Readers respond to the Grrr! Guy:
Jennifer in St. Louis: I grew up in Citrus County, Fla. Lived there for 17 years, never thought we'd make national news and I am deeply saddened that it was at the cost of an innocent child's life that we did. I cannot even begin to express the sick feeling I had when I first heard that this Couey creep admitted to abducting and killing this child for his own selfish and demonic needs. I have a niece who currently lives within five minutes of where Jessica Lunsford was killed and she is around the same age. It is so scary to think that it could have been her; at the same time, I feel guilty saying "Thank God it wasn't my niece." I can't even really GRRR about this whole situation — I am having too difficult a time making any sense of it. What I do wish to say is that my prayers are with the Lunsford family and with parents all across the world that strength and wisdom may be found in the aftermath of this terrible event. I hope that parents will do as Mark Lunsford did — hug and kiss their child before leaving them for any reason. He did. Parents, please protect your kids, know your neighbors, be alert. Lock your doors. Do whatever it takes to protect the most vulnerable citizens and to prosecute the most evil.
Christina in Cyberspace on Justin's "Yankees" from last week's column: I was born and raised in New York and moved to Florida about five years ago. I can tell you from experience that Justin is way off in his assessment of "Yankees." The road rage, Oblivions and sheer lack of manners that I have encountered in the South would surprise most people. While living in New York, I had plenty of doors held open for me, elevators held for me and I was even assisted when my briefcase spilled open on a busy street! All this from fellow Yankees, can you believe it? The circumstances Justin is talking about have happened to me a number of times here in the good old South. So perhaps it isn't whether a person is in the North, South, East or West. It depends more on the number of Oblivions you are unfortunate enough to be surrounded by.
CR in North Carolina: What is up with athletes comparing themselves to soldiers and warriors, ready for “battle” and being in the “trenches”? Recently, UConn coach Jim Calhoun stated that his team “ran out of bullets” in a recent loss to N.C. State. Athletes are always saying that they are soldiers, ready for war. Please ... the real soldiers are fighting and dying in Afghanistan and Iraq. What athletes do is fun to watch and sometimes awe-inspiring, but war?? I think not. I know because I have been to war.
Dave Manning writes: Days like today are tailor-made for the New York City sportsman ... when the hangovers subside some smart sportswriter is gonna nail this story. You can't avoid the drama unfolding on the television sets in bars and offices across the city. The contradiction of the Cinderella athlete sinking the game-winning foul shot and the American hero forced to testify in tears in front of Congress ... today will forever be remembered as the day that Baseball, Drugs, Booze, Gambling, the Media and College Basketball all collided to illustrate the hypocrisies that not only exist in sports, but also in politics, the media and human nature itself. ... Some good writer will give meaning and perspective to what we watched on our TV sets today. I guess the story lies somewhere with the "win at all expense" mentality that has snowballed out of control in recent years. With the help of huge sponsorship and TV dollars, gambling and the fans themselves, this mentality has woven itself into the fabric of all sports and threatens to corrupt our playgrounds and sandlots forever.
— Dave, see my "Steroids Not the Issue" column from December.
Elisa in Cyberspace: I am disgusted by the Obliviots that say Terri Schiavo is "being kept alive" by her feeding tube. That's like saying someone ate lunch so they could stay alive. The feeding tube is not "keeping her alive," it is giving her live body the nutrients it needs. Whether or not she would want to live and die perhaps none of us will ever know, but we are to value any and all human life. She should not be murdered in a way that a court would never sanction for the vilest criminal offenders or even rabid animals!
Andrew From Naperville: I think it is absolutely ridiculous for Republicans to pass legislation that would force this woman [Terri Schiavo], who has been in a vegetative state for 15 years, to live another day. Her parents are forcing her to stay alive when she doesn't want to. The fact is she hasn't gotten better over the last 15 years and she won't get better if she lives for another 15 years. What gives the religious right the power to go against this woman's wishes? There is absolutely no reason why we shouldn't believe her husband when he says that she didn't want to be kept alive in a situation like she's facing. It is crazy that her parents think she is going to get better when court-appointed doctors have determined that she is in a vegetative state and will never recover. I am appalled that this person's parents have the nerve to fight her husband for the last 15 years just because they don't want to let go of her. It's apparent that these parents believe in God, so why is it that they would prefer her to stay in the condition she is in instead of going to Heaven? You'd think that parents would want what's best for their children, and I guarantee being kept alive by a tube is not what's best for Terri. The actions of the religious right and Republicans both in Florida and the U.S. Congress make me realize just how obnoxious they are. The fact is several courts have ruled on this case many times and all these people are doing is causing Terri more pain. They say they are trying to save her life, but the fact is a person who is in a vegetative state isn't alive. If they don't have any brain activity, then in my opinion they are dead, so why can't Terri's parents get over the fact that they've lost their daughter and just let her body die?
