For years I've heard of the dread SI cover jinx: An athlete or team pictured on your cover supposedly loses or suffers some misfortune the following week. The week of the NFC Championship Game between the Rams and the 49ers, your Jan. 15 cover featured Jerry Rice of San Francisco. I figured the game would be close, so I wondered if the jinx might be the deciding factor, tipping the scales in the Rams' favor. Well, I wonder no more, because when it counted the most, the SI cover jinx failed miserably. Thanks for nothing!
BILL D. CONSOLI
Computer Systems Manager
Los Angeles Rams
KNIGHT VS. FUNDERBURKE
I would like to clarify something in Curry Kirk Patrick's story on the departure of Lawrence Funderburke from the Indiana basketball program (Funderburke vs. Knight, Jan. 22). Kirkpatrick states that "Funderburke is not the first Indiana player to find life in Bloomington unbearable." He lists Larry Bird and Mike Giomi, among others, as players who have left the program, implying that they did so because of problems with coach Bob Knight.
Bird, who is from the very rural southern Indiana town of French Lick, left Indiana because he felt overwhelmed by the large campus. He praises coach Knight in his recent autobiography, Drive: The Story of My Life. As for Giomi, he was dismissed from the team for skipping classes.
I believe Indiana is better off without Funderburke. He comes across as terribly immature, and the fact that he was dismissed from his high school team in his senior season speaks volumes.
JON D. KRAMER
Rye Brook, N.Y.
Funderburke was right when he recognized his need for discipline before enrolling at Indiana. It's too bad he didn't have the guts to stick it out there. Knight is no saint, but Funderburke seems to be yet another example of the pampered, egocentric, multitalented athlete who believes rules are for the other guy.
There is no question of Funderburke's talent, regardless of which uniform he wears during his collegiate career. The important question is whether he will ever grow up.
MCENROE GETS THE HEAVE-HO
I read with delight Craig Neff's story about John McEnroe (Booted Out Down Under, Jan. 29). I used to follow professional tennis but became disgusted with the infantile behavior of some players, primarily McEnroe and Jimmy Conners.
In no way can McEnroe's abusive behavior be justified, and I was encouraged to see that at least one tournament, the Australian Open, decided that it could not be tolerated.
Tennis is a great sport. It need not be tainted by the antics of a spoiled brat.
WILLIAM G. ANDERSON
Hurrah for Ken Farrar, the man who called for McEnroe's disqualification. It's about time someone had the courage to stand up for sportsmanship instead of buckling under to the almighty dollar. Let's hope the trend continues, and tennis and other sports return to being sports instead of brawls—verbal and otherwise.