ESPN Kids Writer Mailbag 19

Q: Which is harder, skiing or snowboarding? David from New Jersey
A: David, that's an interesting question. I think it all depends on your experience. A lifelong skier would find that snowboarding is harder, while a lifelong snowboarder would find skiing extremely difficult. For somebody who has never gone skiing or snowboarding, both sports are very hard. They both take a great amount of leg strength and endurance. One thing that the two sports have in common is that they are both a lot of fun. With a little practice, beginning skiers and snowboarders can get past the challenges and become more comfortable and proficient on the slopes.

Q: How many records has Jerry Rice broken? Colby from Virginia
A: Colby, Jerry Rice has actually broken more than 100 records. In addition to his career receiving records, he also holds records like most games with at least 100 yards receiving (76) and most touchdowns after his 40th birthday (10). However, the records Jerry Rice is most famous for are most career receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895), touchdown catches (197) and total touchdowns (208) [197 receiving, 10 rushing, one fumble return].

Q: Who is the best overall pro basketball player since the league began? Shay from Alabama
A: Shay, that's a tough question! There have been many great NBA players. Wilt Chamberlain is known as the best rebounder of all-time; while John Stockton is considered the top point guard. Greats such as Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Larry Bird are also routinely mentioned among the best ever to play the game. In my opinion, and in the opinion of many other basketball fans, Michael Jordan is the best all-around player in basketball history. In addition to being a phenomenal scorer, Jordan could handle the ball and was a great passer. He was one of the best defensive players of his generation and led his team to six NBA championships. While other players may be great rebounders, passers or shooters, nobody has had the all-around skills of Michael Jordan.

Q: What is the hardest sport you ever played? Destiny from Massachusetts
A: Destiny, I have played a number of sports, and all have presented their own unique challenges. I would have to say that soccer is the toughest sport I have played. There is a lot of running in soccer. In addition to that, players have to control the ball with their feet, which is a difficult skill to learn. During a game, you have to keep in mind where the other players are positioned on the field, so that you can make the right play when the ball comes your way. It's taxing both physically and mentally, but also a lot of fun!

Q: After the Yankees, which pro baseball team has won the most World Series? Ryder from California
A: Ryder, as you know, the Yankees have won an incredible 27 World Series. After the Bronx Bombers, the most successful team in baseball history is the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals have won 10 World Series, most recently in 2006.

Q: In ice hockey, what does "icing" mean? Nichole from Massachusetts
A: Nichole, icing is when a player on a defending team shoots the puck across two red lines (usually the center ice line and the opposing team's back line). If this happens, the referee whistles the play over, and the game resumes with a faceoff back in the zone of the defending team. The point of icing is to prevent a team from simply clearing the puck every time it gets control, which would make for a less exciting game.

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