© St. Petersburg Times, published March 3, 2002
Well, Wayne Gretzky, your country got the gold medal in a very exciting game. I used to look upon you with great admiration for the stellar career you had. But after a week of your whining and stomping your feet like a little child, you've lost me and a lot of other fans. Your team played phenomenal hockey and deserved to win.
-- Scott Murphy, Clearwater
I noted with interest the misguided critique of Gretzky by Pete Budzinski of Treasure Island (Reader Views, Feb. 24). I hope he writes an apology given the reality of events that showed just how good a GM the "Great One" turned out to be. Just goes to show perceptions are deceiving when you take comments out of context. There is no more passionate and compassionate ambassador of hockey than Gretzky, and I expect most pundits appreciate that.
-- Ron P. Alton, Ontario
Congratulations to John Romano for his optimistic human insight illuminating the positive mind frame of Bode Miller. His commentary celebrates the character of a sports figure choosing to be responsible to his talent and his fans. His theme gives focus to the character of Miller, who gave the public a positive perspective of a sports icon.
How refreshing it might be if would-be columnists like Gary Shelton emulated him. Even Apolo Anton Ohno's story has a positive thread, if you look for this characteristic. But Shelton violated his perspective by confusing the nature of contact competition and inflating the hatred that expresses an aggressive mind-set. The Times has many responsibilities to its readers. The publisher should encourage and spotlight the more inspiring congenial insights of Romano.
-- Bernie Smith, St. Petersburg
I am 53 and have a new hero. He is Apolo Anton Ohno. I hope his magnificent display of maturity and sportsmanship makes an impact on today's youth. He fulfills his need for personal expression without tattoos and piercings and displays excellent manners and demeanor in interviews. (Okay, so maybe a couple extra "you knows" but so what?) No whining, pure joy at making a good effort and quiet acceptance of things that happen beyond our control. What a champion.
-- Scotty Hubbard, Dunnellon
It just warms my patriotic heart to see that the Brothers Glazer and Rich McKay have kissed and made up in the old-fashioned American way -- with the almighty dollar. The saga makes me wax nostalgic for the days when use of the media as a secret weapon was reserved for players wanting a new deal. But hey, in this Golden Age of Republicanism why shouldn't corporate executives get in on the action? Mr. McKay, how can you possibly have any self-respect left? Here's an idea to get some back: Donate 25 percent of your booty to the United Way of Hillsborough County.
The Times should move all Buc-related reports to the Entertainment pages because it's certainly more folly than football.
-- Tony Ferraro, Clearwater
You people at the Times are a bunch of hypocrites. One minute you're denouncing the Glazers as a bunch of evil, crazed maniacs and the next you're praising what they've done. The problem you haven't addressed is money. The Glazers have enough to make Jon Gruden and Rich McKay say nice things about them. They are no different from Al Davis or Dan Snyder of the Redskins. Spoiled rich kids who think they know football and don't care about the fans.
When will it end? It won't.
-- Bobby Thompson, Tampa
While Colin Montgomerie can be a grouch, the treatment he and his family received from American golf fans was extremely unsportsmanlike and almost obscene. They should be ashamed and learn golf etiquette.
-- John Houston, Palm Harbor
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