© St. Petersburg Times, published October 29, 2000
First they insult thousands of women golfers by doing away with the JCPenney Classic. Then you expect us to turn around and support the new (Tampa Bay Classic), which lacks any unique features.
My golfing friends stayed away, particularly due to how it was promoted: saying the "real thing'' was coming. If they want to reattract women who made up 60 percent of JCPenney crowds, first stop insulting those like myself who attended every year.
Susan Mallison, via e-mail
You're right, saying it was lousy that attendance wasn't higher for the Tampa Bay Classic. What a good field, despite the President's Cup taking away 24 big names. Frankly, the old JCPenney format had grown tired. There's no golf quite like the PGA Tour.
Brett Sanderson, St. Pete Beach
I've been a marshal 10 years (at Innisbrook tournaments) but just resigned as a volunteer. Changes have taken place in recent years that are unconscionable. There should be changes in handling and appreciation for volunteers.
Volunteers buy their own uniforms. Do not treat them as employees or spectators. Provide free drinks and snacks. How about a coupon for a round of golf? JCPenney used to have a get-together to show appreciation to volunteers.
Charles R. Merkle, Tarpon Springs
Hubert says: Adjustments are demanded, but the Tampa Bay Classic was generally splendid. Feedback from pros notably positive. JCPenney killed the former format by lifting its sponsorship. Suggestion: send constructive criticisms to Classic tournament director Gerald Goodman at Westin Innisbrook Resort.
I'm completely upset with pro sports after what I witnessed at Yankee Stadium. Roger Clemens should have been thrown out, no questions asked. What example are we showing our children?
Because he is Roger Clemens, it seems, he can get away with anything. Hitting Mike Piazza in the head wasn't enough for his ego. Had Mike been running, he could have been seriously hurt (by the splintered bat thrown by the Yankee pitcher). Umps need a little guts. So do major-league officials.
Ed Evans, Clearwater
Hubert says: Absolutely! To fine Clemens $50,000 is like hitting you or me for 20 clams. Sit his misbehaving tail on the bench for the rest of the World Series. Messages need to be sent. Umps are afraid of what MLB bosses might think. Big names too often get a free pass.
Tony Dungy is an admirable human being. I suspect he isn't taking more heat for the dismal Bucs performance due to his nice guy image. I believe he is personally responsible for the conservative philosophy.
His oft-repeated belief that defense wins games demonstrates how stubborn and inflexible (Dungy can be). I have been a football fan 70 years and believe Dungy's simple-minded conservative philosophy is outdated.
Paul Oberst, Largo
Hubert says: You could be right, kid.
Just read your column about the Bucs offense. They're quite bad. I remember Les Steckel as head coach of the Vikings. He went 3-13 and got run out of town. He was so bad that the Vikings were left in desolation for years.
Why don't they rest Shaun King for a game and let Eric Zeier take a whack? Poor guy (King) looks lost in space.
Cluj Napoca, Romania
Hubert says: Yep, a Bucs e-mail from Romania.
I sent you an e-mail after watching a few games, discussing the state of sports with the gang and having a few pints of liquid courage.
You understand there are things wrong with sports and I understand none of them are your fault. My wife pointed out that, instead of being irate, I should get a life. I enjoy the Times. I am a fan of yours and even like Shelton. Sorry if you had to dismiss me as a wack job.
Rande Rickett, Via e-mail
Hubert says: Wack job? Your message, when ranked for sense-making, was in the 50th percentile. Oh, you should see the discarded lots.
Maybe it was your well-expressed pain, over local TV sportscasts too brief and unauthoritative, that triggered something new and better. Sunshine Channel now delivers a twice-nightly report, a half hour or more, centering on Florida sports.
They give me much more Gators, 'Noles, 'Canes, Bulls, Jags, Magic, Heat and Panthers than we'll ever see from the Tampa Bay locals. Better too. Matter of fact, I saw you on the show a couple of times. A regular feature?
Katherine Kopecky, Palm Harbor
Hubert says: Yeah, it's a nice concept. Sunshine must work at making it better. I participate in a segment called "The Know-It-Alls,'' a fun exchange also featuring media mouths David Lamm from Jacksonville, David Hyde from Fort Lauderdale, Pat Clarke in Orlando and Martin Fennelly in Tampa. No, we don't know it all, but we are loud.
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