Political football?PERHAPS Baltimoreans should be...

NOTES AND COMMENTS

May 30, 1998

Political football?

PERHAPS Baltimoreans should be understanding. After all, former Colts fans cursed Robert Irsay until the day he died (and then some) for abducting their football team to Indianapolis. Even so, a recent column in the Cleveland Plain Dealer made one wonder when Browns fans plan to get a life.

Plain Dealer editorial page director Brent Larkin urged Clevelanders in a May 17 column to contribute to Republican Ellen Sauerbrey's gubernatorial campaign as a way of taking revenge on Democratic Gov. Parris N. Glendening for luring Art Modell and the Browns to Baltimore in 1995.

The Cleveland Browns became the Baltimore Ravens, whereby the National Football League nearly sprained an ankle rushing to fill the void in Cleveland -- quite the opposite of the league's decade of indifference to the Colts' flight from Baltimore. The NFL has agreed to cover $15 million in cost overruns, on top of $48 million it was already contributing, toward a stadium for a new Browns team in Cleveland next year.

We recall back-pedaling three years ago by Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White as he tried to explain why he hadn't planned for the stadium that is now being built. Maybe Browns fans need to bone up on their local politics before weighing in on gubernatorial races across state lines.

A general's call to arms

DAVID SATCHER is using his bully pulpit as U.S. surgeon general to shed light on the hazards of cigars. As they have regained popularity, cigars have been thought of as less harmful than cigarettes. In fact, they contain more tar and nicotine.

Dr. Satcher's warnings recall cautions about cigarettes dating to 1964, when Surgeon General Luther L. Terry released the first report on smoking and health, which found a link between smoking and lung cancer in men. That report triggered a 20-percent decline in smoking within three months.

During the tenure of Surgeon General Jess L. Steinfeld from 1969 to 1973, cigarette ads were banned from television. Later, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop increased the pressure. As with cigarettes, this latest admonition may help open cigar smokers' eyes to potential consequences.

Pub Date: 5/30/98

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