How is it possible to feel such nostalgia for a time that is so foreign to me? Reading about Jack Swift's love of baseball and his devotion to family during the post--World War II era while playing in the midst of the minor leagues' decline was simply captivating.
Alan Crossley, Vancouver
I enjoyed reading your story on Jack Swift (The Invisible Fastball, Oct. 17) and baseball's golden age, a time when there seemed to be games everywhere you looked and everyone played simply because he loved the game. I wish I could have been around back then to experience it all.
A Man Apart
Richard Hoffer's article on Al Davis (Al Davis 1929--2011, Oct. 17) was a great warts-and-all portrayal of one of the most polarizing men to ever be part of pro sports. Although Davis's idiosyncrasies likely cost his team wins over the past seasons, his impact on the NFL is clear.
John Pappert, Colorado Springs
While the media has been giving Davis a lot of credit for the success of today's NFL, he should also take a lot of the blame for its shortcomings. Yes, Davis was an innovator when it came to using shrewd business deals to create competitive teams. However, those same shrewd deals went on to create astronomical ticket prices and the megamillion-dollar contracts for the league's superstars that have put the game out of reach for many fans.
Bill Downs, Stevens Point, Wis.
After reading your story on Sooners star walk-on Dominique Whaley (Walk-On Home Run, Oct. 17), all I can say is, what an amazing person! Still, the article made me wonder about coach Bob Stoops and his thinking that it's fair to not give scholarships to walk-ons until they have started a whole year and are expected to start the following year. So what if that policy has been in place for 13 years at Oklahoma? As a coach, when your old plays stop working, you make adjustments and try something new.
I hate the idea that Coach Stoops is made to look like the bad guy because he has yet to offer Whaley a scholarship. Stoops has a set of rules that he goes by, and all walk-ons know this when they agree to play Sooners football. Compared to the scandals we see with so many other schools in college sports, we should be applauding a coach like Stoops, who doesn't compromise his strict code in favor of popular opinion.
Jay Cook, Cabot, Ark.
East Coast Bias
As a sports fan who has lived in both Chicago and Dallas for a number of years, I got a kick out of Phil Taylor's The Ballad of East and West column (POINT AFTER, Oct. 17). After reading, watching and listening to the incessant reporting on East Coast teams, no matter what sport they play and where they are in the standings, I am of the firm belief that ESPN stands for Eastern Sports Programming Network. It becomes even more obvious when there are no East Coast teams in the playoffs, because you see the apparent disappointment from the national reporters who cover the games.
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What was your shock-and-awe moment from NFL Week 8?
Chadley Brandon Claiborne The Rams and Steven Jackson stomping on my Saints. I mean, they even beat us without Sam Bradford in the game.
Tobyn Blatt The Patriots losing to the Steelers the way they did was astonishing. It was like Tom Brady was playing in a completely different game.
Rachel Eldridge (@racheleldridge): While most people would say the Rams, I think the Vikings' road win with rookie quarterback Christian Ponder, a guy making only his second NFL start, was impressive.
Brian Bice Even though they came away with a loss, the Cardinals playing so well against the Ravens shocked me.
Zach Myers Troy Polamalu nearly beheading Wes Welker and later slapping the ball into the end zone in the Steelers-Patriots game, with no penalty from the officials.
Nick Law (@TheLawOnSports): Karma taking a bite out of the Saints after they ran up the score last week against the Colts.
DAVID E. KLUTHO (JACKSON)