Letters, Week of November 8
Down on the Matt
Jock bonding: This is one of the most unbelievable things I have ever read ["Full Court Press," by Richard Connelly, October 25]. I am a former Houston Baptist University basketball player with a whole lot more talent than Matt Wohlfahrt ever had. Although I never played with the guy, I knew who he was and have no problem saying the aforementioned.
The reason I bring this up is that I went through the same thing Matt did and probably worse regarding playing time. My point is that the bond between guys in a locker room in any sport is different from any other relationship, and it is a shame that the Wohlfahrt family wants to turn it into a big stink. I roasted freshmen when I was a senior just like I got roasted when I was a freshman.
I hope HBU is vindicated because it's very obvious to just about anyone who has ever been around a team on any level that this is a simple case of somebody trying to cash in.
Tears and tiers: As a former student athletic trainer at HBU and a graduate of the university, I read your article with particular interest. You were dead on with your reading of the situation. The HBU administration is no different from other schools in looking the other way (not to be confused with turning the other cheek) when it comes to their precious athletes, regardless of the HBU administration's sanctimonious Christian morality rhetoric to the contrary.
Check with the NCAA. When HBU was still an NCAA Division I school, it got busted for recruitment violations. And that is just for violations in which they got caught. There were plenty more violations to go around that never came to light.
Still, I know the Mrs. Wohlfahrt type quite well: stage mother extraordinaire. The kid probably knew he wasn't a top-tier athlete, but parental pressure on athletes can be oppressive. Some marginally talented kids don't know anything different from what their parents and high school coaches tell them, and it's often a rude awakening when they get to the "big leagues" and have to figure it out on their own. The smart ones accept it, and the not-so-smart ones have very difficult adulthoods. I've seen it before. I will watch this upcoming trial with interest.
Thanks for the great article. And thanks to the Press for giving an alternative to the "Houston Comical."
Name withheld by request
Flood's aftermath: Yes, Richard Connelly, your article was "cute" and "funny" and easy to read ["Wading for Godot," July 5]. Wow! Somebody that really flooded! A writer guy! Well, I wish the Press would write the real story of those who flooded. We got over six feet in our home, but we had insurance. What about a story on all the misery and stress and disgust of the folks who had no insurance?
You made it all sound like no big deal. You really should have eloquently described the rotten stink, the smell of the muck and mud and mold. Why don't you go interview someone around town who lost everything, and whose life is torn apart, and write about that? The insurance guys and mortgage companies are dragging their feet and don't really care. It is a great thing to have experienced the community pulling together, and it twisted my heart to see the volunteers from United Way, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army coming to the rescue. That was then. What has happened since?
Like a friend of mine (who has been through this flood thing before) told me, "Do not get in a hurry" and "It's like a second job, but you will get paid, be patient." It has gotten worse since your article -- admit it.
Name withheld by request
Reaching the Pentacle
Hand jive: Your depiction of the pentacle in the cartoon accompanying the otherwise excellent article "Waivering Rights" [by Lauren Kern, July 12] was very offensive to me as a follower of Wicca. Two of the major tenets of our belief state, "As you harm none, do what you will" and "Love is the law and love is the bond." Wiccans certainly support all possible efforts to clear innocent persons accused of crimes.
It has been said that monotheism has caused more harm to humanity than any other belief system of the last few thousand years. Some investigation will reveal that virtually all of the employees of the district attorney's office believe in monotheistic religions; the vast majority, if not all, are Christian and Jewish. Why did you not depict a cross or a Star of David on the hand in the cartoon?
Name withheld by request
Getting a Woody
Allen wench: I guess by the mere presence and tone of your review ["As Good As He Gets," by Bill Gallo, August 23] of Woody Allen's latest edition of his seemingly endless, self-absorbed New York romps, you have crossed over into the land of the fawning. It never ceases to amaze me how people forget that Mr. Allen is a neurotic pedophile who continues to demean, and give a bad name to, true neuroses.
His ability to consistently cash in on his stale anxieties apparently makes for a good artist and at least buries his true disturbance under the adulation bestowed upon him, and his ensemble casts, by the likes of reviewers such as those from the "Houston Pressed."
Get a grip, boys. You are tripping over the stale East Coast stampede of those blind fawners who worshiped this false idol long before you. Following an old trend is unbecoming at the very least, especially one that is tainted by such publicized, yet simultaneously ignored, pathology. You used to be as good as it got.
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