Don't play the race card
Lawyers and politicians cash in playing the race card, so why not sportswriters? That must have been the thinking of Ken Rosenthal when he wrote his column for Dec. 31 ("Lack of hiring judgment right there in black, white").
NFL owners are millionaires with huge egos. I believe they all try to put winning organizations together. Why else are they in the game? They certainly don't need the money. Some owners are good at this, others are woefully inept.
Regardless, it's their team and their mega-million-dollar investment. Why does Rosenthal make the race of a head coach an issue here? Whose place is it to criticize an owner's selection of a head coach just because he is white? Not mine, and certainly not Ken Rosenthal's.
Buy your own team, Ken, and hire whomever you wish. Moreover, leave the race-card tactics to the above-mentioned experts. It has no place in the sports section.
John Provenza, Catonsville
Memo to Modell: Zip it!
It should now be apparent that Ravens owner Art Modell is a loose cannon. Every time he speaks before the media, he inserts his foot in his mouth, whether it be the "elite team" comment or the remark about Hitler during the news conference announcing Ted Marchibroda's dismissal.
Modell just makes matters worse, like when he publicly says that "the Ravens will be a playoff team in 1999." What does he base that on? He doesn't even know who the coach will be.
It's not all on Modell, though. The Ravens' public relations department is either too ignorant to shut him up or just afraid of him, but someone has to put an end to this nonsense. All it does is insult the public's intelligence.
Kevin Cooper, Baltimore
J. Johnson has no class
I had always wondered who was the bigger buffoon, Jerry Jones or Jimmy Johnson. Johnson edged ahead with his no-class move of providing boxes of Flutie Flakes for his Dolphins to stomp after Buffalo and the referees gift-wrapped a victory for his clowns in the NFL playoffs on Jan. 2.
The fact that profits from the sale of Flutie Flakes go to a foundation to help autistic children was apparently lost on his low-class group of people. I can't imagine the classy Don Shula doing something so shoddy! Wayne Huizenga and Johnson deserve each other.
Jack Smolenski and Avery Sieg, Ellicott City
Athletes' donations needed
It is downright disgusting to read about an athlete receiving an astronomical salary for just pitching or hitting a baseball. What about the specialty research groups who are continually asking for additional funding?
It would be a wonderful gesture from the Major League Baseball Players Association to publicly announce a contribution to such organizations from its members.
By giving back something of themselves, individuals become real-life persons -- facing life's realities -- and not superficial attractions.
Edward R. Platt, Randallstown
Remember the Babe
Baseball's recent Hall of Fame vote provided another example of just how misleading statistics can be. I refer to the updated numbers that now comprise "the highest voting percentage in the history of balloting for the Hall."
In gaining election to the Hall, Nolan Ryan was named on the second-highest percentage of ballots in history (98.79). Interestingly, Ryan never won a Cy Young Award and his 324-292 career record gave him a .526 winning percentage -- the lowest among baseball's 300-game winners.
Here's another deception spawned by the latest vote: Babe Ruth, a member of the original class of 1936, now is tied for ninth-highest percentage in the history of Hall of Fame balloting. Does this mean that the Babe is no longer on the "first team." I don't think so.
Alan D. Mason, Rockville
Pub Date: 1/10/99