Letters to the sports editor: Sunday, Feb. 2

February 2, 2014 

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Bleymaier & Kustra:

It was with great pleasure that I was invited to attend the opening of the Bleymaier Football Center, an invitation-only event hosted by Athletic Director Mark Coyle. It was wonderful to see extended Bleymaier family ... his friends, boosters and past university presidents.

Conspicuously, President Kustra was absent. As you might expect, Gene deflected all personal accolades of his 30 years of service with Boise State. Instead, he directed his attention and admiration to many in attendance ... and some that were not, including Kustra.

Bleymaier delivered his speech with humor, perspective, and at times, emotion. The standingovation he received was heartwarming. I am so pleased the “crown jewel” of Boise State football has the name “Bleymaier” attached to it ... richly deserved and unquestionably earned.

STEVE LENNOX, Eagle

It’s interesting that (Boise State President) Bob Kustra, who loves to shine in the reflected light of the athletic program created by (former Athletic Director) Gene Bleymaier, did not attend a reception for Gene last weekend.

Come on, Bobby, man up!

BOB FRITSCH, Boise

Marshawn Lynch:

I am offended by your article on Jan. 29 regarding Marshawn Lynch being compared to Robert Turbin. The article stated that Lynch would never be a better human being than Turbin.

Lynch has a great story and plays amazing ball. He does a lot of good for the community and has a charity that he started to help others. He doesn’t like to talk to the media. That makes him not as good of a person as Turbin?

Shame on whoever wrote that article. Lynch should not be put down just because he prefers not to speak to the media. He gets paid to play ball, which he does well. The Seattle fans think he is amazing and have no complaints.

TERESA GARBER, Eagle

NFL players:

Once upon a time in the NFL ... there was a defensive player whose uniform was green, and the team’s nickname was something that flew in the sky.

He was a narcissistic, annoying, rude, thug, punk. He was an individual in a team sport. He needed a way to stand out, to get noticed, even if it alienated himself from the rest of the team.

When he first started doing his antics, the majority of players, fans and sportscasters condemned them. There were the few who supported them. “It’s a passionate game and this is a way for him to express himself in the heat of the moment.” Yes, Mark Gastineau.

His sack dance was an abnormality, now it’s commonplace. Players practice their touchdown dance, sack dance, first-down dance, running-onto-the-field-and-let-me-kiss-my-bicep dance. So if you’re a supporter of the impromptu rant two weeks ago from a defensive player in a green uniform whose team’s nickname flies in the sky, get used to it.

The genie is out of the bottle. This will become the norm for a player to get noticed. The bar is set higher — or in my mind lower.

Walter Payton rushed for 110 touchdowns. Remember his touchdown dance? Oh, right, he didn’t need one to get noticed.

I miss those days of how coach Ditka described his players as, “Characters with character.”

TIM WRIGHTMAN, Chicago Bears Super Bowl XX champion, Weiser

Baseball:

I enjoyed reading Tim Woodward’s piece featuring Bobby King (Jan. 19). While growing up in Boise during the ’50s and ’60s, baseball was the most popular sport in America.

Like Tim, my role model for local baseball was King. The article did not state that King also was the varsity baseball coach for Borah during the 1959-61 seasons. Unfortunately prior to my senior year, coach King had moved on.

Boise’s ballclubs were named the Pilots, Yankees and Braves from 1939 to 1963. During those years, the ballpark had three titles: Aeroway Park, Joe Devine Stadium and Braves Field.

I attended two MLB exhibitions between the Pittsburgh Pirates (thanks mainly to Vernon Law) and Milwaukee Braves (Boise’s parent club from 1955 to 1963). It was great fun watching players like Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente taking batting practice and performing on the field.

Want to learn more? Read Arthur Hart’s 1994 book, “Boise Baseball — the First 125 Years.’’ The section covering the Pioneer League begins on page 70, and yes, King is mentioned and pictured with the 1956 Boise Braves.

TIM HOGUE, Boise

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