CHAIKIN'S EXAMPLE (CONT.)
One word describes Tommy Chaikin—courageous (The Nightmare of Steroids, Oct. 24). The story he and Rick Telander presented was remarkable. As a high school baseball player, I am aware of how easily steroids can be purchased. But what bugs me most are the coaches who know that their players are on this deadly drug yet do nothing about it.
I'm not suggesting that all coaches turn their backs on the use of steroids, but many do. I ask those coaches: Is it worth it? Are you so selfish that you would risk the lives of your players to win? I'm the first to admit that the athletes are at fault for exercising poor judgment, but the coaches must also take a stand against steroids. Please.
As the mother of a 13-year-old boy, I want to thank Tommy Chaikin for his article. I don't think telling kids to "just say no" is enough. We need to tell them, as Chaikin did, why to say no.
KAREN ADAMS STONE
The story scared the hell out of me and opened the eyes of my two sons.
MADISON T. BROWN III
Master Sergeant, USAF
Wurtsmith AFB, Mich.
I am a 14-year-old sophomore football player at my high school. During the off-season I enjoy weightlifting. I always thought steroids had bad side effects, but I never realized that those side effects could be so dire. This article sends an important message to young athletes.
It's not just the Tommy Chaikins who are hurt by steroids. The thousands of athletes who play by the rules are at a severe disadvantage.
MICHAEL A. ANDERSON
Thumbs down on the story by Tommy Chaikin. Sure there is a steroid problem in high schools and colleges, but no one forced him to take drugs for three years. Nor did he ask for help while he was trying to make himself strong and big. South Carolina gave him a free education and all the glory that goes with big-time college football, and in return he points a finger at coaches, teammates and doctors. What a friend!
Don't blame someone else for your mistakes, Chaikin.
ROBERT A. GRANT
High Point, N.C.
I was interested in Paul Zimmerman's article (What a Downer, Oct. 31) about the alarming number of injuries to NFL quarterbacks. I agree that additional rule changes are not the answer. It seems to me that the refs already have a regulation that deals with overly aggressive defensive players. In case the refs have forgotten, it's called "unnecessary roughness."
DANIEL J. WILKIE
As a high school defensive lineman, I was taught to "stay home" for a certain count in order to find the football before recklessly rushing the quarterback. By staying home, the defensive lineman can be in position to make the tackle on running plays that develop quickly. However, the current play selection in the NFL favors the pass, and the majority of the running plays are the kind that develop slowly, such as sweeps, reverses and draws. In the absence of quick, straight-ahead running plays, the defensive linemen—and the blitzers—are encouraged to ignore the run and go for the quarterback.
JOHN R. MARKLEY