Puckish Perceptions

Can someone explain why you ranked the Bruins No. 10 overall in
the NHL (SCOUTING REPORTS, Oct. 8)? According to your rating
system Boston does not rank in the top half of any of the five
categories and is in the bottom third of the league in three of
the five. Is this the new math?

Why was a baseball player on the cover of your hockey preview
issue? Does Barry Bonds have a great slap shot?
ANTHONY TURNER, Fort Worth, Texas

Pride or Prejudice

Thank you Ralph Engelstad for building North Dakota's beautiful
new hockey arena and for fighting to keep the traditional
Indian-head logo (Face Off, Oct. 8). Certainly Ralph built the
new arena to enhance his own legacy, but he and other North
Dakota alumni know that hockey is the only sport in which the
Fighting Sioux can compete at the Division I level and win. Most
North Dakota alumni are proud of their national hockey
championships and their school.
BOB KALUZA JR., Anchorage

George Dohrmann quotes numerous people, such as professors of
English and communications. He uses the phrases "many on and off
the Grand Forks campus...contend that...the university sold
its soul" and "according to a source close to the university
administration." Did he talk to these people? Did he know that
independent surveys showed overwhelming support among students,
alumni and people in the community to keep the nickname and logo?
Did he talk to members of the state board of higher education,
state legislators or Native American leaders?
Athletic Director
University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, N.Dak.

Thank you for your article about North Dakota and Engelstad. As a
graduate of the university who has worked on campus for the last
25 years, I found your piece to be very carefully researched, and
I was impressed by your thoroughness. Unfortunately, I've watched
the whole ugly mess unfold before my eyes. I would like to
believe that the average person has much more integrity than the
North Dakota administration has shown, but sometimes I wonder.
Racism is still very much alive in America. Thank you for shining
a light on it here in Grand Forks.
SHEILA BICHLER, Grand Forks, N.Dak.

Leather seats? In a car, maybe, but in a sports arena? As a
former North Dakota athlete, I am proud of my alma mater but
embarrassed and upset by the truths told in your article. The
university has bartered its integrity and allowed one person to
dictate how it operates. That is unacceptable. I hope other
universities learn from this and don't compromise their ethics by
bowing to the Ralph Engelstads among their alumni.
DAVID HAMLIN, Sturgis, Mich.

Our Colleges, Our Flag

Let me get this straight: The NCAA is concerned about how
student-athletes of different nationalities will feel if American
flags are put on their uniforms (SCORECARD, Oct. 8)? Are they
speaking about the ones on scholarships, getting a free ride and
a superior education? The NCAA should be ashamed for even
questioning this patriotic gesture.

The NCAA warning regarding the placement of the U.S. flag on
players' uniforms is a further reminder of how far out of touch
the NCAA is with mainstream society.
Farmington Hills, Mich.

Sports Darwinism

I'd love to see all other major league baseball, NBA, NFL and NHL
fans treat their pro teams as Montreal Expos fans do (THE LIFE OF
REILLY, Oct. 8). Perhaps then the overpaid, overappreciated,
crybaby athletes--along with the greed-ridden owners--would realize
where they stand in the grand scheme of things.

In business, when you provide the market with a product that
nobody wants, you fail, and it is your fault. In pro sports, why
is it that when you field a team that fans do not want to
support, the blame falls on the fans? Bottom line: Find a need in
the market and fill it effectively. That is how you succeed in
any business.
MICHAEL SUSKA, Kitchener, Ont.


A Wing and a Prayer

In your overrated and underrated issue (The Ratings Game, Aug.
27), Michael Farber wrote that in hockey, experience is overrated
and speed is underrated. Then, in the NHL preview issue you
picked the Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup. Detroit made many
acquisitions over the summer (including Luc Robitaille, above),
but the majority of those players lack speed and have a lot of
experience. That's O.K., though. Since you picked them, they
won't win anyway.
CHRIS FROILAND, Greenfield, Ind.

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)