Don't use substitutes
There has been talk of using substitute players next year if the baseball strike is not settled. If the baseball owners decide to do this, Cal Ripken said that he would not play because he would not consider playing games with substitute players true major-league baseball. However, this would mean Cal would end his consecutive-game streak before breaking Lou Gehrig's record. This perhaps would be the worst thing to come out of the baseball strike.
To protect Cal's record, I hope that Peter Angelos would refuse to allow the Orioles to play with substitute players.
Matthew C. Fenton IV
Tragedy of franchise relocation
Of the many things that degrade the quality of professional sports in America today, I believe the most tragic is franchise removal. While professional sports teams belong to their respective owners economically, they belong to the fans as well in deeper and more meaningful ways; yet the ease with which an owner can callously disregard the loyalty of thousands of fans should be alarming to all fans of professional sports, because no team is immune to being taken away by its ownership or purchased by owners with things other than the team's continuity on their minds.
I find it ironic that a possible destination for Georgia Frontiere's Los Angeles Rams is Baltimore. It would be hard to imagine a city that has had its Colts stolen away by Bob Irsay developing any kind of loyal attachment to what could at best only become a transient amusement with relocate-minded, to-heck-with-the-fans ownership. Baltimore deserves its Colts, but its fans should let it be known that they will not accept a team with here-today, gone-when-the-going-gets-less-than-easy ownership like that of the Rams, much less a team that belongs to the fans of another city.
A solution to the tragedy of franchise relocation lies with the fans. We need to let it be known that we will not support a relocated sports team. If Indianapolis football fans and those in other prospective cities had acted with this kind of forethought in 1984, there is good chance the Colts would still be playing in Baltimore. Indianapolis football fans could have waited for a team of their own through expansion, and the NFL would today have its sense of tradition intact and would be more deserving of the loyalty and the integrity that would benefit all parties involved, the owners as well.
A league like the NFL is at its best when it exists not just in our minds, but in our hearts as well.
Jeffrey W. Adkins
Virginia Beach, Va.
Call them C.F.L.'s
This message is for Colts fans, and Jim Speros, currently fighting for the Baltimore Colts name. We have the name for the team: the Baltimore C.F.L.'s. Because C.F.L. stands for "Colts for Life." There is too much tradition and weaning involved to let the NFL and the Irsays take the name away from us -- they should know better. Remember, Irsays turned their backs on us, the fans, but never have the fans turned their backs on our Colts!
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