Letters to The Seattle Times sports editor for Nov. 11.

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WSU football

What’s next, walking the plank?

Since when did personal humiliation become a successful motivator? Washington State coach Mike Leach’s tactics are as outdated as the pirates he fancies. What’s next, keelhauling? Walking the plank?

Marching the offensive and defensive linemen out to the face the press after their lopsided loss to Utah was unnecessary. Leach offers the same lame excuse that this loss is on him and his coaches.

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Who could blame the team if they mutinied based on the lack of respect their coach has for them? Leach has quickly become an albatross for the WSU athletic department, an embarrassment for Cougars fans, and should be marooned somewhere far away from the Palouse. Arrr!

— John Pribble, Mukilteo

Leach’s old motivational tactics

Glad to see that Mike Leach is faithful to the pirate-captain motivational practice: “The floggings will continue until morale improves!”

— Peter Freet, Bellevue

UW football

Night games tough on fans

Washington Husky night football games are a real problem for people who have to travel. The Thursday and Friday games simply can’t be attended and the Saturday games are a pain. I travel from Longview and don’t get home until 2 a.m.

If this happens again next year, I won’t be a season-ticket holder again.

— Ron Simmons, Longview


Story took us inside huddle

A typical football column covers basic topics which recur season after season: What are the injuries? New players and old ones? Some statistics? This week’s opponent?

Danny O’Neil’s article (“The Clock Is Ticking,” Nov. 4) delved into an area I don’t remember reading about before — the mindsets of people in the huddle during various phases of the game. I found it insightful to learn basic attitudes displayed by athletes during times of stress as they interact in a place we don’t get to peer into via television or radio.

— Tom Likai, Shoreline

Any NFL defense can get burned

Danny O’Neil posits that the Seahawks have noticeably slipped on defense the past three games. I’d word it differently, that we’ve slipped from a level few teams could be expected to sustain game after game.

Even so, we surrendered a paltry 13 points to the 49ers. As for the Minnesota game, who doesn’t give up huge real estate to Adrian Peterson? Other than his yards, we gave up zilch. The Lions? You could arguably say they torched us. And I’ll counter that you can look for an NFL defense that hasn’t been torched at least once this season.

— Lew Witham, Seattle

Check out this picture

My compliments to Seattle Times photographer John Lok for a terrific photo on the front page of the Sports section, catching the action of Golden Tate airborne.

I kept showing it to friends at work, saying, “You’ve got to see this shot!”

— Casey Cole, Seattle


Some ideas for parting gifts

Here are a few gifts the M’s could offer their loyal ticket holders as compensation for raising ticket prices:

How about a recording, “Rick Rizzs’ Inspirational Moments,” in which Rick goes nuts over a fly ball caught five feet in front of the warning track? Other ideas would be a Chuck Armstrong talk on his lifetime job in Mariners management (“Doing Nothing for Big Money”). The players could chip in, too. Imagine “Brendan Ryan on the Art of Slugging” or Justin Smoak’s “Making a Lot of Dough in MLB Hitting .207.” Or a spirited rendition of the 2012 team’s fight song “We Were Lousy Last Year, We’re Still Lousy This Year, But Wait ’til They Move in the Fences.”

— Larry Works, Seattle

Ike Ditzenberger

About the human side of sports

Thanks to Steve Kelley for his excellent follow-up column on Ike Ditzenberger (“Steadfast winner faces his toughest battle,” Nov. 11), a special young man from Snohomish and his problem with pneumonia.

Sports writing isn’t all about championships, wins, losses, legends and flops. Much of it is human interest.

— Don Fair, Bellevue

Column remind us there are other Ikes

Our family has four kids, including our oldest, Zach, 15, who has Down syndrome. Zach will never be as well-spoken or amazing as Ike, but we are so thankful for Ike, special kids like him and for reporters such as Steve Kelley who use their amazing way with words to tell others about our kids.

Sending many prayers Ike’s way!

— Anna Jones, Maple Valley

Lance Armstrong

Testing should be questioned

This is neither to applaud or condemn Lance Armstrong, but to question the methods used to defrock him.

I have a grandson who is a professional bike racer and has raced with Christian Van de Velt, among others, who spoke out against Lance to escape further investigation into their alleged drug or substance usage.

It is a great disservice to permit years of such alleged use go unchallenged and then let others avoid the scrutiny brought to Lance. The testing methods used for misuse are certainly not without question over so many years by so many racers.

As these racers are regularly tested at home as well as during events I find the whole testing sequence to be questionable. These tests are continually used all over the world, and had there been reason to bring charges, they should have been brought in a timely manner.

Failing this, the entire racing family becomes suspect.

— Bob Browne, Shoreline

Send us your backtalk: Letters bearing true names, addresses and telephone numbers for verification are considered for publication. Please limit letters to 125 words or less. They are subject to editing and become the property of The Times. Fax them to 206-464-3255, or mail to: Backtalk, Seattle Times Sports, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. Or e-mail to: sports@seattletimes.com.

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