Though Ray Lewis and Ed Reed might be celebrated as the Ravens enter the Super… (Matt Slocum / Associated…)
I never thought I'd say this, but good job, Bill Plaschke. I'm sick of the exaltation of Ray Lewis [Jan. 30] as a good guy, someone to be admired. It's sad that the NFL has allowed him to be built up as one of its stars. I'm glad Plaschke has taken the time to expose Lewis for what he really is.
After reading Ed Reed's tough talk about illegal hits to the helmet [Jan. 31], he is already showing signs of early-onset dementia — early aging and partial memory loss! Football is a noble sport in which injuries are part of the playing field. However, when players intend to deliberately hurt a fellow athlete they have crossed a line to become savages rather than sportsmen. You can play great football without trying to injure a comrade. Illegal hits should be severely punished, yet, the sport can still retain its beauty of play execution.
I wonder how Ed will feel in about 15 years.
Paul L. Hovsepian
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is concerned about the increasing injuries suffered by the players and is exploring various options in order to cut down on these injuries, yet states, "We don't want to take physical contact out of the game."
It is a sad but accurate fact that football is anything but tame and not for the faint of heart. And other than drastically changing the game to either touch or flag football, the sport will continue to possess inherent potential injuries for all who play the game because of what it is.
As Hyman Roth said in "Godfather II," "It's the business we've chosen."
Hey Commissioner, what a Pro Bowl, huh? Nothing represents "more competitive" quite like a 62-35 thriller in which a defensive end plays wide receiver and the center for one team sentimentally snaps the ball for the other. Just like a real game!
Don't worry about the 31 roster spots filled mostly by second-tier replacements. What impressively overshadowed that was getting virtually everyone who spoke publicly to repeat the "this game is important" mantra, especially the announcing team (whose network, coincidentally, has a financial interest in the game's success next year).
What follows, Roger? In the name of mercy, nothing, please. The College All-Star game (against the NFL champions) ended after 42 years because pro organizations were no longer willing to risk injuries to their increasingly valuable draft picks. That was in 1976. Why not acknowledge that the Pro Bowl long ago reached the same point and put it to rest?
Sometime today in New Orleans the NFL will announce the newest members of its Hall of Fame. Later on today the NFL will continue to be justifiably ridiculed for its disgraceful decision to exclude Ray Guy from induction in Canton. How a building that is supposed to honor the NFL's best ever can leave out the unquestionably best punter ever is something even my 5-year-old niece knows is wrong. Until Guy gets inducted the NFL needs to shut down the alleged Hall of Fame or turn it into a comedy club because leaving out Ray Guy is nothing more than laughable.
One Super Bowl winneralready decided
Long after we forget who won or lost this Super Bowl, we will be elevated by the class, dedication and personal ethic of Alex Smith. Thanks to Bill Plaschke [Jan. 31] for sharing this tribute. Thanks to The Times for running it on the Page A1. Sport was supposed to represent the best of the human drama — heroism, sacrifice, team spirit. These days, it reveals us at our very worst.
Without throwing a pass or calling an audible, Alex Smith has show what victory really means.
Up and down with the Lakers
Kobe Bryant will go down in history as one of the greatest players to play the game. However, Kobe's ability to mesh his talent with his team will always be in question. Bryant will be criticized for not having the Magic Johnson-like character of getting his team to excel, and will be labeled a selfish player by some. Kobe Bryant is a complicated human being as T.J. Simers writes.
How complicated? Kobe has increased his passing, leading to more assists, and he states, "What I'm doing now is being selfish."
It was just like old times in Phoenix on Wednesday night: Mike D'Antoni coaching the Suns to another victory.
Forty-eight assists in four games? If this keeps going, Kobe will need two statues: one where he's triple-teamed and shooting, the other where he's triple-teamed and passing!!
Pau Gasol needs to shut up. His time has come and gone and the Lakers have 19 million reasons to get rid of him. I'm not the biggest fan of Dwight Howard either, but lately Gasol has become unwatchable.