If skiers could look past the crazy hats and grungy snowsuits, they would see that snowboarders are just a bunch of people having fun.
CHRIS VIENNEAU, KIRKLAND, QUE.
Congratulations to Steve Young for his Super Bowl performance (Superb! Feb. 6). Young didn't just get out from under Super Joe's shadow; he created his own shadow.
VEERAL MAJMUDAR, Huntsville, Ala.
Young's performance was fantastic, but it was Jerry Rice, with his 10 catches for 149 yards and three of Young's six touchdowns, who sparked the San Francisco 49er offense. Rice should have been the MVP of Super Bowl XXIX.
SHEILA ELY, Noxen, Pa.
Let's see: The 49ers had 49 points and 449 total yards, and Young led the team with 49 yards rushing and Rice with 149 yards receiving.
DUSTIN, DON AND DAX VAN ANTWERP
When is the NFL going to get its head out of the sand and seed the teams that qualify for the playoffs regardless of the conferences they play in? Then we would have a Super Bowl that might be worth watching instead of the usual blowouts.
PAUL KUNZMAN, Alliance, Neb.
The Super Bowl is an annual reminder of why college football should not go to a playoff system. The NFL usually serves up an overcommercialized, boring game to end the season. The NCAA usually serves up an interesting series of bowl games that bring the college season to an exciting finish. There are many heroes, some wonderful games, and several teams (and their fans) go home feeling like winners.
PETER SLOVENSKI, Brunswick, Maine
I am the father of Rob Baker, the teenage skier mentioned in your article who died following a collision with a snowboarder (Snowboard Nation, Jan. 23), and I have a somewhat different understanding of this sport. While there may be some animosity between Alpine skiers and snowboarders because of Alpine elitism and age differences, there are also other problems. Those who learn to snowboard are able to go from beginners to fast, all-out boarders in a very short time, while speed and ability in Alpine skiing is measured in years. In those years of learning, an Alpine skier becomes more aware of the dangers inherent in snow sports and cultivates a more mature attitude toward the sport.
Snowboarding does not lend itself to panic turns. The snowboarder may also have his back to the turn. The result, to my mind, is snowboarders who are new to snow sports, immature as to the dangers, traveling at high rates of speed and using equipment unsuited for avoiding obstacles, including people.
This is not an indictment of snowboarders. They are good kids practicing a fun sport, and sports are a wonderful way for people to live happier, more productive lives. I do, however, question the wisdom of allowing Alpine skiing and snowboarding on the same hill. There should be separate areas for snowboarders, where people can choose for themselves to accept the dangers in that sport.
MIKE BAKER, Albuquerque
I am one of those skiers who "tighten up when they see or hear a snowboarder." I tighten up because I wonder if snowboarders are going to follow the skiers' responsibility code that says, "People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them." The mountains are large enough for skiers and snowboarders alike as long as everybody follows the rules and shows consideration for others.
MARGARET A. D'AMICO, Reading, Pa.