Sport

Dear Coach Dungy, My name is Anthony Nicodemo, and I am a high-school basketball coach who happens to be gay. After living in the closet for 35 years, a year ago I opted to be myself, and life has been awesome ever since. Yesterday I came across your comments regarding Michael Sam and how you would not have drafted him because you "wouldn't want to deal with all of it." Now, as a coach, I am in a different stratosphere when it comes to success. I have coached high school and college for 18 years, but I like to think that I have positively affected many of my student-athletes' lives. Why would you not want your players to be themselves? If you had a gay player on your team (and I am sure that at some point you have), wouldn't you want him to be in the best physical and mental...
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Dear Roger Goodell, Esteemed NFL Commissioner: First and foremost, congratulations on running one of the most successful entertainment franchises in America. I know it must take a tremendous amount of talent and hours to make the NFL run like a well-executed winning Super Bowl touchdown. Secondly, I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Rick Clemons. I'm 6'4, 280 pounds, built like a linebacker, sport a goatee, shaved head, and an alum of Oklahoma State University. I had the privilege of attending a couple of classes with Thurman Thomas, and while I'm not a raging Monday Night Football fan, I can hold my own watching a game. I'm often asked, "Did you play football?" to which I reply, "Only mud football with my college dorm buddies." You see, I was never a big sports head. In...
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My Dear Ms. Williams, First, let me acknowledge what many others have said for a while now: congratulations, Serena, you are the greatest tennis player that has ever lived. Reasonable people are allowed to disagree about such things, of course, but all things considered, I believe it would be very unreasonable to disagree with this assessment. NOW, as to you and your best friend, your partner in making history, your toughest competitor, your lovely sister, Venus, thank you both for one more “match for the ages.” It is yet another chapter in what is, arguably, the greatest ‘sister act’ is sports history. At the risk of sounding pure fan boy, I must say, simply, “ . . . WoW, ladies, you ROCK!” No matter what happens tonight, or in the U.S. Open afterwards, the big issue to...
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Dear Teflon Dan, This is my third and final take-it-or-leave-it open letter to you all written in quick succession. This is despite you telling me in no uncertain terms that you weren’t interested in receiving such a correspondence, something I would have known if I’d penned this at any point over the summer and not left it so close to deadline. Anyway, here it is. Slightly longer than the one before which was ever-so-slightly longer than the one before that. There were other outstanding candidates for this letter but I’ve chosen only you Dan. Eggs in one basket and all that. I could have written to Javier Hernandez or Charlie Austin or James Wilson and better yet it would only have cost me a second class stamp. But firing off missives left, right and centre, well that’s a...
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Sirs: This message is intended for the individual who recently attended the RedBlacks game on August 31, 2015 and refused to cease and desist from hurling inappropriate comments to the opposing players and personnel. Since our exchange in the stands this past Sunday, I’ve been thinking about how to respond. Perhaps you didn’t notice that I’ve been attending games with my 5-year old son and my husband. This year my husband decided to treat the family and buy season tickets. We both really enjoy football. In fact, it was one of our first dates and we want to share that together as a family. However, rather than fully enjoying the thrill of the game, I spent it responding to my son asking: “Mom, is it funny when that man makes fun of people? …but there are other grown-ups...
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Hello Traitor, I saw a lot of interesting opinions on the internet regarding your move away to the wonderful footballing paradise that is Turkey so let me add my two cents. I think the impact you had on Arsenal with your departure is multifold. You were bought for a pittance (around £2m) at a young age with a reputation for trouble making. Arsenal spent good money paying a player who couldn’t manage to play more than half a season for the majority of his Arsenal career, renewing his contract and eventually making him club captain and highest earner. No prizes for guessing that I am talking about you. After years of selling players, Arsenal became a by word for a selling club but crucially, Arsenal never had to sell an integral first team player to Manchester United. Manchester City got...
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Dear Magpies. We have been embroiled in a fair few imbroglios (embarrassing situations) over the years, haven’t we, even if you lot haven’t been relevant for a while, since—well, since 2010 when you went out and won the whole kit ‘n’ kaboodle, winnin’ the—oh. That was the Championship. Well, good on youse for that. Since then and long before, it’s been a bit of a dry spell since you were anything more than a magpie in the ointment. There was of course that epic comeback in 2011 from 0-4 that still haunts us to this day—bit of a sore spot, that one—but you’ve also played a more welcome role of late, such as the final match of the 2012-13 season when Koscielny netted to secure fourth while we trolled Tottenham. Thanks for that, by the way. Back to the present, though. A quick...
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Dear Demarai Gray, If it is true that Leicester or any other side have activated your release clause, I, and I’m sure many other Blues fans, think you should seriously consider staying here at Blues. You will be a regular member of the starting line-up, as the first point. How many young footballers, especially creative ones such as yourself, have moved too early and seen their career stall? You are a valued member of the first team squad here, which is more than can be guaranteed at a Premier League side. Not only that, but we are a side who appear to be on the up, and by staying you can help us become the side we were four years ago. You’re loved by the fans, and you appear to have a genuine affinity for the club. There’s no substitute for loving the club to any fan, and we’ll...
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Dear Mr Al Hasawi, You’re one of us. A fan of Nottingham Forest Football Club. We don’t doubt it – we saw the way you celebrated the win at Derby, we saw you pose in front of the flag outside the City Ground, we’ve seen you live through the highs and lows. You say you want this football club to succeed. So do we, desperately. The investment you’ve made cannot be questioned but where is the plan? There has to be a plan. There has to be a structure. There has to be strategy. There has to be the right people in place for Nottingham Forest to succeed. Off the pitch and on it, our club has to be run in the right way or success will never be achieved. Look at the recent success stories in football, like Southampton and Swansea – these are clubs that identified their issues and created a...
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Dear Randy, We're glad you have finally acknowledged that Paul Lambert was no longer the right man for the job. Hopefully your decision wasn’t too late, and it was in time to preserve Aston Villa’s Premier League future. But for all the departed manager’s failings – and there were many – every single member of the Villa Park faithful knows the problems at the football club run much deeper than the 45-year-old Glaswegian. The club might be Scot-free, but you’re far from Scot free, Randy. There are big questions that need answering, and we’d love to sit round the table and talk about the things that really matter. Sacking Paul Lambert should just be the start, rather than the end, of the decisive action you take. We understand you’re 5,000 miles away – that Atlantic is...
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