Coach Tony Talk
It is fixable: "The Guarded Gambler" (Eric Barton, December 18) was a well-written, interesting portrait of a man obsessed, a perfectionist driving relentlessly. The interesting thing is that normally such focus leads to myopic narrowness and lack of imagination, but Dolphins coach Tony Sparano is able to accept a very imaginative and outside-the-box approach. It is as if he were rigorously focused at the level of values and attitude but cerebrally fluid in the world of X's and O's.
I am pleased with Sparano and the overall management team that is putting together this very tough-minded and relentless, big, young, tough team. Already we have good to very good players at many positions, with an emerging young quarterback in Chad Henne and a wildcard talent behind him in Pat White. Our wide receiver corps has some talent but needs a talented lead. Our gaps can be fixed with a single good draft/free agency. The startling thing is that the team has played so well despite losing so many starters to injury. With our football management and a good draft, this team will be as good as any other in the league. Its youth and depth of talent give it the potential to be a really dominant base that can replicate the dominant excellence of the 1970s. Fingers crossed! Go, Dolphins!
Florida Memorial University
Not enough wins: I've always been impressed with Sparano. He seems to make the right calls at the right time. But it comes down to winning. At 7-6 this year, there's almost as much losing as there is winning.
Good enough prose: "The Guarded Gambler" is the best football story I have read all year, and I have read everything about the Dolphins this year. A real writer! Nice.
Even better wife: This was just a really great profile story. Although I have been a two-year supporter of Coach Sparano, I had no idea what kind of person he might be. He is someone I would really like to see remain a long-term cause in a Dolphins success story.
Just as a side note: Any man who has lost a few wives because of his passion for a profession has to have fallen in love with Mrs. Sparano when reading your column. Good luck to both of them. Thanks for the insight.
Go, Dolphins!: With Coach Sparano as the leader, this team can go all the way. What a great leader he is, and what an inspiring story he is to his players and fans.
Not Toting Glocks
Look at UM: I'm an alumnus of Florida Memorial University, and "Crime 101" (Gus Garcia-Roberts, December 10) doesn't surprise me. As a student there, one of my sorority sisters was murdered at her off-campus job by a fellow student. It was not acknowledged by administration at all. In fact, the yearbook staff was brought in to one of the administrative offices; they didn't want her death memorialized in the yearbook. After graduation, I attended the University of Miami for grad school, and there are problems on campus there as well. The difference is that UM goes out of its way to establish communication with students regarding safety, and the guards are a constant presence on campus. FMU administrators might want to visit other institutions of higher learning to see just what measures are in place to protect students.
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Mantra what?: I must first say that I love my alma mater with all of its orange, white, and blue. However, I can't help but consider that this continual negative publicity will affect my employability and the opportunities available to me. Our student body is not composed solely of violent, Glock-toting thieves. Our student body is primarily composed of people who work hard and are passionately pursuing their education. It is my sincere hope that this knowledge is not lost in the negative mantra that continues to pervade my institution of higher learning.