Letters to the Editor

The Fight Stuff

Ref and ready: Eric Dexheimer strikes again!

In "Tough Luck," his February 26 column defending so-called Toughman contests, Dexheimer reveals a total ignorance of boxing -- and of the reasons that many state legislatures have rightly sought to ban "Toughman" contests.

Colorado was the last of the fifty states to establish a boxing commission, which is deplorable in this day and age. The fact that the same legislature is now seeking to ban "Toughman" contests is a testimonial to how far we've come in just a few years.

In professional boxing, the state commission mandates that a doctor familiar with boxing be at ringside throughout the night's contests. Also, an ambulance (in some states, two) is required to be close to the ring in case of emergency. The referees in professional boxing have to pass a rigorous series of tests to become licensed. When you watch a professional boxing match and one fighter is getting the worst of it, you can see the referee closely watching the weaker fighter's eyes, waiting to jump in and stop the fight before too much damage is done. If there had been a trained, observant ref for that tragic fight in Florida, a woman's life would have been spared. The fact that many refs in pro fighting get booed for supposedly stopping fights too early is proof that pro refs would rather err on the side of caution. Just ask Richard Steele.

None of these basic safety measures are observed in "Toughman" fights. The fighters have no one to protect them. That is wrong, and it's sufficient reason to ban such exhibitions.

By the way, in boxing, the "idea of the sport" is not to inflict "pain and injury." The idea is to win, either by out-pointing your opponent or by knocking him out. The fact that Dexheimer would make such a ridiculous statement begs the question: Has Dexheimer ever attended a professional boxing match? If not, then why the hell is he writing about something he knows nothing about?

Chris Murphy

My Funny Valentine

Don't fall for it: Having known the victim in Laura Bond's February 12 "After the Fall," it's clear that the reporter either ran up against her deadline or simply bought into the romantic spin Jim Farley fed her and didn't feel it necessary to let some facts get in the way of a good story. Or Bond's editor ran up against a deadline or saw the solution to an otherwise boring real-estate tale and let the reporter off the hook. Either way, we got treated to the unchallenged accounts of a two-time loser who knew Tracy Rollert for eight months. Using this logic, I expect we can soon read about why girls shouldn't be kicking field goals for Division I college football programs.

I did happen to uncover the couple of sentences that prove the reporter talked to Rollert's friends, but the space devoted to those views makes it obvious that they would have ruined a Valentine's Day tragi-romance.

Of course Farley is bummed out. Love can make people do stupid things, but it seems he was well on his way before he fell for Rollert. Knowing what we all know about their past, they appear to have been the poster couple for the Sid-n-Nancy Matchmaking Service. He'd been busted for drugs; she was admittedly addicted. They met in a bar; they planned their "special day" in a bar. Urban edifices have always been a magnet for the misdirected. I wonder how many other lives that have passed through the empty Evans school have been ruined?

Apparently, that doesn't matter. Instead, we got Romeo and Juliet, with Romeo copping a tearful plea.

I'd like to think I knew Tracy Rollert pretty well. When I heard about her death, I was shaken, because I haven't had many friends die prematurely. Sadly, though, I was hardly fazed. After reading this story, I guess a more appropriate reaction should have been my crying out "Unfair!" Or did I entirely miss the point? This was about Westword using Rollert as a martyr in the fight against urban blight, right? My bad.

Karl Lueders

Man Overboard!

Drunk tank: Okay, I have read some pretty stupid, sexist things in Westword, and I have read some excellent articles as well. I may add that none of them have been from Dave Herrera, who appears to not actually know what bands actually play at the good venues in town (here's a clue: They don't pay to play, anywhere), but don't get me started on that subject. In this instance, I am writing in response to the incredibly ignorant, sexist and downright misogynistic Drunk of the Week column by Patrick Osborn in the February 19 issue.