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Take 2

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

October 26, 2013 at 12:00 PM

What Seattle Times sports readers are saying

james cartoonDon James

Humble man who was as

great at Paterno, Bowden

I’m saddened by the passing of Don James. He was an icon at UW, but also arguably every bit as good a coach as Joe Paterno, Bobby Bowden, or anyone else from his era. He never got their national acclaim, but he should have. He was a humble man, and I seriously doubt he cared about getting the recognition.

The Husky-Cougar rivalry comes to a standstill in moments like this. I have never talked to one person who worked for him that did not admire and respect him.

– Rob Oviatt, Missoula, Mont.

Hindsight of decades

only adds to legacy

Coach Don James didn’t just put Husky football on the map, he took the program to unprecedented heights. Toward the end of his coaching career, domination of the conference by the Huskies, winning Rose Bowls,and talk of national championships became the expectation, not the exception.

Now, with the hindsight of two more decades and five more head coaches, it seems maybe we didn’t fully appreciate just what a gem we had at the time in Coach James.

– Raymond S. Wilson, Bellevue

What was

James thinking?

I, too, was saddened to learn of Don James passing with pancreatic cancer. I have been a Husky ticket-holder for over 50 years and enjoyed the glory years of winning teams and bowl games. Young minds were being nurtured by this strong, disciplined coach and trusted mentor.

My question: Did anyone ask players on that final team how they felt that fall when Coach James suddenly left the program? The coach went home because he didn’t like the sanctions presented to him and the university by the Pac-10.

Coach James was not thinking of his role as a teacher, an adult figure these kids relied on, not to mention the affect his decision had on the reputation of UW and Husky football. What was he thinking?

– Char Friis, Bellevue

More than just

a football coach

Don James was not just a football coach, he was a builder of men.

– George Swanson, Auburn

Thanks for varied perspectives, Withers

Thank you for the marvelous stories Monday, especially the varied perspectives from Blaine Newnham and Bud Withers, who knew him best. Also fantastic were online tributes from Hugh Millen, Billy Joe Hobert, Brock Huard, et al.

– Mark Cutshall, Shoreline

UW football

Huskies can’t blame

Nick Holt any more

Apparently, it’s not all Nick Holt’s fault.

– Jeff Robinson, Seattle

Ditch the white,

stop surrendering

Please, please, please, no more “surrender” white uniforms, ever! Last I checked — and I have been a fan for 50 years — Husky colors are purple and gold, not white! White means “surrender”. I don’t want my Dawgs surrendering, ever.

– Phil Payne, Everett

From optimistic to

disgusted, embarrassed

In just a few short weeks, I’ve gone from optimistic (tough loss at Stanford) to disappointed (missed opportunities at critical times against Oregon) to disgusted (Arizona State is not that good).

The team is failing at so many levels. I can only point to one person, coach Steve Sarkisian. Losing is unacceptable, and losing as they did at ASU is ridiculous. No spirit, poor organization and just stupid, sloppy embarrassing representation of a great university.

I’m not sure what’s worse, the way our government is being run or Husky Football. This may be harder than the 0-and-12 year.

Matt Peters, Brier

World Series

When will Mariners

break curse of Big Papi?

The Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals are this year’s World Series baseball protagonists. The Red Sox have won the World Series seven times in 11 appearances; the Cardinals 11 in 19 appearances.

Only two Major League Baseball teams have never made a World Series appearance: the Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals.

Perhaps the Mariners would have had a World Series appearance had they not traded away legitimate stars like David “Big Papi” Ortiz, Adam Jones  and Tino Martinez.

– David Enroth, Shoreline

Send us your backtalk: Letters bearing real 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 206-493-0934, or mail to: Backtalk, Seattle Times Sports, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. Or email to:

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 or 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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The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

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