November 16, 2003

Let's work to prevent forfeiture situations

A sad turn of events has denied the Oakland Mills football team an opportunity to compete in the state playoffs ["Oakland Mills forfeits season, 1A playoff berth in football," Friday].

Forfeiture of several games for using an ineligible player not only knocked the Scorpions out of the tournament but also created a situation in which other teams, deserving of a place in the tournament, are also left out.

Among those of us in the field of coaching and athletic administration, one questions the timing of the revelation that an Oakland Mills player was ineligible and the system that is in place to prevent such an occurrence.

Through no fault of their own, other players on the Oakland Mills team, as well as players on Wilde Lake and Southside, will miss possibly their only chance to be a part of the playoffs.

While including Wilde Lake would bump another team out of the playoffs, including Southside would not. Tournament officials cited safety as a reason for not bringing Southside in at this late juncture, since the Southside team had been off for a week.

"Convenience" seems to be more of a factor, since many teams over the past two years have missed significant amounts of practice time due to inclement weather and the sniper incidents.

Second-guessing in this unfortunate event serves no purpose. But there are about 100 disappointed football players who will not be a part of every high school player's dream - to compete in the state playoffs.

School and athletics officials should look long and hard at ways to prevent a similar incident in the future.

Dennis Sirman Catonsville

Note: The writer is athletic director at Catonsville High.

Orioles should let Mazzilli clean house

Let me be one of many who congratulates the Orioles for hiring Lee Mazzilli as their manager, as he appears to be full of life and talented.

Let's just hope he is allowed to clean house and surround himself with lively people.

I have heard so much about the so-called Oriole Way, I don't even know what that is, so it's time to move on and up as we seem to have a pretty good group to build on.

T.H. Lawson Jr. Timonium

In Perlozzo's case, no reward for loyalty

I kept hearing about returning to the Oriole Way, when players knew how to play the game and to win.

Who better to carry that out (and who more deserving?) than Sam Perlozzo?

When Mike Flanagan joined the Orioles' front office I felt good about the prospect of fairness and integrity being applied. Then I watched Mike Hargrove strung out without the decency of some word (good or bad) from the general managers about his future.

That was mild compared to the lack of consideration shown Perlozzo in the team's managerial search. So much for fairness and integrity; loyalty counts for nothing it seems.

That is not the Oriole Way.

The owner and general managers have every right to select whomever they choose, and I respect that. But as a fan who remembers when the Orioles were winners - on and off the field - I'm not sure I have the patience to continue on this destructive path.

E.S. Vaughan Columbia

For Ravens, offense is a comedy of errors

First there were the Keystone Kops, then the Three Stooges. Now, in the best tradition of slapstick zaniness, there is a new act billed as the Baltimore Ravens' Offense.

This madcap troupe dresses up as professional football players and proceeds to perform one hilarious stunt after another as they pretend to try to move a football into the end zone.

The guy who created this act must be a comic genius. There are, of course, the mandatory straight men made up of an actual football team and a crew of officials who seem to be unaware of the joke.

If you haven't caught the act yet, it plays on Sundays and there are only seven more performances. If you like a good laugh, don't miss it.

Sig Seidenman Owings Mills

Ravens receivers can't hold onto ball

After Sunday night's loss to the St. Louis Rams, it's become painfully clear that the Ravens need a major overhaul with their group of receivers.

Forget the interceptions. Forget the fumbles. Games will be lost sometimes due to turnovers. However, dropped passes are killing the Ravens week in and week out.

There's no excuse for professional football players to continually drop passes that hit them square on the hands or right on the numbers.

Because of a weak passing game, the Ravens are finding it more difficult to run the ball because of eight-man defensive fronts. The team's quarterback also can expect to see even more blitzes since the receivers can't get open and drop the ball even when they do get open.

The Ravens need to find a bona fide, No. 1, go-to wide receiver next season.

Ed Doheny Bel Air

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