December 07, 2003

Forest Park's Ford is a special individual

What a great pleasure to read Mike Klingaman's story about Forest Park High School's football team ["It's a study in progress," Dec. 2]. It did my heart so much good.

I just hope that many others read this special article, for although it may tell a simple and uncomplicated story, it communicates an extremely important message to all of us.

Greg Ford, Forest Park's academic coach under the auspices of the National Football Foundation's Play It Smart program, is a treasure. Not only does he understand the need for someone like him to encourage these kids to pay attention to their studies and to be contributing citizens in their community, he also comprehends the importance of going the extra mile and of really caring.

Every kid needs at least one person to believe in him or her. Every kid needs to know that someone really cares, and that this caring is demonstrated by deeds, not just words.

Too many kids, especially as they reach the teen years, look upon adults as disinterested and not caring. As Greg Ford said so well, "You try to empower them. A lot of these kids have such low self-esteem. They lack a belief system. We try to change that."

Redmond Finney Upperco

O's offseason promises ring hollow once again

It's panic time!

How is it that the annual promise of a pro-active offseason by Orioles officials somehow inevitably leads either to inaction or to the acquisition of incompetent players? The dynamic duo of Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan so far have been nothing more than the reincarnation of Syd Thrift.

While Beattie and Flanagan assure Baltimoreans that their only priority is to create a winning team, apparently it's going to be the "same old same old."

"We will not overpay." "We've been burned before." "The right player at the right price." Such logic has led to dynamite players like Marty Cordova, David Segui, Omar Daal, Deivi Cruz and Rick Helling.

As the Yankees and Red Sox continue to accumulate All-Stars at every position, the Orioles quietly sit back and twiddle their collective thumbs.

Poor Lee Mazzilli. He is about to learn what Mike Hargrove was up against - a front office that talks a mighty good game and then proceeds to sell its fans an inferior product.

Are we forever doomed to fourth place in the AL East?

Morton D. Marcus Baltimore

Photo of dead doe extremely upsetting

As a daily reader of The Sun's sports pages, I was appalled at the pictures of a dead deer along with an article glorifying such an inhumane and dangerous pastime ["First day good as any to whistle up a deer," Nov. 30].

To put a picture of a dead doe on your front page ruined the Sunday sports pages for me. I couldn't read the other articles without seeing that picture and knowing what it meant.

Sports is a welcome diversion and the additional pictures and Candus Thomson's giddy coverage of killing defenseless deer in their natural habitat is just too much.

Please provide Thomson with a separate section so she can share her excitement and glee with like-minded readers and spare the rest of us who want our football, baseball, soccer, etc.

Ruth Fleishman Baltimore

Don't like noise? Don't come to games

My husband is quite an avid Ravens fan, but come Monday morning he often was without his voice. To solve this problem I purchased him a cow bell to take to the games in hope of saving his voice. Everyone who sits in his section knows the guy with the bell.

At last Sunday's game, a fan told my husband to stop ringing the bell or he'd be sorry. Soon an usher showed up to find out who was ringing the cow bell and asked my husband to only ring the bell when the Ravens scored.

It was explained to the usher that coach Brian Billick asks the fans to make noise, and the bell was only being used when the Ravens were on defense and that it would continue to be used in that manner.

Thankfully, the usher accepted the explanation and departed. May I suggest to all fans that if you don't like the noise at the game, stay home and watch it on television.

Susan Peltz Perry Hall

Playoff ticket prices for Ravens too high

I just received a bill for my Ravens playoff tickets today. A single seat in Zone A (lower level, between the 20-yard lines) where we have regular-season tickets at $77 per seat is $231 per ticket for a playoff game.

Last year it was $200. That is a 15 percent increase. This is nuts!

The Modells have benefited handsomely from the Baltimore taxpayers and fan base. It's time for them to take their millions and leave.

What a way to say thanks on the way out the door.

Jim Strite Chambersburg, Pa.

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