D.M. Christianson
Miami Beach

Marino: Malodorous
Sean Rowe's sophomoric dismantling of Miami superhero Dan Marino ("Chasing Danny," December 3) is a real stinker. I'm sure most readers picked up on this when Mr. Rowe began his piece with a masterful locker-room observation of Marino's natural bodily functions. From the very beginning Rowe makes himself out to be an angry, haphazard journalist from an obscure, third-rate rag who couldn't get an interview with an American legend. Judging from the few childlike and ignorant questions Mr. Rowe did manage to ask, I don't blame Marino one bit for opting not to waste his precious time on a reporter who obviously seems completely clueless about one of America's favorite pastimes.

Mr. Rowe insults football aficionados by dismissing them as "losers who depend on the team for their identity." Unfortunately he doesn't seem to understand that every facet of American society, from yarn-knitting grannies to coffee-house intellectuals, has been swept away at one point or another by the majesty and heroism of the sport, not to mention the millions of children who are mesmerized by these gifted athletes and influenced positively in many ways (putting aside all the corporate bullshit).

Digging himself deeper into his journalistic abyss, Mr. Rowe writes, "No one will even notice Marino's absence, and the slow eclipse of a superstar will be complete." Wrong again. Marino will join an elite group of people in American folklore, people such as Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Johnny Unitas, Reggie Jackson, Joe Montana, Michael Jordan, and others who have captivated millions with incomparable feats.

Further, Sean Rowe has insulted Miamians like myself who could give a rat's ass about how Marino feels about his celebrity. And he continues insulting us by putting down our team, one of the few things that, over the years, has brought our community together.

I'm sure Mr. Rowe's own farts lingered for awhile after he chowed down all the free pizza the team provided to the press, and wiped away a tear that trickled down his face because he couldn't get his little story from Danny.

You just don't get it, do you, Mr. Rowe? Do us all a favor and try reviewing drag shows in Iowa City or some other place far away from here. We just want our hero to win, win, win -- for him and for us in South Florida. We love you, Dan.

Ralph de la Portilla

Marino: Interminable
I have to say Sean Rowe's story on Dan Marino was the most long-winded piece of garbage I have ever read. Now I know why people like Marino would be mad at answering questions from someone like Mr. Rowe. He knows nothing about football or what real life is like.

I also understand why Mr. Rowe works for a weekly paper. As long-winded as that article was, it must have taken him a month to write such drivel.

Mike Mingo
East Windsor, New Jersey

Marino: Johnsonless
So Sean Rowe, who couldn't get information from Dan Marino and possibly didn't want to waste time doing research, passed up the opportunity to provide some insight on the Jimmy Johnson-Dan Marino problem. He chose not to go with Johnson, who would have been available for voluminous material, and overlooked the real issue -- JJ and Marino -- while trying to focus on Marino's private life.

Dan Marino may not be able to throw as far as some or as accurately as others, and he may not be as mobile. But he has no peer as a leader. His contagious confidence when the chips are down, his ability to inspire his teammates, is extraordinary and unequaled.

Jimmy Johnson says his own style of football will win. Without greatly superior talent, I have my doubts, and here is why: Telling your opponents what you intend to do and then ramming it down their throats is from a bygone era. Plus, it's stupid.

But the biggest problem goes deeper. Our country loves to bash its leaders, and many of our talented successful leaders do not know how to handle and even refuse to believe in the rare individual phenomenon. JJ is so awed by Marino's accomplishments that he is incapable of inspiring Marino to more greatness. Instead his ego feels threatened, so the passing game is de-emphasized, the hurry-up offense is scrapped, and Marino's leadership is further diminished by removing audibles.

Johnson's ability as a coach is unquestioned. His Super Bowl rings scream what a great coach he is. But the naysayers are growing more numerous.

Howard G. Kaufman
Miami Beach

Young Enough to Follow Orders
To correct the letter from Orlando A. Menendez headlined "Old Enough to Wreak Havoc" (October 22), it is not the Declaration of Independence that begins: "We the people ...." It is the United States Constitution. The Declaration of Independence begins: "When in the course of human events ...."

I agree with Mr. Menendez in opposing the wholesale clearing of Miami Beach's streets at night, but I disagree that the teen curfew is "punishment." Minors by definition do not have full legal rights. That unaccompanied kids under the age of seventeen should be home by 11:00 p.m. weeknights (midnight on weekends) is not an unreasonable boundary.

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