Letters

Commercial Brake
As a several-times judge of the Associated Press news competition for members in California, I believe your Fife Symington coverage was worthy of first place statewide, and am equally impressed with your September 17 takeout on Arizona State University's "commercialism" ("The Selling of ASU Football," John Dougherty, September 17). I studied at ASU (graduating in '51) and worked for the school, and am ashamed by what is being done.

Dan Tedrick
Mesa

That was an excellent story about the disgustingly crass commercialism at ASU games. It makes you want to vomit listening to all that crap in the stands. Dougherty was right about how it so horribly interrupts the spontaneity of the game. Between the drumbeat of advertising and all the lengthy TV timeouts, the game is almost incidental.

Name withheld by request

Don't you find it hypocritical that a story critical of the commercialism of ASU football would appear in a weekly newspaper that has more advertisements than articles?

Dan Bonow
Phoenix

This article was absolutely correct, and we're glad we read it. During the Washington game, the PA system gave me a headache. I'm normally mild-mannered, but I found myself telling it to shut up. It lessens a game when a team's momentum is interrupted by any commercial stoppage of play. Thanks for writing about something that bothered us, too.

Judy and Tracy Lewis
Scottsdale

Thanks for telling it like it is! To be quite honest, I never thought twice about the ads, but now that you shed some light on the issue, it's blatantly obvious. I am a member of a listserv for ASU sports fans, and we all appreciate John Dougherty's wonderful journalistic work. Thanks again!

Gregory Leff
Chandler

I agree with John Dougherty's comments regarding the commercialization of ASU football. The sad fact is that most of the fans have learned to block out a lot of the constant sales pitches presented throughout the game. Even the band seems to have learned to play around the audio ads.

At the rate ASU is going, they may just as well put up a giant striped tent over the stadium and call it a circus. Sun Devil Stadium is turning into a Las Vegas side show. That's a great photo of Sparky hawking pizza. Wonder if he's getting some kind of kickback?

Like John Walters of Sports Illustrated, I've been to various big-time football games where the stadium atmosphere is purely amazing. I am thoroughly disgusted with the atmosphere of the ASU football games. I love going to college football games around the country to see the different campuses, football stadiums, bands and traditions. All of them are different and fun, but at ASU there seems to be a lack of tradition, warmth and true spirit, whether the team wins or loses. I go to a college football game to see and hear the band and cheerleaders and to cheer the team, not to be bombarded with commercials. Sun Devil Stadium is not a fun experience.

You made a comment about the differences between ASU and UCLA being dramatic. The real difference is that of class--UCLA has it and ASU doesn't. I'm further saddened, because I'm an ASU grad.

Your story said a lot of things I've thought about and experienced. Let's hope the people over at ASU read what you say and hear about what the fans feel. But will it do any good?

Name withheld by request

It's hard for me to fathom how a university can prostitute itself in the name of revenue generation when most other institutions are perfectly successful without bombarding their fans with relentless sales pitches. ASU needs to figure out how the rest of the country can keep the college football atmosphere the way it should be, not polluted with commercials, and dump all of the o#$%!!o# CORPORATE PARTNERS.

FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH, I, FOR ONE (ASU ALUM, SEASON TICKET HOLDER, AND SUN ANGEL), MAKE A POINT NOT TO GIVE MY BUSINESS TO ANY OF THE COMPANIES THAT HAVE DECIDED TO RUIN MY FOOTBALL EXPERIENCE AT SUN DEVIL STADIUM. I'LL HIT A 7-ELEVEN BEFORE I SET FOOT IN A CIRCLE K. I GAVE MY CELLULAR PHONE BUSINESS TO AIRTOUCH, AND KEPT AWAY FROM CELLULAR ONE. I'D NEVER BUY A CAR FROM BIDDULPH, ETC. . . .

ONCE AGAIN, THANKS FOR THE GREAT ARTICLE. I HOPE KEVIN WHITE READS IT.
KIM JOHNSON
CHANDLER

On-Off Switch
I WANTED TO CLARIFY THAT THE INFORMATION IN THE ARTICLE "POLYAMOROUS POLLYANNA" (BARRY GRAHAM, SEPTEMBER 17) PERTAINING TO MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY SECOND WIFE WAS TOLD OFF THE RECORD. WHETHER BARRY GRAHAM MADE AN HONEST MISTAKE IN PRINTING IT OR USED IT AS EXPLOITATIVE, "ENTERTAINING" MATERIAL DESPITE HIS PROMISE THAT IT WOULD REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL, I CANNOT PROVE. NEVERTHELESS, I WOULD LIKE TO STATE MY APOLOGIES TO HER FOR EXPERIENCING THIS BREACH OF CONFIDENTIALITY. I HAVE LEARNED FROM THIS EXPERIENCE THAT I SHOULDN'T SAY ANYTHING IN THE PRESENCE OF A JOURNALIST THAT I DON'T WANT TO APPEAR IN PRINT, AND THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT ANYTHING IS "OFF THE RECORD."

CHRIS SANDARA
TEMPE

BARRY GRAHAM RESPONDS: IF I HAD MADE A MISTAKE, I WOULDN'T HESITATE TO APOLOGIZE. BUT THERE WAS NO MISTAKE. MR. SANDARA DID, IN FACT, MAKE SOME OFF-THE-RECORD STATEMENTS, AND NONE OF THEM WAS IN THE COLUMN. I WOULD NEVER CONSIDER QUOTING ANY STATEMENT MADE TO ME IF I HAD ANY DOUBT IT WAS ON THE RECORD.

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