There's only one word for the Terps: amazin' With all...

Letters

April 07, 2002

There's only one word for the Terps: amazin'

With all due respect to the 1969 New York Mets, the term amazin' must now be applied to the 2002 Maryland men's basketball team.

How else does one explain the ability of a team with only one All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team player to win the ACC regular-season title and the NCAA championship?

The much-acclaimed Duke Blue Devils had three All-ACC first-teamers, yet finished two games out in league play and failed to reach the NCAA's Elite Eight.

The dream of the tournament committee, CBS, Dick Vitale and Billy Packer of a Kansas-Duke final never materialized. Gary Williams and his overachieving collection of non-blue-chip recruits have truly earned the title of amazin.'

Rob McCracken Linthicum

CBS' Packer, Nantz were blatantly biased

Monday night's Maryland-Indiana game was the most ridiculously announced championship game of all time.

CBS' Billy Packer and his sidekick, Jim Nantz, should be ashamed. They were so biased that they couldn't see what was taking place on the court.

They failed to notice that Indiana had as many turnovers as Maryland. They didn't seem to notice that foul shooting and rebounding are part of the game and Maryland excelled in those departments. Maryland also scored more points, which is also important.

I think Packer needs to know that Maryland beat a team that beat Duke and Oklahoma. He also should know that Maryland was the first team to win a national title without a McDonald's All-American on its roster.

I guess that makes Gary Williams a pretty good coach and Maryland a pretty good team.

John C. Clarke Sr. Abingdon

Terps persevere, show off maturity, class, dignity

The Terps' national championship should be shared with all those who played so hard over the past 16 years to build the Maryland program back up after its devastating collapse.

Just like Juan Dixon as an individual, the Terps as a team proved themselves against the odds. They didn't seem to be a favorite of the press, like another ACC team that comes to mind.

CBS analyst Billy Packer bent over backward to praise any team Maryland was playing in the NCAA tournament, while taking every opportunity to criticize Maryland.

Despite all that, this Maryland team displayed the ultimate in maturity, class and dignity by simply staying focused and patient - and in the end, they achieved greatness and accomplished their goal.

Cary Dion Annapolis

Theory about lack of pitching is debatable

I question the veracity of Peter Schmuck's statement in his March 31 article ["Pitching's magic number: 5:] that "the talent pool that supplies Major League Baseball with pitching never really caught up with the demand for effective starters."

He also states, "The number of major-league franchises has almost doubled since the first expansion in 1961-62 [from 16 to 30], and the rapid proliferation of other professional sports over the same period has created a demand for quality athletes that has far outstripped the pace of overall population growth."

Is it possible that Mr. Schmuck is unaware that in the past 40 years more African-Americans and foreign-born players are playing in the major leagues than ever before? In fact, today, over 25 percent of all major-leaguers are Latinos, and over 15 percent are African-Americans. This was not the case 40 years ago.

The idea that the talent pool of quality baseball players hasn't kept up with the expansion of teams is simply false. The talent pool for today's major-league clubs is larger than ever, and consists of the best baseball talent in every country in the world, including the baseball-obsessed Caribbean nations of Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and up-and-coming hotbeds such as Japan, Australia, Mexico and Venezuela.

Casey Coneway Baltimore

Invasion of Yankees fans shows lack of O's support

Orioles fans need to open their eyes and their mouths because we have become a joke in Major League Baseball.

As I sit at Camden Yards, bottom of the ninth against the Yankees on Wednesday night, down by a run, I hear the Yankees' chant by at least two-thirds of the stadium. Are these all Yankees fans, or have our own faithful jumped on the bandwagon and taken the easy route?

I am truly worried that our Baltimore faithful have become so confused by the negative attitudes toward management that many use that as an excuse not to support the Orioles, and they have traded the black-and-orange hat for a blue-and-white hat and committed the worst sin of professional sports.

To support a conference rival on your home turf would have been blasphemy in Baltimore at one time, but is now accepted.

Baltimore, we must stand up to this spinelessness and steer our youth in the right direction. Parents, get rid of that Yankees paraphernalia your kids are sporting and slap an Orioles hat on their confused heads.

We have already been invaded by Redskins fans claiming to be Orioles fans and taking up some of our good seats. Everyone knows that wouldn't fly at the Ravens' stadium.

As a passionate fan and lover of this great city, I beg Baltimore to stand up for itself and be proud. We can't let these ignorant, rude New Yorkers come down here like they own the place.

We have a young team here that needs our support, not for us to look the other way.

Michael Smith Baltimore

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