I see that one of the six regional covers for your Oct. 27 NBA Preview asks the question, "How far can Elton Brand take the Sixers?" Given the power forward's injury history—he played just eight games last year with the Clippers—I think the real question is, "How far can the Sixers take Elton Brand?"
Noam Dinovitz, Baltimore
Cities Without Pity
I sympathize with the plight of Philadelphia fans who endured 100 seasons without a championship (Historically, We Suck, Oct. 27), but what about Cleveland? The the Browns won the city's last championship in 1964. If you take the 44 years since that happened for both the Browns and the Indians, then add 38 years for the Cavs since they entered the NBA in 1970, the total is 126 championship-less seasons. If you want to feel bad for a city, Cleveland has to be at the top of the list.
John McClain, Osceola, Ind.
Cry me a river, Philly. Do you know what it's like to be a sports fan in San Diego? The Padres have zero World Series titles, and their last appearance was an embarrassing sweep by the Yankees in 1998. Super Bowl appearances? The Chargers had one, in 1995, and they were creamed by the Niners, 49--26. The memory of Steve Young's 44-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Rice three plays into the game is as heartbreaking as it gets.
Karen Billing, San Diego
I returned from three days in the ICU, where my son was treated for postconcussive syndrome, only to retrieve my mail and see your story on concussions in high school football (PLAYERS, Oct. 27). My son was blindsided, hit helmet-to-helmet in the first quarter, but never said a word and played the whole game with a concussion—his second in three weeks. Two days later his slurred speech and violent headache prompted me to rush him to the ER. He had been released after his first concussion, and I knew nothing about "second impact syndrome" until I read your article. I pray that all high school football parents, refs, trainers and coaches read this story carefully.
Rita M. Dapkey, Lansdowne, Pa.
As a pediatric emergency medicine physician, I see firsthand the minimizing of key symptoms that high school (and even younger) athletes report after a head injury. All head injuries should be taken seriously by the athlete, parent, coach and physician. Not doing this can have deadly consequences. I only wish this article would have also been in my son's SPORTS ILLUSTRATED KIDS.
Michael P. Poirier, Norfolk
Add 3/4 or 1 inch of cushion on the outside of the helmets. Attractive, classy-looking, impact-spreading and absorbing materials are available. The anvils worn as helmets by the players are the problem.
Dr. Samuel A. Nigro
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Around the Corners
I loved your article on NFL cornerbacks (Go Strong or Get Toasted, Oct. 27). Usually the only time we hear about these guys is when they get a penalty or if they are getting burned by T.O. or Randy Moss. It was cool to hear their side. Where else in life can you consider not being embarrassed a great day at the office.
Rollin Herold, Toluca Lake, Calif.