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Sports Commentary, Monitor Style

While I have only a very small passing interest in sports, I've been reading sports columnist Douglas Looney since July. I appreciate his opinionated observations and presentation of the subject, which I feel puts sports in a more proper context. I had thought about writing to let you know that his articles are reaching beyond the niche of the sports-fan reader. But when I saw him get hammered in "Reader's Write" (Sept. 8), I really got motivated to write!

Unlike other sports writers, Looney has something interesting to convey. Others generate mindless verbiage that inflates the importance of sports beyond its real significance to the average person. Looney writes of mere mortals while his peers seem to have a propensity to embrace sports heroes as god-like figures.

The direct material effect of sports to the lives of most folks is essentially nonexistent. But the attitudes of diehard sports fans and sports writers is regrettably inconsistent with that fact. Looney's seem to be the rare exception, and a most welcomed one at that.

I think his opinions are well founded and adequately explained. I appreciate that he doesn't hold any punches. The Monitor editorial page should take lessons from him, instead of filling their allocated [letters] space with criticisms of his work.

So, Mr. Looney, don't start soft-peddling or holding back on your opinions. Your perspectives are very refreshing. And thanks most of all for elevating the intellectual quality of sports reporting and dispensing with the hype!

Harvey Neilson

Manassas, Va.

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