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Letters to the Editors

Mizell's mailbag

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 15, 2000

Would firing Dungy solve Bucs' troubles?

Tell me why the Glazers should not be considering firing coach Tony Dungy after three such ridiculous losses? He is so overrated.

I could've won once in those chances against the Jets, Redskins and Vikings. Surely the Bucs could get a better coach.
-- Ben Coltrane, Sarasota

Get somebody better? Whom would you suggest for the Bucs, Ray Perkins or Sam Wyche or Bruce Coslet? Ugh!

What is going on with Mike Alstott? Looking around the area, you see fans wearing more No. 40 jerseys than any other, so I must assume he is the most popular Buccaneer. But the man's performance is slumping badly.
-- Nelson Patiaga, Tampa

With his critical fumbles, that surely weighs on Alstott every time he is handed a football. His running seems more tentative, probably because of fumble scares.

Tampa Bay has dreadful results on third-and-1 plays, mostly on handoffs to No. 40. I'm neither coach nor psychologist, but I do see a problem that must somehow be addressed.

Here's my list of Devil Rays non-players who should either get a lot better and more productive in 2001 or be shown the door: Larry Rothschild, Chuck LaMar, Paul Olden, Charlie Slowes and Vince Naimoli.
-- Brad Davis, Pinellas Park

Interesting mix of a manager, a GM, radio announcers and a managing general partner. Vince can erase any of the others, but Naimoli has told us often that the boss is all but untouchable, barring commission of a felony or some such. I guess no baseball season can be so bad that it's classified a felony.

Is nepotism out of control in network television sports? Almost every new announcer we hear has a famous last name, because his daddy was in the business. How many such voices can you think of?

Some of these people are obviously talented and merit the big opportunities, but I think others are being allowed in through the back door while broadcasting pros with lesser bloodlines are denied.
-- Kelly Anderson, St. Pete Beach

Oh, yes, family trees are big in jock TV. Joe Buck is Jack's son, but his quality is undeniable. Sean McDonough is Will's kid, and on it goes with Marty Brennaman's son Thom, Dick Schaap's son Jeremy, Harry Caray's son Skip and grandkid Chip.

Now we see a young man named Josh Lewin doing reports from the bleachers; why do I think he's probably kin to a noted network producer, Dennis Lewin? I'm sure there are others. Don't any of these gents have daughters?

You're right that sports should never be dragged into our justice system except as a last resort or when a crime with no real connection to athletics has been committed.

I am a former lawyer and I thought it absurd that the Marty McSorley case went to a courthouse rather than the NHL commissioner.
-- Dillion Jacoby, Palm Harbor

A friend of mine will not watch or support baseball because he feels players are too greedy and don't deserve the high salaries.

Yet he supports pro football. I would like to know the average salaries in both sports. I feel that based on 162 games, football players make more money.
-- Chris Cashavelly, Gulfport

The average NFL athlete makes just over $1-million. Baseball is twice that. But don't let that be your automatic determinator. More vital is how hard they play, how well and with what attitude.

If the NFL average were $4-million, I assure you footballers would seem at least as greedy. Pay a bowler $5-million or a soccer bloke $6-mil and it'd be the same deal. Human nature. Pay a sports writer $5-million ... now there's an idea.

My first blame for the silly salaries in sports is not those who receive them but those who triggered the paying in such maniacal numbers.
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