100,000 AAdvantage miles for your thoughts.
We enjoy hearing what you think about the magazine — so much so that if your letter to the editor is published in a 2011 issue, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win 100,000 AAdvantage® miles. Want a chance at the miles? Simply ?e-mail your thoughts to us at ?editor@americanwaymag.com.
FEELS LIKE HOME
Thank you so much for the hometown feeling that the Jan. 15 Super Bowl issue inspired. Asking Troy Aikman to write an article in first person was brilliant! As a ’Boys fan from childhood, I was seduced by the new sleek cover with our pride and joy to spend time reading AW instead of my usual business fare. It was delightful to read the interplay between Eric Celeste and the audience in “Play by Play.” I soon wished I had saved enough vacation time to spend Bowl weekend in Texas instead of in my usual party hangout in Missouri. AW threw a touchdown with this issue. Good luck the rest of the year on the extra points. The readers are the ones walking away the winners!
Craig Carson, Hollister, Mo.
 
Editor Adam Pitluk responds: Craig, you have the honor of being the first person to write in about the Super Bowl issue and the great #8 on the cover. So glad you enjoyed it. I’m just happy Aikman said yes when we approached him to write the story, a rather unprecedented move for him.

SOMEONE TO LOOK UP TO
I had the pleasure of flying with American Airlines from Dallas to Toronto for the holidays with my 12-year-old daughter. I spotted an interesting article in the Dec. 1 issue about country music sensation Taylor Swift. I was impressed by her wholesome, down-to-earth image and her positive influence on young girls.

Knowing that my daughter was a big fan, I encouraged her to read the article. Much to my surprise, she read the story [in its entirety], and for my daughter to read a magazine article from [start to finish] … well, that is saying a lot!

In this age of famous stars who continuously provide negative publicity for tabloid consumption, it is refreshing to see an article on such a positive role model like Taylor Swift who our children can truly look up to.
Richard Bapst, Southlake, Texas
 
Editor Adam Pitluk responds: You hit the nail on the head vis-à-vis two subjects: 1) It’s extremely hard to find good, cover-worthy role models. We want to put these people on the cover from time to time because we want youngsters to learn to love reading. 2) As the father of two daughters, I know what it’s like to enjoy watching them delight in a positive, family-friendly article. We’re cut from the same cloth, you and I.

IN BRIEF
I fly a lot. I’m based in Dallas, so I fly American most of the time. Years ago, I gave up looking at American Way. It didn’t have anything I was interested in reading. This week, I ran out of my own entertainment and reached for the American Way.

Yes, the first thing I went for was the Sudoku. Delightedly, they had not yet been marked. Unfortunately, I was through with them and still had a lot of trip left. So, I started thumbing through the magazine. What a shock! There were all kinds of articles. Yes, a couple of long ones were there, but better were shorter articles and bits of information.

So why should I care about short articles and news/information bits? By the time I board the plane I am either starting my week, I’ve been up since 3 a.m. to catch an early flight, or it is the end of the week. None of these conditions are conducive to tolerating a long article. The short bits are perfect for a tired brain like mine. I ended up reading the magazine all the way through (long articles included) because it held my attention so well. Thank you for the change. I will now be looking for the new American Way each month to see what is posted!
Matilda Reeder, Dallas
 
Editor Adam Pitluk responds: That’s music to my ears, Matilda. When I was tapped as editor a few years ago, the other editors and I concluded that we were spending too much time on long-form features. We’re not The New Yorker, especially because we have a circulation/readership that more than doubles theirs. The way I saw it was, if more people wanted extremely long features, they’d subscribe to The New Yorker. Since that magazine, generally considered the best collection of long-form journalism, saw its numbers struggling, I thought: “Why spend so much time on long-form features when signs point to the fact that people don’t want them?” After three years and a redesign, I think we’re finally hitting our stride. And the reward is that we are getting our road warriors like you back in our pages. Please let me know what stories you’d like to read in the future.

SWITCHING SIDES?
I recently flew from Indianapolis to Dallas and back again on American Airlines, and I really enjoy reading your magazine whenever I fly with you. I was wondering, though, if my intuition is correct. Your Jan. 15 edition has an article about Troy Aikman in it, and the photo on page 43 immediately started me thinking: I sense that the photo is a reverse image of the real photo, as it seems strange to me that Troy would have been sprinting to his left with the ball in his left hand, since he is right-handed. Then I looked a little closer, at the number on the lineman’s back behind him, and I think I see a backward number. This was a nice article, but I was just wondering about the photo. Any info you can give me would be nice.
Thomas E. Ford, Indianapolis
 
Design Director David W. Radabaugh responds: It’s always nice to hear from someone who looks a little closer. Knowing that the photograph offered only a few clues to the casual observer regarding its correct orientation, I reversed the image so that the past and present Aikmans could meet each other’s gaze. I’ve been anxiously waiting for this letter, Thomas. You’re literally one in a million!