Credit: George Danby / BDN

High school football participation

As in previous years, Maine high school football has produced lopsided scores, suggesting a lack of strong defensive play in 2021. That is how it is, however. As football teams and student enrollments go, a coach — regardless of sport — takes what he or she gets for interested student athletes. And there is always the likely possibility that athletic talent is available but not wanting to play high school varsity sports.

The scores of eight-person football could be mistaken for eight-person basketball. I am not a fan of eight-person football. There are six players missing on the field making an 11-person game, presumably, with a wider and longer field more challenging than eight-person football, which must seem like a friendly neighborhood pick-up football game. There are six players missing, even though football rosters seem to have sufficient numbers for an 11-person team.

Is there a conflict with boys’ soccer and football? What is the total number of boys’ soccer players in all four classes as compared to total football players in all four classes, as well as individual MPA classification divisions?

Is it not the purpose of high school extracurricular activities, in this case football, to allow for as many students who want to do so participate in offered extra-curricular activities of their choice?

Eight-person football means six players, compared to 11-person football, are not playing. They could be not only playing for the enjoyment of playing but they would be gaining valuable game experience and, hopefully, a lifetime of sweet memories of playing high school football for their hometown high school.  

Richard Mackin Jr.


Bush’s legacy

In a Sept. 20 column in the BDN, Gene Collier ranks President George W. Bush above President Donald J. Trump (“Maybe we’ve underestimated George W. Bush. Maybe.”). But Collier doesn’t mention that Bush ordered an invasion of Iraq in March 2003, even though Iraq had not attacked us or threatened us. Bush claimed that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, but U.N. arms inspectors had combed the country for over three months and  found no evidence of such weapons. Bush also claimed that Saddam Hussein was in league with Osama bin Laden, but Bush later admitted that he had no evidence of that.

In short, I believe Bush lied to the American people and launched a war of aggression, one which was amplified by the killing and wounding of a vast number of Iraqi soldiers and civilians, tortures of prisoners, and general destruction in Iraq. In addition, thousands of American servicemembers were killed or suffered horrifying physical or psychological wounds for which they and the rest of us may pay for the rest of their lives.

After all that, I still don’t know Bush’s real reason for starting the war in Iraq. Do you?

Karl K. Norton


Enough with the excuses

How many times have news organizations reported where some person against getting a vaccination has watched as their child, parent, or close friend has died due to COVID and then says something like, “I guess I’ll get the vaccine.” Too little, too late!

Or the nurse, who is against getting a vaccine shot and would rather get fired than get a shot and protect those around her. Then says she is going to start her own business of housekeeping for others. Who would want her in their house if she were unvaccinated? Not me!

I have to question the “smarts” of these people. There are a number of vaccines that most people get as a matter of routine, yet for some reason getting a shot that would protect not only themselves, but family and friends seems out of good reasoning. What do they fear when there is evidence that people getting the vaccine are far less likely to contract the virus and if by the off chance they do, the results are lessened? Then there are the vast number of hospitalized people with this virus who have not been vaccinated and as such are putting an unnecessary strain on our healthcare system.

I have to wonder: If everyone was properly vaccinated, would this virus’s impact on this country have been reduced significantly? The unvaccinated need to think about others rather than themselves and their weak excuses.

Richard Barclay