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At least we have a teamHow soon...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

At least we have a team

How soon they forget. After 12 long, agonizing seasons without an NFL team of our own, 1996 became the year of the Raven, the year of the NFL's splendid return to Baltimore. The honeymoon sure didn't last long. As proud season-ticket holders, we find it interesting and perplexing to listen to those many individuals who inhabit Memorial Stadium who have so quickly forgotten how dismal the last 12 empty seasons were for all of us.

Yeah, the Ravens' record does stand at a disappointing 3-9. And losing the way they have been has been discouraging. But remember, we have a team, our team.

Perhaps sometimes it take the infinite wisdom of a 6-year-old to put it in its proper perspective. After sitting through last Sunday's loss to Jacksonville, my son, with the naivete of a child, asked, "Why don't they like the Ravens anymore? They are the Baltimore Ravens, aren't they?" From the mouth of babes.

Perhaps we need to remember what life was like on those lonely Sunday afternoons without a team of our own. Better days lie ahead for the Ravens and for all of us fortunate enough to watch at the stadium or at home. After all, they are the Baltimore Ravens, our Baltimore Ravens. That surely sounds good to us.

Christopher Cheswick

Matthew Cheswick

Catonsville

It's a 60-minute game

The Ravens' Michael Jackson hit the nail on the head when after losing to the Jaguars he said, "We had the game in the bag." Make each half a separate game, guys. See if you can beat the team in the second half by as much as you did in the first half. Remember, at halftime, the score is always, 0-0. Good luck.

Charles Johnston

Pasadena As a lifelong Redskins fan, I was happy to see the Colts leave town, and certainly did not want to see another team here. That stance has been slightly modified because, as the saying goes, laughter is the best medicine and the Ravens are great for laughs. For an alternate nickname, why not call them what they are -- Baltimore's Joke.

Louis Levin

Owings Mills

Draft position improving

All right! Ted Marchibroda does it again. Now we just have to worry about the Jets to see who gets Orlando Pace from Ohio State.

Bill McGinty Sr.

Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Terps need Pa. talent

The first thing the new head football coach at Maryland is

going to need to produce a winner is a road map of Pennsylvania. That's what Jim Tatum told the coach who relieved him at Maryland in the early 1950s. The new coach must have found one, because Maryland soon produced a team that was at or near the top of the national rankings. I remember reading at that time that out of a squad of 99 players, 66 of them were from Pennsylvania.

Richard N. Elliott

Baltimore

Holtz among Irish greats

I was saddened to hear the resignation of Notre Dame head football coach Lou Holtz. When you think of Notre Dame tradition, you think of Holtz alongside Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, Joe Montana and the "Four Horsemen."

Holtz may have won only one national championship while at Notre Dame, but he took over the program at a time of disarray when the school had slipped from the ranks of the national powers and took it back to where Notre Dame football belongs. Holtz is an excellent coach and every year his team's expectations are for a national championship and nothing less. Also, how many other coaches have put a referee in a headlock on the sidelines because of a bad call?

Ryan Barrow

Baltimore

Ripken still has range

Pat Gillick seems bound and determined not to entrust Cal Ripken for duty as the Opening Day shortstop in 1997. According to Gillick, "the season took a toll, both on his range and his throwing." Am I missing something here?

Range is construed by the number of plays (putouts plus assists) made per game. The 1996 major-league average range factor for all those performing at shortstop was 4.10. Ripken sparkled at 4.41. The accuracy and throwing velocity of a player's arm is registered by the number of assists a player garnished during the season. Ripken's 468 assists placed him third in the majors for shortstops. Only Pittsburgh's Jay Bell (478) and Oakland's Mike Bordick (476) accumulated more. Had it not been for the 49-inning, six-game stint at third base, Ripken would have had at least 482 assists -- tops in the majors.

C. Newton Weaver Jr.

Ocean City I am a faithful fan of the Orioles and always hate to see players leave, especially after this season. But one player I will not miss is Bobby Bonilla. He is a selfish player. He is a good player, but only if he gets his way and plays the position in the field he wants. Baseball is a team sport, and you should play where you are asked, even if you are a DH!

Melvin Grupp

Baltimore

Baseball must clean house

Baseball will eventually go down the drain unless a permanent commissioner is selected -- and not from the ranks. We need someone who will control and lift the spirits and aims of all the owners and teams.

Also, get rid of those so-called umpires. I have never seen such neglect of duty that has been occurring during the past few years. The sport should require instant replay to prove the various and many errors that are made by them. In a word, they stink.

George S. Weidley

Baltimore

Tribute to Terps' Kehoe

In the recent past, the University of Maryland celebrated 100 years of track and field. The event was a tribute to legendary coach Jim Kehoe, a world-class half-miler in the 1940s who spent years at Maryland as an athlete, head track coach and athletic director. Kehoe compiled a record at Maryland that stands among the finest in modern collegiate track and field history.

Kehoe's relationship with his athletes went far beyond track and field. He was concerned about our academics and our personal lives. He did everything he could to help us in all areas. He set a high standard of moral and ethical behavior for us to follow. What we have learned during the winning and losing that occurred on the fields of the Atlantic Coast Conference was applied to many other areas of our lives. Kehoe's relationship with his trackmen continued after graduation. He corresponded with his athletes and their families and was present at many significant events in their lives.

Jim, I speak for the thousands of boys and were on the track teams during your years at Maryland when I say thank you for caring and for helping us get a college education. In the holiday season, we wish you and your lovely wife, Barbara, health and happiness.

!Stephen Hameroff, M.D.

Pikesville

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Sports Department The Baltimore Sun 501 N. Calvert St. Baltimore, Md. 21278-0001

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(410) 783-2518

Pub Date: 12/01/96

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