Sunday, June 1, 2003
Very special pen pals
For when times are tough
By Ryan Ernst
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Nine U.S. Senators from Big East Conference states recently wrote letters to school officials of Miami, Boston College and Syracuse - schools considering leaving the league for the Atlantic Coast Conference - asking them to stay put.
The letter was signed by Sens. Joe Lieberman and Christopher J. Dodd D-Conn.; Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Jon Corzine, D-NJ; Sens. Robert C. Byrd and John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W. Va.; Sens. George Allen and John Warner, R-Va.; and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa.
"What message do we send to student-athletes when decades of history can be destroyed as a sole result of economic considerations?" the letter asked. "The wrong one."
Well, Top of the Second says Amen. We applaud the effort of politicians to try to set sports figures straight, and we'd like to see more of it. In fact, we've taken the liberty of drafting letters from politicians to others in sports. Here are some excerpts:
Former Sen. Strom Thurmond to Rickey Henderson
"... There comes a time in every man's life when he has to hang it up. Now I know that I am not the man I was at 90, or even at 95 years of age. But you are a 44-year-old minor-leaguer. I mean, c'mon..."
Former President Bill Clinton to Mike Price
"... The moral of the story is deny, deny, deny..."
Former Rep. James Traficant to Darryl Strawberry
"... So, anyway, I'll help you with your taxes if you tell me how to make a shank. Deal? Beam me up ... to solitary confinement!"
Sen. Jim Bunning to Jeff Austin
"... The first three guys of the game take you deep, and you don't plunk the fourth? I'd send you down, too. ..."
Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell to LeBron James
"... The key to the city just isn't enough. You can have my car keys, my house keys, the code for my voicemail. Come to think of it, LeBronville has a nice ring to it. ..."
Former President Jimmy Carter to Jim Harrick
"... Let me get this straight: You ruined their basketball program and the people of Georgia love you. What's your secret? I was the President of the United States of America. And they love you?"
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura to Randy Moss
"... One more screw-up, pal, and you and I are gonna meet on the lawn of the Governor's Mansion. And it will not be pretty. One more arrest, one more play taken off, and "The Body" is comin' after yoooooouuuuuuuu!!!!"
Sen. Carl Levin to the Detroit Tigers
CC: Detroit Lions
"... I'm not mad; I'm disappointed. ..."
Sen. Ted Kennedy to Larry Eustachy
"... So then I say, 'How come none of you speak English? And where are my pants?' "
Former Vice President Walter Mondale to Bob Boone
"... Sometimes, it's just better not to say what you're thinking. Trying to explain sitting Griffey after his two-homer game last week worked about as well as me telling the American public I would raise their taxes if elected president. ..."
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