The court should allow Andrew Long to hit Jesse Boulerice in the face with his stick traveling between 50 and 75 mph.
—KEVIN O'CALLAGHAN, Millis, Mass.
A Blow Struck in Anger
After reading your article (Less than Murder, March 22) and watching the video of the incident on your Web site about a hundred times, I would not hesitate to ban Jesse Boulerice for life from playing hockey. The guy plainly paused for a moment after the tussle, shifted his weight and slammed his stick into Andrew Long's face like a man out for blood. I don't buy into the justification that life is hard on young men trying to make it to the big show in hockey.
BRIAN K. RUSSELL, Huntington, W.Va.
Although Canada's youth leagues do teach kids to score goals and play defense, it is clear that they don't teach youngsters how to deal with their emotions. It is surprising that violent acts such as this one are not more common.
JON SWARD, Glorieta, N.Mex.
The insinuation that what caused Boulerice to take his hockey stick to the face of Long had more to do with the pressure of succeeding at Canada's national pastime and less to do about the reckless behavior of a violent young man is clearly ridiculous.
JEFF SEXTON, Dyersburg, Tenn.
Boulerice is as much a victim in this incident as Long. Boulerice is a victim of the preconception of what has always been acceptable in hockey. Pressing charges is just a tactic to seek revenge. Boulerice certainly doesn't deserve to go to jail or serve out an extensive probation. He doesn't deserve to have his 10-year dream of playing in the NHL dashed by a split-second decision.
BECKY REED, Dallas
What about Lofton?
I disagree with your statement about Pat Listach's being the overwhelming choice for American League Rookie of the Year in 1992 (INSIDE BASEBALL, March 22). Kenny Lofton finished second that year with 85 points to Listach's 122. A better choice of words would have been, "Listach beat out Lofton in one of the closest American League Rookie of the Year votes in the past 10 years."
MIKE STADULIS, Pataskala, Ohio
I enjoyed your article about the newly blazing Portland Trail Blazers, but you left out a key ingredient in their success, assistant coach Tim Grgurich (Egoless Trip, March 22). Grgurich spent the last several years with the Seattle SuperSonics, for whom he provided the glue to hold a fragile team together. The Blazers are cohesive and winning. The difference is Grgurich.
KEN BOYER, Redmond, Wash.
While I enjoyed your analysis of the Sweet 16 (Sweet 'n' Low, March 22), you should have chosen Iowa point guard Dean Oliver's using his father, who is in prison on drug charges, as his greatest inspiration for your This Week's Sign That the Apocalypse Is Upon Us, instead of as a Field of Dreams father-son moment.
JAMES MILLER, Oviedo, Fla.
He's Not My Hero
Your article by S.L. Price on Jose Canseco was disgusting (Life Is Beautiful, March 22). Why do sports publications glorify athletes, no matter how much abuse and heartbreak they inflict on their families? You mention Canseco's clashes with the law over gun possession and speeding, his alleged steroid use and, oh, by the way, spousal abuse of not one but two wives! There are many athletes who deserve recognition on your pages, instead of this crude animal.
J.H. BERRY, New Orleans
I find it ludicrous that anyone could think the SAT test is racially biased (SCORECARD, March 22). If a high school senior cannot achieve a score of 700 or 820, that player doesn't deserve to go to college.
ADAM LANGLEY, Glenview, Ill.