December 28, 2003

Ravens' J. Lewis is true professional

He doesn't dance, he doesn't pose, he doesn't point to his chest or to the fans or to the sky.

He doesn't spike the ball, throw it into the stands or try to dunk it over the crossbar.

He doesn't salute, autograph the ball, call anyone on a cell phone or do any of the other stupid things so many of the NFL players do.

He just runs the ball like no one else, catches an occasional pass, blocks when required and merely drops the ball after scoring a touchdown.

In short, he is a true professional football player. He could be the poster player for what the word "professional" means.

Jamal Lewis, thanks for being a Raven.

Paul Kertis Aberdeen

No sympathy here for baseball players

I'm sure the nation's teachers, policemen and firefighters were encouraged by the struggles of major league baseball players described in the Dec. 24 article "Small rise in salaries has union concerned."

As reported, the increase amounted to "... just 3.3 percent above last year's average." Gee, this is only slightly above the 2 percent public servants are fighting for across the country.

Before the sympathy starts, however, it is worth noting the Bush tax cut effect. At this year's average salary of $2,372,189 the ballplayers will get a tax cut exceeding $300,000.

Granted, this isn't in the ballpark of what CEOs are getting back, but still it's meaningful. At least to teachers, who will be lucky to get $500, it is.

Robert Wasilewski Glenelg

Was there no time for Favre to mourn?

Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre hadn't missed a start in over a decade. Was there any doubt that he would miss his next start?

I find a touch of pathos in watching replays of Farve playing a game, jumping up and down, hugging and smiling with teammates the day after the passing of his father.

ESPN declared Farve a "hero ... playing in celebration of the man ... making his most memorable start ... while setting aside his sorrow." Green Bay's coach observed, "The team had to win this game," and it did.

Monday night's couch potatoes and the hype for TV ratings could not have been happier.

What has happened to a time for everything - "a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance"?

John Pisarra Clarksville

D.C. sports teams are good for a laugh

If anyone wants to see a series of comedy acts disguised as three professional sports teams, then look down I-95.

The first laugh is the Redskins, who haven't had any kind of success since Joe Gibbs left and have a joke of an owner who has had one winning season to show, plus four head coaches and free-agent has-beens.

Second is the Wizards, who have been a joke for more than 20 years with a lame-duck owner, poor draft choices, off-the-court problems and luring Michael Jordan out of retirement to boost their lackluster attendance only to release him. They will never be winners in the NBA.

Last is the Capitals, who celebrate their 30 years by playing like they did back then, in addition to historic playoff collapses and an owner who is complaining about the lackluster attendance of his joke of an NHL franchise.

Eric C. Glenn Baltimore

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