I can't believe that Colts owner Jim Irsay got rid of Peyton Manning and is going with a rookie. It doesn't matter how good Andrew Luck was at Stanford—this is still a recipe for disaster. Last season's dismal offense and 2--14 record prove that Indianapolis does not have the talent to win with an inexperienced quarterback.
This is an article from the April 9, 2012 issue
Al DiLascia, Chicopee, Mass.
If I were an NFL owner, I would take Manning as my quarterback (Into the Great Unknown) over almost all of the other starters in the league, even if he was only 75% healthy. There is just no way you can pass on signing a guy with his talent. He has proved his worth as a winner by beating opponents with his mind as well as his arm.
P.B. Anderson, Memphis
I wanted to clear up a bit of misinformation that was in your article on coach Ken Hitchcock and St. Louis (Mirth of the Blues). Hitchcock mentioned that his earliest hockey memory was in 1955, when at age four he watched Gordie Howe carry "a lefthanded stick, a stick that was the wrong way." While Howe may have carried his stick in his left hand, it could not have been a lefthanded stick. Curved blades did not appear in the NHL until the early 1960s, when the Blackhawks' Stan Mikita accidentally broke his stick in practice. Mikita thought the misshapen blade increased the power of his slap shots, so his teammates began curving their sticks and using them in games.
David Albanesi, Avon, Conn.
Tough Act to Follow
I've followed Antoine Walker (If Antoine Walker Shimmies, But It's in Boise, Is He Really Shimmying?) since his days at Kentucky. Yet after reading Chris Ballard's article about Walker's life in the NBA's Developmental League, I found I have no compassion for him. After all, this is a man who blew his $110 million in earnings. I empathize more with Walker's coach in Boise, Randy Livingston, a former NBA journeyman who was an amazing and humble athlete but who never reached his full potential as a player because of injuries.
Alex Messerli, Dutchtown, La.
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SAINTS' BOUNTY CULTURE
NCAA TOURNAMENT PREVIEW
North Carolina players Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Kendall Marshall declared that they will enter the NBA draft. Good decision?
David Burck: No way. Marshall needs more time to develop his offense. Barnes can't get to the rim or create his own shot. Henson is small and is going to get bullied in the paint.
Jordan John Riewer: Marshall should definitely go. The list of guards in this year's draft is not that deep. He will get drafted early and will make more money than if he waits.
Alex Fowler (@afowler5): Of the three, I can't believe Barnes is leaving early. He had trouble in the first half in a fair number of their games this season.
Ed Grooms: Barnes couldn't even step up when Marshall was out. Henson needs to add more bulk to his frame. Marshall needs one more year to improve his shooting.
Billy Coley: Marshall may be ready, but Barnes and Henson? Nope. I guess they are afraid to stay for fear they might stink it up again like they did in this year's tournaments.
Nolan Kangas: Marshall is an incredible player, but he was just starting to get confident about his shot. Henson is great but could stay one more year, and Barnes was awful all year, so he needs to stay.
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"How did Josh Beckett injure his thumb? By thumb-wrestling Andrew Bailey or rock-paper-scissors w/ Alfredo Aceves for the rotation spot?"
JIM DUQUETTE (@JIM_DUQUETTE)