Time for fans to make some noiseWake...


Time for fans to make some noise

Wake up, Baltimore football fans. It's time to make some noise.

Now is our chance to finally forget about the Colts and restore our city to major league status. Yet all I hear is grumbling from Annapolis about how terrible the Browns deal is.

It's time for us to get over feeling sorry for Cleveland and start battling our critics, primarily from Montgomery County, who believe that the citizens of Baltimore should be happy with the Redskins.

Just when we thought we had won the battle against our tandem of enemies -- Paul Tagliabue and Jack Kent Cooke -- a new opponent has emerged. This one is just as formidable -- our own state legislature.

Apparently the laws established for the football stadium, which have been on the books since 1987, are not considered good law by several members of our General Assembly. They would like to breach our contract with Art Modell and hang us out to dry.

It's time for us to get excited about the return of the NFL to Baltimore. Imagine those Sunday tailgates at Camden Yards. Imagine seeing our team host the Colts and Bob Irsay in our beautiful new stadium. Imagine our team stomping on the Redskins in the Super Bowl.

Won't it be great to look forward to Sundays again?

Nicolaus Papas


NFL presence is not in public interest

The Sun's Feb. 6 editorial about the economic benefit to the region of the construction of a downtown football stadium and the acquisition of an NFL team is another classic example of self-interest masquerading as the public interest.

Most of the reputable economists not employed by the NFL or its team owners who have studied the issue have concluded that the economic benefits of professional sports teams to their home cities are marginal, not much more than that of a good small business.

As for impartiality, could it have been a simple oversight that the editorial didn't mention that The Sun itself is likely to be one of the greatest beneficiaries of whatever economic benefit may accompany the presence of an NFL team?

Special editions, more advertising revenue, perhaps even more subscribers and newsstand sales while football will do very little for the rest of us, no doubt it will bring great benefit to the shareholders and employees of your newspaper.

What's worse, a number of the other arguments you mounted were laughable. My 13-year-old son was especially amused by the thought of having all those under-educated, overpaid athletes who can barely speak English spending their money and living in our neighborhood out here in the 'burbs.

Give us a break. We already have a more-than-ample supply of selfish, narrow-minded boors populating places like Ruxton and other affluent suburban communities.

Richard A. Hesel


Metro passenger's costly breakfast

As an employee at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, I had rarely had an occasion to use the Metro until a recent assignment at the University of Maryland.

On my second day, I was issued a citation for $75 for eating a doughnut on the platform. While I had previously seen the "No eating" sign on the train, I had never noticed it at the station.

I find it ludicrous that with the rampant crime around I was given such an exorbitant fine -- all for eating a little breakfast. It is not as if I threw my paper bag on the ground.

Everyone talks about the need for increased use of public transportation. Well, I can guarantee that I will never use the Metro again.

Frank Holmes


Dixon independence explains attacks

Sen. Joe McCarthy and his heirs, such as Rush Limbaugh, have always judged a person's patriotism by his politics. Come wrap yourselves in the flag with us, they say, or you are un-American.

According to reporter Marina Sarris's Jan. 28 Perspective article, a substantial minority of Maryland's legislative Black Caucus and Professors Frank L. Morris Sr., of Morgan, and Alvin Thornton, of Howard, question the blackness of newly elected State Treasurer Richard N. Dixon.

As a representative of Carroll County, Mr. Dixon hasn't always voted with the caucus. It's the same thing, folks. No one has the right to set himself up as a "guardian of the black experience," as Professor Thornton would have it, any more than Rush Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan are judges of what is and is not American.

"The black experience" is a much broader highway than many black leaders imagine and it is not closed to those who don't share the agenda of black caucuses. The courage and dignity of black Americans in the midst of terrible adversity is part of the heritage of all Americans who are able to look beyond their own genes.

Those who voted against Mr. Dixon might do penance by spending part of Black History Month with the sermons of Martin Luther King Jr. and the essays of Ralph Ellison.

Hal Riedl


Friends hail Hayden honor

We knew it all the time.

The board of the Friends of the Enoch Pratt Free Library is delighted that the Library Journal and The Sun (editorial, Feb. 4) have joined us in recognizing the accomplishments of "Librarian of the Year" Carla D. Hayden and in acknowledging the talented, forward-thinking staff of the Pratt.

As this Baltimore institution celebrates its 110th birthday this year, we wish it continued growth and success for the next century-plus.

Ann Weller Dahl


The writer is president of the Friends of the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

Major should loosen disarmament demands

Without defending terrorism, an observer to the precarious peace process in Northern Ireland cannot help but have some degree of sympathy for Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

Mr. Adams has become the spokesman for a complex, fragmented and ruthless group called the Irish Republican Army. Maintaining the IRA cease fire has been a challenge for Mr. Adams and he deserves credit for doing that for the past 17 months.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister John Major insists that the IRA hand over all of its weapons of terrorism. The problem with this demand is that it would most likely be impossible for Mr. Adams or any other leader in Northern Ireland to make this happen.

Supporters of the Republican movement do not consider themselves subjects of the British government, and will not leave themselves defenseless to what they consider British support for Northern Ireland, which has historically discriminated against Catholics. Even the peace-and-compromise-oriented Irish prime minister, John Bruton, has wrestled with Mr. Major in loosening the demands for the IRA's handing over all arms.

Although Sinn Fein and the IRA are not spokesmen for all Catholics in the north of the island, the more prudent move on Mr. Major's part may be to ease the disarmament demands for all-party peace talks until further progress toward a just and lasting peace has been accomplished.

Isn't the 17 months of peace proof enough that the people of Northern Ireland want this dangerous issue resolved?

Richard P. Jester


Breed of dog is like poetry

Your Feb. 8 article on Jack Russell terriers, "One fad on four legs," was a good portrait of a breed that might be most concisely described by the opening lines in the John Donne sonnet: "I am a little world made cunningly."

Geoffrey Mudge


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