Nadal and Roger Federer trade shot after spectacular shot for almost five hours
was magnificent. It is refreshing to have a rivalry defined by mutual respect,
competitive fire, hard work and a flair for the dramatic. "The greatest
match ever played" may have been won by Rafa, but we fans were the true
Ray Bailey, Ottawa, Ill.
ever? How can Nadal-Federer (The Spin Master, July 14--21) be more exciting
than the marathon between John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg in 1980, which included
an 18--16 fourth set? Borg's 8--6 victory in the fifth concluded a true
Andrew Green, Erie, Colo.
essay on his time embedded with the Broncos gave the best description of the
mental and emotional challenges of playing in the NFL that I have seen in print
(Players, July 14--21). I voluntarily left the NFL following the 1996 season
after four years as a center in Arizona and one in Seattle. Even today I still
have dreams this time of year in which I'm late to a meeting, getting berated
by a coach or can't find the stadium. Being a professional football player is
one of the top 10 most stressful jobs in the country. Yes, there is glory,
money and fame, but the men who play the game America loves are paying a price
that may negatively impact them for the rest of their lives. And no amount of
money can change that.
Ed Cunningham, Venice, Calif.
While the lack of
guaranteed contracts and potential for serious injury clearly make the NFL the
least player-friendly major sports league, the insinuation that we should feel
sorry for these players is pathetic. We all compete to reach our career goals.
While the average American household income is $48,201, NFL athletes play for a
median annual salary of $770,000.
Matthew Blecha, Chicago
Where Are They
Thanks for your
update on Jim Abbott (Where Are They Now?, July 14--21). My sons and I attended
many Royals games, arriving early and staying late to get autographs. Many
players would dodge requests, even from children. After a game one night Abbott
exited the stadium carrying a bag in his one hand. My son Joel ran up to him to
ask him for his autograph. Abbott put down his bag, tucked the baseball under
his arm and signed it. He still represents all that is right with sports.
Dan Thomas, Pretty Prairie, Kans.
If the Hall of
Fame is going to keep Pete Rose out because he harmed the game, why doesn't it
put in Abbott, who, despite his losing record, inspired so many?
Rick Hopelain, Mill Valley, Calif.
Anna Kournikova a
mature, intelligent adult. Who knew? The fact that she's turned out so nicely
despite hangers-on trying to steer her in the opposite direction might be the
sports story of the year.
Andy Amey, West Terre Haute, Ind.