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Original Issue


• Here's an idea for all of the players complaining about changes to the NFL tackling rules: Learn how to tackle properly and not just launch big hits. Even Bill Belichick agrees that young players coming into the league don't know basic tackling fundamentals.

Eric Schmitt, New Carlisle, Ohio

I want to thank Tim Layden for his story on tackling in the NFL (What Ever Happened to Tackling?, Sept. 5), a topic I have been screaming about for years. When I started playing football at age nine, I was taught by my coaches how to tackle with my head up, and that technique was reinforced by the referees. I remember in the late 1970s, Bill Leavy, who went on to become an NFL referee, warning our team about maintaining form and how spearing would be immediately penalized. Maybe if spearing had been taken more seriously in the NFL, injuries in the pro game would be far less severe.

Scott Erbst, Edmond, Okla.

Major Leaguers

I don't think this year's Little League World Series did any more self-promotion (SCORECARD, Sept. 5) than other major sports events. The way to draw big crowds is to have good marketing and attractive promotions. Still, aside from the U.S.'s upset of Japan, the record turnouts were the big story of this Series. Attendance for the game between Pennsylvania and Georgia was over 32,000, which is more than what most major league teams average.

David L. Seger

Rapid City, S.D.

Your story on the LLWS refers to the lingering image of the tearful Japanese shortstop's botched DP. For me, the image that lingered most was the play in which a Japanese player avoided the tag from a U.S. pitcher by apparently running out of the baseline. Neither the pitcher nor his coach threw a tantrum. In the majors, this probably would have resulted in a profanity-laced fit.

Don Walker, Pittsburgh

Not So Fast

Although it is unfortunate that Usain Bolt was not able to run in the 100-meter final at the world championships (INSIDE OLYMPICS, Sept. 5), I do not think the false start rule should be changed simply because it could result in disqualifying a performer like Bolt. The start in many sporting events is a calculated risk for all participants, which makes it exciting and part of the overall experience.

Mary Jurey, Austin

Is it by accident that your NFL Preview has a feature on Bolt? If I were an NFL team, I'd do whatever it took to add him to my roster. Then I'd send him deep on every play.

Norton Rosenthal, Dallas

The Way We Were

Neil Leifer's photo of the Browns on the sideline during a game at the University of Pennsylvania (LEADING OFF, Sept. 5) definitely caught my attention. Not only because it captured the magnificence of Jim Brown in his prime, but also because it depicted the game in 1960. The sideline does not have cable wires, heated-cooled benches, assistants, agents and VIPs. Some fans are just standing around while others are watching action from the windows in Weightman Hall, behind the end zone at Franklin Field. Today's game is definitely entertaining, but I miss its simplicity.

Mark Greenbaum, Chicago




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Who is the NFL's most surprising 2--0 team? The Bills, the Lions or the Redskins?

K.D. Baron (@78baz): It has to be Ryan Fitzpatrick and Buffalo. The Bills had serious problems scoring all last season, but they've put up 79 points in two games so far.

Mischa Gee: The Lions. I thought they would do well with all of their high draft picks over the past few years but not so well so soon.

Drew Balis (@drewBbalis): I'm tempted to say the Bills, but I have to go with the Redskins. No one expected them to beat two decent teams like the Giants and the Cardinals with Rex Grossman at quarterback.

Hayden Cross: The Bills coming back after being down by 18 to the Raiders? Definitely Buffalo. Who would have thought we'd ever use the phrases Buffalo Bills and 2--0 in the same sentence?

Ron Williamson: I think it's a toss-up between the Bills and the Redskins. I didn't think the 'Skins would ever do anything as long as Dan Snyder was their owner. And Buffalo? Hell, I haven't heard anything good going on with that team for years.