I am sorry to see the National Football League players coming back to work. I prefer watching the replacement players. They played the game with spirit and enthusiasm, and the games were much more enjoyable. The NFL players approach the game mechanically and are for the most part boring.

I think it's ridiculous that these so-called athletes make an average of more than $200,000 per year while "real" people like policemen, who risk their lives daily for the public welfare, make $30,000. They even make more than the president of the United States, who likewise has a short career -- and might be assassinated.

The best part of the whole strike was the support that some other unions gave to the NFL players. Boy, were they dumb. The NFL has never supported any other striking union; in fact, its members recently walked through the NBC picket lines. I'm sure the NFL players would give up their $60,000 paychecks to walk a picket line for a hot dog vendor who went on strike -- sure they would.

These guys have been prima donnas all of their lives, and they want us to feel sorry for them because they only make 10 times what you and I do and work a few months a year.

I am not a fan of the owners and would like to see a new league start up for the replacement players. The USFL was much more entertaining.

JOHN DAVIS Reston

I have been an avid fan of Redskins football since moving to this area in 1974. Since that time, the names and faces of the men wearing the burgundy and gold have changed time and time again. Personalities emerged, and there have been countless shining individual performances. But the old is always replaced by the new, and the entity known as the Redskins evolves. I am as fond of the current "regular" players as I have been of past rosters. But I resent their attitude that, as a fan, I have somehow been disloyal to the Redskins by supporting the replacement team. In my view, just as the NFL players had the right to strike for the freedom to move to other teams when pastures look greener, I have the right to go on supporting the Redskins team, no matter who is wearing the uniform.

I found much to cheer about in the replacement team. In the three games they played, they exhibited tremendous ability, heart, pride and teamwork -- all attributes of any "real" Redskin. Their victory against a veteran-laden Dallas team was as thrilling as any matchup between those two teams. They depart leaving the NFC East lead in the hands of the regulars, but not getting the respect they have earned and richly deserve. It seems that some teams could do better by making this group of players a permanent replacement for their existing teams.

I hope the returning players will swallow their pride and admit the great job these Redskins have done for them. Each man made his own choice. But in the final analysis, every one of them had the same goal: play-off opportunities and a trip to the Super Bowl.

Welcome back to the regulars, and a heartfelt thanks to the replacement 'Skins for a terrific three weeks! I hope we see much more of you in the future.

LAURA EMCH Reston