The decision by baseball's ruling council to suspend Cincinnati Red owner Marge Schott from the day-to-day operation of the team for a year (SCORECARD, Feb. 15) should force us to question what is going on in America. This is a land where the basic tenet of free speech was guaranteed by our forefathers. Apparently the rules have changed. Are we going to interfere with somebody's business because she spoke her mind, no matter how wrong we think she is? Where is the freedom in that?
JAFAR W. SIDDIQUI
KURT O. IEUTER
Madison Heights, Mich.
I strongly object to the suspension and fining of Marge Schott. The suspension is of questionable validity, the fine is a mere slap on the wrist, and the only thing a course in multiculturalism will teach anyone is when people can and cannot afford to open their mouths. Schott has been railroaded by a bunch of old men who want to appear politically correct. They have decided that she used offensive language. Fine. So what? Are not neo-Nazis protected under the law? Are not satanists? What's important is how she runs her business. As far as I can see, the Reds are better than the average baseball team when it comes to minority hiring.
Mountain Lakes, N.J.
The Last 'Rooskie
I share your disappointment with the NCAA for its outlawing of football's most hilarious, if not innovative, play—the fumblerooskie (SCORECARD, Feb. 8). You were wrong, however, in stating that the last successful 'rooskie occurred at the Blue-Gray Game on Christmas Day.
You obviously missed the East-West Shrine Game, held on Jan. 24 in Palo Alto, Calif. In that game Will Shields, Nebraska's Outland Trophy-winning guard, scooped up a "fumble" left for him by Weber State quarterback Jamie Martin and rumbled for four yards to keep a crucial fourth-quarter possession alive for the West. Although Shields' heroics did not garner the headlines of guard Jason Youngblood's 18-yard touchdown run in the Blue-Gray Game, failing to recognize Shields as the last ballcarrier in the storied history of the fumblerooskie is unjust.
Besides, Shields is 6'1", 305 pounds; who's going to tell him his run didn't count for anything?
Assistant Director, Public Relations
East-West Shrine Football Classic
Palo Alto, Calif.
Home Sweet Home
I commend Steve Wulf on his POINT AFTER concerning "homer" sportscasters in your Feb. 22 issue. He is right on with his assessment of Ken (Hawk) Harrelson of the Chicago White Sox, one of the ultimate homers. I am a bit surprised that he failed to mention Kevin Harlan, who does play-by-play for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Harlan can make a Christian Okoye two-yard stumble seem like a 75-yard gallop to pay dirt. And his trademark "Ooooooh baaaaaby, what a plaaaaay!" is like listening to fingernails scrape on a chalkboard.
Brookings, S. Dak.
Foul Foul Shooting
In addition to the reasons you gave for the demise of foul shooting (INSIDE COLLEGE BASKETBALL, Feb. 15), I have still another reason: the three-point rule. Nowadays a team's best shooters are pulling up for three-pointers, all but eliminating their chances of getting fouled.
Former coach, Wheeling College
Pro-(and con) Am
I thought Rick Reilly's story about playing the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am was hilarious (S.O.S. from the AT&T, Feb. 15). I am a 15 handicapper who has imagined sinking that short putt the PGA Tour player just missed on national TV. Reilly's self-deprecating approach in describing his experience was well worth his boss's $3,500 investment. And Rick, if Two-Down can't caddie your next Tour event, I'd be happy to oblige.
MARK H. ROWLEY
Reilly is an excellent writer, but he would have to shoot an 18 at Pebble Beach with a garden rake to justify the six pages and 12 photos of self-indulgence you devoted to this story. I prefer to read Reilly's articles about true sports figures.
Burr Ridge, Ill.
As the owners of Ross' Restaurant, a 50-year-old landmark in Bettendorf, Iowa, we applaud your article about our local star, Tavian Banks (No Place Like Home for a Hawkeye, Feb. 15). However, we feel compelled to take issue with the condescending tone used to describe Bettendorf, Banks and the restaurant's specialty, the Magic Mountain: "The specialty at Ross' diner on 14th Street is lunch meat piled on hash browns." Ugh.