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Letters to the Editors

Seminoles deserved Orange Bowl bashing

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 7, 2001

As a Florida State fan, I believe that FSU got what it deserved against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl game. Any university that would let its fifth-year senior receiver, Snoop Minnis, fail three out of four classes is disgraceful. What is going on? Why didn't FSU know its star was in trouble a long time ago? You don't flunk out overnight! Where are all these tutors for the players? Is anybody monitoring grades?

Minnis cost his team and the university millions of dollars in lost revenue. But FSU gets the final F for allowing this to happen and losing the national title. Another good joke on the education in the state of Flori-duh.
-- Michael Werman, Sarasota

• • •

Pin the tail on Minnis. I was hoping that FSU and the Heisman Trophy winner, Chris Weinke, would have more class, but I should have realized that all the air time given to Minnis before, during and after the telecast was leading up to putting the blame on him. So if Minnis is so important to that team, maybe he should have received the Heisman.

Are we to understand that the Seminoles have no running backs, and no academically eligible receivers who can catch a ball? No, coach Bobby Bowden, you didn't need just "one big play." You were defeated by a better team with a better game plan, and Minnis would not have made the difference.
-- Tom Malone, Spring Hill

Bucs frustration abounds

Based on the talent the Bucs have, I think fans are justified in expecting more. There are not enough adjectives to describe the offense. The play leading to Martin Gramatica's field goal, a quarterback taking a loss of 2 on second and 11, pretty much summarizes the offensive philosophy of this coaching staff: Score a few points and let the defense win by turnovers.

I don't know of any other team in the league that confines its passing game to within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage until the game is in desperate circumstances. Only twice in 17 games did this offense attack the other team's defense, against the Vikings and Rams, the best offensive teams in the NFC. I never have understood how a team could create a game plan all week based on studying the opponent's weaknesses and, game after game, rarely pick up more than one first down, let alone score, on its opening drive. A serious review of this philosophy must come into play or a new coach must be sought.

One final point: The defense I saw against the Eagles looked completely overmatched physically. I saw no fire or emotion. Why?
-- Michael Schlesinger, Pinellas Park

• • •

A pathetic offense, executing a pathetic offensive scheme, conceived from a pathetic offensive philosophy.

-- Ron Tucker, Gulfport

• • •

We changed the much-maligned quarterback. We changed the offensive coordinator. Still, we get the Tony Dungy offense.

In five playoff games under Dungy, the Bucs are 2-3, scoring a total of 50 points (10 a game). Sorry, Tony, that doesn't win playoff games. He is trying to mimic the great Steelers teams of the '70s, except we don't have a Hall of Fame quarterback like Terry Bradshaw, or an offensive scheme that allows for throwing downfield.

Dungy has proven to me he has no idea what it takes to win in the playoffs. This is the second time the Bucs have sent eight players to the Pro Bowl. We have the talent. Now we need a coach who can get us to the Super Bowl.
-- Richard Napolitano, Largo

• • •

Shaun King can't decide to throw a pass. He can't run most of the time. He has shown up for only a few games this year. He does know how to turn the ball over.

On the other hand, Trent Dilfer is going to the next round of the playoffs. Who is better off? Certainly not Bucs fans.Jim Rawe, Bradenton

• • •

Give Keyshawn the ball

As history looks back on the careers of Jerry Rice and Keyshawn Johnson, one thing will separate the two as the greatest receivers of all time. Johnson will never catch Rice's records or lift his team to a Super Bowl because Rice had an offense that threw him the football and Johnson doesn't. Johnson is without question the greatest active receiver in the game today. Just give him the damn ball.
-- Scott R. Marshall, Clearwater

Bush comment out of line

Darrell Fry's statement about the Rams' seeding being as undeserved as Bush's presidential title is way out of line (The hare or turtle or the Rams? Dec. 30, 2000). What an anomalous statement by a sports writer. Maybe he should write about politics instead of sports. And why would an editor print a biased statement like that?
-- Dale Young, Palm Harbor

• • •

Please have Fry take his unsportsmanlike political commentary to the Opinion section. We can read it there. Leave the Sports section for sports. Very unprofessional.
-- Larry A. Zellers, Largo

• • •

Shame on Fry and shame on the Times editors and proofreaders for allowing such a distasteful comment to be printed. Even vice president Al Gore at his lowest moment did not resort to such distasteful comments.
-- Robert Orr, Largo

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