FOR OCTOBER 8, 2018
THE EVOLUTION WILL BE TELEVISED
My suggestion to protect NFL quarterbacks but keep the game intact is to do away with intentional grounding. The QB will be able to avoid hard blows by throwing the ball away anytime, without restrictions. Defenders will be happy because they can chase aggressively until the ball is released. They may lose a sack or two, but incomplete passes are still a positive for them. And the game will be much easier to officiate.
Jack Dickey's article on openers was interesting, but it overlooked the real birth of the strategy of starting a relief pitcher. On April 22, 2011, St. Louis manager Tony La Russa started a reliever because of an ominous weather forecast. Before the top of the first had ended, there was indeed a weather delay. When the game resumed, the Cardinals' starting pitcher took the mound.
FISTS OF FURY
Kudos to Tim Layden for his story on John Carlos and Tommie Smith. This tribute to 50 years of struggle for equality in America deserves continuing follow-up as athletes use their platform to pursue social justice.
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Passing mention was given to Australian silver medalist Peter Norman, whose racing career was also ruined just for wearing that badge supporting Smith and Carlos. Norman didn't compete in another Olympics and didn't attend the 2000 Games in Sydney.
Sierra Vista, Ariz.
FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION
Leaving Texas coach Darrell Royal off the Fruit of the Tree chart is like saying Babe Ruth didn't play baseball. Who taught Bear Bryant the wishbone offense? Royal always gave former Texas A&M and Mississippi State coach Emory Bellard credit for designing the wishbone, but without Royal's great success running it, you wouldn't have an article.
James R. Harper
NEXT MEN UP
In your NHL preview, you picked Edmonton's Connor McDavid as MVP and wrote a great profile of Nathan MacKinnon. You said MacKinnon's presence will make the Avalanche a solid club for years to come. And yet you picked neither club to make the playoffs?
Fort Collins, Colo.
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