I dispute John Thompson's assertion in The Washington Post that lack of attendance at a recent Georgetown-American basketball game showed there was no significant local interest in such contests. The facts simply don't support his position.

Since Georgetown started to play its home games at Capital Centre on a regular basis in the 1981-82 season, American has been a better draw than most opponents scheduled prior to the start of the Big East schedule, excluding those scheduled strictly for television exposure or revenue (i.e., Nevada-Las Vegas, Arizona, De Paul and Virginia).

American leads all preconference Hoyas opponents in average attendance, and has the largest draw, 9,902 in the 1982-83 season, among those games. In 1982-83, American outdrew Big East foes Pittsburgh, Providence and Connecticut and drew only 414 fewer fans than Seton Hall.

The only reason Thompson won't play American, George Washington or Maryland is that these teams would be so motivated by the local dimension of the contest that they might beat Georgetown. Thompson would rather play St. Leo or Florida A&M, which gladly come back every year for a 40-point licking, than a local team that would provide spirited competition and a far more enjoyable game for the fan.

Ray Trifari Alexandria

Best Interests

On Dec. 11, I read with great disgust the comments of John Thompson regarding any future basketball matchups of the Hoyas and the Maryland Terrapins. Thompson has cut out games with all of the local teams, saying he was acting in the "best interests" of Georgetown by claiming there would be no local interest to justify such games. I used to go to the Maryland-Georgetown games and there was plenty of interest. This was when Maryland was the national power and Georgetown was the unknown.

Acting in the best interests of Georgetown appears to be far from the truth when he is quoted as saying, "I've been in Washington 46 years and none of these schools has ever hired me. And the only consideration I have is to Georgetown."

It's apparent this interest lies only with the chip on his shoulder. Now that Georgetown is king of local basketball, it appears Thompson doesn't want to share that recognition with any other local school.

Stuart Brawley Falls Church

Endless Replays

I was an early and passionate advocate of instant replay review for NFL games. After watching the deplorable execution of the process over the past two years, I was almost ready to concede the seemingly impossible: I was wrong!

But then I asked myself, what went wrong? In a moment of brilliant insight and clarity, the fatal flaw became obvious: There are too many reviews. Why? Because there is no distinction between an absolutely crucial call and one that is relatively insignificant. If the review official finds a call questionable, he feels obliged to review it, period. That's the problem! The delays mount, the fans get steamed, the officials get paranoid and instant replay gets a bad name.

Suffice it to say it is imperative a call not only be questionable, but that it be important. And, while we're at it, why should a replay official decide which questionable calls are important? Let the coach decide -- his job might depend on it.

To remedy the situation, each coach should have one appeal per half. And if the appeal goes against him, he should be charged with a timeout. This would ensure that only truly questionable and important calls are reviewed.

This scheme should also reduce the second-guessing of officials. Conversely, it will provide a remedy for the occasional crucial mistake that turns a game, and sometimes a season, around.

David E. Siltman Gaithersburg

Chili Experts

In response to Norman Chad's column on the WMAL Redskins broadcast team: Is he kidding? Frank Herzog, Sam Huff and Sonny Jurgensen the best? Come on. They are the best if you want to know about chili and coffee and not about football, or what the score is, or where the ball is, or who scored the touchdown. Folksy -- yes. Good football broadcast -- no!

As far as Johnny Holliday's pregame show is concerned, I find nothing wrong with it. What else can he get out of mostly overpaid players who really have nothing to say?

As for Ken Beatrice and his analysis, consider the source. If you have been fortunate to listen to his "Sportscall" program on the radio, then you know it's just an extension of Beatrice and his personality. Okay, 13 minutes might be a tad long for analysis from Ken, but if you find it offensive, turn it off.

Nate Kahn Takoma Park

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