MONDAY NIGHT BOOTH

Can Dennis Miller save Monday Night Football? Well, it's like
giving chicken soup to a dead man: can't hurt.
--ROY C. BOYER, Boulder, Colo.

When are networks going to realize that sports fans simply like
to watch football (Live, from New York, It's Monday Night! July
3)? Whether we tune in on Monday night depends on who's playing
and the importance of the game to the standings. Do television
execs think we'll watch based on who's announcing?
RON KAZYAK, Midland, Mich.

The question you should be asking is, How long will it take for
Miller to destroy Monday Night Football? What was once a show
that fans enjoyed will be ruined with a goofball in the booth.
Anyone who's seen his show on HBO knows that it's full of
vulgarity and low-life humor.
ADAM GARTNER
Merrick, N.Y.

ABC blew the most obvious call of all by not moving the best
broadcast team in football--Paul Maguire, Mike Patrick and Joe
Theismann--to one night later.
DARREN THORNEYCROFT
San Diego

Am I the only one who still misses Alex Karras?
PAUL BRASS
Wyomissing, Pa.

Don Ohlmeyer has it figured: "You watch with friends, having a
couple of beers, some good lines going back and forth--you have a
fun afternoon." That's how I judge analysts and color announcers.
Would I enjoy their banter if they were sitting behind me in the
stadium? Only John Madden passes that test. Dan Fouts is a
probable. Dennis Miller? We'll see.
FRED VANCE, Tucson

I am one of the millions of NFL fans who, if our favorite team
isn't playing, would rather sit with our buddies, drink beer and
watch the World Wrestling Federation on Monday night. That's
right--wrestling. Fake, phony, fixed, scripted and a heck of a lot
more entertaining than a football game that usually doesn't have
any more importance than any of the games that were played the
day before.
JOE MUFALLI, Toms River, N.J.

CARTER'S CLUB

I was happy to see an article about the work Cris Carter has put
into getting a ring (Time Trial, July 3). But it isn't Carter who
has to improve for the Vikings to win. The team averaged 24.9
points per game during the 1999 regular season, and in the
playoffs against St. Louis, the Vikings scored 37 points--and
lost. Maybe if they found some defense, Carter would get that
ring.
DARREN McGILL, St. Paul

Carter's achievements are more impressive when you consider how
many quarterbacks were on the front end of his 924 catches and
114 touchdowns--including Randall Cunningham, Wade Wilson, Rich
Gannon, Sean Salisbury, Warren Moon, Brad Johnson and Jeff
George. What numbers would Jerry Rice have put up without Joe
Montana and Steve Young?
RAY PARISI JR.
Herndon, Va.

GAME OF CARDS

I was born and raised in St. Louis (These Buds Are for You, July
3) but have since moved to Houston. I have been to several
baseball games in both cities. Houston's Enron Field has Tal's
Hill, the flagole in center, the grand old throwback train on the
outfield wall, the retractable roof, restaurants in the outfield
and a million other expensive amenities. Busch Stadium in St.
Louis has hard seats, no shade and 49,779 wild, screaming,
die-hard fans who'd prefer watching the Cards at plain old Busch
over any game, anywhere.
CHRISTOPHER B. MULLINS, Houston

Verducci's statement that Mark McGwire is almost solely
responsible for this era of unprecedented interest in the
Cardinals is inaccurate. McGwire is solely responsible for the
nationwide interest, because St. Louis has always had an
unmatched desire to watch its team. I should know. I was one of
the millions of fans who went to Busch Stadium every year during
the Whitey Herzog era. That includes 1990, the year the Cardinals
drew 2,573,225, went 70-92 and finished last in the NL East.
JORGE TUMIALAN, Chicago

Florida manager John Boles is quoted as saying about McGwire, "No
one over the last 100 years has had the impact on the game he
has. He dwarfs everybody else." Perhaps someone should introduce
Boles to the achievements of George Herman (Babe) Ruth. Or Joe
DiMaggio.
CHARLIE WHITE,
High Point, N.C.

SOOTHING RELIEF

In your article "The Big Hurt" (SCORECARD, July 10) how could you
omit one of the biggest hurts of all--the George Brett endorsement
in the early '80s of a well-known hemorrhoidal salve? Having been
through the pain and suffering myself, I feel it's an ailment
worth mentioning.
AL HOLMAN, Torrance, Calif.

STAND-UP GUY

Notah Begay III's golf tournament wins are not as inspiring as
his courage and commitment to do the right thing in spite of
embarrassing and painful consequences (Dry Run, July 3). I hope
my sons will be more impressed by his example than his remarkable
talent. He reminds me why golf is my favorite sport.
J.D. LACKEY, Oklahoma City

Wow! An athlete who readily takes responsibility for his actions.
What a breath of fresh air in this climate of selfishness and
self-preservation.
JANET E. DENARDO, San Diego

COLOR PHOTO: AP PHOTO/JEFF GLIDDEN

On the One Hand...

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but when Dennis
Miller steps in the MNF booth this fall, he'll get more attention
than a vegetarian beef inspector in a British slaughterhouse.
Let's face it, S.L. Price accurately chronicled what has become
fact: The business of covering sport is bigger than sport itself.
And I don't consider that a bad thing, either. Dennis Miller will
take us places we've never been on Monday night, and most of us
are going along for the ride. Of course, that's just my opinion,
I could be wrong.
BERNIE FRATTO, Novi, Mich.

Cards fans think of the team as family members. It's no wonder
Big Mac chose St. Louis as his town.
--MIKE GREENWALD, Teaneck, N.J.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)