By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Cowboys, Not Men
Jerks: I can't begin to tell you how glad I was to read your article about some of the Dallas Cowboys leaving an anonymous letter trashing the sports writer Jean-Jacques Taylor ("Anonymous Whine," by John Gonzalez, December 2). First, I am a big Cowboys fan. It diminishes my love for the game and team when certain players are jerks. I am appalled that society hero-worships pro athletes and lets them act like spoiled brats and ignores their disgusting behavior. Thanks for having the guts to call a spade a spade, especially when it is a star like Roy Williams.
Lastly, I am a former teacher. I am not joking when I say that I knew of some sixth-graders who could have written better than these college-educated Cowboys. The letter is a clear example of the growing failure of our education system.
Cowards: Good article. These guys have nothing to bitch about the way they are playing. I don't really care for Taylor, but he was spot-on, and so were you.
Homophobes: Thanks for your fine column indicting the "anonymous" Cowboys players for their personal, homophobic attacks on sports writer Jean-Jacques Taylor. Whichever university is responsible for "educating" these "writers" should be ashamed of their product on display.
What I hope you do, Mr. Gonzalez, is not let the Cowboys organization sweep this under the rug. Why am I reluctant to believe that Mr. Parcells has said anything to his team about how wrong homophobia is? How has the Cowboys organization "handled internally" this incident? As a gay man who loves football and actually played it in high school, I'd like to know what specific actions were taken by "America's Team" to "internally" stop this kind of bigotry.
I do know one thing: If the players involved had slurred a writer based on his ethnicity or cultural background, that would not be swept under the rug--the league itself would have gotten involved.
Once again it's made clear to fans like me that the NFL in its actions and deeds couldn't care less when players insult gay Americans--just ask Terrell Owens, Jeremy Shockey or Lions President Matt Millen how tough the league is on homophobic bigotry.
Can-do Dallas: Eric Celeste wrote a great article on Dallas entrepreneurs and the YEO ("Whiz Biz Kids," December 2). Celeste, I recall, has been a media entrepreneur twice. The article says a lot about the can-do spirit of Dallas. Each had an idea, each scrimped, clawed and worked their way to making a business successful. The YEO is a great place for these "young guns" to commiserate, talk of war wounds and gain wisdom. Maybe there are opportunities for members to form businesses together. Let's hope so. They are creating jobs and wealth for those who work for and invest in them.
They Played Me
Guildhall doesn't cut it: Wow...I really wish that someone would have tipped me off to the fact that you were preparing an article on the Guildhall ("Playmakers," by Paul Kix, November 25). Perhaps if I had been interviewed, the article would not have come off as a glorified promotion for the school. I am a former student of the Guildhall. I quit the program after the third term to work full time in the game industry (at Ritual Entertainment...mentioned in the article) after coming to the obvious conclusion that the school is a MASSIVE scam. I'm not the only one who shares this sentiment, as there have been six to nine others who have quit as well.
Football above all: Although it was a pleasant surprise to see the Dallas Observer's coverage of UNT's decision to change the finals schedule to allow students to attend the Sun Belt Conference for a football game ("School Spirit," by Patrick Williams, November 25), there's a much larger issue at heart. Yes, UNT has managed to inconvenience 30,000 students for the sake of 500 or so students who are required to attend the game. But have they broken the law by doing so? State law requires that UNT provide a minimum number of contact hours to each student per credit hour, per semester. This decision leaves UNT well under that requirement. It is surprising to me that the media haven't approached the impact this decision may have on state funding at UNT as well as future accreditation, which is done by third parties.
Other schools have taken a decidedly more rational and realistic approach to the schedule conflict. The University of Southern Mississippi (UNT's opponent at the bowl game) won't be making any drastic changes to its exam schedule to yield to the upcoming New Orleans Bowl. They never even considered it.
Hail to the Chief
Kudos for Kunkle: I found Jim Schutze's article to be informative and timely ("On Your Watch," December 2). I work in downtown Dallas and find it reassuring that police Chief David Kunkle is not afraid to make tough choices. I feel that the city of Dallas has finally got someone willing to do their job.