© St. Petersburg Times, published June 3, 2001
As Americans we all like to root for the underdog, but what the Supreme Court did in the Casey Martin ruling is flat-out wrong.
To apply a law that changes a rule in a professional sport is stepping way over the line. This isn't real life, this is sports. The court is simply treading where it doesn't belong.
One of the things that makes golf an incredible sport is the rules. Golf is the only sport where the players call penalties against themselves. What's next, the Supreme Court steps in and rules that calling a penalty on yourself violates your Fifth Amendment rights? This is absurd.
It's ironic that the court decided to have this much compassion for just one man, Casey Martin. This is the same compassionate court that decided a few weeks ago that cancer patients suffering from nausea after chemotherapy treatments could not legally smoke marijuana, even if the effects were beneficial. The justices are truly a clueless group.
-- Billy Smith, Dunedin
How about this name for Casey Martin's golf buggy: "The Supreme Cart."
-- Dick Alexander, El Granada, Calif.
Former Florida Gator Charley Pell, who died Tuesday near his home in Alabama, will become a footnote in a few media guides. I would like to thank the Times, however, for enlightening football fans on his many accomplishments on and off the field.
He recognized the impact football had in promoting and funding schools. He understood winning would instill the pride it took to accomplish these goals.
Pell was a tough but fair man. Much of Jacksonville State, Clemson and Florida's current prominence can be traced to his hard work, loyalty, dedication and devotion.
Pell took the fall for his university at a time when such violations were common practice. Charley was a great human being, a great American, and let us never forget, a truly great football coach. He will be missed.
-- Patrick Carter, Clearwater
In 1988, promoter Hal Kelly convinced the State Fair Authority that holding IMSA-type auto races at the fairgrounds would be a profitable enterprise. It mattered little that the neighborhoods surrounding the fairgrounds would be bombarded with noise levels that rattled the windows from early morning until late evening.
The neighbors were given the impression the race events would only last a few days and would benefit the many racing fans and nearby businesses. And so what if it inconvenienced a few whiny neighbors when there's money to be made?
The few days of racing didn't include the days of "seasoning" the track, permitting the drivers to familiarize themselves with the course.
Of course, there was a feeble attempt to reduce noise levels by placing tractor-trailers and sheets of plywood around the course, but that was futile.
We were told the noise in our home would be about the level of a vacuum in the house or maybe a lawn mower running outside the home.
Well, even if that had been true, listening to that for 18 hours a day is too much.
Now another group is trying to convince the State Fair Authority to hold CART races at the fairgrounds. It must be aware there is a history of unwelcome reaction of many of the neighbors, or does it hope since 1990 we no longer harbor the ill feelings we had toward such a noisy event?
-- F.M. Morales, Jr., Tampa
Regarding the Devil Rays "drummers," (Stop the drumming, May 27) it is always interesting to read about those who just have to complain. I thought baseball games are supposed to be fun. Aren't we supposed to yell, cheer, clap, sing, and beat on our drums if we want?
For those who want to sit silently, please stay at home. You'll have more fun.
-- Holly Wright, via e-mail
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