Backtalk: Letters to The Seattle Times sports editor for this week.

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Spot-on about Seahawks fans

Thank you, Larry Stone, for your Sunday column (“Newton’s act should seem familiar to 12th Man,” Jan. 31).

As a 49er fan living in the Northwest, I’ve endured all the “Hawk talk” along with questionable acts on the field with barely a comment.

But all the nastiness toward Cam Newton has me wondering: The fans can excuse all the “antics” from the Seahawks, but let the other guy have some fun and he is subjected to name-calling and worse.

As stated in the article, likability is in the eye of the beholder, something Seahawk fans should know more than anyone.

Gerrard Strong, Grapevine

What Newton did was disrespectful

With all due respect, I disagree with Larry Stone’s column on Cam Newton. It’s one thing to talk smack like Richard Sherman in an interview with Erin Andrews. Many players talk smack, including Carolina’s Josh Norman.

While I don’t agree with Doug Baldwin pretending to defecate the ball during last year’s Super Bowl, I still haven’t seen any Seahawks wrinkle up and throw down an opponent’s flag like Newton did with the “12th Man” flag. That was going too far, and Newton should pay back that fan the money spent for the flag.

I don’t always root for Denver, but this time I say “Go Broncos!” It’s time for someone to teach Newton and Carolina about respect and humility.

Walter J. Lines Jr., Seattle


Good of Lynch to give back

Kudos to Marshawn Lynch’s opening of a store in downtown Oakland (“Beast Mode means business,” Feb. 6). Oakland is quickly becoming gentrified, as Lynch is so well aware, but this helps.

There is another sports clothing store in downtown Oakland that exudes local and African-American pride with great Oakland/East Bay themed products. Now, when we visit Oakland, my sons, grandsons and I have two must-go-to stores.

Rich Boyer, Seattle

UW football

It’s time for Petersen to put up

As a lifelong Husky, I have very mixed emotions about Chris Petersen so far. I did not like the hire precisely for the same reason everyone wanted him: his success at Boise State. I just did not see it translating to the Pac-12. At BSU he had 8-9 tap-ins every year and then had a healthy, well-schooled team to play better opponents, of which he beat a fair number.

He just does not get those breathers now, and I think it shows.

I also thought the coaching staff he brought was in over its head, and 8-6 and 7-6 has not convinced me otherwise. I also feel it’s time to hold Petersen to a higher standard. Why did he get a free pass on Jacob Eason? The National POY lives 45 minutes from you and you barely get a sniff? When Steve Sarkisian lost Jake Heaps a few years ago, everyone went ballistic.

I’m not sure why everyone feels the need to treat Peter­sen with kid gloves, but I think there is a certain desperation and feeling that we have to get it right this time. Don’t get me wrong; I am a firm believer in letting things play out and giving a new coach time to build his program. But the Dawgs were fifth of six in the Pac-12 North last season and, depending on the recruiting service, were fourth or fifth of six in 2016 recruiting. As much as everyone wants to project this as being ultimately successful, I have serious doubts.

On the other hand, the three classes so far look like they have some quality, and if the staff can coach them up, they can (and need to) improve. I have always believed Petersen would get four years to prove himself. He’s halfway home and he needs to pick up the pace. 2016 is a pivotal season.

Jim Hawley

UW basketball

Never bet against Plum

In the last few months my wife and I have gotten to know Kelsey Plum, Chantel Osahor and Katie Collier, and think the world of all three. Thus, we much enjoyed Matt Calkins’ piece on the great Husky shootout between Plum and Andrew Andrews (“Shot vs. shot,” Jan. 28).

There is no way I’d bet against Plum at H-O-R-S-E, P-I-G or even H-I-P-P-O-P-O-T-A-M-U-S.

Doug Glant, Mercer Island

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