Games Children Play
The Life Of Reilly in the May 14 edition was an outstanding presentation of a critical problem confronting society: overbearing, overprotective parents who discourage competition because their child might come in last. Rick Reilly's attack on the ban against playing dodge-ball in some U.S. school districts was right on target.
JASON ANDERSON, Cheyenne, Wyo.
I would plot strategies during third-grade class: Lay back, pick good targets, keep moving, use other players as screens until the moment of truth. I was the last player on my team, facing my best friend, Louie Bettinelli, mano a mano. I don't remember who won that contest and it doesn't matter. However, I learned I was an athlete. From that epiphany, I pursued a lifetime of sports—baseball, soccer, lacrosse, downhill ski racing, cycling and tennis, all at competitive levels.
Taking competition away from children is doing them a grave disservice. Life is dodgeball; all the rest is details.
DAVID L. HARTCORN, Annapolis, Md.
At school we have something called the Cooperative Games. (That's school language; we call them the Death by Bore Games.) In one of the games you get as much credit for saying thank you when someone passes you the ball as you do when you throw it in the basket. Pathetic, wouldn't you agree?
DAVID ROHER (age 10)
While an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts majoring in sport management, I conducted an after-school sports program at a grammar school. Two boys wanted to skip dodgeball because, they said, they were no good. The next day I let them pick their team, and they didn't choose the jocks, they selected their friends. Not only did they beat a team of jocks (with a little help from me), but they also experienced being the captains that day, something I hope they remember for a long time. Keep the games and let the kids play.
TERRY MULLAN, Orcas Island, Wash.
Brave New World
In your astonishing and horrifying story Unnatural Selection (May 14), you state that genetic engineering could be used to help weekend warriors. But why would anyone be satisfied with merely being a weekend warrior when, with a little genetic tweaking, he or she could try to become a rich and famous professional athlete?
ROBERT PACK, Bethesda, Md.
You pose the question, "Why not clone A-Rod—or 25 A-Rods—and engineer an entire team?" Rangers owner Tom Hicks will tell you why not at least 252 million times: A-Rod can't pitch.
MIKE GOLDMAN, Piano, Texas
Speaking of Cheap Shots...
I agree that Tie Domi's hit on Scott Niedermayer was bad (INSIDE THE NHL, May 14). But to suggest that Domi's act was more outrageous than Dale Hunter's attack on Pierre Turgeon in the 1993 playoffs? Please. Brian Cazeneuve fails to say that Hunter hit Turgeon after the whistle—while he was celebrating a goal.
IOLANDA NACCARATO, Toronto
Hats on the ice to Cazeneuve for telling it the way the fans see it, too. What is allowed in the NHL is more than the majority of hockey fans can stomach.
BILL PERRY, Seal Beach, Calif.
It's great to read about a pro athlete like Sean Casey who gets it ( Casey at the Bat, May 14). Barry Bonds, take note: You can hit 800 home runs and nobody will care.
BRYAN HUNTENBURG, Toms River, N.J.