All the attention paid to the shake-up in the Big 12 and LeBron's free agency will fade with time, but the fiasco that is the Gulf oil spill will no doubt continue to affect us for generations. Football and basketball are just games. What's going on in the waters so close to all of us is about life and death.
Benjamin David, Port Washington, N.Y.
Gary Smith has eloquently expressed our anger, heartache and hopelessness over the Gulf of Mexico horror (7 Days in the Life of a Catastrophe, July 5). He also illuminated the courage and faith of those who still have a spark of hope.
Charles Elliott Bernice, La.
Call to Arms
I loved Albert Chen's article (Year of the Pitcher, July 5). In a time when so much attention is devoted to offense, the pitching staff and defense don't get enough credit. As a Reds fan I was pleased to see righthander Mike Leake mentioned; however, setup man Arthur Rhodes's streak of 33 appearances without giving up a run tied a major league record. Not too shabby for a 40-year-old!
Nathan Bryant, Hope, Ind.
I enjoyed your article about the Jack Johnson--Jim Jeffries fight of July 4, 1910 (SCORECARD, July 5). However, I think you might be assigning it too much importance as a defining point in our country's social development. The fight, rather than any indication of racial superiority, was generally recognized for what it was: a public relations sham, contrived by fight promoters who were eager to capitalize financially on the emotions evoked by Johnson's antics. Jeffries was widely considered to be overweight, out of shape and well beyond his best days. As your article noted, Johnson alternately taunted, then pummeled the unfortunate Jeffries. So let's recognize the fight for what it was—a colossal mismatch and a disgrace to the sport of boxing; but hardly a watershed moment in our country's race relations.
James Coleman, Easton, Md.