Cindy on Steroid hearings: Grrr! to stupid questions asking players what other players and or management may or may not have known about players using steroids in some undetermined period of the past, and stupid questions about what the individual players think the standard procedure and punishment of MLB should be. Excuse my naivete, but aren't steroids ILLEGAL? As in, shouldn't somebody caught using be subject to criminal prosecution in the same way heroin or cocaine users are? I'm thinking a spell in jail would cause a de facto suspension from the game, and we wouldn't have to listen to all this "he said/he said/he heard/he didn't know" BS from players who may have good intentions but who feel caught under glass for the committee to examine like insects. And I don't doubt the good intentions of Congress, either, but don't you think a better reaction would have been to call [Bud] Selig alone on the carpet and tell him they don't think the penalties for players caught using an ILLEGAL substance are quite good enough? This procedure they're using currently seems to be getting nowhere.
Michael F. in Edison, NJ: Jim Gray on the Walk of Fame?? You have got to be kidding. Every time I see him on TV a voice goes through my head saying "He is NOT a sportscaster." They should change the name to "The Walk of Mediocrity" or "The Walk of Guys Willing to Fork Over Big Bucks to Make People Think They're Important."
Barbara in South Florida: I'm in South Florida, Miami-Dade to be exact. I was born in Ohio, have lived in Houston and Boston and speaking English has never been an issue until now. Here I am the minority, most everybody speaks Spanish and thinks it's nuts if you don't. My daughter's starting her second season in girls softball and the coach doesn't even speak English! He has his 15-year-old son along as translator. When I called the people in charge in my community about switching her to another team, they said under no circumstances could she switch. If they let one girl switch, then they'd have to let others. Doesn't not being able to understand the coach's direction constitute a problem? We are in the United States after all. The last time I checked the national language was English!
Sarah in Cyberspace: I have been reading your column for about eight months now and it is one of the first things I look for when I log onto the FOX Web site. Your insight is interesting and your writing is animated, truthful and hilarious. Keep it up!
DP in Iowa: I just finished watching the March 15 episode of "American Idol" and you were dead on when you said Paula Abdul has no opinion of her own! Every time Randy gave his critique of a performer, she ALWAYS said the exact same thing. What I don't understand is why they are criticizing the really good singers and bragging up the mediocre ones. Carrie Underwood is phenomenal, but the last two weeks they said she was boring. The same goes for Jessica Sierra. The only reason Abdul ever made any money is because she could dance in her music videos. Her voice is horrendous ... sounds like she's singing through her nose. As for Simon telling everyone that they are boring ... someone needs to tell him how boring his wardrobe is.
Steve the Future Accountant: I go to college and have an accounting class in the mornings. I sit in the front so I can see the board (and to get out of class first). For the past month the young lady that sits next to me has been acting civilly. Unfortunately, for the past two weeks she has been chewing her gum excessively loud, in true Oblivion manner. I let it go, because I just didn’t want to make a big deal. Finally, today I got so fed up that I turned to her and asked her in my most civil manner to please chew her gum more quietly. The response I got was classic Obliviot: "Stop setting the curve so high.”
Stephen in Tulsa: I get a kick out of some shows on FOX Sports like "The List" and stuff on VH1, "40 Most Awesomely Bad ..." whatever. However, why are comedians making commentaries on such things? Are they experts on sports moments? Or perhaps music? Would it not be smarter to interview ... say ... musicians or music journalists on music, and perhaps athletes, coaches and sportswriters on sports lists? I like comedians, but their status has been elevated too high in our culture because they are certainly not "experts" on everything. They need to stay in their true realm of comedy.
—Stephen, I gave up on those types of shows after I saw Doritos girl Ali Landry giving "expert" advice. Hello!
Stacee in Overland Park, Kansas: I really appreciate and enjoy your column. I look forward to the next installment every Tuesday. I have to respond to the SLD section. I'm sure you caught yesterday's episode of "24," as you must be a real fan of the show. The sporting goods shop owners were Middle Eastern and ... gasp ... portrayed in a good light. I see this show as entertainment ... why can't more people? If I wanted to really pick at the show, I would love to find a support group for middle-aged white men who work in corporations and see them band together to protest the out-and-out STEREOTYPING in "24." These men who work for this fictitious company on the show are corrupt and sell their goods to terrorists. Does the writing staff of this show see how demeaning this is to all white men in business? SHAME! (HA HA HA) People need to get a life and stop taking it so seriously.
Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for FOXNews.com, and contributes as a features reporter on "FOX Magazine," and occasionally as a news cut-ins anchor on FOX News Channel. Read Mike's Bio.