In your favorite feat No. 14, Mark Spitz not only won seven gold medals, but all seven were also world records. That makes his feat all the more outstanding.
JON CHESLER, Cleveland
Thank you for putting at least one list together that does not include Michael Jordan.
MIKE WISNER, Sugar Hill, Ga.
The superb article by Rick Reilly on boxer Billy Miske (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Dec. 27-Jan. 3) showed that Miske had the compassion, willpower and guts to help his family, and he fought bravely although he had nothing left. I hope today's sports stars will read the article and put their lives into perspective.
TIMOTHY HORNEMAN, Oswego, Ill.
While your magazine did a fine job of reviewing this century's greatest teams, athletes and moments, Reilly's piece on Miske captured the essence of sport.
TIM SCHULER, Los Angeles
L. Jon Wertheim noted, with apparent disappointment, that the Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki (Fast Developing, Jan. 10) "still doesn't fit the mold of the modern pro athlete." Here's hoping he never does! Nowitzki's "night on the town," at museums and the symphony, will put him in better company than that kept by most pro athletes. I hope Nowitzki influences his teammates, rather than the other way around.
C. STUART MAUNEY, Taylors, S.C.
Men with Foresight
I am one of the 10,621 charter subscribers of SI still receiving the magazine, as mentioned in your Dec. 27-Jan. 3 issue (LETTERS). I have saved and preserved every issue, including the premier issue of Aug. 16, 1954. The 2,400 magazines, including special issues, are stored in 46 boxes in my basement. The 1954 box, of course, is only about one-third full. Collectors need not contact me; the magazines are not for sale.
REVEREND FRANK J. MACK, Keithsburgh, Ill.
I remember your premier issue very well, as I am one of the remaining charter subscribers. Those who make it to 50 years should at least get a free year's worth of SI.
HERB C. HELFRICH, Las Vegas
Tight Ends for the Ages
I enjoyed Leigh Montville's article about Tony Gonzalez of the Chiefs (Chief Weapon, Dec. 27-Jan. 3). I, too, find Gonzalez to be an incredible athlete and the prototype for the tight end of the future. However, I take exception to the omission of Wesley Walls from your shortlist of the NFL's top tight ends. Including the game on Feb. 6, Walls will have played in four consecutive Pro Bowls since joining the Panthers in 1996. He will have started in three of them. This season he tied the league's single-season record for the most touchdowns by a tight end, with 12.
BRAD BUTER, Boulder, Colo.
Law and Order
Your article on Rae Carruth (First-Degree Tragedy, Dec. 27-Jan. 3) was fairly presented until it said that Rae's mom knew that fugitives "often end up dead." Often means frequently, generally or usually. Can't anyone resist cheap shots at the cops? Thousands of fugitives are arrested annually without incident—as was the case with Carruth. Rarely do they end up dead.
DAVID CHISHOLM Crossville, Tenn.
I applaud Danny Ainge's decision to retire from coaching (INSIDE THE NBA, Dec. 27-Jan. 3). He clearly has the desire to nurture, teach, be a role model and instill respect and values, which children need. Now he can focus on his own children rather than the ones who play in the NBA.
TIM MCCAIN, Chesterfield, Mo.