I think it's reprehensible for Rick Maese to rip Sasha Cohen so thoroughly because of the differences between her and Kimmie Meissner, which are dramatic, but not in the way Maese describes ["As Meissner glows, Cohen's a no-show," Thursday].

It's simply amazing that the entire basis of the anti-Cohen column was because she made a decision to rest the day before the women's figure skating long program and decided to opt for a short workout the next day.

Meissner behaved exactly the way Cohen did four years ago in Salt Lake City - in her teens, and without the unbelievable pressure that Cohen was under.

Save the negative stuff for all those who haven't met expectations, like all the U.S. Olympians who are bickering with each other, and who are out every night in Turin partying until the wee hours. Don't criticize a dedicated young woman who trained for four years and took these Games very seriously.

Chip Rosenberg


Thomson off target in Cheney column

Did Candus Thomson pen her latest outdoors column ["Sound advice to Cheney: Drop the gun" Sunday] with a straight face?

She takes great pains to disavow any political motives in one breath, claiming she doesn't "give a lick" if Cheney notified the Beltway press in a timely manner. Then she begins a multi-paragraph rant in which she accuses the vice president of not submitting a mea culpa "right away."

Note to Candus: define "right away."

Then we're treated to a non sequitur about another hunting trip at a private game club. This appears the source of her ire, but is irrelevant to the story at hand.

Thomson is entitled to her opinion. I just find that she's better served by sticking to the subject at hand, rather than running off on a tangent, driven by a rather obvious agenda.

Oh, and as far as I'm concerned, Vice President Cheney handled this as a man and sportsman. He accepted responsibility for his actions. The choice to hunt again or not is his and not mine or Candus Thomson's.

Jeff Silveira


R. Lewis' request is a slap at fans, team

If all the reports are true and Ray Lewis does indeed want out of Baltimore, then in my opinion he is no better than Terrell Owens.

The fans of Baltimore and the Ravens organization itself have treated Lewis like a god throughout his entire career, and this is the thanks we get? It is the ultimate slap in the face.

So many times you hear pro football players say, "Football is a business and the fans don't see things from the business aspect of it."

Are you kidding me? This statement couldn't be any farther from the truth in Lewis' case.

Name me a CEO of a business that would be OK with an employee saying: "I know that in the past you have stuck by me with some legal issues I had, and you made me the highest-paid employee in the company even though I wasn't due for a raise. And even though I haven't been able to work a lot over the past two years, I want a raise, and if you don't give me one, I want out."

It is absolutely ridiculous that Lewis, of all people, would try to pull something like this. The city of Baltimore has a proud history of football and some of the greatest fans in the NFL, and if Lewis really wants out after everything this city has done for him, this is one Ravens fan who will be more than happy to help him pack.

Mike Shanahan


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