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Your story on Missouri's success in basketball this year (Flying Tigers, March 2) should have cautioned that the Tigers have racked up 21 NCAA tournament appearances without a single trip to the Final Four. The Tigers are to the month of March what the Cubs are to October.
S.L. Price captured the essence of Bobby Orr (The Ever Elusive, Always Inscrutable and Still Incomparable Bobby Orr, March 2). In the hockey-crazed Boston metro area in the 1960s and '70s, whether in pickup street hockey games or during youth hockey events, Orr was the player we all emulated. If anyone was so bold as to put on his number 4, they were mercilessly ridiculed. You had to earn that jersey. Gretzky was certainly the Great One, but Orr will always be the Greatest.
I remember the big bad Bruins coming to Vancouver in the early '70s and running roughshod over the expansion Canucks. About the only satisfaction we would get was when one of the Vancouver players stapled Orr to the boards or goaded him into a fight. He had a quick fuse and on more then one occasion he would just lose it—a master of his craft insulted by the puny efforts of a team of muckers and grinders. He didn't suffer fools then, and I'm glad to see he hasn't changed.
Chris Ballard's column about wondering how best to explain his love of basketball to his 2½-year-old daughter (POINT AFTER, March 2) brought tears and smiles. I immediately sent the article to my father and brother, thinking as I sent it of the ball handling drills assigned by my dad on the sidewalk while the two of them played game after game of one-on-one in the driveway. I will never forget my family playing basketball each and every night—except in March, of course. I appreciate your bringing back the memories, and making me realize that my five-year-old son's are just beginning.
Thanks for reminding us why we love basketball. For me it's remembering what my dad said 25 years ago: "I'm not cutting that branch. You have to shoot over it!" For my dad, it's probably knowing that the tradition of taking a Thursday off in mid-March is being passed on for generations to come.
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