I was 13 when the Bruins' penalty for too many men happened. I cried myself to sleep. Fans who have only lived through Boston's recent success will never understand the anguish of the 1970s—not just Bucky Dent's homer against the Red Sox in '78 but also the bogus roughing-the-passer call on Patriots defensive tackle Sugar Bear Hamilton in the '76 playoffs.
John Baylor, Lincoln, Neb.
You want to talk about bad playoff hockey calls (Too Many Men)? Try Game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup finals between the Flyers and the Islanders. After linesman Leon Stickle's no-call in the first period Duane Sutter scored, though New York was offsides. (Stickles admitted that he missed the call.) Bob Nystrom later put the nail in Philadelphia's coffin with his overtime goal, giving the Islanders a 5--4 win and the Cup.
Bill Sullivan, Nashville
After reading Andrew Brandt's The Case for an NFL D League (SCORECARD), I couldn't help but get excited at the possibility, reflecting on how much fun baseball's minor league system has been for fans who live in smaller cities where they otherwise wouldn't have a chance to see a professional team play. It would be a great stepping stone not only for the players but also for up-and-coming coaches who want to hone their play-calling skills and test their game plans.
Jon Kenyon, Olivet, Mich.
I agree with Michael McCann's superb piece on the NBA's role in the Donald Sterling controversy (SCORECARD). One can't help but wonder if the league's inaction regarding Sterling's previous legal issues involving discrimination led to its swift punishment of Sterling in an effort to save face. Perhaps the NBA should offer a mea culpa of its own and match Sterling's $2.5 million fine.
Richard Boyce, San Francisco
Not So Fast
I took exception to Tom Verducci's declaration that Mike Trout is "the greatest 22-year-old to ever play the game" (The Best, Simply). Like Trout, Ted Williams was born in August and was 22 when he started the 1941 season for the Red Sox. He finished with a .406 average, 37 home runs and 120 RBIs.
Ray Grasso, Wethersfield, Conn.
Joan Niesen's article on Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy (Sam I Am Not) made me want to applaud this amazing young man. Given the sacrifices he made for his sister Cierra, it's obvious not only that he has a true sense of responsibility but also that he will be an outstanding NFL player.
Jack Lupo, St. Louis
Your reference to Mike Trout as the Millville Meteor brings up memories of the player he most reminds me of, Mickey Mantle, the Commerce Comet.
Alan Goodman Silver Spring, Md.
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Who do you think should coach the Knicks ?
Lou Ghiraldi Mark Jackson. Period. But I think Phil Jackson just wants a puppet so he can pull the strings from upstairs. That's how Pat Riley does it in Miami.
Ian Splisgardt Mark Jackson. However, if they want someone who knows Phil's triangle offense, why not Derek Fisher?
Sean Seifert Just have Phil run the whole team as coach and president. It works well in San Antonio with Gregg Popovich.
David Lund Clyde Frazier. If they don't win, at least they would still be cool.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
If the Billboard Awards can bring Michael Jackson back 4 a performance, can the @dallascowboys bring me back on the corner 4 a season or 3?