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Your exposé on Michael Jordan (“Air Sick,” 5/16) demonstrates what happens to aspiring muckrakers who become overly enamored with their own flatulence. Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of what it takes to be successful as a professional athlete recognizes Jordan’s nearly unparalleled stature as a competitor. No, he’s not a nobleman, the Messiah, or Mike Almighty. But in his brief tenure with the Wizards, he gave the fans in this city something to cheer about. Behind the legend and the hype, there’s just a fallible mortal who excels at tossing a 9-inch ball through an 18-inch rim for our amusement. Even with a bad back and ailing knees, he still managed to routinely outplay and outscore guys half his age.

Michael Jordan’s appeal has little to do with his business savvy, his shoe contracts, or his restaurants. After all, basketball’s highest-paid product endorser will soon be a high-school kid from Cleveland who’s never scored a single point in the top ranks of amateur or professional competition. What makes Jordan special is his ability to perform with a degree of determination, professionalism, and prowess that has redefined our notions of what a human being can achieve, both in his prime and beyond it. Marveling at the exploits of a Michael Jordan, a Tiger Woods, or a Mia Hamm allows us to share a dream—to envision ourselves attaining greatness in what we do. Apparently, such a grand notion is too lofty for the cynical writers who concocted this smear campaign from the anecdotes of disgruntled barflies and lounge leeches.