Almost Emetic
After reading your January 15 cover story ["The Trophy Son," by Randall Patterson], I had to control my urge to vomit. Many of us who live in Hearthstone (not to mention the Cy-Fair school district) are appalled that we have to spend our precious tax dollars defending this ridiculous lawsuit. We would much rather have our precious tax dollars directed toward educating our children instead of defending the Rutherfords' apparent need for "legal" therapy.

In fact, it occurred to me that had Mrs. Rutherford spent the $6,000 she paid her lawyer on some desperately needed family counseling, we all would be better off. (How very sad that they had to give up their winter vacation to pay their lawyer -- boo hoo!) What can one say about a woman who sees nothing wrong with physical violence toward coaches ("If she had a gun, she probably would have shot him") and indeed is a fan of the off-court antics of Latrell Sprewell? Should we be surprised that such attitudes in parents spawn a child who feels free to use the "F word" to his coaches, to verbally abuse and disrespect them, and then has his parents turn around and sue the school district?

I was particularly interested to read that the "conspiracy" toward the little darling had spread to Texas Christian University. Maybe the CIA is involved, too. Yes, Mr. Patterson, Hearthstone is a place of larger homes and newer cars, but it is not a place where dreams die young, at least not for most of us who do not suffer from paranoia. Most of us are hard-working folks who expect our children to do their best and respect their teachers and coaches. Most of us do not think a child is only worth what he does on an athletic field. The final sentence of your story, " 'Kyle's done, you know. They ruined his whole life,' " says volumes about his parents.

The rest of just don't appreciate paying to defend this junk lawsuit.
Maurita Lark
via Internet, Houston

Whiny White Folks
I've never corresponded with you folks, but the pitiful state of the Rutherfords' existence compels me to do so. Three key thoughts scream out:

1. Losers! Even the Rutherfords' poor kid moved on to better things, but these schmucks obsess with what "could've been" for poor Kyle. There's some hope for the kid, since he's away from the stifling home atmosphere, but mom and pop are history.

2. Stupid! Lemme get this right: But for poor Kyle's being pulled from a game late in his senior year, he'd be a stud baseball player? Seems to me that most of the top talent picks and chooses scholarships, oh, a wee bit earlier than his or her last high school game, yeah? Also, TCU is somehow involved in this massive conspiracy? Call Mel Gibson.

3. Race relations move backwards: No wonder black folks think white folks "don't get it." These whiny white folks have nothing more significant to worry about, like terminal illness? The delicate Mrs. Rutherford compares their situation to a death in the family? That's insulting. The kid mouthed off, followed up with a juvenile mistake and should grow and learn from it, not wallow in self-pity, like ma and pa.

End of commentary. I really enjoy your rag, and please keep up the good work, as the feel-good Chronicle just don't cut it.

Name withheld by request
via Internet

What's Really Important
I do feel so sorry for the Rutherfords! Just imagine how they will feel even after Kyle marries and becomes the father of a darling baby, and they are holding that sweet child for the first time, and Mr. Rutherford says, "Well, it's fun to be a grandfather, but not as much fun as high school football."

Poor babies, my heart absolutely bleeds for them.
Linda Walden

I can think of many things to say to Sonja and Scott Rutherford, but the one that leaps right off the page is this: "Your son is alive, healthy and has a future, with or without you." You've done enough. This lawsuit isn't for Kyle, it's for you and your selfish dream that died. But, and this is the most important point I want to make, your son did not die. For Mrs. Rutherford to compare her son's being benched in a game to someone dying is blasphemy at its worst.

My own beautiful daughter did die, and I can tell you there is not the most minuscule bit of comparison between the two. I would give anything to see her face, her smile, hear her voice, her laughter. She was an actress in L.A., and, fortunately, I have many photos and videos of her. I feel sorry for other parents that I talk with who have only a small snapshot of their departed children. I was blessed with her companionship for 35 years. The loss is devastating.

But the Rutherfords have their son to love and to help. If they think being a football or baseball star is all there is to life or being a productive member of the human race, then I feel very sorry for their shortsightedness. There's an old saying that seems very appropriate here: "Get a life."

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