GOOD SPORTS

Hopkins student manager set standard

Thank you so much to Chip Scoggins for his insightful March 18 column about Grant Petersen’s experience at the boys’ basketball championship game between Hopkins and Lakeville North. I watched and experienced the same elation at the sportsmanship Petersen displayed after his team came in second. That the score changed so late in the game was especially heartbreaking for the seniors who knew that their high school playing days were over.

I never coached high school sports, but in working with 10- and 11-year-old boys who play basketball, the main thing I tried to instill was that it’s fun to win but fundamental to learn how to lose, and to do it with grace and humility, knowing that just being a part of something exceptional is a gift in itself.

Petersen showed us all how to do that. Actually, I think he should have carried the trophy.

Christine Fiedler, Minneapolis

• • •

I was pleasantly surprised to read, in the March 15 Sports section, about Minnesota Twins pitcher Glen Perkins making the first move toward a new contract. I think the Twins were impressed by that and decided to give Perkins his $22 million. What impressed me most was his statement about this being “more money than I’ll ever need.” Wow! I wish other sports figures were like that. That’s showing respect both ways, from Perkins and from the Twins.

Peter Clark, Roseville

 

BAD SPORTS

Mayo should let ‘Lynx’ name speak for itself

I was shocked to see the new Minnesota Lynx uniforms that were unveiled Monday (“Mayo Clinic takes over marquee position,” March 18). I am grateful for the financial support that Mayo has provided for the team; however, these athletes should not be reduced to human billboards. They are the Minnesota Lynx; they have made a name for themselves, have brought championships to the Twin Cities, and through hard work and dedication have created a sense of pride and honor. Their name and logo should be displayed front and center on their jerseys. Let’s give credit where credit is due, while the rest of us, including the Mayo Clinic, play the role of supportive sixth man.

Karen DeWitt, Lino Lakes

• • •

NFL officials prospecting the Twin Cities for a future Super Bowl strongly hinted that Minnesota had better not try to collect tax on team payrolls, game tickets and related items (“Super Bowl someday? NFL panel visits Twin Cities to offer advice on landing the big game,” March 15).

OK, it’s a deal — forget the taxes, as long as we never again have to hear about the NFL “giving back” to the community. That may sound impractical or unconstitutional, but consider that the Minneapolis City Council agreed to turn much of the city into a “clean zone” with free-speech limits during Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game this summer. If Minnesota agrees to hand over Super Bowl tax money, let’s make the whole state a permanent “clean zone” free of NFL sanctimony.

Chris Steller, Minneapolis

 

AILING SPORTS

A few gopher holes in golf editorial

Regarding the March 18 editorial “Cities struggle to address golf’s decline,” let’s be clear on what a consultant reported to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board — that the decline in the number of rounds played at city courses is due to poor management by the board. That came in the form of the decision not to spend the proceeds from golf fees to maintain the courses. Rather, the consultant found, the board robbed the courses to pay for the debt from the fiasco known as the Neiman Sports Complex and allowed the courses to become pitifully run down.

The consultant also reported that in its opinion — an opinion for which the Park Board paid more than $50,000 — the only reasonable course of action is to spend the necessary money and keep the courses operating.

John Norblom, Minneapolis

• • •

The editorial listed Red Wing’s Mississippi National Golf Links as being closed. Not true. While the course was closed for one year (2013), that was for the purpose of exploring other options of management. Red Wing seems to have found an answer.

The course will be open this year and for years to come under the management of a citizen-based, volunteer, nonprofit corporation. An independent survey commissioned by the City Council revealed that a majority of participants in the survey wanted this course kept as one of Red Wing’s crown jewels. It is expected that this “management model” will succeed and be copied by other municipalities needing an answer.

Robert Tjossem, Red Wing, Minn.

 

NOT SPORTS

Is the ‘green’ now gone from our initiatives?

Instead of relief for our vortexed souls, a visit to the recent Home and Garden Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center brought a renewed sense of loss. It was as though all the green and sustainable initiatives and rhetoric of the past decade are spent, a passing fad like any designer color, and it’s back to business as usual: more Jacuzzis and VOCs than you can shake a stick at.

Under the small “Green Zone” banner, one was completely underwhelmed by the dearth of “green” or faux green products and services. The event’s only truly green thing was the offer by Metro Transit to provide free bus service for visitors to and from the Convention Center.

As we unwound our way from the upper levels of packed downtown parking ramps, I thought of Nero’s fiddle. Have we given up, and are we just looking for the most comfortable hot tub or La-Z-Boy to ride into oblivion?

Tom Reasoner, St. Paul