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The Popularity Gap
One reason the NFL
gets a pass from fans in response to the boorish and criminal behavior of so
many of its players is simple: NFL football has morphed from a sporting event
to an entertainment spectacle (SCORECARD, Oct. 9). Today's NFL has more in
common with reality TV than with the game pioneered by Paul Brown and George
Halas. The NBA should be grateful it is being held to a tougher standard;
that's an indication that their fans—and the media—still view basketball as an
athletic endeavor, unlike Survivor NFL.
As a black man I
am infuriated that, once again, some people are playing the race card to excuse
bad behavior on the part of professional athletes. If the facts show that the
majority of misbehavers in the NBA are black, then we should look within to see
how we can correct this malady, rather than blaming others for racist opinions.
In the past year the sports with the most negative news have been baseball and
cycling. If someone were to say that they were viewed negatively because they
were mostly white, we would laugh.
Thank you for your
article on Patrick Henry Hughes and his father, Patrick John Hughes, who pushes
his son's wheelchair during performances by the Louisville marching band (LIFE
OF REILLY, Oct. 16). My wife and I have a two-year-old son, Matthew, who has a
genetic disease called spinal muscular atrophy (type 2) that devastated our
world. At best Matthew will be relegated to a wheelchair, and the worst is
something I cannot stand to describe. I am a research scientist dedicated to
finding new drugs to extend and enhance human life, and to be unable to help my
"little man" is unfathomable. Reilly's column made me think of the
bright future that I hope Matthew and I will have together. If Matthew and I
can grow up to be half the men that the Hugheses are, we will surely be a
father-son team be a refreshing TV reality show? It's much more inspiring than
The Bachelor or any show about Paris Hilton and her friend. Hats off to
Louisville and the Hugheses.
I was fascinated
by A Brief History of Bad Ideas (SCORECARD, Oct. 16). The blue glowing puck,
which you cited, produced no real change, good or bad, for the players or the
spectators in the arena, but it did make the puck easier to see on TV. It also
turned red and produced a "comet tail" when hit toward the net with a
slap shot. Following the puck made it more enjoyable to watch hockey on TV and
would have, eventually, led to more fans watching at home. Bring back the
L. Jon Wertheim
questioned whether 7-foot, 328-pound Nikolay Valuev can actually fight (Size
Matters, Oct. 9). After seeing Valuev's destruction of Monte Barrett, however,
I think that's like asking if Shaquille O'Neal can man the point. What
difference does it make? Valuev brings a different dimension to the fight game.
Just seeing him step over the ropes was worth the price of admission.