Tom Danehy turns on the charm with readers who disagree

The summer solstice is upon us. The Earth has begun its inexorable tilt, leading us back to shorter days, football and everything else that makes life worth living.

In order to enter this period with mind and spirit cleansed, I feel compelled to clear away lingering pockets of negativity. So I've gone through my hate mail, and I'll try to set things straight. That way, I can offend an entirely new group of people between now and the equinox.

My correspondence with all of the people who thought I was a racist bastard for suggesting that there should be at least some semblance of order as to who enters this country has not gone well. There appears to be little room for compromise, which is why I think that it's iffy at best that Congress will send something to the president before the election.

Several people have focused on my question about how many people should be allowed in the country each year. The choices I gave were none, a finite number of someone's choosing or an unlimited number.

I was taken to task by two or three people who said that it was a false issue, deflecting attention away from what is really important. I guess we're just going to disagree on this one.

Three people actually said that anyone who wants to come to this country should be able to do so, no questions asked. Two of them even said that there should be no borders between countries. That would actually be cool, plus we'd be able to beam aboard the Romulan Bird of Prey and everything.

I e-mailed those two back and asked if there would still be such mundane things as property rights in their utopia. For example, could somebody be walking past your house and just move into your bedroom, because they feel like it? I realize that questions like this--you know, the kind that involve that pesky reality stuff--can be a real downer, but sometimes, you just have to go down that road.

The two who stand for no borders are probably unlikely to compromise on anything, so I'll just wish them luck and hope that nobody moves into their bedrooms. As for the rest of you, let's just keep the Mexican-hater talk to a minimum. My kids are starting to look at me funny.

For whatever reason, I got a flood of stuff from soccer people. I didn't even dog it that much. And aren't we damn proud of how that U.S. squad is so far acquitting itself in the World Cup?

Some people complained about my use of the term "sissy" when it comes to goalkeepers wearing gloves. Sorry; I should be more careful with my choice of words. I used sissy instead of what I really wanted to say, which is actually far more offensive.

I guess I can't blame people for cutting corners and trying to make their lives easier. My vitriol should be directed at the rule makers who allow this nonsense to take place. Today's athlete is going to tend toward the softer side. Facilitating that slouch is where the true shame lies. My only point is that I don't see why games that were played bare-handed for a century today all of a sudden require gloves. And I'm infinitely angrier at those who wear gloves to play real football, which used to be a tough guy's sport.

A lot of soccer enthusiasts took the time to insult my (former) athletic ability. It must be hard writing all of those big words, what with your being unable to use your hands. It's true that I've never played competitive soccer. My high school didn't have a soccer team, but I wouldn't have played anyway. However, I did play basketball in high school and college, so I probably would be able to learn soccer in a week or so. I trust that we all agree that it would be easier to make a basketball player into a soccer player than the other way around.

Having said that, I will readily admit that I have watched several World Cup games and have thoroughly enjoyed one or two of them. I have seen some great athletic plays and a whole bunch of running around and falling down for no reason.

One soccer dork friend of mine tried to liken the low scoring in soccer to American football, which often ends with a score of three touchdowns to two (21-14). From now on, no more football-futbol analogies. If you go down that road, we'll have to bring up the offsides rule. That drives me nuts.

If they had that rule in other sports, there would be no fast breaks in basketball. You'd get a rebound and then have to wait for the other team to set up their defense before going on the attack. Or in football, you could throw a pass, but it would be illegal for the wide receiver to get behind the cornerback or safety for the long bomb.

Ah, I'm glad we got all that cleared up. I feel so much better knowing that we've reached an accord, and you have all come around to my way of thinking.

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