It's a shame how the average American sports fan—who thinks that the Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event in the world and that the World Series sparks interest beyond a handful of countries—fails to appreciate the global impact of a team like Barcelona or a player like Lionel Messi.
This is an article from the Oct. 22, 2012 issue
Mike Witt, White Bear Lake, Minn.
The Beauty of Bar√ßa
Grant Wahl perfectly captured the spirit and beauty of FC Barcelona (The World's Team). By maximizing the skill and athleticism of star players like Messi, Xavi and Cesc F√†bregas, Barcelona has transcended the game of soccer and forever changed the sport.
Kris Klassen, Milwaukee
Labor of Love
I have long admired Davis Love III's talent on the golf course, but after reading his article on the U.S.'s devastating Ryder Cup defeat (Love's Story), I now admire him even more. I appreciate Love's humility and how he still considers his experience as Ryder Cup captain one of the highlights of his career.
Susan Phillips, Kenmore, Wash.
Home Is Where the Game Is
I agree with Phil Taylor's critique of the current state of the NFL (POINT AFTER) and also think the league will soon see its attendance and revenue diminish. The comfort of staying at home and watching the game of your choice on high definition far outweighs exorbitant ticket prices, unruly fans, parking fees and traffic. I was a Giants season-ticket holder for 45 years, and I finally had to say enough.
John T. Noonan, Rockville Centre, N.Y.
From the moment Ed Hochuli (AMERICAN ZEBRA) entered the NFL in 1990, the quality and professionalism of the officials have improved tremendously. What really impresses me about Hochuli is the volume, clarity and language he uses when making a call. He is a bright spot for NFL referees and sets a good example for his colleagues on the field.
Thomas J. Goodman, Hartford, Wis.
Fans don't like Hochuli or the NFL refs any more now than they did before the lockout. They're just as bad as ever. The replacement refs simply found a way to be worse. That shouldn't be something anyone brags about.
Steven Smith, Jacksonville
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POINT AFTER: NFL PROBLEMS
INSIDE MLB: THE CASE FOR AMERICAN LEAGUE MVP
TWEET OF THE WEEK
A-ROD WOULD PERFORM BETTER IN THE PLAYOFFS IF HE WERE CERTAIN THAT THE TOP MARGINAL TAX RATE WOULDN'T JUMP TO 39.6%.
JIM NEWELL (@JIM_NEWELL)
After the Tigers' Omar Infante was ruled safe at second base on a key missed call in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Yankees, do you think MLB needs to expand its use of instant replay?
Jeff Moccardini: We all take the human element of officiating into consideration when these games are played. MLB has the best officials in pro sports. They do make bad calls on occasion, but that happens to everyone. Baseball is already way too slow.
Tom Chapman: When bad calls go against the Yankees, all hell breaks loose and replay needs to be expanded. Tell that to the 1996 Orioles, 2009 Twins or the '09 Angels. The Yankees' abysmal hitting is really what is going to do them in, not some stupid call.
Richard Siebold: Joe Girardi is being a hypocrite with all this "expanded replay" nonsense. He's on record from a few years ago saying he didn't want expanded replay. You can't have it both ways just because a bad call goes your way one day and then against you the next.
Brian Murray: A system like the one they use in Little League should be put in place. Limit the number of challenges for replays and limit its usage to plays like this and home runs. That way, the delays would not be too long and the calls would be made correctly.