David Halberstam quotes Ron Jaworski's opinion that Belichick's first Super Bowl victory, over the St. Louis Rams, was the greatest professional football coaching job ever. But let's not forget the job done by Weeb Ewbank coaching the New York Jets in Super Bowl III.
Elliot Davis, New York City
Rose Bowl Reservations
Regarding Can Anybody Beat USC? (Oct. 17): I am not sure anyone can, but it would be a shame if Alabama finishes the year undefeated and is not matched up against the Trojans for the championship, regardless of what Texas has done. USC got a free pass by Auburn last year, getting pitted against Oklahoma for the title. The SEC is still where the best football is played.
Mitchell Tyre, Norcross, Ga.
The Wie Controversy
At the Samsung World Championship, SI senior writer Michael Bamberger reported to officials that 16-year-old golfer Michelle Wie, who was making her professional debut in the tournament, might have taken an illegal drop in the third round (below). After an investigation Wie, who had finished the tournament in fourth place, was disqualified and denied $53,126 in prize money. In the Oct. 24 SCORECARD, SI published an account, written by senior writer Alan Shipnuck, of how Bamberger made the decision, the day after the drop, to speak with officials. The magazine has received more than 1,200 letters about the incident; all but a handful have been critical of Bamberger and SI.
Bamberger made a mistake by not promptly informing a rules official of the violation he thought Michelle Wie might have incurred. He was certainly aware that a two-stroke penalty could have been enforced before she signed her card, and she could have continued and won her first check. By waiting he caused Wie to be disqualified and ruined her wonderful debut. His action in pointing out the infraction too late was a far more serious violation of fairness than Wie's innocent rules violation.
Ronald Gries, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
I find it amazing that Bamberger says, "To stand in silence when you see an infraction is an infraction itself." Is that not exactly what he did--until the next day?
Jim Welch, Kenosha, Wis.
I applaud Wie and her father for their sportsmanship. I equate this rule-adherence insanity to looking back after a seven-game baseball playoff series to a slow-motion replay of something that happened in Game 4 and switching the winner as a result.
Kim Dahabsu, Tinton Falls, N.J.
I agree with all of Alan Shipnuck's article on Bamberger's actions regarding Wie, with one exception. Bamberger, being a former professional caddie and only six feet away, might simply have said, "I think you might be closer to the hole with that drop" and avoided the whole fiasco.
Tim Eagan, Waltham, Mass.
Bamberger did us all a service. His belated whistle-blowing presented Wie with her first great challenge as a professional athlete. She met this challenge with extraordinary grace and maturity, demonstrating judgment and strength of character beyond her years. She offered no excuse or long explanation. What a marvelous role model.
David D. Higgins, Kamuela, Hawaii