What a relief! I was a closet baseball hater and was afraid to admit it; that is, until I read Rick Reilly's POINT AFTER (Aug. 29). Now I can 'fess up and not feel guilty. I've always wondered why I could watch any football game—teams that I didn't even care about—and enjoy the action and excitement, but had to struggle to keep awake through a World Series game. The only action in baseball that gives me a little thrill is a pitchout when no one is running.
I would sell my soul for Redskins season tickets, but I could never get excited about baseball. For years I thought something was wrong with me. Nobody hates baseball. I feared that I would begin to hate apple pie and then mom, and that, finally, I would declare myself a Godless Communist and burn the American flag. But today I can stand up and say, "Baseball is just plain boring." I don't feel an ounce of guilt.
Great Falls, Va.
Everybody has this misconception about baseball being such a great game. I can watch a morning game of football on NBC, tune in an afternoon game on CBS, then watch the 5 p.m. game on ESPN and still be hungry for more football. Yet I can't sit through more than three innings of an Atlanta Braves game on TBS, let alone a Saturday double-header on NBC. Hats off to Rick Reilly!
If football is so great, why do the last two minutes of a game take 20 minutes? Sure a "60-yard diving-catch touchdown bomb" is exciting, but is it any more exciting than Kirby Puckett going up and over the wall to save a ball hit 410 feet? Or Carlton Fisk landing on people in the first two rows to catch a pop-up? You can have football.
THOMAS P. BLEAKNEY
South Weymouth, Mass.
September 18, 1988
After watching the Mariners recently lose a doubleheader in which victory was but one strike away in the first game and two outs away in the second, I thought about Rick Reilly's comments regarding the superiority of football over baseball. Had these been football games, the pitcher on the mound would have fallen on the ball in the ninth inning and let the clock run out, preserving a sweep. Nap Aid II.
ROBERT W. TEGEDER JR.
John Elway has a great arm, but would you rather have to catch an Elway pass or a Nolan Ryan fastball? I haven't heard of a third-quarter stretch—but I have heard of halftime. At football games, they need cheerleaders and bands to keep the fans' attention.
Port Clinton, Ohio
The last three Super Bowls were boring blowouts, uninteresting even to partisan fans. The last three World Series matchups were seven-game thrilling affairs. Furthermore, how many baseball players do you know of who have been crippled for life by the game? Now how 'bout football?
JAY GRIMM JR.
New York City
Rick Reilly overlooked the most exciting sport of all: basketball.
Bryn Mawr, Pa.
Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill and the city of Phoenix deserve each other (One Touchy Love Affair, Aug. 22). Both are self-centered and arrogant. The Cardinals of Phoenix will probably be just as lousy as the Cardinals of St. Louis, despite the contributions of fine men like coach Gene Stallings and linebacker Ricky Hunley. Obviously, the fault lies in the ownership. The Bidwills and Irsays of the world think they can somehow manufacture wins by relocating—by turning their backs on the fans who truly make the game.
The people of St. Louis aren't stupid. They didn't want a losing team, and neither do we. I'm glad the team decided to name itself the Phoenix Cardinals instead of the Arizona Cardinals. I want no part of it.
RANDALL K. SMITH
Bill Bidwill will soon realize what many of us already know—the Cardinals will never replace the Arizona State Sun Devils in the hearts, minds and wallets of Arizonans.
PAT ANN RUDD
I was thrilled to read the article about John Cooper and the Ohio State football program (In Woody's Shadow, Aug. 22). I take pride in being part of the most football-mad city in the country. We fans are looking forward to this season and have a great deal of faith in Coach Cooper and his (our) team. Last fall, Earle Bruce's team lost to Iowa on the last play, and it gave Wisconsin something to cheer about.
As for Woody Hayes, he was the best. Sadly, though, too many people will remember him as the coach who punched a player rather than as the humanitarian who did great things for the university and for other people as well.
Football-mad fans at Ohio State? Hey, just because I nearly refused the reception hall's only available Saturday for my wedding this fall because it conflicted with the Ohio State-LSU rematch, and just because the Ohio State alma mater will be played in the church before the ceremony, and just because my two-inch TV will be firmly in place on the head table at the reception so I can see most of the game, that does not make me football mad. Or does it? I just hope the game is over before the first dance.
Arlington Heights, Ill.
All I can say to John Cooper is: Good luck!
Concerning the photograph of the fallen 17-ton Charlotte (N.C.) Coliseum scoreboard that led off your Aug. 22 issue, your caption, "Gravity 1, Coliseum 0," told part of the story. However, in a little more than eight hours the debris had been cleared, another floor had been put in place and a game involving our Olympic basketball team was under way. Thanks to Coliseum director Steve Camp and scores of dedicated and proud workers, the show did go on. Final score: Coliseum 2, Gravity 1.
EDWARD D. CARLSON
Congratulations to William Nack for a wonderful portrait (Saratoga, Aug. 22). The story alludes briefly to the recently deceased Art Rooney's big betting spree in the 1930s. Thirty-seven years ago I interviewed that wonderful man for the Cincinnati Post. He gave me the details of the spree, which went on for three days and which started at the old Empire City track in Yonkers, N.Y.
Art told me that in the first race he bet $200 on a 7-1 shot and won. Next he won a $1,000 payoff at even money. By the end of the day he had won $17,000. He went to Empire City a second day and won $29,000. With his winnings in his pocket, he went to Saratoga. He bet $2,000 on Quel Jeu, at 8-1, in the first race and won. There were four photo finishes that day, and he had the winners in all of them. He ran his stake up to $256,000 and went home to Pittsburgh loaded with cash. He sent most of the money to a mission in China run by his brother Dan, a Catholic priest.
Kings Island, Ohio
The note (INSIDE BASEBALL, Aug. 15) about the actions of Chicago White Sox trainer Herm Schneider during Greg Walker's recent seizure was disturbing. While Schneider deserves praise for his willingness to help, his actions were incorrect and could have caused Walker considerable harm. It is a myth that you can swallow your tongue during a seizure. You cannot swallow your tongue during a seizure. What's more, the mouth should never be pried open, and especially not with a sharp object. By so doing you can knock out a tooth, which may be aspirated, or cause lacerations of the tongue and oral cavity. Instead, the head of the person suffering a tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizure should be turned to the side, to permit the tongue to fall away from the airway and allow saliva to drain from the mouth.
Grand mal seizures are usually self-limited, and the body jerks rarely last longer than 10 minutes. While they are frightening and everyone feels the need to "do something," the first goal should be to not do anything harmful. Although death is possible during prolonged seizures, it is extremely rare for a short seizure to cause any harm.
GREGORY L. HOLMES, M.D.
John Gierach's The View from Rat Lake (BOOKS, Aug. 15) is a hardcover book priced at $17.95, not $7.95 as you said.
LISA ANDERSON MANN
Pruett Publishing Company
Concerning the special report Sports in China (Aug. 15), one thing was never explained. What is the meaning of the Chinese characters shown on the cover and as part of the headline in each article?
New York City
•The characters (above) translate as "serendipitous movement" or, more loosely, "sports."—ED.
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