Last week’s program included my conversation with Dave Zirin, who’d offered to take the owner of the NFL franchise that plays in Washington, D.C. to a reservation in South Dakota to see how folks there felt about the team’s nickname. Dick Linehan e-mailed to say he agreed that the name is a racial slur and therefore inappropriate, but he urged us to expand the debate to include various other logos and mascots, including Notre Dame’s “Fighting Irish.”
Two weeks ago we featured Ron Schachter’s story about competitive whistling. That effort touched John Wilde, who hears the program in Greenwood, S.C. on WEPR, on a personal level. He emailed to say “while listening to your coverage of the whistling convention, my wife repeated some doggerel she’d learned from her mother: ‘Whistling women and crowing hens / Always come to some bad end.'”
Susan Valot’s story in the same program about the fate of Hollywood Park, a thoroughbred track that has endured for 75 years, also provoked a personal story. “I was sad to hear of the impending closing,” wrote Carrie MacKillop, who hears the program on Vermont Public Radio. “My dad was an avid racing fan, and Hollywood Park was where he, in the early days of wooing my mother, bought a win ticket for every horse in one race. The next day when he saw my mother in class, he gave her the winning ticket with the line: ‘I was at the track yesterday. I placed a bet for you, and the horse won.’ My mom was smitten.”
I like that story so much I’m going to read the other one Ms. MacKillop sent us.
“Hollywood Park was also the scene of the first meeting of my husband-to-be, who’d never been to the track, and my dad,” she wrote. “After my beau placed several losing bets, my dad pulled me aside and said, ‘Are you sure this is the guy for you? He can’t handicap worth a darn.’ Although I haven’t been to Hollywood Park for years, I will miss it, and the good times it hosted.”
Renuncia Cupelluni shares that sentiment, though for different reasons. “This is a shame and a travesty,” she wrote. “I find it hard to believe that the market is ready for 3,000 new homes and retail in Inglewood.” Ms. Cupelluni worries that, as she put it, “the sport of kings” is being turned into “the sport of chumps.”
My conversation two weeks ago with NHL Playoff play-by-play guy Mike “Doc” Emrick drew praise from Doc’s fans but inspired Chris DeLucia to e-mail as follows: “I was pleased some attention was being paid to hockey, but I was dismayed to hear Mike Emrick described as ‘one of the best.'” Mr. DeLucia went on to criticize NBC’s hockey coverage in general.
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