- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
The No. 1 State
Could you please take a satellite photo of the state of Florida and put it on your cover? With championships in every major professional team sport ( Marlins in 2003, Bucs '02, Lightning '04, Heat '06) and several college champions ( Miami football '01, Florida basketball '06 and '07, Florida football '06) in this decade, isn't it time for the entire state to be formally jinxed?
I would agree with the word pounds in your April 9 cover line "Florida Pounds Ohio State to Win National Title (Sound Familiar?)," but only if it refers to the collective hacking of Ohio State center Greg Oden by the Florida players.
I am a huge Michigan Wolverines fan. Congratulations to the Gators not only for winning back-to-back basketball titles and a football title in between but also for becoming my second-favorite university!
Grant Wahl wrote, "As he left the Georgia Dome floor on Monday, [Joakim] Noah gazed skyward and issued a plea. 'Remember us! Remember us!' he screamed to the heavens. 'We belong with the great ones!'" The great ones don't scream like banshees to be remembered.
Should we be surprised that Joakim and the Gators brought home a second championship trophy? Any Sunday-school student could have told you that Noah liked to collect things two by two.
Little Rock Central
Gary Smith's attempt to make heroes out of football players who remained silent during the integration of Little Rock Central should not go unchallenged. It is far too easy for former players to say what they would have done if they could do it over. History is full of regrets and wishes. History is also full of acts. We can only judge these players by what they did or didn't do at the time. Smith tries to defend them by calling their experience "complicated." The "complicated" lives were the ones of those who lived and died in fear.
I know each of the Little Rock Nine personally, and I lived just a few blocks from Central High—so close that I could hear the troops as they mustered in the mornings. The memories flooded back as I read the account of that great football team and how their lives were affected by the events of that time. We all went through so much. Thanks for giving us such poignant insight into the emotions of those students and for helping us to see the rest of the story.
Thanks for Gary Smith's extraordinary story, but I think calling Little Rock Central "the best high school football team in America that year" is a mistake. An all-white high school team could run up a great record against other all-white teams, but it would have had trouble consistently beating the top integrated teams from states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and California.