Love him or hate him, Cosell gave a voice to sports for an entire generation.
THOMAS R. FEUERSTEIN, INVERNESS, FLA.
As far as I'm concerned, the late Howard Cosell (POINT AFTER, May 1) was intelligent, articulate and knowledgeable about the rules of the games. Although sarcastic, he will be remembered as an original sportscaster. Cosell's mission was to educate the masses, and he deserves to be honored for doing a good job.
ROBERT S. DENCHFIELD, Coral Gables, Fla.
Long after the talking heads have disappeared into the miasma of obscurity, Cosell will be the benchmark by which broadcasters are measured.
PAULETTE CAROLLO, Spring, Texas
None of today's announcers possesses the courage or integrity that Cosell had. All sports fans will miss him, whether they know it or not.
JOHN SPOONER, Bakersfield, Calif.
Cosell was not knowledgeable about all the sports he broadcast—I have in mind Monday Night Football—and he never shut up. More than any other announcer, he interrupted his colleagues, distracting from their broadcasting. Unfortunately, the networks have adopted this as standard practice, and we, the audience, are left with a host of announcers who don't even pretend to do play-by-play. He opened the door for the low-quality sports announcing that the public is subjected to today.
DON GUERIN, Sacramento
Cosell's main goal appeared to be to promote Howard Cosell, as he blathered his way through an athletic contest. While he might have enjoyed hearing himself ramble on, I didn't. I also detested the way he dumped on ballplayers when they didn't live up to his expectations. He had an irritating way of heaping sarcasm on athletes that could come only from someone who had never been there.
BITSY IONIA, Dixfield, Maine
Most of the comment on Cosell has focused on his affinity for controversy, or his wide streak of contentiousness, or his addiction to hyperbole, but he could be very compassionate, too.
In 1967, as a young reporter for the Niagara Falls Gazette, I covered the first two games of the World Series. The Cardinals were playing the Red Sox at Fenway Park, and I found myself sitting at the far end of the auxiliary press box. Next to me was a rather bored Howard Cosell, sporadically calling the action into an empty beer can. ABC did not have the game contract, and all he had to do was a short wrap-up at the end.
I asked Cosell to autograph my program so that I could send it to a fan of his, my college roommate, who was hospitalized in an Army medical center in San Antonio after being badly burned in Vietnam. Cosell became energized. For almost two innings he interviewed me about my friend, blending the information into patriotic, warm and encouraging between-pitches sentences in a letter that my buddy says helped him to recover. It was one helluva nice thing to do.
JOHN HANCHETTE, Arlington, Va.
I would like to take issue with your SCORECARD item on changes in team nicknames (April 24). You said Skidmore College changed its team nickname from the Wombats to the Thoroughbreds in 1983 in an effort to be "less cuddly, more macho." In fact, Skidmore, which is located in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., changed the name of its teams to honor the celebrated horse racing in the area. Also, Skidmore, which you called a "women's college," had already become "less cuddly, more macho" by going coed in 1971.
MIKE SANCLEMENTE, Arlington, Texas