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Bucs, Pittman send bad message

Published June 8, 2003

Regarding the recent articles concerning Bucs running back Michael Pittman, I find it hard to stand by and not comment on Jon Gruden's remarks that he "will let the legal system run its course" and "cannot get into further specifics at this time." While I do not question his loyalty to players, this, unfortunately, sends a message loud and clear to fans that this is an unimportant situation compared with a second Super Bowl victory. In other words, don't rock the boat.

With the new NFL season rapidly drawing near, we are greeted with the message that it is okay to use a Hummer as a battering ram in a fit of rage because a beloved player was unable to solve his marital difficulties in a more civilized manner.

What kind of message are we sending kids? It is no wonder the classrooms and schools are a staging ground for trouble. If a screaming match doesn't do it, strike out, maim or kill. It's okay, because Pittman does it, not to mention other football celebrities.

The Glazers need to pay attention to what is happening right under their noses. Without question, a good head coach should be allowed free and unrestricted rein, but not when it comes to a total disregard of the affect this incident is having on kids who are dreaming of a future in sports and growing up with the idea that they too can flaunt any act of violence in the faces of their fans with no fear of retribution.

Wake up, Coach Gruden. Tampa Bay fans are still on the high that victory brings, but I hope and pray they will not agree with you and turn their backs on a situation that can have long-lasting and devastating effects on our youth.

-- Barb Capodanno, New Port Richey

Jon Gruden, the coach of the world champions, can only say "Jiminy Christmas" when one of his players beats on his wife.

Ladies, if you want to get even, just boycott the games.

-- Mike Ellis, Pinellas Park

Who wants to watch him now?

Gary Shelton's suggestion that the Bucs cut Michael Pittman (Bucs, isn't it (past) time to cut Pittman?, Monday) is surely favorable with most of your readers. He has my vote.

Who wants to watch a player who uses his big Hummer to run down his wife and child? Who wants to live with a husband who demonstrates his rage by using force against the loved ones he is expected to protect? Who wants to hide their eyes to such criminal acts by one of the Bucs players? Who wants to wait to see how the courts deal with the situation before he gets dismissed from our football team? Who accepts the actions of a father who puts his child's life in jeopardy?

Someone could have been seriously injured or killed in this demonstration of anger. Tampa, don't let this thug get off because he was mad. This episode, along with his past problems, is enough for me. Throw the bum out.

-- W.M. Unsworth, Tampa

Sosa uncorks ire of fans

All hail the Babe. The only cork he ever saw was from the tops of the bottles he opened. He will always be The King to those of us who wish to remember the great days of baseball.

-- Don Donlon, South Pasadena

So Mr. Perfect isn't perfect anymore (Sosa's bat corked, Wednesday). In fact, he probably hasn't been perfect for a while. He just committed one of the biggest crimes in baseball, against our Rays. Please, Sammy, what's the point in risking your image to "impress the fans?" At least make up a better excuse.

I don't care how many of his bats aren't corked, you just don't do it. He probably has "picked" the wrong bat for years now (not to mention the home run derby two years ago when he was blasting balls into different time zones).

-- Justin Wollett, Dunedin [Last modified June 8, 2003, 01:33:29]

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