The Baltimore Sun

Hockey arenas house violence

It would be gratifying to believe that at the very least, the New York Islanders hockey player/thug, Chris Simon, who waged a vicious assault against an opponent would be permanently banned from the sport.

One who would believe that, though, would be setting aside the fact that in this sport, the viciousness of the game and the possibility that blood will be spilled on the ice is part of the thrill for voyeuristic crowds.

Consequently, even if one engages in an attack that could easily paralyze or kill the victim, the perpetrator will ultimately be forgiven, as he is seen as having acted "in the heat of the moment." The former roommate of the attacker seemed to slough off the incident, memorably quoted as saying, "It's always like this against the Rangers." In other words, boys will be boys!

The timing of this unseemly incident is particularly interesting for southwestern Pennsylvania, in which thousands of hockey fan(atics) are currently asserting their "entitlement" to a publicly funded ice arena. This so the Pittsburgh Penguins, the "gods" of hockey, may remain in the area, their financial blackmail being satisfied.

One would like to believe that given the number of assaults in professional hockey, the disgraceful example that is set for impressionable children who have no business being at a professional hockey game and particularly in light of the most recent outrage, the ludicrous claim that the sport serves a public good will be harder to make.

Oren M. Spiegler

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

Can't find right tune with O's new station

Last Saturday, I tried unsuccessfully on all three of my radios to get the Orioles on their new FM station (105.7). The best I could get were scratchy announcers' voices and static.

What a mess after listening to WBAL, with its clear, strong and easy-to-find signal.

I know I can see and hear the games on cable TV, but the radio has been my salvation for "tuning out" Jim Palmer's "expert-on-everything" voice, when his turn comes up on TV.

Dick Thiemeyer


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