Mail | What readers are saying
Praise for Mack Strong
Mack Strong is a true football hero: very talented in his chosen sport and a splendid example of fine character. A sports hero who cares deeply about his wife and children, possesses a strong work ethic and is selfless and dedicated in his career is a wonderful example for the young people who look up to him. Congratulations to him for a life truly well-lived and to you for spotlighting that life.
— Janet Nagel, Bellevue
Maybe it's jet lag
Has it ever occurred to you that Mike Holmgren has problems with teams on the road in the Eastern time zone? Most of the time they don't know where they are until halftime.
In Pittsburgh, they never woke up. There are four more games in that time zone this season and I see two, maybe all four, as losses. It's funny, when the teams from that area come out here they are better prepared and play to the last play of the game, even sometimes into overtime. Coach Holmgren's famous "West Coast" offense only works in the Pacific time zone.
— Frank O'Brien, Richmond Beach
Why not a female coach?
I was happy to learn that Hope Solo was reinstated to the U.S. women's national soccer team, but one burning question remains. With the fortitude of women's soccer in the U.S., I ponder why a male coaches the team? Especially considering there are a number of stellar female coach options available.
Men and women play soccer differently. A man's game is based on physicality while woman's is finesse. If the national basketball team is headed by the most optimal choice of Anne Donovan, certainly, we can come up with a formidable woman to coach the soccer team. I'd like to think we've at least gotten that far.
— Alison Crosier, Redmond
Sounders are for real
Yes, we are getting an MLS franchise. The money and interest is coming together. It should be named the Sounders.
The Seattle Sounders organization is the longest living, most established soccer franchise in the USA. Since the NASL, they always maintained professionalism as well as local roots. Their many league championships in the USL came with local ownership, coaches and players. USL is basically Division II soccer in this country. So Seattle is showing its true savvy of the sport because 5,000 in attendance a game is probably the world average for Division II soccer.
Soccer is in the bloodline here, far ahead of any other part of the country. Back in the late '60s, early '70s, my youth team, the Newport Huskies, along with a team from the Lake Hills neighborhood of Bellevue, easily could have rolled across the country and slaughtered youth teams anywhere.
The Newport Hills and Lake Hills portions of Bellevue were ground zero for the strongest soccer programs in the nation at the time. We would have rated tops even in today's soccer climate.
The new Seattle Sounders can actually change the face of soccer on a world scale. Let's show our stuff. We have it.
— Douglas Mays, Seattle
Ryan is a legend
I so much enjoyed the article about local soccer legend Mike Ryan ("New kicks for an old shoe," Seattle Times, Oct. 9).
I first met Mike 33 years ago at an organizing meeting for Washington State Women's Soccer Association. Mike had stepped forward to help the 100-plus women trying to start an adult league here in Seattle.
WSWSA is proud to claim Mike as our first president and only male president. We all owe Mike a debt of gratitude for his passion and what he has done for the sport; the "beautiful game" in this area. Mike is our local soccer icon.
— Janet Slauson, Lake Forest Park
Look again at society's ethics
I don't want to offer excuses or exonerate Marion Jones from criminal liability in taking a banned substance to give her a competitive advantage and lying to the IOC officials or federal prosecutors. There is also her complicity in a check-writing scheme. Still, there is a much bigger issue at stake, namely, that of cheating, which is a pervasive problem in almost every segment of American society.
If this society was one which regularly practiced high standards of ethical behavior, starting in the home first, then many of our social ills wouldn't even exist. No one would succumb to the temptation to cheat and one could compete fairly and achieve the rewards and recognition based on hard work, determination, honesty and integrity.
Marion Jones' tearful and sincere apology will not dissuade the hardened and angry cynics who feel she betrayed their trust by lying and misleading them to have the laudatory honors, Olympic medals and the financial rewards of commercial endorsements heaped upon her that she was not entitled to receive.
Perhaps in some way she has shamed us all because she was our treasured "idol" and she let us down, even if just a little bit. Her image might forever be tarnished but to me her confession was "golden" and I for one forgive her and love her just the same.
— Robert Randle, Tacoma
A-Rod has had enough
When Alex Rodriguez was a Seattle Mariner he was a beloved figure on the Seattle sports scene. Jerry Brewer ("Sparking A Lightning Rod of Controversy," Seattle Times, Oct. 11) quotes Scott Boras, A-Rod's agent, as saying he's got to get a unique salary because Rodriguez "is in a unique place and a unique situation."
When did greed become unique? Greed is rampant in a society where compassion is missing from most discussions involving business. Mariano Rivera, the fine closer for the Yankees, has finally realized that baseball is but a business in our current day and age. Does it have to be?
When enough will ever be enough? A-Rod already has enough money to be comfortable for the rest of his life. Perhaps he could repair his reputation by playing baseball for a small-market team for free for the next 10 years? Now, that would be a unique salary, and baseball would have a new light shining from the top of that proverbial hill, wouldn't it?
— David Enroth, Seattle
There's a way to speed things up
Steve Kelley is right ("Want slow baseball? Just add the replay," Seattle Times, Oct. 12). We don't need another delay in professional baseball and instant replay is a lousy idea. We have a half dozen commercials after every third out or pitcher change. To make it worse, pitchers take forever, staring at home plate, adjusting their caps, jewelry, shirts, gloves, privates and whatever else before throwing a pitch. Batters do the same adjusting and then step out of the box and cause further delays.
Baseball can learn from football's play clock and basketball's shot clock. I suggest a 20-second pitch clock. If a pitcher took more than 20 seconds, the umpire would call a ball. If a batter delayed the game more than 20 seconds, a strike would be called.
Of course, tradition wouldn't allow it, and some prima donnas quickly would be in the minors — but isn't it a good idea?
— Harry Petersen, BellevueSend us your backtalk: Letters bearing true names, addresses and telephone numbers for verification are considered for publication. Please limit letters to 125 words or less. They are subject to editing and become the property of The Times. Fax them to 206-464-3255, or mail to: Backtalk, Seattle Times Sports, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. Or e-mail to: email@example.com.
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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