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Take 2

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

April 5, 2014 at 6:00 AM

College sports unions, Mariners: Seattle Times readers sound off

4-6-14College sports

Wildcat strikes, lockouts?
What’s the end game?

Regarding college sports and unions, it does open some interesting doors. Could there be an athlete lockout on campus? How about a wildcat strike to stir things up?

Thankfully, cooler heads should prevail. Still, I can’t wait to see how this thing pans out. As far as Northwestern gaining brownie points with NCAA brass, I wouldn’t count on it.

— Creig Hamstad, Kenmore

Schools cash in,
but not athletes

With that winning three-point bomb from Aaron Harrison against Michigan, Kentucky sailed right into the Final Four — and a much bigger NCAA payday.

And what does Harrison get? A tuition waiver; books, room and board; and not much else compared to the millions that Kentucky is making off of his talents.

So, why not pay athletes as university employees? And team managers and cheerleaders and the student bands? Instead of credit hours why not credit cash?

They all put in significant amounts of time on behalf of their schools while the ticket offices keep ringing their cash registers.

And we wonder why the Northwestern athletes want to form a union.

— Jim Varnell, Normandy Park

Touching scenes after
foul shots a distraction

One of the dumbest current protocols in basketball these days occurs at the free-throw line on two-shot foul situations. After the first free throw, all the team’s players on the floor come up to the shooter and touch hands. All this does is waste time and distract the focus of the shooter. It takes him off the line, adds 10 seconds to the process, and then it’s back to the line to re-focus and take the second free throw.

It is ridiculous. It has no value. Free-throw shooting is about mental focus and mechanical reproduction of the pure stroke. Why would anyone want to distract someone?

— Bob Foscolo, Syracuse, N.Y.


Why show Baylor’s
pain? Ratings, baby!

Thank you, ROOT Sports, for yet another underachievement. And on opening day, too.

A tragic occurrence took place at home plate Monday night, namely the injury of Don Baylor as the ceremonial first pitch was thrown to him. Shockingly, he suffered broken leg while merely squatting down. This was shown on the telecast, before the start of he game. We watched him be assisted off the field, one leg dangling uselessly. We watched him suffer. I could understand, had it taken place during part of live coverageI. Instead it was prerecorded, then shown later.

The ROOT Sports brain trust could not resist showing something sensational and gruesome, assuming that the drooling masses would appreciate it and eat the whole thing up.
Ratings, baby.

— Tom Likai, Shoreline

Too many negatives

in preview section

First, I think your Sports section overall is the best I have seen in 50-plus years of reading the paper. Yet I think the Mariner coverage this spring has been extensive, but extremely negative. It’s like the writers have a personal vendetta or dislike for the Mariners. Your Mariners preview last Sunday was the worst. Example: They listed the members of the current squad, and their season projection. Every single projection was negative, even for our two stars.

— Terry Bergson, Port Townsend


Second the motion
for Hawks showings

I’d like to second the proposal by Tim Murphy of Bellevue for Seahawks away games to be shown on the giant screen at Safeco Field (“Let’s watch Hawks games at Safeco,” March 30).

The Pen at Safeco is already open before Seahawks home games, and prior to the NFC Championship game, it was more crowded thanany Mariner game I have attended. It was electric. Talk about win, win. Just open the lower level and base staffing and security levels on that capacity (25,000?).

— Steve Alberts, Vashon

UW football

Sending strong
message to Huskies

I am perplexed. Deamore’ea Stringfellow is accused of beating Seahawks fans up after they beat his Broncos in the Super Bowl? Does he realize that he beat up on someone who probably cheered as much for him on Saturdays as he or she did for the Hawks on Sundays?

This mess is in the capable hands of new coach Chris Peterson. I trust he will make this right. Men of character are welcome. Men without will be kicked to the curb.

— Keith Brown, Seattle


Abdul-Azziz never
was out-played

Thanks to Austin Burton for his story on Zaid Abdul-Azziz (“Muslim athletes’ challenge,” Wednesday). I remember him as Don Smith, and liked him for his Iowa State connection. He was often out-sized but seldom out-played. And I remember a game he helped win with a steal and a basket when the the Sonics were maybe four down with seconds to play and won.

If the Sonics ever return, he ought to throw up a ceremonial first jump ball.

— Milt Krieger, Bellingham

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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