Jeff MacGregor's Huck Finn's Last Ride (Dec. 4) on the aging of Brett Favre did an excellent job of describing the relationship between Packers fans and the man they've cheered for the last 15 years. As age moves Favre out of the Huck Finn zone, the cover suggests his next role. I definitely see a future QB-wan Kenobi ready to train an apprentice to take on the dark side of the NFL.
Glenn Wolter, Portage, Mich.
From the Dylan Thomas poem to MacGregor's assessment that the greatness of a player like Favre and his inevitable decline mirror our own hopes for greatness and the fears we have of our own "diminishment and the final goodbye," Huck Finn's Last Ride was not only insightful, it was also soul-stirring. Bears fans hate the Packers, just as Packer fans hate us, but when Favre takes the field at Soldier Field for what may be his last game, he will get a standing O, not just for being the best, but for raging against the dying of the light. How appropriate is it that the game will be played on New Year's Eve?
Chris Evans, Naperville, Ill.
How many times have my buddy and I, sitting at our favorite sports bar, looked at each other and said, "What the hell kinda pass was that?" often followed by, "Wasn't that a great pass? Only Favre could do that!"? Not only will Green Bay fans miss Brett when he retires, the NFL will also miss this one-of-a-kind player.
Doug Geer, Wichita, Kans.
I just received the FOOTBALL AMERICA issue of SI (Dec. 4), and although I haven't yet read a single word, I can tell from the cover that it will be my favorite issue ever. I could not have asked for a better Christmas present than the greatest sports magazine in the world saturated with the best sport in the world.
Shawn Wood, Charlotte
I was pleased that most of the football photographs showed players on real fields. Grass, mud, dirt—yes! Rubber streaks, rug burns—no!
Mark Vitali, Hacienda Heights, Calif.
Nancie Battaglia's fabulous photograph of young Adam Sherwin hauling water to muddied players captures the essence of how important his assignment is to him. Norman Rockwell could not have captured this moment better.
Don Richards, Front Royal, Va.
I was very disappointed that you did not include anything about women's football. America has many full-tackle women's football teams, including my team, the Philadelphia Phoenix.
Cynthia Corisdeo, Philadelphia
Murphy is right: Football rocks. For a quarter century the former employees of a now-defunct Grand Junction Pizza in Dallas have assembled at the local junior high football field early every Thanksgiving morning to earn our turkey. Good weather is fine for the spectators, but for us players it is anathema; the great games, the memorable ones, are always played in driving rain, standing water or stinging sleet. Our oldest participant is 56; the youngest are our children. Our game's origins may eventually be lost to the passage of time, but its purpose will always be clear: It is a reunion, an affirmation of toughness and a tie to our youth.
Ross Miller, Richardson, Texas
I want to humbly say fumalk apoplia (thank you) for Rick Reilly's column on buying malaria nets for Africa (LIFE OF REILLY, Dec. 4). After reading it, I immediately went to the website and bought a net to save a child. I could have been one of those children who died from the disease. I lived in Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1969, when I was five years old, and I was bitten by a mosquito. I became very ill with malaria, and my mother told me later that she feared for my life. The doctors told her there was nothing they or she could do except make me comfortable and hope and pray. I still have recurring nightmares about that time, but I did get better. When I realized that there was a way I could prevent other children from experiencing this disease, I gladly sent my money. There are so many nasty things going on in this world that I feel helpless to stop or make better, but this is one way I can help.
Linda Esry, Eufaula, Ala.
Reading about the Nothing But Nets campaign once again brought tears to my eyes. I admit I forgot to donate the first time around, but today I submitted my donation online. I am going to cut out Reilly's article, enclose a note about the donation, and give it to my 18 year-old sports-fan son as a reminder that $20 at Christmastime can buy a lot more than a video game. Merry Christmas to the kids who need a net, and I hope others will consider making this donation as a gift to someone.
Mary Frates, Lakeland, Fla.