There are many positive opportunities to enjoy youth hockey.
Positive opportunities for all levels of interest
As the mother and grandmother of several hockey players at various levels of skill, I can appreciate Dale Vaillancourt’s frustration (“The State of Hockey is … excessive,” Feb. 25) with his experience with the youth hockey system. I have many criticisms of my own, mostly from observations of overzealous parents. But on the whole, parents volunteer countless hours to enable kids to enjoy the game they love. Mr. V. did a nice job of explaining the level of commitment and time required to his son, but he missed a teaching moment when his son maintained that “most of those hockey guys are jerks.” His son could have learned more than disdain and arrogance in the face of his disappointment. Mr. V. claims to be “prima-donna-free” — I don’t think so.
BEVERLY REID, Bloomington
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I urge everyone who loves hockey but is appalled by the current “state of hockey” to seek out recreational hockey leagues. It’s very affordable; the time commitment is reasonable, and ice time is not a concern, because all games and practices are outdoors. It’s a way for kids to be exposed to hockey the way I was, as a fun winter activity, not as a way of life. If your local Park and Rec does not have a program, I am sure a neighboring community would eagerly include you.
GREG SCHAEFER, Golden Valley
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Many cities offer Park and Rec hockey programs that are open to neighboring communities. There are private, organized, “pickup” hockey leagues in which parents sign up kids on a weekly basis. There is a league for high school players who play games on Sunday afternoons. Minnesota Hockey offers a winter recreational league for kids under 16. In addition, most competitive hockey associations offer spring and summer programs as well as “Try Hockey for Free” events well-suited for kids to give hockey a whirl.
The author is correct in stating that the commitment level for competitive youth hockey and competitive sports in general is not well-suited for every child and every family. But let’s research the options before we demonize our state sport.
PAUL LARSON, Minneapolis
NFL AND TAXES
Letter lost me with its parting cheap shot
Although I agree we should end the NFL league office’s tax-exempt status (“Letter of the Day,” Feb. 24), I do not agree with the letter writer’s out-of-context statement: “And let’s not forget what outstanding citizens the members of these teams are. Check your local police blotters this past decade.”
First, what does this have to do with the NFL’s tax-exempt status? Second, according to FBI statistics, the incidence of NFL players getting arrested is about half that of the general public.
Once an NFL player is ticketed or arrested, it is front-page news, but when these players spend their days off doing charitable work, we rarely her about these good deeds.
BILL OJILE, Lino Lakes
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