Criticizing Maryland for one loss isn't fair In these...


November 04, 2001

Criticizing Maryland for one loss isn't fair

In these cynical and jaded times, Sun columnist Mike Preston is a nice refuge from all the pomp and hype to which we are often subjected, because he cuts to the chase and tells it like it is.

Preston went too far, however, in criticizing the Maryland football team in its recent road loss to Florida State. Though the Terps helped beat themselves with turnovers, they are 7-1 with only one road loss to a perennial national power.

Florida State does have better team speed, but Maryland played tough with them and deserves a lot of credit. Nobody feared Maryland last year, and now look what they have accomplished.

This dramatic turnaround of a mediocre program is amazing and shows Ralph Friedgen to be some kind of coach. If the Terps continue to show this well with existing talent, Maryland should attract plenty of blue-chippers.

John S. Burke Hunt Valley

Preston disappoints with recruiting comment

Mike Preston's comments on the University of Maryland football team and its need to recruit players with more speed had me nodding my head in agreement ("In football, it's hares that win, not turtles", Oct. 28).

That is, until Mr. Preston found the need to add "... which is why former Alabama coach Bear Bryant began recruiting black players." I am dumbfounded as to why he included this in his article. What purpose did it serve? This racially charged comment is disappointing and deflating.

Is Mr. Preston suggesting that the University of Maryland pursue only African-American athletes in their recruiting? I suspect that is not the case. Perhaps he could clarify his position in the future.

Chris Wooleyhand Severn

Running boom sparks need for weekly column

I strongly endorse the ideas Howard County Striders president Mick Slonaker expressed in last Sunday's letters ("Running column needs to be revived").

The running boom is booming again. Frank Shorter inspired the first boom when he won the 1972 Olympic marathon. Joan Benoit Samuelson launched the next boom by winning the first-ever women's Olympic marathon in Los Angeles in 1984.

Today's boom is different, much less competitive and much more social. Running 80 miles per week has been replaced with 80 miles per month. Local and area running club memberships are up.

Running shoes sales are up. Running magazine subscriptions are up. National charities are training thousands to run marathons and to raise money for their good causes.

After too many years, we finally have a mayor and a City Council that understand running can be good for the city. The successful Oct. 20 Baltimore Marathon attracted thousands of runners from out of town and their families who left behind major bucks in our hotels, gift shops, and restaurants.

The massive readership that looked forward every Tuesday to Michael Reeb's old running column has probably doubled since that column went away. Please reinstate Reeb's weekly column.

Bob Feldman Baltimore

Angelos' spending ways have produced little

I saw last week that Orioles owner Peter Angelos has let it be known he won't be going on a spending spree this year. Of course, he has no interest in spending money when not needed, as this past season he put a team on the field that was not worth the price of admission and still raked in the money of all local baseball fans.

Maybe the day will come when Major League Baseball will stand up to Mr. Angelos and give local baseball fans another choice.

Next, Mr. Angelos and company will expect the fans to be elated that prices may not rise. It is time for the Orioles to give the loyal fans more than mumblings of wanting to compete.

Michael Frye Frederick

Ravens end McCrary deserves recognition

Mike Preston's column on Monday about Ravens defensive end Michael McCrary ("Tenacious McCrary shrugs off blocks, pain") was 100 percent accurate and at least two years late.

The work ethic Michael has displayed this year is no different from any of his other years while with the Ravens. He is clearly the most overlooked and underrated defensive end in the league and by the Baltimore fans.

McCrary's style of play has always been at this level, and it has been a joy watching him since 1997.

Jackie Fromm Arbutus

Paper's preview of NBA hit little but air

With apologies to Don Markus, let me nominate myself to replace him as the pro basketball writer for The Sun. In his article previewing the NBA season, he got some things right but left out plenty.

In commenting on teams with the biggest upswing, he correctly points out that New Jersey and Atlanta will be improved and play in the easier conference to move up in. But how he could omit the Los Angeles Clippers, a very talented young team that added Elton Brand in the off-season and could likely vault from perennial losers into the eighth playoff spot in the West?

While addressing MVP candidates, Markus points out that Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant both have a chance to win it, then mentions that big numbers and a Wizards playoff appearance could land MJ the trophy. He doesn't bother to mention Chris Webber, Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnett or anyone else in the league.

This stuff might sound nit-picky, but Sun readers deserve some analysis beyond "Jordan this, Jordan that," and "The Lakers will threepeat."

Todd Levinson Washington

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