Regarding Bill Gallo's "Avs and Have-Nots," in the December 26 issue:
Perhaps Bill Gallo has a hard time remembering any great athlete who doesn't have a penis (unless the athlete is "perky"--a pathetic adjective in any case). Here's a handy little list to jog his memory:
The "perky" swimmer Amy Van Dyken became the first American woman to win four gold medals in a single Olympic Games. (Do you suppose anyone ever described Mark Spitz as "perky"?) She captured the 50-meter freestyle and the 100-meter butterfly and was part of two victorious relay teams. Jenny Thompson won three gold medals (her career total of five ties her with Bonnie Blair for the most by a U.S. woman). Brooke Bennett won the 800-meter freestyle, and Angel Martino won four medals--two bronze and two gold. The Olympics also provided a farewell performance for Janet Evans, one of the best long-distance swimmers the country has ever produced. Michele Smith of Ireland turned in an outstanding performance, winning three golds and a bronze; she also put to rest vicious rumors by passing drug tests handily.
American women won team golds in Olympic basketball, soccer and softball. The U.S. women's basketball team triumphed in a brutal year-long tour, winning all 62 games and capturing its first gold since 1988. Powered by the play of Dawn Staley, Lisa Leslie and Teresa Edwards, the team swept through the Olympic competition and electrified the capacity crowd in the Georgia Dome by stomping Brazil in the championship game.
In Olympic soccer, the U.S. women won the inaugural tournament by edging China 2-1. Tiffany Milbrett scored the game-winning goal in front of 78,481 people, the largest crowd ever to watch a women's sporting event.
The Olympic softball team, led by shortstop Dot Richardson (who also happens to be an orthopedic surgeon), beat China to win gold. Richardson's homer sealed the win.
The 100-meter race in the Olympic track and field competition proved to be one of the most exciting ever as American Gail Devers beat Jamaican Merlene Ottey in a photo finish. American Gwen Torrance finished third.
In tennis, Germany's Steffi Graf overcame nagging injuries and her father's legal problems to have one of her best years. Monica Seles started her first full season by winning the Australian Open. Golf has another new hero in 21-year-old Australian Karrie Webb, who became the first woman to win over $1 million in a single season.
And, finally, there are now two women's professional basketball leagues in this country. The American Basketball League team in Colorado--the Xplosion--is on a nine-game winning streak. You have heard of them, haven't you? They're the only winning pro basketball team in Denver.
Being a current Grambling State University student (soon to be alumnae), I read Bill Gallo's December 19 "Robinson U.," about Coach Eddie Robinson, with great interest. I take great pride in attending this historically black university, and I was greatly offended when I read the second line of the story: Grambling State is located in Grambling, not Ruston. Ruston is only five miles away, but it's a completely different town.
As far as forcing Coach Rob out: He is a legend, and every good legend knows when it's time to hang up the football helmet and get out. Rob's problem is that if he had his way, he would die coaching on the football field. The only way to get him out is to force him to retire. I think he deserves one more year, but that's it.
Don't get us wrong at Grambling. We love him, but he's got to go. It's time for us to move on and look toward the future--a future without the best coach in the nation.
Pros and Converts
With regard to Timothy Buchanan's December 26 letter critiquing Nicholas Bull's fashion sense (Stuart Steers's "Ire of Newt," December 19), it should be pointed out that while the Norsemen didn't use Scottish claymores, neither did they wear stylish leather jackets with zippers. Asatru is a modern reconstructed religion, not a medieval reenactment society. Furthermore, while Mr. Buchanan's sixteenth-century ancestors were certainly Christianized, his sixth- and seventh-century ancestors probably weren't--and Norse influence in the Orkneys and Hebrides Islands (not to mention the northern coasts of both Scotland and Ireland) is well-documented.
As far as the tenets of modern Asatru go, courage is certainly one virtue among many that we honor. Others include hospitality, truthfulness, industriousness and self-reliance. We tend not to focus much on "forgiveness," since if one's actions are honorable, there is no need for forgiveness, either by one's fellow humans or by our gods and goddesses. "Morally lazy"? Hardly--but basing one's opinion of a religion's merit on one recent convert's throwaway line about one tenet is certainly intellectually lazy.
J. Frederick Loucks-Schultz
In the December 5 issue, Michael Roberts's Feedback column mentioned the improvement in KTCL's format. At the time I agreed, but I soon noticed a change. Perhaps in response to, or defiance of, that column, said radio station launched a cacophony of corporate crap onto Denver's airwaves, thus erasing any differences between KTCL and KBPI. If I want to hear excruciatingly dull Top 40 drivel, I'll tune in to "the music revolution" and shop at Wal-Mart.
I have a suggestion to the parent companies of KTCL and KBPI: The two stations could merge and use the call letters KRAP.
With all the new restaurants in town, I am quite surprised that you keep reviewing restaurants that have been around for years. McCormick's as the subject of a review ("In the Swim," December 19) seems rather redundant; after all, it was probably reviewed 105 years ago, and I am sure that the place was as undistinguished then as it is now.
It's a minor gripe, but someone has to say it. I enjoy reading Kyle Wagner and generally agree with what he finds.
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