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Take 2

A different spin on sports by The Seattle Times staff and readers.

April 6, 2013 at 4:00 PM

What Seattle Times sports readers are saying

Mariners

Spring-training jinx? Hope not

Well, I guess we can forget about a great season from the Mariners. The Seattle Times published a headline out of spring training (“M’s set mark with 22nd victory,” Sunday), along with the top five M’s spring-training records and then their record at the end of the season. Seattle didn’t finish above .500 in any of those seasons.

If memory serves me, didn’t the great team of 2001, have a subpar spring and then won 116 wins in the regular season?

I’ll give the Mariners the opportunity to prove me and the Times Sports pages wrong, which would be fine with me. I like winning baseball.

– Richard B. Ellenberger, Normandy Park

Pac-12

Scott should also resign

There have been plenty of examples of horrible officiating in the Pac-12 Conference in all sports across all teams. And while examples abound of incompetence by the actual game officials, this time the incompetence has bled into the conference leadership, specifically Commissioner Larry Scott.

The latest story is truly an embarrassment to sport, and the whole conference should not be surprised if they lose new recruits based on its failure to: 1) officiate correctly; 2) discourage corruption and; 3) investigate and punish appropriately.

Former Pac-12 coordinator of officiating Ed Rush and Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott should have been fired, absolutely and immediately. It doesn’t even matter that the refs got the specific call flatly wrong. It doesn’t matter if the alleged bounty was a joke. It doesn’t matter if Scott’s rush-to-judgment investigation didn’t uncover anything. The commissioner have failed to maintain integrity in every step of this event.

Scott perpetuated to our youth the horrible concept that officials are players of the game being played instead of truly impartial authorities who deserve respect for their adjudication of the rules of the game.

This is just another example of how game officials have made the Pac-12 the poster child for incompetence.

– Joel Schoenberg, Seattle

NCAA basketball

March sadness was inspirational

March Madness quickly turned into March sadness after Louisville’s Kevin Ware suffered an horrific injury as he landed awkwardly on his right leg after attempting to block a shot by a Duke player.

I commend the way players and coaches from both teams reacted to the injury, showing shock and concern, while showing deep emotion including tears. This is sportsmanship at its highest. Ware also acted with selfless class, more concerned with his team winning than with his own injury.

– Kenneth L. Zimmerman, Huntington Beach, Calif.

1941 Cougs

Warm, informative, sadly impressive

Jayson Jenks’ article on the 1941 Washington State men’s basketball team (“Final Four Cougs,” Thursday) was one of the most interesting sports articles that I’ve read in a very long time (and, no, I’m not a Coug alum!).

It was wonderful to read something so informative and full of tidbits of personal warmth and fun observations of that time.

I might add that the contrast of those young men willingly serving their country with many of today’s overpaid athletes into doping/assaulting/DUI’s etc. was sadly impressive.

– S. Olson, Bellevue

More human interest, please

Thank you for your fascinating and very well-written piece on the 1941 Cougars. It’s the kind of historical, human-interest story I’d like to see more of in the Sports Section.

– Doug Bradley

UCLA

Smug Bruins got sweet justice

Smugly certain that the UCLA brand would draw someone of marquee status to sign their dotted line after Ben Howland got thrown overboard, what happens to the school’s administrative big shots? They seemingly sleep through the biggest story of March Madness, a charismatic coach piloting his 15th seeded Florida Gulf Coast team to the Sweet 16.

Rather than pounce on FGCU coach Andy Enright after getting left at the alter by Butler’s Brad Stevens and VCU’s Shaka Smart, they opt (in a face-saving rush to land anyone with name recognition) to sign Steve Alford of New Mexico. His latest claim to fame is getting steamrollered by Ivy League power Harvard.

Right under their noses, USC lands Enright, who had he been given a choice between the Trojans and UCLA, would surely have chosen the Bruins.

Ah, sweet justice!

– Lew Witham, Seattl

Seahawks

Flynn was worth more

If Brandon Weeden, a college quarterback with zero NFL experience gets drafted in the first-round last year, then Matt Flynn, who is two years younger, and a veteran NFL QB with a some stellar games already in his résumé, is worth two first-round picks.

– Angel Hewit, Issaquah

Send us your backtalk: Letters bearing true names, addresses and telephone numbers for verification are considered for publication. Please limit letters to 125 words or less. They are subject to editing and become the property of The Times. Fax them to 206-464-3255, or mail to: Backtalk, Seattle Times Sports, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. Or e-mail to: sports@seattletimes.com

Want to be a reader contributor to The Seattle Times’ Take 2 blog? Email your original, previously unpublished work or proposal to Sports Editor Don Shelton at dshelton@seattletimes.com or sports@seattletimes.com. Not all submissions can be published. The Times reserves the right to edit and publish any submissions online and/or in print.

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