How great is it that people all over the world are willing to relinquish hatred, racism and extremism, all for the good of the game? The story of the Palestine soccer team is so heartwarming that after reading it, one cannot help but feel that the players and the Palestinian nation are winners.
Steve Stoute, Philadelphia
Grant Wahl's article on the Palestine soccer team (Welcome to the World, Aug. 8) was compelling, but there were parts that struck me as inflammatory. On the one hand he attempts to show that the vast majority of Palestinians are regular people; on the other he seems to go out of his way to take shots at Israel and paint the Israeli soldiers as robotic killers, referring to them as "machine-gun-wielding guards." Saying they were stationed at the West Bank without the provocative language would have been just fine.
Jared Wiesel, Cedarhurst, N.Y.
I can relate to your article on pain (Sports Medicine's New Frontiers, Aug. 8), especially the part that referred to cyclists who were able to manage pain when initially told how far they would have to ride but whose pain increased and production declined when the distance was not disclosed. The same thing happened to me while I was training in the Marines. When informed that I had to run 10 miles, I did it with ease. Yet when told to just run without a word about the distance I wound up exhausted.
Dallas C. Clark Jr.
In 1994 my father underwent surgery to repair a slipped disk in his neck. Afterward he experienced severe pain in his sciatic nerve and struggled to communicate this with others. Heavy doses of opiates could dull his pain only slightly until he passed away in 2006. The pain he suffered never made sense to me, but David Epstein's interpretation of the science of this part of the human existence helped me understand my father's pain.
Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.
I want to thank Ben Reiter for the great piece on Matt Kemp (Matt Kemp Is Just Killing It, Aug. 8). In a season full of turmoil he has become one of the Dodgers' few shining stars. Yes, there was some friction between Kemp and the coaching staff last year about his play and his image. But now he has come to understand his expected role, and his consistent play has helped to keep him out of the tabloids.
Tim Shullberg, Long Beach, Calif.
We can all feel sorry for Pete Rose (POINT AFTER, Aug. 8), but that doesn't change the facts about his betting on baseball. He broke the game's ultimate rule, the one posted in every major and minor league clubhouse, which clearly states that betting on baseball will not be tolerated. Some sins are just too egregious to be swept under the rug.
Phil Taylor's column was right on target. Rose has done so much for baseball that it's time to forgive his transgressions and let him back in the game. There are those who have used banned substances or who have criminal records, but they haven't been banned for life. I think they've done more harm to our national pastime than Pete Rose.
John Anello, Palm City, Fla.
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Is WR Larry Fitzgerald worth every penny of his new eight-year, $120 million contract with the Cardinals?
Jamie Bigger: Of course. Fitzgerald is a class act and you just don't see players in the NFL like him anymore. His attitude alone is worth $120 million.
Mark Hanson (@biasauth): I think it's just a bad deal all around. It sets a bad precedent for other receivers or playmakers looking to get paid.
Jeffrey Crews: He doesn't touch the ball enough to be worth that much money. He only had six touchdowns last year.
Tyler Mann (@tmannRTR): Sure, he would be worth this big contract if the Cardinals would also invest in a big-time quarterback to throw him the ball.
Dr. Dre' Day (@nycdre12) Maybe if he still had Kurt Warner or even Tom Brady as his quarterback. I don't think the Kevin Kolb project is gonna work in Arizona.
SIMON BRUTY (FITZGERALD)