How great is it that people all over the world are willing to relinquish hatred, racism and extremism, all for the good of the game? The story of the Palestine soccer team is so heartwarming that after reading it, one cannot help but feel that the players and the Palestinian nation are winners.
Steve Stoute, Philadelphia
Grant Wahl's article on the Palestine soccer team (Welcome to the World, Aug. 8) was compelling, but there were parts that struck me as inflammatory. On the one hand he attempts to show that the vast majority of Palestinians are regular people; on the other he seems to go out of his way to take shots at Israel and paint the Israeli soldiers as robotic killers, referring to them as "machine-gun-wielding guards." Saying they were stationed at the West Bank without the provocative language would have been just fine.
Jared Wiesel, Cedarhurst, N.Y.
I can relate to your article on pain (Sports Medicine's New Frontiers, Aug. 8), especially the part that referred to cyclists who were able to manage pain when initially told how far they would have to ride but whose pain increased and production declined when the distance was not disclosed. The same thing happened to me while I was training in the Marines. When informed that I had to run 10 miles, I did it with ease. Yet when told to just run without a word about the distance I wound up exhausted.
Dallas C. Clark Jr.
In 1994 my father underwent surgery to repair a slipped disk in his neck. Afterward he experienced severe pain in his sciatic nerve and struggled to communicate this with others. Heavy doses of opiates could dull his pain only slightly until he passed away in 2006. The pain he suffered never made sense to me, but David Epstein's interpretation of the science of this part of the human existence helped me understand my father's pain.