I thoroughly enjoyed Alexander Wolff's article on the early-20th-century paintings of George Bellows (The Art of Boxing). I was particularly struck by the differences between Bellows's work from 1909 (Stag at Sharkey's and Both Members of This Club) and from 1924 (Dempsey and Firpo). The two earlier pieces remind me of MMA because of the fighter's outfits and the viciousness that is depicted, while Bellows's later work more reflects the style of modern boxing.
John D. Reith, Alachua, Fla.
Thank you for giving me a great illustration of why I teach Bellows's work in my high school art class. His work is a prime example of how art history can be relevant in current pop culture and sports, making it cool for students to want to learn about it.
I was disappointed with your picture from the NCAA men's lacrosse championship (LEADING OFF). The photo seems to glorify an illegal and late check to the head of Loyola's Davis Butts, which resulted in a one-minute penalty to Maryland's Brian Cooper.