Westbrook Right To Be Outraged

In his column Dec. 7 ("Playoff Picture Looks Fuzzy for Redskins"), Tony Kornheiser unjustly makes light of Michael Westbrook's anxiety over the objectivity of an official in the Redskins' loss to the Detroit Lions. Tony writes that Westbrook "has identified the villainous zebra, and Janet Reno is getting right on it."

But let's look at the facts: Westbrook questioned the propriety of line judge Byron Boston working a game involving the Redskins since Boston's son, David, is a rookie wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, one of the Redskins' NFC East rivals. My question is this: Why is Westbrook seemingly alone on this issue? Everyone connected with the Redskins should be outraged. No matter that the NFL's competition committee had no concerns about Byron Boston's service in other than Arizona games. The proper ruling would exclude Boston from any game involving an NFC East team.

Law dictionaries define a "conflict of interest" as either a real or apparent incompatibility between one's private interests and one's public duties. Can't we at least see an apparent conflict here?

-- ALAN D. MASON

Rockville

Program Had Its Rewards

I completely disagree with Leonard Shapiro's column about the Sports Illustrated 20th century sports awards (Dec. 4, "A Show That Shouldn't Have Gone On").

The show was both humorous and exciting. One of the principal reasons that watching sports on television is so popular is that, unlike just about all of the other television programs these days, sporting events are live and spontaneous. The audience does not know the outcome until the game is actually over.

Having many great athletes in the same room brought back a lot of memories. In addition, the program was exciting. As you could see from the thunderous applause from the audience, there was a great deal of suspense about who would win the awards for the athletes of the century.

-- LEE HURWITZ

Silver Spring

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