What sport was this, rugby?
The photo on Page C1 of your Sports section (“Long haul,” Tuesday) is interesting. It shows a young man, Elias Harris of Gonzaga, running between two defenders with the ball tucked firmly in his hand. What sport is it? Not football, no protective gear; not basketball, no dribble; must be rugby.
I’m pleased to see that excellent sport receive front-page coverage in the Times.
– Bruce Bailey, Seattle
Rise above Ducks rivalry
Saturday night, the Oregon Ducks won the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament championship game. Not one word about the tournament or the game appeared on the front page of the Sunday sports section. Friday night, there were two semifinal games, and Saturday Sports section front page article gave half front page coverage to the UCLA-Arizona game, but only one line to the Oregon-Utah game.
I understand that the Huskies don’t like the Ducks. I get that. But I should think The Seattle Times reportage could rise above that, and put regional pride ahead of rivalry issues.
– Scott Smouse, Bellevue
Editor’s note: The late Oregon games on Friday and Saturday nights finished after some editions of The Seattle Times went to press.
Different kind of March Madness
Significant others have “March Madness” too, with a different meaning. During this month they get angry at us for being glued to the TV set 24/7 watching college basketball and not doing any work around the house.
– Kenneth L. Zimmerman, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Replace coach, not players
The main reason for the Sounders not advancing further than they did in the playoffs the past two seasons was not the below-par production from the designated players, but the negative approach of the coach in the first legs of their playoff matches.
How can you play with only one forward and expect him to score without any support from the midfield? The result was that the team got into big holes in the first legs and was not able to get out of them despite heroic efforts in the second legs.
The team played much better in the games the coach was made to sit out (example: the Los Angeles Galaxy in the regular season). Instead of changing the designated players every now and then, the team should try changing the coach.
– Himmat Sohi, Bothell
Romar must address 2 issues
Recently, there have been calls for Lorenzo Romar’s job as head coach from the Washington men’s basketball fan base. Such is the byproduct of sustained success. However, let’s not forget that the team was the Pac-12 champion last year and the Pac 10 tournament champ in 2011 and 2010.
The program doesn’t need an overhaul as much as it needs laser-focused attention, by Romar and his coaches, on two glaring weaknesses that have surfaced the past couple years: taking care of the ball and a lack of in-your-face defenders. When Romar was employing his run-and-gun style, the Huskies suffocated their opponents into turnovers. We accepted our share of turnovers as a side effect of the system. When you are playing at breakneck speed, some turnovers will follow, we thought.
These Huskies consistently showed no care for the ball, even with the slower, high-post offense emphasized this year. Also, the past couple years we would be hard-pressed to identify the defensive specialists in the image of Bobby Jones or Venoy Overton.
Coach Romar, please recruit some defensive stoppers and implement some real accountability, like a quick hook, for players that don’t take care of the ball. Addressing these two issues will make all things golden in Husky Hoopland, again.
– Jon Engman. Newcastle
Market price for Hasselbeck
I disagree that the NFL’s lack of interest in Matt Hasselbeck suggests that NFL teams aren’t interested in deepening talent at quarterback. Hasselbeck’s recent contract reflects the market for Matt Hasselbeck, not the market for quarterbacks generally (see, for example, the Joe Flacco contract, the Peyton Manning
sweepstakes, and the fact that Hasselbeck is being paid $5 million to ride the bench behind Andrew Luck).
Buffalo, Arizona, New York and a host of other teams are all desperate for a franchise QB. What these teams don’t want is another short-term solution. Matt Hasselbeck is 37 years old, turning 38 this fall. For all of Hasselbeck’s veteran experience, Buffalo or Jacksonville would be foolish to build their team around him.
Matt Flynn, on the other hand, is 27. My guess is that many NFL teams are desperate to acquire Matt Flynn, but Seahawks general manager John Schneider has attached an astronomical price tag because the Seahawks have no financial need or desire to move him.
– Jessica Manca, Seattle