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Football Frenzied 

Letters published February 20, 2008.

"Waiting for the Ax," January 30

Gridiron delirium makes residents lose senses: Sadly, most of what this article says is true. Although some Massillon residents want to claim it's inflammatory and tabloid-like, as a former resident I can attest to it all.

The city and school district's motto should be "Football Above All." Most residents don't even know how pathetic it is, because they have never been anywhere outside Stark County. Some parents would be proud of their 12-year-old for landing a football player to have sex with. Be warned, this is what the good old boys' network in Massillon breeds. They have protected these boys for generations, so a football player knowing the difference between right and wrong is irrelevant. The boosters, superintendent, or coach have gotten them out of so many scandals that those boys feel untouchable.

Keep your eyes on Massillon. How many hometown boys actually play on that team? They are brought in from everywhere, thanks to Jeff David and the boosters. Players come from all around to be protected and do as they please. Positions were taken away from hometown boys with good grades and ethics, so Division I hopefuls from other districts could take the field. I couldn't get my kids out of there fast enough!

From clevescene.com

"Under Cooked," January 30

She's Hip to Be Square
To some, critic's heat is way uncool: It is funny to read this unwarranted slam of Wine Bar Rocky River. I am a frequent customer of the establishment and find it to be the best thing going on the West Side right now. Not only is the atmosphere somewhat unique, with lots of character. The staff is courteous and energetic, and the food is outstanding.

I have eaten there often and tasted a majority of the menu. I have only good things to say. The wine list may be heavy on California, but for good reason: It's tied directly to the spice and flair of the chef's cuisine. Elaine Cicora is obviously not hip enough to enjoy a new, vibrant experience on Cleveland's West Side. Check it out.

Bert

Hot seat unfair, say others: I've been reading Elaine Cicora's reviews in Scene for years, and while I don't always agree with her, I never doubt her fairness and sincerity. If she had a bad experience at Wine Bar Rocky River, then that's the way it was.

Maybe others had different, better experiences, but as anyone who goes out a lot will tell you, even the best spots can have bad nights.

Ease up. If you like the place, no one is saying you can't go. But to make it sound like Cicora has it out for them or doesn't know what she's talking about is just too much. Get a life.

Tom Conway

"Forgotten Forefathers," January 16

No Hail Marys
Don't waste prayers on NFL's gladiators: While it is sad to read about the crippling injuries that many NFL players sustain, one must take into account that players deliberately crash into opposing players — forming their bodies so its hardest part smashes into the most vulnerable area of the player receiving the hit. A big part of pro football is intimidation — intimidation through the infliction of pain, the big hit.

According to an article in The Sporting News, the rule that veteran players would most like to see changed involves roughing the passer. The current rule makes it too difficult for defensive players to inflict body-crunching hits on the quarterback. Even offensive players believe that quarterbacks aren't getting hit hard enough.

I believe deliberately inflicting pain on another human being for the purpose of entertainment is wrong. I do not like the idea of anybody suffering, but in my opinion the players are responsible for their state of debilitation. It's not like they were mining coal, serving in the military, or in some other noble pursuit.

The outpouring of sympathy for these players is misplaced, especially when compared to the hardships of the rest of society. This loss of perspective is illustrated by a quote from Art Modell: "The pride and the presence of a professional football team are far more important than 30 libraries."

Rome had its gladiator games. We have NFL football.

Bob Gross
Garfield Heights

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