Tampa Bay has its full share of folks who have been avid sports fans for 70 years or more. They have seen young athletes deliver salary ultimatums, which haven't always succeeded. Errict Rhett's holdout against the Bucs could backfire. In which case, a Shakespearean phrase could undergo alterations: "Alas, poor Yorrict, we hardly knew ye!"
Henry Doyle, Pinellas Park
A bad dream
Have you listened to the basketball announcers speculate on why the Dream Team starts sluggishly in almost all of its games? I find the question insulting. The Dream Team is not composed of the world's best basketball players. It is composed of businessmen who earn millions of dollars a year. Very few of them have any loyalty to any geographic area. Shaq would probably be playing for Croatia or Argentina if they offered him enough money.
America has a tradition of pulling for the underdog, of demanding fair play, and of being the finest sportsmen in the world. Trying to beat another team by 50 points is not sportsmanship. When it is done in college, we accuse the victor of "running it up." We feel sorry for the defeated team.
If our Olympic team was composed of our finest college players, we would cheer its victories and agonize the defeats. If it won the gold, we would jump up and down and scream for joy, just like we did when our women gymnasts won gold.
The Dream Team will win its gold medal. It will win big. But we will not cheer. We will not dance in the streets. We will not feel good about being Americans.
Ben Delaney, Largo
The Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, Tampa Bay Lightning, Utah Jazz, and any other sports team that uses a singular word as a nickname should be referred to in the plural tense.
I would agree these terms would normally be referred to in the singular tense; however, the terms are referring to a team of many singular people in these cases which demands the plural tense. The beauty of the English language is, we may make exceptions to the normal rules in order to make sentences sound correct.
To say, "The Magic is looking for a new center," sounds as awkward as saying "The Bucs is looking for a new center," to the listener. "The Magic are looking for a new center," may not be technically correct grammar, but it sounds much better. Please make the change to the plural tense in your paper.
That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.
Jonathan C. DeJongh, jdejonghsprintmail.com