February 17, 2007

Writer is right to focus on race

A reader complained in last week's letters that David Steele has brought to your sports page, literally and figuratively, a long-overdue dose of color.

I see it this way:

If the NFL hadn't taken decades to finally hire black head coaches, there'd be no need to "bally-hoo" their finally reaching the Super Bowl.

If NBA, and indeed, NCAA recruiting practices were all they should be, there'd be no need to point out the disparate treatment of black athletes.

If skin color weren't such a pervasive and insidious American social problem, there'd be no reason to attribute John Mackey's delayed entrance into the Hall of Fame to its existence.

Indeed, if skin color were no longer an issue in our society, your correspondent wouldn't be bothered by its mention.

Joan Bryan


Criticism of Williams is misplaced

I'm really quite fed up with the denigrating remarks about coach Gary Williams and the Maryland basketball team ("Concern over Terps growing" and "Maryland has failed to capitalize on 2002 national title," Sunday).

It's almost as if columnist Rick Maese is hoping that Maryland won't return to the NCAA tournament. And writer Heather A. Dinich ever so lightly touches upon Williams' pride in the academic achievement of his players.

In my opinion, that's what it's really all about. Although wins and losses are the major criteria in judging a team today, the success of the players in the classroom can't be ignored. It remains No. 1, no matter what place the team finishes in.

And this "lack of a go-to player," cited by Billy Packer, is very overrated. The go-to guy takes about 30 shots a game, hogs the ball and leaves for the pros after his junior year. I like how Maryland has spread out its offense. The go-to guy could be any player who's hot for the night.

Win or lose, Williams is doing a good job, and I don't consider Maryland a program that "might be adrift."

David Boyd

White Hall

A fitting eulogy for Barbaro

I am writing to comment on Rick Maese's wonderful tribute to Barbaro ["Barbaro runs to legendary status," Jan. 30].

For those individuals who say, "This was just a horse," they truly miss the meaning and definition of an American sports hero and an athlete that gave of his heart and soul.

Maese's article was one of the best I have ever read, and you don't have to be an equestrian to appreciate the joy and dedication with which he transformed words into such deep meaning.

I commend Maese for such a magnificent tribute to such a fine athlete.

Marcia Tucker

Granite Bay, Calif.

Super Bowl III is their problem now

I understand that the Indianapolis Colts are calling this the third Super Bowl in their history and proudly boasting that they have won two of them. That's the bad news.

The good news is Indianapolis can now take all the abuse for having lost the Super Bowl to the New York Jets in January 1969.

Joe Trebes


A suggestion for Tagliabue

Many of us Baltimore football fans were saddened by the devastating news that former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue failed to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Since there's no need for him to travel to Canton for the induction ceremonies in August, perhaps Mr. Tagliabue could use that time to visit a factory or a museum.

Don Brizendine


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