Is it a coincidence that you have Barack Obama at the top of your cover and a Pittsburgh Steelers player (Who's Gonna Stop 'Em Now?, Jan. 19) leaping into the air whose jersey reads WASHINGTON? By putting them together you have honored our first president and also the first black president.
Adam McLaughlin, Kearney, Neb.
The Debate Rages On
The college football season begins with Division I-A teams ranked by a vote. Then, the season ends with ... a vote? Without a playoff system (Get Used to It, Jan. 19), the regular season amounts to meaningless reality television whereby networks, sponsors and universities cash in but the stars of the show (the players) go unrewarded to the very end. Why don't we just call Division I-A football what it actually is:
Daniel Campaigne, Oceanside, Calif.
I notice that it's always fans or writers who demand a playoff system to determine the national champion in Division I-A football. Rarely do I hear of players asking to play more games. I wonder how Willis McGahee (whose knee injury in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl nearly cost him a pro career) and today's collegians with NFL aspirations would feel about adding more high-intensity games to their schedules.
Paul E. Terrile, Singapore
The Test of Time
I agreed with the sentiments about loyalty and coaching expressed by Joe Posnanski in his essay about Boston College and recently fired football coach Jeff Jagodzinksi (PLAYERS, Jan. 19). But I find it interesting that whenever I read an article like this that praises long-term, small-college coaches, it's always guys who have experienced incredible success. Philadelphia University basketball coach Herb Magee has 871 wins, and Carson-Newman football coach Ken Sparks has a 276--70 record in 29 years. But who believes Sparks would be taking homemade cakes to the college president's office if he were 140--206 in 29 years? Who thinks he would even have lasted 29 years? Show me coaches who are mediocre for 30 years but who still "make a difference in kids' lives," and I'll believe in all this goodness.
Jeffrey Becker, Allen, Texas
In Dan Patrick's list of the best tear-jerking moments in sports movies (JUST MY TYPE, Jan. 19), he left off some good ones:
? Rocky III, when Mickey dies in the locker room and Rocky is screaming, "Mick, Mick."
? Remember the Titans, when Gerry Bertier is left paralyzed by a car accident.
? The Champ, when Ricky Schroder stands over his dying father, screaming, "Don't leave me, champ."
Holly West, Highland Falls, N.Y.