“The Super Bowl for Dummies” should be the title of the document leaked to the Star Tribune that detailed the demands the NFL makes on a city wishing to host the game (“NFL had long, pricey Super wish list,” June 8.)
Some of the demands are predictable: lavish hotel suites, police protection for team owners, protection against ticket counterfeiters and tax exemptions everywhere. Some are rather bizarre: golf courses, bowling alleys and 20 billboards advertising the game. (Why the game needs to be advertised in the host city is a profound mystery. Only the comatose will be unaware of it.)
The final demand, unmentioned in the article, is a symbolic summary of all of the demands. Just before kickoff, on the 50-yard line of the “Peoples’ ”(Oops! Sid predicts it will be “U. S. Bank”) stadium, the governor of Minnesota and the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis will gently but firmly press their lips on the posterior part of the anatomy of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who will graciously acknowledge their homage.
Then the game can begin.
George M. Woytanowitz, Minneapolis
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Although both the NFL and local officials emphasize the economic benefits that Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota will receive as a result of hosting Super Bowl LII, I wonder if the “price” they pay, based upon the “secret bid” specifications, is actually worth the event. Conventional wisdom says “yes,” but could Super Bowl LII turn into Sucker Bowl LII?
Dick Daymont, Northfield
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I like the way the “Happy Pigs” headline appeared under the story of the NFL confidential privileges story.
Nancy Lockard, Minneapolis
Stepped-up policing is one possible approach
The editorial about pedestrian safety at the crosswalk at Lincoln and Snelling avenues in St. Paul (“When crosswalks become deathtraps,” June 7) minimizes or misses two important points about pedestrian safety at this crosswalk and at intersections generally.
The first point, which is minimized, is the role of law enforcement in increasing driver adherence to the law. The state law requiring drivers to yield to pedestrians who cross at intersections has been on the books for many years, yet most motorists wrongly drive as if it does not apply to arterial streets such as Snelling, University and Lake. The best way to increase adherence to the law is for the police to run frequent crosswalk violation “traps” on busy streets and to publicize their campaign, but the police apparently put their priorities elsewhere.
The second point, not mentioned, is that pedestrians often cross at intersections without watching all oncoming vehicles to make sure they stop. I have noticed many Macalester students who fail to keep a lookout. Sadly, pedestrians who assume they do not need to keep a lookout run the risk of becoming dead right.
Jerome Getz, St. Paul
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The editorial prompts me to finally express a controversial proposal: Eliminate the “pedestrian has the right of way” law. I’ve been involved in the pedestrian vs. vehicle issue for 55 years, 30 professionally. In all cases of pedestrian vs. vehicle accidents, the pedestrian loses — from personal injury to a life. These accidents usually happen because the driver fails to yield to the pedestrian for whatever reason: failure to see, excessive speed or poor weather conditions.
Would the number of incidences be reduced if pedestrians did not have the right of way, were required to only cross the street when clear and were responsible to make that determination?
Pedestrians should be the party responsible to determine when it’s safe to cross the street. Yes, we engineers can and should provide a safer environment such as a signal or other facilities. But we cannot engineer away lack of responsibility of either drivers or pedestrians.
If pedestrians were, by law, responsible to determine their safe ability to cross the street, knowing that vehicles were not required to give way, then vehicle-pedestrian accidents would be reduced.
Charles Lenthe, Maple Grove
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As a side note, state law does not require vehicles to stop unless the pedestrian is crossing the road or currently in the crosswalk. The proactive driver choosing to stop as he sees a pedestrian approach or while the pedestrian is curbside can be obstructive or even reckless, since one lane of stopped traffic does not presume that other lanes will do the same.
Cal Lueck, Danube, Minn.
Heard at West Point: peacekeepers first
Regarding Norm Coleman’s June 6 commentary “When the president negotiates with terrorists”: I was at my nephew’s graduation from West Point last week. President Obama was the commencement speaker, and I was encouraged by his commitment to keep our militia out of harm’s way, if at all possible. His goal is that our military be peacekeepers and that we not be continually at war. I like that idea.
As a physician who was drafted out of college at age 19 during the Vietnam era, I want my leaders committed to making the world a better place rather than one that is hateful and confrontational. D-Day and the recent Normandy memorials remind us of the horrors of war.
Coleman has no problem putting party politics above country, and his haughty, partisan, drumbeating patriotism wears thin. I love my nephew, and if he were a prisoner of war, I would want my government to do everything possible to bring him home. I am glad Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released. Diplomacy will always be preferable to conflict.
Ralph S. Bovard, Minneapolis
Thanks for a little more insight on Dad
I was surprised to see a picture of Lou Kohl, my dad who died in 1970, in your June 5 article about the death of Chester Nez, the last of the original Code Talkers (“Last of the original Navajo Code Talkers”). My dad is the drill instructor seated second from the left in the platoon picture. Like so many veterans of World War II, my dad talked very little about the war. Consequently, I know very little about his service. A few things I do know: He made a number of landings with his fellow Marines on Japanese-held islands; he was proud to serve with these Marines who also happened to be Navajos, and he was very proud to be a Marine. Thanks for giving me another piece to the puzzle.
Phillip Kohl, Albert Lea, Minn.