Readers Write (March 27): Vikings stadium, Gophers sports, marriage, gridlock

  • Updated: March 26, 2013 - 7:59 PM
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PRO SPORTS

Once again, paper’s motives are revealed

We subscribers to the Star Tribune have come to expect any editorials about sports venues for big-money sports moguls to favor them and the construction of their stadiums and ballparks at public expense.

The March 26 editorial (“So far, state is losing its bet on e-gaming”) did not disappoint.

Not one word about the possibility of billionaire team owner Zygi Wilf bailing out the taxpayers instead of vice versa.

Not one word about this terribly flawed bill and subsequent stalled procedure terribly in need of an audit.

Always, the Strib is inimically against the interests of most of its subscribers and readers — the taxpayers forced to underwrite yet another field of schemes — and for Big Sports because the interests of Big Sports are those of the Star Tribune.

It is our little slice of America in microcosm: the 1 percent dominating the 99 percent.

Willard B. Shapira, Roseville

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COLLEGE SPORTS

At U, asking a lot, in more ways than one

Tubby Smith may not be the best basketball coach in the country, but he is the best we have ever had here at Minnesota. When you take away the four vacated seasons due to sanctions, Tubby has three of our eight NCAA tourney appearances. A March 26 editorial (“Tubby had his shot”) spoke to consistency on the court, or the lack thereof. Historically, the program has not averaged even one tourney appearance per decade (at least without cheating), and Tubby gets fired for delivering three in his six years. I guess you are right that the expectations for the program, and for athletic director Norwood Teague, have just skyrocketed.

Roger Norris, Eagan

• • •

A few weeks ago, I got a call from a University of Minnesota student asking for money for the Alumni Club. I turned him down because he had not “sold” me. If he had bothered to engage me in a conversation instead of telling me that the U ranked 29th in scholastic achievement, I might have made a donation and given him a few tips on how to solicit large sums of money over the phone.

Phone solicitors should not feel bad about their work. Nothing ever gets sold unless someone sells it. I would have told this student that phone sales are pretty much like eating at a restaurant. The fast-food script works for someone who just wants to get in, get out and get on their way. The fine-dining script works for someone who has a few bucks, a discerning palette and a wish to be part of something bigger than themselves. If this student had bothered to learn his script, he would have easily gone away with a contribution that far exceeded his expectation — that is, until the news of the firing of Tubby Smith.

The $2.5 million buyout of Smith’s contract, coming just a few months after paying $800,000 not to play the football powerhouse North Carolina, gives this alumni the nagging feeling that my alma mater may have its priorities a little out of whack.

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