Steve Rushin's column about Carl Pendleton's giving up football to care for his young cousin, Kierstan, really hit home (AIR AND SPACE, Nov. 13). The most important thing that needs to happen now is for Oklahoma president David Boren to step up and award Carl a complete scholarship for his postgraduate education.
David H. Schock, Emerald Isle, N.C.
I am a physician who specializes in sports medicine, and I want to thank Rick Reilly for his illuminating column on Giants running back Tiki Barber (LIFE OF REILLY, Nov. 13). I can't imagine my beloved Giants without Barber, but as much as I am dismayed to see him go, I am 10 times more angered by the resounding criticism of him for leaving the game. Memories fade and new ones are created, but cartilage is irreplaceable. As doctors we can fix many things, but we cannot yet fix arthritis. The pain and debilitation are forever.
Dr. Andrew M. Blecher, Los Angeles
Reilly quotes Michael Irvin describing Barber as a quitter. I wonder if Irvin would say the same thing about Jim Brown, who left the NFL when he saw fit. One thing is certain: He wouldn't dare say that to Brown's face.
Jim Primock, Boulder, Colo.
If you have to paralyze yourself in order to be put on the list at Canton, maybe we should rename it the Hall of Lame.
John Wyatt, Dallas, Ga.
My thumb crunches and hurts when I move it, an injury I got as a 15-year-old playing the offensive line. Barber owes me nothing, and I commend him for placing his family—and his body—before thoughts of a ring or the Hall of Fame.
Tim Speciale, Iowa City
Every time athletes sign a big contract, we call them selfish. We recall those who we thought played for the love of the game, but when Barber confirmed he is going to retire and leave several million dollars on the table, we labeled him a quitter and questioned his heart.
Robert Dulgarian, Maricopa, Ariz.
Lance Armstrong breaks the three-hour barrier in his first marathon, and he's referred to as "a midpacker" (SCORECARD, Nov. 13)? According to race results, 38,368 runners started, Armstrong finished 868th overall (that puts him in the top 2.25%), and only the top 889 finishers broke three hours. The rest of us true "midpackers" would love to do that well in any marathon, let alone our first.
Andrew Hitchings, Sacramento