News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Moore, not Shula, is problem at UA

To The Daily: Itís a simple situation at The University of Alabama, really. Fire Mal, rehire Mike. In statewide polls hosted by the media, sentiment is running high against this misguided decision.

Mal Moore is, to quote Jethro Tull, ďliving in the past,Ē as are all Alabama fans who applaud or condone this indecent action. Shula was working this year with a team recruited at the beginning of the probation. Certainly not the cream of the crop, though time and again they strove mightily. Not giving him the chance to finish what he started is antithetical to the spirit of Alabama football.

Speaking of antithesis: the name Spurrier is floating around. Talk about antithesis (actually, anti-Christ comes closer in my opinion). My God, the man is 61. I imagine he could win, but itís not just about winning. Romantic nonsense? Those who want Bear back have forgotten the overwhelming characteristic of his tenure. Bear Bryant didnít win football games. But he understood spirit, character, guts and perseverance. Bear instilled those qualities into his players. They went out and won football games.

Yes, itís a different world now. Years ago a gifted coach could take farm boys and accomplish miracles almost overnight. Today, all the players have almost superhuman physical prowess and a coach must find gifted athletes and train them up in the ways that count.

But once he does that, then spirit is what wins. Not the weights, wind sprints and two-a-days (though you need those, too). Spirit wins. Even in a loss, spirit wins. Always. Because Mike Shula knows that, and has the decency and goodness that goes with it, I believe he would have risen to the top, had he been given time.

God help Alabama with whomever they get now.

Fire Mal. I donít think he ever understood ďspirit.Ē

Chuck Puckett


Negative campaign ads turn off voters

To The Daily: No voter was more glad than I was when the negative campaign ads left the radio and television air waves after the election. It seems that falsehood, distortion, overstatements, half-truths, exaggeration and slander with the intention to mislead and misrepresent the candidateís opponent have now become the standard conduct for political elections. While researchers of negative ads say they work effectively among the uninformed voters, I can understand the reason for apathy and cynicism in the low voter turnouts that the ads produce.

I will not forego casting my ballot because of negative campaigns. Too much is a stake for me to let a minority consensus of voters determine societyís posterity. Since this election is history, I hope citizens will call for positive and truthful ads from candidates of public office. They will be going against conventional wisdom because money plays significantly in politics. Citizens need a better reason to vote than the current persuasion from negative ads.

If politicians of faith would practice the Golden Rule in the form of not throwing out any unfavorable suggestion about an opponent that will awaken distrust in the publicís mind, and guarding their opponentsí reputation as sacredly as their own, negative ads will cease and voter turnouts will be much higher.

Is this wishful thinking? Maybe, but this can and should be the case. It takes only one committed and courageous leader to begin the process.

Isaiah J. Ashe


Boycott games if hat policy isnít revoked

To The Daily: The Decatur City Schools no-hats-in-the-gymnasium policy is a silly, petty, tyrannical and prejudicial act by a group of small-minded individuals. In their minds, anyone with a hat, cap or a certain type of clothing is a gangster.

In a 60-year-old man. I wear a hat in the gymnasium because my bald head gets cold in the winter.

Since 1973, I have attended 85 percent of Decatur and Austin high schoolsí home varsity basketball games. Iíve been there as a parent, an official and spectator. The students have shown good school spirit and conducted themselves excellently.

All young men arenít bad or gangsters because they wear an article of clothing or a ďdoo rag.Ē I have never seen any gang activity or even seen a student arrested for bad conduct.

All of us should be allowed to stand, cheer and wear what we want at an athletic event. America is still supposed to be free. I never see these policymakers at any games, so why would they make such a policy? No students, black or white, have conducted themselves offensively in my presence. Donít condemn something because you donít wear it or understand it.

I am asking people of my city to stand up and get this policy eliminated. Remember we still have a vote and voices that should be heard and heeded by our elected officials. Letís stop being so backward and prejudiced. No other school system has put such an asinine policy into effect.

I will not spend $5 and not be allowed to cheer and wear my cap. Letís stay home.

Mack Lewis


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