By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
Detective Richard DuVall
I wanted to publicly thank everyone for the support that has been thrown my way lately. I am a relatively private person and am far from perfect. Honestly, I was hoping that this story would not run at all, fearing unnecessary publicity for the league and all of its participants...too late. Thanks, Eric, for telling it like it was. I appreciate it.
It did make me feel better when I received positive feedback from fellow youth coaches that I have never known before or met personally. This surprised me, as they all gave me a resounding thumbs-up. The parent support I have received tells me that I at least made a difference in their sons' lives, even if short-lived. That is why I coach youth sports. It is all about the Jimmies, Joes and Janes, and it has very little to do with the politics that can be so crippling to youth sports.
Whether you agreed with the story or not doesn't really matter. The situation was pretty lame, actually. I still have had no formal explanation from the league as to why it made such a "knee-jerk" decision, not one word...that is just plain wrong. Worse yet, I never got to say goodbye to the fine young men who made up such a unique team, great kids all around and really hardworking football players.
Oh, well. Everything happens for a reason...at least, that is what I keep telling myself and the coaches, parents and players who continue to call me in support.
Mike Mahoney, fired volunteer head coach
MAMFA Seniors Division I
Throw away the key:Regarding Nate Stone's September 11 At the Show:
I am a reader of Westword who happened to be at a small show for the Mermen at the Lion's Lair a couple of weeks ago. I am not a fan of the Mermen; I went with a friend who is. I was flipping through Westwordand noticed a cartoon review of the concert by Nate. I agree with most of his complaints, with one very big exception: Out on Bail was the worst band I have ever seen or heard, and that is saying quite a bit. Even taking into consideration that the band was playing its first gig, I still felt that it was pretty bad. I would not even normally complain, except for the fact that I felt so strongly about how bad this band actually was.
I hope that this plea may influence you to be a little more objective in future reviews.
via the Internet
In the Baggs:As a member of the noise band Tigerbeat, I was saddened to read in the September 4 Beatdown of Baggs Patrick's retirement from hosting the Cricket open stage and scandalized at the insinuations regarding Tigerbeat's musical pretentiousness. While it's true that our guitars were never in tune, this was more a product of ineptness than of design. Baggs's assertion that we had talent that we "just refused to use" is giving us a lot more credit than we deserve. In fact, it was this very generosity of spirit that made Baggs such a singular personality at Cricket on the Hill, and we were continually astounded when he would welcome us back for another set of punishing noise and dischord every Sunday night.
Today I'm conducting a small chamber orchestra in Zacatecas, Mexico, and composing a sonata for homemade violins supported by a grant from the Vicente Rodríguez Trust. My instruments these days are played in tune. And I wonder if I wouldn't be a successful musician if it weren't for the early (and unfounded) encouragement of Baggs Patrick all those Sundays ago in the booze-steeped Cricket on the Hill.
Steer clear:I was really pleased to read Jason Sheehan's September 11 Bite Me column in response to PETA's Meet Your Meat. I'm impressed that he took the time to watch the video -- which he was fully prepared to disbelieve -- with an open mind, and that, even if he found its presentation flawed, he took its core message to heart. That shows his integrity.
I grew up in Nebraska and spent a lot of time on my grandfather's farm. He raised beef cattle, but these cattle lived relatively pleasant lives. They spent the warmer months grazing in the pasture, the calves with their mothers, and one cow would even come running when my grandfather called it by name. The cattle were always taken away to be slaughtered, and I was a meat eater with a clear conscience.
As I got older, though, I started to notice the corporate hog-containment units and cattle feedlots we would drive by -- the thousands of cattle standing in manure up to their knees, shoulder to shoulder so they could hardly move, almost as far as the eye could see, with a stench that made your eyes water. (If you think I'm exaggerating, take a ride through western Nebraska on I-80.) And I noticed the massive slaughterhouses, always located in small towns hundreds of miles from any large populations. You could literally smell the decomposing animal by-products from miles away. I began to see with my own eyes that my grandfather's farm was the exception, and that most food animals do live and die in conditions that would give the average person nightmares.