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A letter out of place?

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Letter Out of Place?

While I don’t agree that Greil (“An open letter to the ND football team,” Sept. 26) adopted either a pretentious or a paternal tone in his open letter last week, Pennino’s response (“Open letter out of place,” Oct. 1) was reminiscent of a disgruntled adolescent.

Okay, Pennino, so you have an impressive proficiency in loaded language – you even surprised us with a few ad hominems pulled out of thin air – but where did that make for a mature or reasoned argument?

Your main points, extracted from the accusations and exaggerations are as follows:

1. Drinking in moderation does not cause harmful after-affects the next day.

2. Football players are allowed to have beer.

3. Other teams also drink and therefore probably aren’t giving 100 percent either.

4. If we restrict drinking, there’s no line between this and banning other unhealthy practices.

5. We should all support the team.

Firstly, I want to point out that the effects of one or two beers are probably not what concerned the author of the open letter.

Secondly, no one suggested that football players should be officially barred from drinking over the weekend. Greil was simply calling for a responsible, considered – but free – decision from each member of the team.

In fact, this addresses your fourth point as well: our football players are constantly called on to make responsible choices, and no one disputes their freedom to do so. However, this does not mean that they shouldn’t be challenged to consider their best options.

In reference to your third point, I personally don’t think that we should let other teams set our standards for excellence. Just because we already compete on a level with them doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to reach our highest potential for our own sake.

And as for your last statement, I would like to express my complete agreement – we should support our team. Of course we should. But cheering at the games is only half of this.

The other half involves taking an active, personal interest in our team as a group of individuals seeking to fulfill their great potential in all areas of life – only one of which is public. If you’re really committed to a group or a cause, you put yourself on the line to keep it from falling short.

And you don’t attack the people who take such commitments seriously.

Laura Schaffer


Welsh Family Hall

Oct. 2