Throughout my lifetime of avidly following sports, I have been awed by Henry Aaron, dazzled by Muhammad Ali and thrilled by Michael Jordan. And yet for some reason I have never loved any athlete as I have Joe Namath (Where Have You Gone, Joe Namath? Aug. 9). It has been nearly 40 years since he began his professional football career, and the guy still gives me goose bumps. Magnificent cover and story.
Craig Russelburg, Indianapolis
For a minute I thought it was 1972 and I was back in third grade. There was a young Joe Willie in his prime, with the long hair and green Jets jersey, just as I remember him. I still have the autograph he gave me in 1968 as he jogged off the field after practice at Hofstra. My father, Jets reserve quarterback King Corcoran, was jealous because all the girls mobbed Joe and no one looked at him.
Jimmy Corcoran, Boca Raton, Fla.
The book excerpt seeks an inordinate amount of sympathy for a man who continues to have a solid relationship with his kids, remains in a top income bracket and is still generally revered in American sports. In my small town there are stories of despair and trauma that make Joe's life look like a day at the beach. Daily living includes problems, endurance and, hopefully, redemption. When some of my friends finally make it across a far deeper abyss to the other side, then I might find time to be a little more concerned for Joe.
A cover and 12 pages devoted to a mediocre quarterback whose legacy is panty hose, fur coats and a phony Southern drawl? The media obsession with Namath is way over the top. I grew up in the New York area in the '70s and even we didn't worship the guy like this. Super Bowl III is long gone, folks. Let it go.
Chris Cullum, Gastonia, N.C.