Column not funny

EDITOR: I am surprised that Phil Barber’s column (“Summer events made for winter,” Feb. 22) was OK’d to print. It was completely demeaning to those of us who DO feel amazed by the Olympics. Not until the second paragraph does he try to dial back the snark — “I am not bashing the athletes. Well, maybe the curlers” — what? He IS bashing all of the athletes. Althetes who spend four years preparing to compete in their sport on the grandest stage. Barber states, “I just don’t get (the Winter Olympics). I feel no connection.” He is offended by everything to do with the Winter Olympics — ”Enough of the white background already.”

Barber tells us that he does not “feel patriotism from the Winter Olympics” and that hockey “is the weird uncle at the family table of North American sports.” I wonder if he watched the USA-Canada women’s hockey game. The U.S. women won the gold medal in an amazing nail-biter of a game. There was nothing “weird” about those strong women and I sure felt patriotic watching them skate with American flags held above their heads after the game.

Barber tells us that “It’s time to rearrange the games.” This narcissistic declaration leads the reader into 11 inane, ridiculous and snarky ideas for changing the Olympics that he, by his own admission, doesn’t “get.” I love The Press Democrat, but I am mad that this dreck found its way to the front page, above the fold, of the PD sports section.

Barber owes Press Democrat-reading Olympics super-fans and the curlers of the world an apology.

BECKY JANSSEN, Santa Rosa

Games not about winning

EDITOR: I was appalled at the Associated Press article by Tim Dahlberg (“U.S. team red, white and bruised,” Feb 19). According to him, the Olympics are all about the medal count. “One medal for every 32 million Americans.” Using those numbers, I’d like to point out that it also means one athlete for every 1,327,800 Americans. I fall into the latter category. It’s not all about gold, silver or bronze; it’s about being the best athlete you can be and having the best sportsmanship you can demonstrate. How about let’s focus on how wonderful these men and women are and be proud as Americans that we have them representing us?

CATHY GOOD, Sonoma

Readers are invited to join the conversation by sending letters to The Press Democrat Sports Department. Letters can be mailed to PD Sports, 427 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, CA, 95401, faxed to 707-521-5463, or emailed to sports@pressdemocrat.com. All letters are subject to editing for length and clarity.

ALL-EMPIRE: SMALL SCHOOL FOOTBALL

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Lucas Triplett, sr., Fort Bragg

OFFENSE

FIRST TEAM

QB: Hokulani Wickard, jr., Lower Lake

RB: Trystin Strickland, sr., Fort Bragg

RB: Dwayne Yiggins, sr., Middletown

WR: Shane Giaccani, sr., Fort Bragg

WR: Alfio Basile, sr., St. Helena

TE: Austin Cia, sr., St. Helena

OL: Gavin Bartell, jr., Clear Lake

OL: Justin Celeri, jr., Fort Bragg

OL: Aaron Teal, sr., Kelseyville

OL: Virgil Ellis, jr., Clear Lake

OL: Colton Hall, jr., Middletown

PK: Dominic Gorman, jr., Fort Bragg

SECOND TEAM

QB: Logan Barrick, jr., Kelseyville

RB: Niko Lopez, sr., St. Helena

RB: Paul Bartholow, jr., Rincon Valley Christian

RB: Tony Pardini, sr., Anderson Valley

WR: Robbie Carey, sr., Middletown

WR: Michael Davis, sr., St. Vincent

TE: Devon Ross, jr., Middletown

OL: Clayton DeForge, sr., St. Helena

OL: Alex Ybarra, sr., Fort Bragg

OL: Isaac Arnold, soph., Fort Bragg

OL: Nick Murphy, sr., St. Vincent

OL: Mitchell Hollingsworth, jr., Willits

DEFENSE

FIRST TEAM

DL: Gavin Bartell, sr., Clear Lake

DL: Cameron Ketchum, jr., Middletown

DL: Jess Cavender, sr., Fort Bragg

DL: Devon Ross, jr., Middletown

LB: Michael Cavender, sr., Fort Bragg

LB: Peerliss Brooke, jr., Lower Lake

LB: Aaron Teal, sr., Kelseyville

LB: Willie Maples, jr., Rincon Valley Christian

LB: Ty Chorjel, sr., Middletown

DB: Lucas Triplett, sr., Fort Bragg

DB: Gabe Guzman, sr., Middletown

DB: Aiden McAdon, jr., Kelseyville

DB: Marlon Jones, sr., Lower Lake

SECOND TEAM

DL: Bryan Carrillo, soph., Kelseyville

DL: Daniel Solano, sr., Fort Bragg

DL: Will Foley, jr., Cloverdale

DL: Tyler Hawkins, jr., Rincon Valley Christian

LB: Austin Cia, sr., St. Helena

LB: Bobby Gonzales, jr., Clear Lake

LB: Daniel Cook, sr., Fort Bragg

DB: Jason McCoard, jr., Fort Bragg

DB: Brian Orozco, sr., Clear Lake

DB: James Wirt, jr., DB

DB: Michael Davis, sr., St. Vincent

COACH OF THE YEAR

Roy Perkins, Fort Bragg