I'll believe Jack Kent Cooke is losing money on the Redskins only when the GAO audits those books and proves it, which won't happen.
Why should the citizens of the D.C. area subsidize the Cooke empire and make 20,000 more Redskins fans happy. If the 55,000 Redskins ticket holders want a bigger, fancier stadium, let them each kick in their share or have Cooke do what the Miami Dolphins owner did, pay for it out of his own millions. John B. Morris Alexandria
Is Pasadena Next?
It's great to hear that Irwindale, Calif., will loan the Raiders more than $100 million to build a stadium there. That should give them a taste of NFL football until the Raiders decide to move to Pasadena or Sacramento or San Jose or Stanford or Oakland . . . Edward J. Cunningham Silver Spring
Remember Other Streak
Thomas Boswell's article on Paul Molitor and his hitting streak ("DiMaggio Is Goal, Pressure Is First Hurdle") Aug. 19 captures the sense of what a hitting streak is all about. He mentions the fragility of such a streak, and points out that Molitor's accomplishment is worthy of praise. In his last paragraph, however, he makes a glaring omission when he writes, "Joe DiMaggio only had one hitting streak as long as Paul Molitor's in his entire career." In 1933, Mr. DiMaggio's first season in professional baseball, he had a 61-game hitting streak while playing for the San Francisco Seals in the minor leagues and although not against major league pitching, it is certainly worth mentioning. Robert Lord Springfield
Pro Soccer Needs . . .
"Does anybody care?" rhetorically asks Steve Berkowitz (Aug. 22), reporting that just 2,313 persons watched the exhibition doubleheader featuring the area's two new professional soccer teams: the Washington Diplomats and F.C. Washington.
As a soccer enthusiast and former player who was not among the 2,313, my answer is yes, I care, and so, I believe, do thousands of others. An estimated 120,000 participants in the metropolitan area soccer program, plus legions in Howard County and Baltimore, must be at least interested in seeing the best the game has to offer.
If this is so, what is keeping them away? That is something the promoters have to address before the season starts in April. If they do not come up with a satisfactory answer, they will fall flat on their financial faces. Some suggestions:
Soccer fans traditionally do not take to a team right away. They must be given time to get to know the individual characteristics of the players. One player might become known for his robust they-shall-not-pass style, while another will stand out because of his ball control artistry. This charismatic recognition should be allowed to develop naturally, without force or undue pressure
Soccer aficionados generally do not come from the more affluent sections of society. More likely, they are expatriates who enjoyed the game in their home countries, and balk at the prices they are asked to pay to see a professional game here. The $10 ticket to the RFK exhibition matches was patently ridiculous, given the blandness of the opposition and the additional costs of gas, parking and ballpark food. A smart gesture would have been to have opened the gates and allowed anyone in for free or a nominal dollar, relying on the extra concession revenue to offset the losses. What they would perhaps have lost in gate money they would have regained in good public relations.
Forget RFK. It is too large, too expensive and the seats are too far from the field. Instead, find a trim high school stadium. When the Washington Darts (an early version of the Diplomats) played at Wilson High School in D.C. it was sometimes difficult to gain admittance because of the crowds, but it was fun.
Be bold. Press for modification of so-called FIFA rules to allow for a more rollicking, aggressive type of soccer. Don't listen to those who tell you that what has worked in Europe and South America for 100 years should be accepted by the United States. A 0-0 tie to the average non-soccer-playing soccer onlooker is nothing more than frustrated effort.
Don't think about making money, at least for some time. Focus on turning it into an "in" thing to watch, as has been done with hockey. The first time someone calls up to say he or she can't find a ticket to the game, pro soccer will be on its way. Jim Deveney Hyattsville
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