Sunday, April 6, 2008

Response from Talkbackers to the opening of Nationals Park generally was positive, although they say it takes too long to buy a hot dog.

Kudos to the Lerner family and, yes, even the D.C. government for a great job on the new ballpark. Who really thought it would get done on time? It's a great facility, very fan-friendly. And this is the first-ever stadium to be certified a "Green Building."

Ira Birnbaum, Annandale

What made Opening Night for the Nationals so special was a nearly full house. Even the best ballparks, such as Oriole Park at Camden Yards, are depressing with small crowds.

With all of the hoopla and great reports about the opening of Nationals Park, I seemed to notice a lack of recognition for two individuals who really played a huge part in what is now Year Four of the Washington Nationals. One is Frank Robinson, who held this team together for its first two seasons here. The other is Bill Collins, head of an ownership group from Northern Virginia who spent years unsuccessfully pursuing a franchise for this area. I believe that if Collins had not kept the Washington area a viable candidate for a MLB team, we would not have a franchise today.

Jim Gildea, Beltsville

Robinson's picture hangs in the Nats clubhouse, but he deserves more. Collins merits our thanks.

The falsity of Bob Arum's statement that "boxing requires a lot more skill" than mixed martial arts is obvious to the most casual observer of both sports. No one disputes that boxers are better at boxing than mixed martial artists. Unlike boxers, however, MMA artists must become proficient at several other disciplines, including kickboxing, wrestling, jujitsu and judo.

Christopher Wang, Washington

No pun intended, but I'm in Arum's corner on this. I don't appreciate anything about MMA.

Regarding your March 30 musings, "Who would have thought that the two local college basketball teams left standing . . . would be the Maryland and George Washington women?" I can assure you this was no surprise to thousands of fans. Maryland was a recent NCAA women's champion (in 2006) and as a GWU professor, our team regularly heads to the round of 16.

Bonnie J. Morris, Washington

The fact Maryland and GW women got to the round of 16 did not surprise me as much the disappointing finishes by the Georgetown and Maryland men. Nor did GW's men distinguish themselves this season.

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