The French Open
Haven't we had enough Andre Agassi-bashing to last a lifetime (It's Hammer Time, June 17)? Let the man play—and wear what he wants to—in peace.
AMANDA E. RANDALL
It's a real shame that two Americans reached the finals of the French Open for the first time since 1954 and not one good thing could be said about either.
Dade City, Fla.
The World Bowl
Here's a shocker: I'm not European, but I enjoyed the World League of American Football anyway (One to Remember, June 17). I have also enjoyed the NFL, the AFL, the World Football League, the USFL, Arena Football, the Canadian Football League and Australian Rules Football. Put it on television, and I'll enjoy it. True, outstanding play was not the hallmark of the WLAF's first season, but the league was fun to watch. I got the feeling the players liked their work, and the fans did, too. I certainly still have fun wearing my San Antonio Riders cap, although most people have no idea what it refers to.
Overland Park, Kans.
Thank you for reporting on the World Bowl. I fell asleep in the first quarter and never found out who won.
WAYNE S. KREGER
Bravo to Sally Jenkins on her female sportscasters story (Who Let Them In? June 17). It's about time the women got the recognition they deserve. But how about also applauding CNN's Hannah Storm and ESPN's Anne Montgomery?
Clifton Park, N.Y.
I enjoyed the piece on the first ladies of sportscasting. I've known Gayle Gardner since 1978, when I was a sports intern at WBZ-TV in Boston, and I worked closely with her during my eight years as a producer at ESPN. A quick story: I remember that during her last year at the sports network, she was suffering from some back problems. Rather than call in sick, she set up her typewriter on a stack of boxes and typed her copy, standing up. She found it too uncomfortable to sit all day, so she limited her sitting to the time she was on the set. It was truly an example of the old sports adage "playing with pain."
Massapequa Park, N.Y.
My compliments to William Nack on his fine article Nobody Knows Their Names (June 10). Back in the 1970s and until 1982, I was in charge of providing dental care to grooms and other backstrech personnel at Arlington International Racecourse and Hawthorne Race Course, both just outside of Chicago. One day an owner told me that the hierarchy in horse racing was a totem pole, with the horse and owner at the very top and the groom down in the dirt. I found backstretch workers to be remarkable examples of the human spirit. They labored hard and long for so little, yet were always able to retain a very high degree of pride and enjoyment in their work.
STEPHEN M. HASHIOKA, D.D.S.
I don't understand how owners who care so much about their horses can allow their horses' caregivers to live in such squalor. This is truly an unfair situation that the owners must correct.
He's Easy to Cover, After All
Seeing Michael Jordan on successive SI covers (June 3, 10 and 17), I wondered who else has appeared on the covers of consecutive issues. I seem to remember Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on back-to-back covers during an L.A. Laker championship drive.
?The first to star on back-to-back covers was N.C. State basketball player Tom Burleson when he helped the Wolfpack win the 1974 NCAA tournament. As reader Nicholls correctly remembers, Abdul-Jabbar was featured on consecutive covers, in 1985. So were the Miami Dolphins' Dan Marino and Georgetown's Patrick Ewing that same year. Thus Jordan is the fifth athlete to appear on successive covers, and the first to be on three in a row. If you count his inset photo on the June 24th cover, he actually made four straight appearances.—ED.