If anything, TV ratings prove Ravens' popularity Milton...

LETTERS

July 23, 2000

If anything, TV ratings prove Ravens' popularity

Milton Kent's story on Friday pertaining to the television rating system offered insight for your readers on how the system works. While Mr. Kent wrote about how the Ravens' TV numbers compared with other NFL teams, we think a look at Ravens telecasts compared with other Baltimore and Maryland sports programming indicates what's most important - our popularity locally.

According to the Nielsen Media Research ratings, nine of the top 10 most-watched games last year among local and state teams were Ravens games. Here is the 1999 top 10 and the rating:

1. Ravens at Titans, 20.1; 2. Ravens at Steelers, 15.5; 3. Ravens at Patriots, 15.2; 4. Orioles at Yankees, 14.9; 5. Ravens vs. Titans, 13.9; 6. Ravens at Browns, 13.8; 7. Ravens at Bengals, 13.8; 8. Ravens at Falcons, 13.5; 9. Ravens at Jaguars, 13.4; 10. Ravens vs. Bills, 13.1.

The numbers will get better as we become a playoff team.

Kevin Byrne

Vice president and director of public relations, Ravens

Ex-Cowboy Irvin no saint, but why pile on now?

In reading Vito Stellino's "On The NFL" column in last Sunday's paper, I had to wonder, what's the point? Is it necessary to throw one last stone at a retiring receiver, Michael Irvin?

Granted, Irvin's conduct off the field was disturbing, but he has retired and is moving on with his life. I thought the article was pointless. It seemed to be another attempt by a journalist to highlight the negative in sports.

Ironically, if we are talking about crime in sports, there is no more pitiful situation than the Ravens' Ray Lewis situation with the murder of two men in Atlanta.

I don't condone Irvin's possession of cocaine. The courts ruled on that. And his being with two "models" is between him and his wife. But come on, Vito. You did not point out Lewis at all. Do you really think he has come clean with what he knows about those murders?

Vito, before you travel all the way to Texas to dig up 4-year-old dirt on a retiring player, maybe you should save the airline ticket and look close to home.

Vincent R. Rowe, Hanover

Attendance, Ripken seem to be Orioles' priorities

Going into the All-Star break, the Orioles were buried under 11 teams in the league in winning percentage. Why? Because winning isn't the top priority for the Orioles. Attendance is the top priority, followed by merchandizing of Cal Ripken's individual milestones.

Jealously guarding the D.C./Northern Virginia area to prevent it from attaining a major-league franchise (which it will someday) is also a top priority. As long as 3.5 million people show up and buy "3,000 hit" T-shirts, winning doesn't need to be a priority.

Greg Gotwalt, York, Pa.

Parents need to let kids have fun with sports

The way adults have turned Little League sports into their own personal ego trips and battle grounds is deplorable. It not only takes away from the character-building part of children's sports, it also takes away all the fun of playing for the kids.

And, after all, isn't that why the sports are there in the first place - to let a kid be a kid and make his own mistakes without the constant scrutiny of his parents and others?

I remember with great fondness the pickup baseball games we had at Carroll Park when I was growing up in Southwest Baltimore in the 1940s. We neither succeeded nor failed. We just had fun. Our parents not only weren't there to bother us, they couldn't care less as long as we stayed out of trouble and didn't get hurt.

Let's grow up, moms and dads! We had our chance. Now give back being a kid to those who deserve it - the kids themselves. After all, they're only young for such a short time. Don't ruin it for them.

Mike Griffin, Bel Air

Here's a deal for Orioles: Ship Angelos to Indy

Am I the only one in the world sick and tired of Orioles owner Peter Angelos and his sorry act? Let's face it, his conduct in the tobacco settlement and his desire to corner the Washington baseball market add up to one thing: Angelos is as greedy as the Orioles are boring.

If he wants the Washington market so badly, I say so be it. Let's ship him down there and we'll take the Montreal Expos.

Better yet, how about we ship him and his act off to Indianapolis? That way, we could really stick it to 'em for taking the Colts in 1984!

Gary R. Kirschnick, Sykesville

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