The revelation of the Saints' bounty program and the notion that some in the NFL think of football as a blood sport remind me of the feeling you get when eating a juicy hot dog: It tastes good and you want to enjoy it, but you don't want to think about the grimy process by which it was made.

Gary W. Sullivan, San Jose

Unsaintly Behavior

In Lee Jenkins's essay on the Saints (SCORECARD) New Orleans pastor Douglas Haywood declared, "The enemy is the [NFL] commissioner." How can a spiritual leader who is supposed to provide moral guidance to his congregation make such a statement? To make light of opponents being deliberately injured is way out-of-bounds, especially for a man of the cloth.

Collin Agee, Falls Church, Va.

The lack of any public statement from the NFL Players Association regarding the Saints' behavior is disturbing. How can the NFLPA claim that the owners are not doing enough to help players with long-term disabilities when some players were accepting money to intentionally take their fellow union members out of games?

Addison Snell, Mountain View, Calif.

Brother's Keeper

I'm convinced that Peyton Manning passed on playing for San Francisco (Peyton Manning's Long Game) because he didn't want to best his brother Eli in the NFC. The 49ers were a whisker away from the Super Bowl last season. They have since signed Mario Manningham and Randy Moss to strengthen their passing attack. The Niners could have easily won the division if they had signed Peyton. Yet he chose Denver and the AFC to avoid Eli—until the Super Bowl.

Peter Bowling Anderson, Memphis

Levels of Protest

To equate the Heat's hoodie picture, taken in support of Trayvon Martin (POINT AFTER), with John Carlos's and Tommie Smith's protest at the 1968 Olympics is far-fetched. Carlos and Smith engaged in a defiant political protest on an international platform. The Miami players will never be subjected to the same contempt and disdain that Carlos and Smith had to endure.

Rodney K. Boswell, Thousand Oaks, Calif.

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TRENDING

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POINT AFTER: TRAYVON MARTIN

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APRIL 9

POINT AFTER: ERIC DOMPIERRE

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FEEDBACK

At 9--1 the Dodgers are off to the franchise's best start in 31 years. Can Andre Ethier & Co. keep it up and win the National League West?

Alec Palchikoff: Yes, they can. They'll get 70 or more stolen bases from Dee Gordon, MVP numbers from Matt Kemp and another Cy Young season from Clayton Kershaw. Plus, Ethier will finally bounce back.

Christian Fortmueller: If they can get some better middle relief pitching, I don't see why not.

Douglas Piuser: They've played seven of their first 10 games against the Padres. Enough said.

Amy Stacey: Doubtful. They've only played the Padres and the Pirates so far. Neither of them is any good. Once they play some tougher competition, they'll start losing.

Charles Kyle: It's anybody's guess just two weeks into the season, but they have been impressive so far. Kemp is making good on his promise of staying in Beast Mode.

Benjamin Blessis Fortin: Anything is possible when you've got the power of Magic on your side.

Charlie Walker: All their current record means is that they can't do worse than 9--153.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

"Things we learned this week in the NBA: Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose make their teams worse when they're on the court and should be released."

SPORTSPICKLE (@SPORTSPICKLE)

ILLUSTRATIONILLUSTRATION BY DARROW PHOTOGREG NELSON (COVER)FOR April 2, 2012 PHOTOCHRISTOPHER HANEWINCKEL/US PRESSWIRE (ETHIER) CHART
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)