It's Time to Stop Watching Pro Sports

So ... Catherine O'Sullivan, why are you still watching pro sports (Guest Commentary, May 18)?

As a child of the '50s and '60s, I was almost athletic and played a little high school basketball and a lot of sandlot sports. I was also a big sports fan, watching professional and college athletics on TV and reading box scores. The athletes in those days played for the love of the game, but they didn't make much money--most had to have off-season jobs. Most of the pros were good guys who played hard during the game. They realized they were idolized by America's youth and acted accordingly. Most were humble and approachable by fans.

In the 1970s, players' unions became a factor. Sports evolved into entertainment, and the money rolling in to the teams changed the nature of sports. Athletes have evolved into people who I don't want to meet, let alone spend time with. To watch some idjut do a dance for the cameras because he scored a touchdown, sacked a quarterback, slammed a little ball through a hoop or put a pitch over the fence is ridiculous, especially since he is earning a million dollars-plus to do just that. Their off-field behavior is even worse, since they consider themselves to be megastars and above the law.

As a former basketball player, I watched the sport morph into something that barely resembles the original sport. Guards seem to be incapable of dribbling without palming the ball; 1 1/2 steps after picking up the dribble has become two-plus steps, and the noncontact sport has the big guys under the boards holding and shoving each other around. When the players finally get called for a foul, they whine and throw a tantrum. I'm sure that there are still professional athletes playing their respective sports, exhibiting true sportsmanship and acting like role models, but since I don't watch, I have no idea who they are. As far as I'm concerned, the bad athletes (the majority?) spoil sports for the good athletes.

J. Michael Green

Sigh ...

I would like to pose a question to the editor of the Tucson Weekly, and then provide a possible answer to his question from the May 11 issue ("Conspiracy Theories," Editor's Note). If you wanted to plant explosives in a building, would it help if your cousin ran the firm that provided security for that building?

Now for the answer. Bush's cousin, Wirt Walker, was the CEO of Securacom, the company that provided security for the World Trade Center. People who worked at the WTC have reported a flurry of activity by this "security" service in the weeks prior to Sept. 11. Whole sections of the WTC towers were cordoned off. What do you suppose they were up to?

Go to and and decide for yourselves. Find out what has been done to this great country of ours. Read, and educate yourselves, before it is too late.

Kirk Alexander

Tucson's Already 'On the Map,' People!

Once again, Gayle Hartmann has breathed fresh air into the Tucson community with her cogent remarks at the recent "iconic" bridge meeting ("Over the Rainbow," Currents, May 4).

We agree with her and are adamantly opposed to this white elephant that will detract from the "guts" of Rio Nuevo: the Convento, the Arizona State Museum and the Arizona Historical Society buildings.

It is a challenging concept, but not for Tucson, as it would dominate the entire city, overshadowing much of what we think of as downtown Tucson.

Some feel the bridge will "put us on the map," but we are already on the map! Where have these people been? Phoenix? Our strengths are manifold: the Sonoran Desert, the surrounding mountains, the ethnic diversity and the cultural values manifested in numerous events. Let's go back to the drawing board and put out competitive bids to local retired and practicing architects to meet the challenge.

Briggs and Pat Ackert

Ya Think This Dude Watches Fox News?

After reading Steven Schwartz's letter (a paid advertisement in the May 11 issue), I thought, "Gee, you could have fooled me." Actually, you can't.

In his reference to Bush as a politician who avoided combat, at first, I thought that he meant a recent president named Bill, who not only avoided combat, but lied in a letter to his ROTC officer in such a way as to be excused temporarily from having to go to Vietnam, which worked for him. To make sure that he did not have to go, he fled to England for a year or so, where he could not be reached by the American military.

As for no one admitting to mistakes or responsibility being unprecedented in U.S. history, wasn't this same Bill the guy who saw to the bombing of thousands of Serbians into oblivion, destroying churches, homes, convents? Western Macedonia was next, to be followed someday by Montenegro, southern Serbia and northwestern Greece.

Let's not forget the gutting of the military budget, which was partly responsible for the slaughter of some 20 or so U.S. Rangers in Mogadishu in October 1993, for which no one paid a price.

I recall a recent president named Johnson who engineered a little incident in the Gulf of Tonkin, which was then promoted as a reason to extend the minimal, at that time, war in Vietnam. No one admitted any responsibility for that.

Schwartz says that global warming is a real threat. We get the usual scare words about famine, flood, war, etc. Twenty-five years ago, we were going to have global freezing. Just wait a few minutes for the next scare. There have been at least six documented ice ages in the past. That means that it was pretty cold for awhile, then warm, then cold, and so on. We are probably in a warming phase. There is no consensus from scientists on what is the real reason for the slight warming that is occurring.

Read Trashing the Planet by Dixy Lee Ray, former marine biology professor at the University of Washington from 1947-72, governor of Washington from 1977-1981, head of Pacific Science Center from 1963-1972 and head of the Atomic Energy Commission from 1973-1975. Those are very good credentials. You can read her book or continue to keep your heads in the sand.

Peter Meis

Arizona Should Be the Solar Leader!

My compliments to Dave Devine ("Solar Strife," Currents, May 18). The Arizona Corporation Commission's proposal to increase renewable energy production to 15 percent of the state's requirements (up from an embarrassing 1 percent) by 2025 is an admirable plan and deserves coverage.

California recently passed a progressive solar power initiative, and we need to do the same. In fact, with our relentless sunshine, Arizona should be leading the nation in solar-energy research, not wondering whether or not to get a program moving. A sensible long-term solar-energy plan will help ensure clean air for future generations, and it will also diminish our reliance on oil exports.

Let's go solar, Arizona.

Geoffrey Notkin

And Finally, a Sweet Note From Another Adoring Fan

I'd just like to second the opinion that (Jimmy Boegle's) restaurant reviews are terrible ("With Leaders Like These ..." Editor's Note, May 25). I am always happy to realize that I can skip that page, and would never again waste my time on one of your reviews, unless maybe it happened to be of one of my favorite places ... no, not even then, as I recall that happening not too long ago, and I thought to myself, why bother?

Oh, and thanks for endorsing the RTA plan, you ignorant growth-mongers.

Leo Mellon

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