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© St. Petersburg Times, published March 9, 2003


Kayak series provides motivation to just do it

Great adventure series and stories by Terry Tomalin. My kayak's been gathering dust on the deck sinceOctober, but his adventures have inspired me to hit the water ASAP (who needs to do taxes this weekend, right?).

Last summer we kayaked in North Carolina, Virginia, Massachusetts and Maine. Maine was by far the best -- second only to Florida kayaking for beauty. We started in a fog so thick you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. When the fog burned off andthe sun broke through, we discovered a paradise.

Thanks to Terry for sharing his adventures.
-- Jean West, via e-mail

Two years ago I said to a friend "I got a great idea for a paddling trip. We could circumnavigate Pinellas county." Well, procrastination being what it is, I never organized the trip but always had it in the back of my mind. When I saw Terry Tomalin's article in Sunday's paper I felt like Shackleton when he learned that Amundsen had beaten him to the south pole.

I guess I'm going to have to one-up Terry by doing the trip solo (Dang! I should have kept that to myself).

Congratulations on the accomplishment, and a great series of articles.
-- Steve Buck, via e-mail

Treatment of QB Johnson shows ugly side of Bucs

I can't believe the Buccaneers tried to remove Brad Johnson's guaranteed $1.5 million in 2004 in such a deceitful and fallacious way. How much more sneaky and underhanded can the Bucs organization be, especially knowing that Brad Johnson was only trying to help by restructuring his contract to help generate salary cap money? Did the Buccaneers really think they would get away with such a deceptive maneuver?

I have often wondered why professional athletes utilize agents to help negotiate their contracts. I know now. I am sure it is difficult enough trying to interpret all the legal jargon and small print associated with a contract. However, make no mistake about it, there is nothing small about a $1.5-million oversight.
-- Joe Murphy, Oldsmar

It's time to give Lightning better coverage

Sports talk-show hosts wonder why attendance isn't up at the Lightning games. They're playing exciting, playoff style hockey. My theory is that it is due to lack of media coverage.

The Times' coverage of the Devil Rays' spring training is at least five or six times as extensive in print as its coverage of the Lightning.

At least publish half as many photos of a hockey game as you did on a Monday following a Bucs game and try to get fans interested in a team that is going to the playoffs.
-- David Lubin, Tampa

Foul for not covering Jim Phelan's last game

I'm really surprised that the otherwise outstanding Times sports section found space in the Sunday edition to mention a Pakistani-India cricket match but made no mention of Mount St. Mary's (Maryland) basketball coach Jim Phelan's retirement. Phelan coached his last game Saturday (a win) and retired after 49 years, during which he was on the sidelines for 1,354 games. His 830 wins places him third on NCAA's all time list behind the legendary Dean Smith and Adolph Rupp. College coaches all across the country Saturday wore bow ties in tribute to Phelan, whose long-time trademark was is his on-court bow tie.
-- Robert H. MacPherson, St. Petersburg

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