Putting a winning team on the field is what counts, no excuses. And a good fan has to be a critic; how else do you make things better?
Kansas City, Missouri
Follow the reader: Greg Hall's article on hoop legend Kevin Ross ("Post Graduate," April 11) should be retitled "How to Make Excuses, Blame Others for Your Problems and Make an Attempt at Frivolous Litigation." Since reading the article, I have decided to let the air out of my high-school Latin teacher's tires for not allowing me to break 700 on my verbal SAT scores and have considered taking out my high school geometry teacher's mailbox for failing to guide me through the parallelograms lesson. I needed tough love back then, and they failed me.
If Mr. Ross' basketball career had gone according to the plan drafted in every inner city, we would not be hearing about his hardships and the fact that he is forced to gloss the floors at Coronado Middle School. No, we would be seeing him on MTV Cribs, surrounded by bikini-clad women. While I am delighted that Mr. Ross decided to participate in society by learning how to read, I would like a dime for each time he high-fived his buddies telling him about his future in the NBA.
I don't think that it is too abstract to feel sympathy for the applicant to Creighton University back in the 1970s whose classroom seat was taken by Mr. Ross. (I'm sorry. I am sure he never sat in it, but you know what I mean.) Maybe that individual's dreams of being a lawyer or doctor were quashed because NCAA basketball equals revenue -- but that is a subject for a Ted Koppel town hall meeting.
Fight club: Thank you so much for Casey Logan's "Ain't That a Hit in the Head" (April 18). I found it interesting, thorough and well-written.
I am a martial-arts student and have been recently introduced to pankration. While I awkwardly work on kickboxing and the kinder, gentler forms of "fighting," I am consistently impressed with the strength and attitude of the pankration students and teachers. These bright, strong, quick young men and women have shown a commitment to this form of martial art and to the safety of students.
Logan's foresight in looking into this sport is appreciated; lovely to see it covered in Pitch style.
Certainly this sport will pick up speed and popularity, and Logan's article will be surely referenced.
Judith Evnen Benson
Power and Spite
Brother, where art thou?: Thank you for printing my brother's story (Deb Hipp's "Get to Work," April 11). We hope something will finally be done on his behalf. The other side of this story can be about John's brothers and sisters watching their once very capable, strong, outdoor-loving brother be crumbled by corporate bureaucracy. Kansas City Power and Light can light up the Plaza every year from Thanksgiving into the New Year, but they can't compensate my brother for their faulty working environment. How much money is spent on those lights every year? I can't even bear to see them anymore.
Basically, my nieces have lost the biggest part of their father. Absolutely no doctor at KU would tell any of us exactly the amount of damage to John's brain. To see all that fluid draining off his spine, to see him hooked to bags and IV lines, to see the encrusted blood all over my brother -- KCPL has killed the best part of my brother.
KCPL has killed my brother emotionally and physically and has given his family a partial man back. I can't put a dollar amount on everything my brother has lost. But a measly $34,500 will never get him and his family back to where they were before this horrible accident.
Thanks for your time, and it's good to know that there are some good reporters left in the KC area.
Leap of Fate
Jump, dive and wail: When I finished reading Allie Johnson's article about Chris Jeffries ("Lovers' Leap," March 28), I thought I was going to cry. That was a horrible thing Tracy Richardson did to him -- "horrible" being an understatement.
Tracy Richardson will be free in a year to try and go back to a normal life, and it may be possible for her, but it will never be possible for him, and I don't think that's fair. If it had been a man who had done this to a woman, he would be in jail, not getting out in five years. This story has had a huge effect on me, and I would like to help any way I can. People need to learn that their actions have consequences, whether they are women or men.
Thank you for writing this article. It's rare that we get the whole story; we usually get the beginning, but no middle or end.
Kansas City, Missouri
Kiss My Ax
Thin Lizzy: It's so refreshing to see the Pitch is giving over-opinionated hacks some writing space in its recent issues, i.e. Geoff Harkness (Up & Coming, April 18). Where does Mr. Harkness get his wealth of information in his droll attempt to save music fans from attending Lizzy Borden's show on April 23? Heaven forbid KC music fans would want to maybe go see a band that doesn't sound like Creed or Limp Bizkit.
What maybe Mr. Harkness doesn't know is that Lizzy Borden has always been one of the heavy-metal "underdogs" and one of the genre's most underestimated acts. Yes, LB did start to receive recognition during L.A.'s "sign anything with hairspray, spandex and that's good with the chicks" era, but Borden didn't rely on power ballads and three-chord party anthems. Instead, he wrote songs more like his influences of Alice Cooper and Sweet. If you look closely at Alice Cooper's lyrics to such classic songs as "I Love the Dead" and "Cold Ethyl," you'd read some pretty "wack" lyrics. (Is that some trendy phrase?) Maybe this explains a lot.
One more piece of info, Geoffy -- some metal fans did ask for, and are excited about, Lizzy and several other '80s metal acts reforming. It saves our eyes and ears from another Slipknot wanna-be or another bandwagon-jumping outfit.
Metal of honor: Season to Risk wants to thank everyone at the Pitch and everyone who voted us Best Metal/Hardcore Band two years in a row.
It came to my attention that my acceptance speech sounded a little facetious. It was not intended to be. We were seriously offering the award to Descension. They continue to stick to their metal guns/image at all costs and put on extravagant, interesting shows. They are a "true" metal band. Nonetheless, we do appreciate it.
I want to clarify that Season to Risk has never once broken up, as written in the PMA bios (April 4). Members have left, and we have continued to pick up the pieces and forge on, never once taking more than a month off. Currently S2R is at its strongest and has several tours planned for the remainder of the year as well as an upcoming EP and video release. (I probably just jinxed the hell out of myself.)
Now on to the Pitch Music Awards criticism. I have had a great time attending the ceremonies in the past, but the Uptown has got to go. Between the no-smoking ordinance and the $8 cocktails with no table-side service, every time a performer came on, over half the audience disappeared. For a celebration of music, that is pretty weak. Hopefully in the future you can find a venue that will accommodate the audience better.
Again, thanks for the support.
Kansas City, Missouri