What are NFL coaches and players teaching our youth when they abandon their morals in a quest for wins—or worse, for bounties? Playing with the intent of causing injury to opponents is a vote of no confidence in your own team. As fans we buy tickets and tune into games because we want to see the best compete against the best. Cheap hits and bounty systems rob us of that opportunity and diminish the game.
Mike Errico, Los Olivos, Calif.
I get why the Saints' bounty program (Way Out of Bounds) is abhorrent and should spark outrage. Still, it sounds as if the bounties were more like glorified team-building exercises rather than something truly malicious. I know commissioner Roger Goodell has no choice but to punish everyone involved, but I can't seem to muster anything but indifference.
Tom Czarniak, Rochester, N.Y.
Bounties have existed in professional football since the game's inception. I'm sure most longtime Bears fans remember the "hit list" towel worn by Packers nosetackle Charles Martin in the 1980s. The towel, which he wore around his waist, displayed the jersey numbers of the Chicago players Martin was supposed to hit. One of his viscious blows finished off quarterback Jim McMahon for the rest of the '86 season.
Stephen M. Hashioka, Chicago
Bad Boys of Summer
In reading about Lenny Dykstra's recent conviction (How Lenny Dykstra Got Nailed), I was reminded of the rise and fall of former Tigers pitcher Denny McLain. He too lived the high life off other people's money and eventually served time in prison. Dykstra maintains there will be a good ending to his story, but I can't help thinking he's already planning his next scam.
Thomas E. Urbaniak, Holland, Mich.