We're talkin' Football

Letters from the week of May 30, 2002

Coaching Strategy

The good guys: I just wanted to thank you for a great column regarding the so-called "abuse" scandal at Mountain View High School ("Ode to Coach Busken," Robert Nelson, May 23). As a former Toro (Coach Parker era), it was nice to see another viewpoint other than the trash we have read in the Trib or Republic.

I would have my son play for Coach Parker or Busken in a heartbeat. I agree, there is nothing wrong with being tough on kids or even an "asshole" like you put it. Oh, and by the way, I know without any uncertainty that these two coaches were the "good asshole" type.

Wayne Syrek Jr.
Mesa

Toughing it out: Thanks for the article. As a father of two boys (one more on the way), I'd want them to play for the type of "hardass" coach you describe. Young men need to experience the discipline, hard work and sense of accomplishment these types of coaches/teachers can provide. I was blessed to have such an experience under Jesse Parker.

I don't want someone who will blow them kisses. Instead, I want someone who will push them, work them and challenge them. Sport, especially football, loses its value if its only purpose is to "have fun." Kids can "have fun" eating Twinkies and playing Nintendo. The right coach can teach boys how to win on the field and in life.

Kirk Adams
Mesa

Star player: Once again, Robert Nelson proves himself to be the sole shining star in the sea of otherwise snarky, mean-spirited hacks New Times seems so fond of employing. His column on ousted Coach Busken was courageous and right on the money. Nicely done, Mr. Nelson.

Dion Bozman
Phoenix

Pushing the limits: I completely agree with all that you said. I played for one of those assholes that you talked about and am very glad to have had the experience. (One of those who do care about you as a person.) I truly believe that if more of the general public had the opportunity to interact with some of the types of assholes that you were describing in the article, the country would be the better for it. Most of us need someone to push us and show us just what we really are capable of doing. I would be proud and feel honored to have any of my children play for any one of the individuals who were mentioned in your article.

Scott Adams
Mesa

MARS Attack

Failed mission to MARS: "Ghosts of MARS" (Susy Buchanan, May 23) was hilarious. I haven't laughed so hard in months. Really, thanks, New Times, for keeping up with your reputation as a non-supporter of the arts.

Of course! Ask a former MARS artist, from the big book of bitter, who left under a cloud, to do the final say-so on the gallery. It's just too poetic! I tip my hat to you and we go out laughing.

Deborah McMillion
Via e-mail

Music Man

Praise the Lord and pass the piano: I just read through "Going Strong" (Paul Rubin, May 23) and I can't stop laughing. You really nailed that "sexular" thing to the roof. I'm in the same situation as Buddy Strong in that I love the Lord and I'm a musician. The two are very hard to balance; on one hand I desire to live in a way that honors His holy name, and on the other I'm a born musician. When a plumber dedicates his life to the Lord, he still gets to go to work the next day and no one thinks twice about it. Yet music seems to be so closely tied in to each and every vice man can conjure up that in order to make a decent living you have to play "sexular" gigs.

I've played with Buddy in a couple of bands and I always knew which path he would choose, but I ask you to contemplate for a moment those who would rather starve than let the name of God be blasphemed for our blatant disregard for the gospel's pointed warning: "Avoid even the appearance of evil."

Paul David
Via e-mail

Faithful Flock

Bucking the church: Robert Nelson's column on Bishop Thomas O'Brien shielding priests was well-written . There is one thing, though, that I don't agree with. That is the claim of Sharon Roy that she was raped. Unless you can show a police report at the time from Ms. Roy, I believe Ms. Roy has seen the big bucks and changed her title from paramour to victim.

Virginia Chaffin
Phoenix

Priests are people, too: In her letter concerning Father Pat Colleary (Letters, May 16), Dianne Hanagan's remark, "Sorry, non-Catholics, you will never understand this," must also apply to Catholics baffled by her misunderstanding of the role of the priest in the administration of the sacraments.

All priests are susceptible to many sins, mortal and venial, including, but not limited to, molestation, concupiscence and lying. But when, despite his sinful humanity, the priest performs an act of absolution, it is Jesus (God) who forgives our sins, given our true repentance, and the sacramental grace flows despite the imperfections of the instrument.

Jonathan Smith
Scottsdale

Reading Rainbow

Animal magnetism: I live in a little town outside of Yuma so I don't get New Times. But a friend in Tempe sent me your article on Animal Dreams ("Now Read This," Spiked, May 16). She said I might like seeing what I had told her about the book in print. As the bookseller said, I agree with Barbara Kingsolver's position, but if I want a sermon I'll go to church. Loved your writing.

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