I agree with Steve Kelley (Seattle Times, Dec. 9) that Holmgren will not be around next season unless there is a highly dramatic and unlikely turnaround in the...

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Mike Holmgren

A painful ending

I agree with Steve Kelley (Seattle Times, Dec. 9) that Holmgren will not be around next season unless there is a highly dramatic and unlikely turnaround in the next four games.

I wish he would have had much more success here. We can see the anguish on his face on TV, and you guys in the press can see it and hear it much more palpably than we can.

Two things that might have helped Holmgren: some visibility and occasional leadership from Paul Allen, and having someone other than Bob Whitsitt as president. I guess if you have owner Allen, you get president Whitsitt. Why?

Whitsitt should be the first one to clear his desk.

Could Randy Mueller be the answer?

— Bob O’Brien, Olympia

Where’s their motivation?

Holmgren has said more than once that professionals should prepare themselves. That is a laudable notion. I truly believe in that ideal. Unfortunately, I doubt if 10 percent of the adult population is self-motivated.

I work at a research lab, have a Ph.D. in physics. I like to think I am self-motivated, but the truth is I am motivated by deadlines. I work best under pressure.

The sad truth is at the pro football level, most players need to be motivated from the outside. For every Jerry Rice, there are 10 Koren Robinsons.

Mike does not do this, and while his philosophy may be something I believe in and embrace, it does not seem to work on the football field.

Still, if this team should somehow go 10-6 or 9-7, whether it wins a playoff game, I would say keep Holmgren. The even marginal consistency of success would be much more important than trying to make a change to a different type of coach. On the other hand, 8-8 or 7-9 and no playoffs, and he has to go.

— Gary Bust, Austin, Texas

A foolish game

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me every time, I must be a Seahawks fan.

— David Tafil, Seattle

His time is simply up

Coaches have an expiration date with a team, and once you hit that date the bluster and intimidation or threats that were used and succeeded before suddenly fail. The players know that the franchise would rather kill the coach than do a complete overhaul of the roster.

I think this is happening to Holmgren right now, just as it happened to Lou Piniella and more recently with Bob Melvin with the Mariners.

Holmgren is a great coach and deserves better than the fate he has here — but he was ultimately the architect of his fate with poor choices at the draft and refusal to rebuild the defensive corps.

For him to become successful it would take another season or two to get defensive depth back, but by then it would be too late for him.

— Robert Svilpa, Maple Valley

Holmgren isn’t the problem

The No. 1 problem is Bob Whitsitt. The No. 2 problem is Paul Allen, who is too loyal to Whitsitt

— Ron Smoot, Visalia, Calif.


Kudos all around

Thanks to Percy Allen for consistent, insightful coverage this year of the Sonics. His recent pieces on Luke Ridnour and Danny Fortson are but two examples on a long list. His work has a very unique human side, which is both refreshing and enlightening.

As far as the Sonics go, I count myself among those who owe Nate McMillan an apology for underestimating his coaching skills, and forgetting that some young coaches, like young players, are capable of rapid development. Today, he sure looks like the right man in the right place.

— Gayle E. Bush, Seattle


The truth is obvious

What really bothers most fans is that when all these big-name players get caught doing something wrong, they have to lie about it and not face the facts like a man.

Barry Bonds denies he knew what he was taking? That, in itself, is laughable.

In the San Francisco Giants’ 1996 media guide, it lists Bonds as at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds. In the 2004 club media guide, his height is listed at 6-2 and his weight is 228. So, this man grew 1 inch and gained 38 pounds since age 32, and he expects us to believe he did not take a growth hormone?

These facts incriminate Bonds, and it’s up to baseball and the players association to correct this problem.

— Bob Kuenster, Chicago

He nailed it

Steve Kelley’s excellent analysis (Seattle Times, Dec. 5) of the root of Barry Bonds’ fall from grace was right down the middle of the plate. His focus on the overemphasis of tape-measure homers was long overdue. Of almost equal value, from my viewpoint as a fan of colorful prose, was his brilliant use of phrases to make his points.

‘Tis sad, though, that the apparent inspiration for his column was triggered by the leak about Bonds and other muscled-up hombres who derive more than a justifiable income from what was once a respectable sport, even given the notable exceptions of the Black Sox scandal and the lingering stink of a certain Red Rose.

— Albert Koltveit, Port Ludlow

These days, bigger is best

Dope-fueled records may bother you and me. But it’s not about us any more. My guess is that MTV-red-state-boo-yah nation won’t care what anybody’s taking or what will happen to them after they retire. Sure, there will be a lot of official tut-tutting, but in the end, when the gate is counted and the beer is all drunk, they want to see the home runs go boom and the backboards shatter.

There’s so much stimulus overload that everything gets shut out but bigger, stronger, longer, faster. And like everything else of value and beauty, sports must deliver or die.

— Joel Schwartz, Seattle

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Winter sports

Hail the new kings

Ron Judd’s column (Seattle Times, Dec. 4) on the American skiers becoming the shocking new kings of the hill was a joy to read. Bravo for writing up impressions on predictable Euro reactions to American excellence on the slopes. I think he is spot-on with his interpretation of European egotism in sports, which we normally see in reaction to Lance Armstrong.

I am an American living in France, and I get so tired of the small-mindedness, the accusing and suspicious, jealous, huffy lot of European sports fans and writers. It’s not only the sports world that gets these reactions, but it is in the sports world where deep feelings are shared and relived. That might happen also in the political world, but the personalities there wouldn’t be so open about it.

— Melissa Davies, Mouzens, France

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