hundredth time, don't you think your readers may have tired of this angle (Leap
Year, June 12)? I sure hope not! After once again reading of his humility and
commitment to his beliefs, it only gives us hope and reminds us there is an
ideal role model for young people.
Charles Johnson, San Augustine, Texas
Thank you, Steve Rushin, for explaining to American sports fans who think they
know sports how amazing international soccer truly is (Air and Space, June 12).
As a former U.S. national team member, I constantly try to explain to the
public that although Allen Iverson, Jerry Rice, Derek Jeter, Muhammad Ali,
Sheryl Swoopes, Karrie Webb and Lisa Fernandez are amazing at their sports,
they all participate in games that are based on hand-eye coordination. Their
skills and agility are analogous to many tasks we learn as kids: how to use a
pencil, fork or toothbrush. Soccer players do those types of things with their
feet. I appreciate Rushin's challenging people to face the facts: Soccer
players are and should be held in the same high esteem as other sports
Brandi Chastain, San Jose
Rushin's column, I immediately checked out all the soccer videos he
recommended. And guess what? While I admire the athleticism and skills on
display, I still don't like soccer. Why must Americans be lectured every four
years about our lack of enthusiasm for someone else's national pastime? We
tried it; we don't like it.
Phil Winters, Pittsburgh
Any sport looks
good in highlight form. How is it the rest of the time? I'll take any 10
minutes of any regular-season game in the NHL--where the object of the game is
roughly the same--over 10 minutes of highlight footage from soccer.
Jerry Payne, Tampa
I'm an avid fan of
football, basketball and baseball, but it's time to embrace a beautiful sport
that unites the world for a month with incomparable pageantry and unparalleled
drama. It's a shame the World Cup only comes around once every four
Ben Sciacca, Birmingham
I'll take Rushin's
challenge to name a U.S. male athlete with a ponytail. How about SI's April 10
cover boy, Joakim Noah?
Anil Adyanthaya, Brookline, Mass.
After I wrote Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson an angry letter because
Steve Smith (Playing with Fire, June 12) beat up teammate Anthony Bright,
Richardson and Smith visited me and my son. They drove four hours round-trip
and stayed for several hours--an incredible commitment by both men. I learned
that day that Steve is very much as you described him: a good man who made a
bad mistake and who has since worked on the aspects of his character that led
Gary Bradt, Summerfield, N.C.
While Smith should
be applauded for seeking counsel to tame his temper, he should also get some
training on how to coach children. The prevailing training methods frown on
exercise as a punishment for children, and Smith's expectation that his team
should be punished the first time they fail to successfully complete a drill is
inappropriate for eight-year-olds. He appears to emphasize teamwork and
camaraderie when he tells his son to celebrate a well-conceived goal with his
teammates, but he still has a way to go.
Justin D. Stein, Princeton Junction, N.J.
In an otherwise thoughtful and thought-provoking piece (Scorecard, June 12) on
sports fans' thirst for disaster, Richard Hoffer asks, "Do you think NASCAR
has become today's money sport because it's so much fun to watch cars turn
left?" Why, yes, I do. There are racetracks on which cars turn left and
drivers have never been killed or seriously injured, and fans still flock to
them. Why? Because two or more cars locked in a side-by-side battle is so much
fun to watch. It's a battle on the edge of control and, yes, the potential for
mayhem is there every instant. The thrill, however, is there because the
drivers are trying to avoid the mayhem, not become victims of it.
Thom Ring, Pascoag, R.I.
As Rick Reilly points out, the quest to climb Everest is big business, it costs
a lot of money, and it still takes lives (Life of Reilly, June 12). These facts
only increase my admiration for Dan Mazur and his fellow climbers--Andrew
Brash, Myles Osborne and Jangbu Sherpa--who gave up their quest only two or
three hours from the peak to save left-for-dead climber Lincoln Hall. Better
yet were the later comments by the climbers that the decision to give up their
quest to help Hall was not only an easy decision but also the only
Robert Harvie, Lethbridge, Alberta