Reilly shouldn't have suggested that Alex Smith is greedy for entering the NFL when he did. He graduated from Utah with a 3.7 GPA two years before the draft--after only two years in college--and was nearly finished with his master's degree in economics at the time he was selected by the 49ers. Smith was a great student-athlete.
Gary C. Walker, Idaho Falls, Idaho
Ship of Fools
As a native of Minnesota, I have remained a dedicated--and sometimes brave--fan of the Minnesota Vikings while living in Wisconsin in the shadow of the Packers for 30 years. After the latest in a series of poor choices, however, by Vikings players and coaches (Adrift on Lake Woebegone, Oct. 24), I find it hard to support a team that has become morally corrupt and the laughingstock of the NFL. Go Packers!
Richard J. Olson, Neenah, Wis.
Nearly 20 years ago our fantasy football league instituted a system of fines for any franchise owning a player who got into legal trouble. We call it the Viking Rule, and it's been a great source of league revenue ever since. All fines go toward funding our year-end banquet, which, by the way, does not include strippers or cruise boats.
Jim Hansen, LaCrosse, Wis.
Under Two Flags
As the brother and agent of runner Meb Keflezighi, I want to thank you for Tim Layden's superb story ("I Am an American", Oct. 31). I wish, however, to correct the description of Meb as "Ethiopian-born." Our native country, Eritrea, was illegally annexed by Ethiopia in 1962. Meb was born more than a decade into the ensuing war of independence and has always considered himself an Eritrean, never an Ethiopian. Describing Meb as "Ethiopian-born" undermines the Eritreans' 30-year struggle to secure independence, in which thousands of lives were lost. Eritrea was liberated on May 24, 1991. Meb, a product of two nations, runs every race proudly wearing a pin (above right) that shows the flags of Eritrea and the United States. Meb is a proud Eritrean-American.
Merhawi Keflezighi, Los Angeles
EDITOR'S NOTE: The phrase was inserted in editing to clarify the circumstances of Meb's birth in what was then disputed territory.