Letting Je. Lewis go huge mistake by...


Letting Je. Lewis go huge mistake by Ravens

For a team with as many hard-working and intelligent front-office members as the Ravens, the loss of Jermaine Lewis represents a terrible error in judgment. Though the team clearly had severe salary cap issues, handing over a two-time Pro Bowl player like Lewis to the expansion Houston Texans makes absolutely no sense.

If you look at the team, you have an overpaid quarterback coming off a terrible season (Elvis Grbac), an overpaid punter (Kyle Richardson) and an overpaid offensive lineman (Leon Searcy) who did not even play a down last season.

And who is put on the expansion list: Lewis? Linebacker Jamie Sharper? You have to be kidding me. I understand losing Sharper, a great player who plays next to two other great players. But giving away a game-breaking kick returner like Lewis, a local product by the way, is not something you can reasonably do.

It is a sad, sad day in the NFL when a spirited young man like Lewis, someone who gave his heart and soul to the team every day he played, is let go. It is made even sadder when one of the reasons it was done was to keep Grbac.

At what point will someone clue in Brian Billick and Ozzie Newsome that Grbac can't play. At least Lewis could, and now he's gone. So much for loyalty.

Tom Maronick Washington

Sharpe is correct in criticism of Ravens

Although Shannon Sharpe is sometimes too outspoken, he hit the nail right on the head this time - where are the Ravens headed? ["Sharpe hits Ravens on his way out," Feb. 19].

I understand they are significantly over the salary cap. However, leaving two great players - and, I might add, young players in their primes - open to the expansion draft was a big mistake.

No wonder Sharpe did not have a problem being waived.

Shawn Blackiston Baltimore

Ravens will miss Sharpe for his talent, mouth

I was deeply dismayed to read that the Ravens cut tight end Shannon Sharpe.

In addition to being an outstanding tight end who comes through in a pinch, he provides extraordinary leadership and boosts morale, not to mention the best quotes in the NFL.

We love him for his performance as well as his poignant, insightful, and inciting comments.

Elizabeth Ebersole Annapolis

Olympic hockey puts NHL brand to shame

Whenever the Olympics or the NCAA hockey playoffs come around, I find myself wondering if the NHL brass watches. Beautiful skating, great passing, plenty of (clean) hits, no goons. What's not to like?

Why the NHL feels it important to allow cheap shots and drop-the-gloves stupidity escapes me. No other pro sport allows, nay, encourages, this activity.

In any other sport, throw a punch and get suspended. In the NHL, let 'em duke it out. Why?

As much as the crowd reacts, I cannot believe the fans would be less enthusiastic about well-played hockey. And those that are, give them tickets to the World Wrestling Federation.

If it takes allowing the two-line pass to open up the ice, to stop the grabbing, holding and mugging that passes for NHL hockey, allow it.

If I wanted to see bad boxing, I'd watch a Mike Tyson fight.

Gary Gilmore Reisterstown

O's Angelos, Thrift are all talk, no action

Each year we get the usual, "We want to win and have a plan" from the Orioles' Syd Thrift and Peter Angelos ["O's want to see youth movement grow up this year," Feb. 18].

Actions speak louder than words. The Orioles did nothing this off-season to prove winning is anything more than another empty promise. It is time for a new owner and a real GM.

Michael Frye Frederick

Taxpayers' revenues mishandled by MSA

In the Feb. 14 Sun sports section, Maryland's attorney general, J. Joseph Curran Jr., criticizes the Maryland Stadium Authority for allowing the Ravens to misuse more than $20 million of PSL revenue. It also appears very unlikely that Maryland and its taxpayers will ever recover any of this illegally used money.

What makes this even more outrageous is that, in July, the same Maryland Stadium Authority cost the taxpayers $10 million, paid to Orioles owner Peter Angelos, for a foul-up associated with stadium naming rights. So we are talking more than $30 million of taxpayer money down the drain, in a matter of a few short months. How much more is there that we don't know about?

But wait, there's more. Buried in the later paragraphs of the article is a statement by the Ravens' accounting firm saying that it felt "uncomfortable" interpreting the law (forbidding the illegal use of the PSL funds), which brought a windfall of more than $20 million to the coffers of Ravens owner Art Modell.

Guess who the Ravens have as their accounting firm? Arthur Andersen LLP, that's who! Yep, the same firm that is involved in the current Enron scandal! Something is beginning to smell here, and it isn't exactly perfume!

Governor Glendening wants to stop the tax cuts that he promised to Maryland taxpayers because of a shortfall in the budget. But, under his watchful eyes, tens of millions of dollars are disappearing!

Maybe our legislators and attorney general ought to be investigating the handling of our state's finances by the people in charge.

Ron Parsons Glen Burnie

Baiting practice adds to deer overpopulation

Thanks to Candus Thomson for her article about the baiting practice used by sportsmen in Maryland ["Baiting deserves across-the-board ban," Feb. 2].

Baiting is when sportsmen put out grain or other food near a blind or tree stand to get animals accustomed to feeding in one area. At the appropriate time of the year, the sportsmen come to shoot them.

Ms. Thomson did not mention that sportsmen also plant food plots to ensure that healthy, fertile, and large deer herds are available for hunting.

Baiting is illegal on land owned by federal and state governments. Planting food plots is not and is practiced by Maryland's Department of Natural Resources on public land.

As Ms. Thomson points out, the better a deer is fed, the more fertile it will be. Baiting and food plots directly contribute to the deer population explosion we are experiencing in Maryland.

The Environmental Matters Committee of the Maryland General Assembly is now considering a bill that is designed to increase the number of deer harvested by increasing the hunting from 13 days to at least 21 days, including Sundays.

If the state is truly concerned about the deer population explosion, the practice of feeding and baiting deer should be stopped before considering the extension of deer hunting season.

Teresa Robinson Perry Hall

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