What are NFL coaches and players teaching our youth when they abandon their morals in a quest for wins—or worse, for bounties? Playing with the intent of causing injury to opponents is a vote of no confidence in your own team. As fans we buy tickets and tune into games because we want to see the best compete against the best. Cheap hits and bounty systems rob us of that opportunity and diminish the game.
Mike Errico, Los Olivos, Calif.
I get why the Saints' bounty program (Way Out of Bounds) is abhorrent and should spark outrage. Still, it sounds as if the bounties were more like glorified team-building exercises rather than something truly malicious. I know commissioner Roger Goodell has no choice but to punish everyone involved, but I can't seem to muster anything but indifference.
Tom Czarniak, Rochester, N.Y.
Bounties have existed in professional football since the game's inception. I'm sure most longtime Bears fans remember the "hit list" towel worn by Packers nosetackle Charles Martin in the 1980s. The towel, which he wore around his waist, displayed the jersey numbers of the Chicago players Martin was supposed to hit. One of his viscious blows finished off quarterback Jim McMahon for the rest of the '86 season.
Stephen M. Hashioka, Chicago
Bad Boys of Summer
In reading about Lenny Dykstra's recent conviction (How Lenny Dykstra Got Nailed), I was reminded of the rise and fall of former Tigers pitcher Denny McLain. He too lived the high life off other people's money and eventually served time in prison. Dykstra maintains there will be a good ending to his story, but I can't help thinking he's already planning his next scam.
Thomas E. Urbaniak, Holland, Mich.
Your article on Rhiannon Hull certainly highlighted the amazing strength of an individual who was pushed to her limits to save her son (Distance Runner Rhiannon Hull ...). But to me this tragedy was a result of a terrible decision. Hull's choice to venture out into the dangerous surf with her son was a huge risk, and it unfortunately cost her her life. I can't help but wonder what Hull was thinking when she made that decision.
Ron Laxer, Toronto
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Stories that generated the most mail last week.
SAINTS' BOUNTY CULTURE
NCAA TOURNAMENT PREVIEW
Do you think Tiger Woods is now the favorite to win the Masters?
Mark Dyer: Tiger has to be the favorite. Unless he hits some bad shots or his Achilles flares up again, he's the front-runner.
Josh Chace: He's won one tournament in 30 months. That doesn't make him the favorite. Sure he played well at Bay Hill, but he's going to have a stronger field to compete against at Augusta.
Pat Rochester Ridout: He hasn't been consistent at all this year, so I'd say no. I'm going with Luke Donald or someone like Justin Rose, who can get hot quickly.
Nicholas Gmeinder: I'll always go with Tiger, especially now that he appears to be fully recovered. If he stays healthy, there is no golfer on the planet who can beat him.
Justin Tucker: I would say yes. His confidence and performance at Bay Hill were the best I have seen from him in quite some time.
Ron Williamson: One win shouldn't make him the favorite over Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson or Luke Donald. Tiger's win [on Sunday] will, however, make Augusta interesting.
Will McLean: Of course he is. Even during his losing streak he always played well at the Masters.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
"Tim Tebow says he respects Mark Sanchez as a quarterback. It's now official: Tim Tebow knows nothing about playing quarterback."
BILL FRAKES (COVER)
For March 12, 2012
FRED VUICH (WOODS)