The latest mail received from January posts…on wood stoves…poor shooting in high school basketball…loyalty to the Browns…cheating in baseball…and equal time for unequal performance.

We covered a lot of area in January, so the responses we got from several first-time readers reflect that. One that surprised for the volume of comments was our January 19 column on burning firewood:

“I loved that article. Well done and timely. I could almost smell the smoke.” … Tom Sando

“Wonderful. Very cozy and I could smell the aroma of the fire. Probably wouldn’t try the scotch, but a good bottle of red wine sounds good.” … Debbie Parker (via Facebook)

“I like it, but I couldn’t help but wonder what your insurance agent thought about the wood burner in the picture.  Many companies take a dim view on that kind of heat.”  … Rusty Massey

(Ed. Note:  They’re much friendlier about it now that I’ve installed a stainless steel liner in the chimney and filled around it with concrete from top to bottom.)

“This reminded me of time spent with my own dad, who would rather cut and split wood than eat a good meal. I never understood that, but I think it had something to do with his generation. He was always ready for anything.” … Paul Yuenger

“While I enjoyed your article, I would remind you that fallen wood in the forest creates habitat and protection for numerous birds and animals. You might might consider that while you’re out ‘cleaning up’ the woods.” … Debbie Flynn

(Ed. Note: I no longer cut my own wood, but when I did I left plenty behind.)

Our January 26 column on poor shooting in high school basketball prompted the following:

The best to ever wear the crimson and white of Willard High School?

“While you may have the facts right about percentages, you never mentioned that youth may be the reason why shooting is down in basketball. Everything tends to improve with experience.  I suggest you consider that before you condemn.” … Eric Connolly

“One of your best, and appreciated the comments of some very good basketball men. I might add that my own coach always said it takes patience to be good, and young people get by on instant gratification.” … Bob Snyder

“Good memories of Coach Wiseman. Thanks for this.” … Michael Lafon

“Tom Dunn lived in a different world than today’s kids. Different fun, different priorities, and different basketball.” … Tim (Troy)

“Interesting story. I would add that there probably weren’t many like Tom Dunn when he played, just like there aren’t many today. Mediocrity has always been the human home page.” … Tom Killilea

“First time to read Press Pros Magazine (shared with me). Loved the comments from Coach John Willoughby, the best player to ever wear the crimson and white of Willard High School.” … Pete Reno

Willard High School basketball, circa 1980, with Sidney coach John Willoughby (front row, #5), and Tony Augspurger (front row, far right), coach and AD at Twin Valley South.

Our January 13 article on the Browns changing coaches (again) got under a few skins:

“Just because your friend Dale Meggas said it doesn’t speak for a lot of other Browns fans who remember having reached the destination once, and still enjoy the journey.” … Ken Marko

(Ed. Note: Dale was also fond of saying…there’s one born (a fool) every minute.)

Then the coach of the Cleveland Browns (pictured with Art Modell), Paul Brown was the architect of not only football in Cleveland and later in Cincinnati.

“While I’ve always been a Browns fan and would like to disagree, I cannot. Spot on with everything you wrote.” … Chris (Piqua)

“I will continue to like the Browns…and their ‘beer league’ uniforms.” … Don (Celina)

“My take on the Browns and the NFL is that winning teams seem to be owned and operated by experienced football people.  The Browns are a prime example, and the Bengals are another.  Paul Brown knew talent on and off the field.  Mike Brown knows finance and the bottom line.” … Jas. Renfro (Columbus)

This person wrote to take a hard line on cheating in baseball:

“While I’m disappointed for major league baseball teams going to blatant extremes to cheat, I’m also disappointed in the title of your story (Cheating Gets A Bad Rap). You seem to infer that cutting a baseball or spitting on it is harmless, while technology is cause for censure. Confusing.” … Denny Echolson

(Ed. Note: Doctoring a baseball amounts to those little white lies we’re all so found of…in comparison to the kind of cheating the Houston Astros got caught doing.  You’re welcome to your opinion, but sign stealing has been around for a hundred years.  Video cameras haven’t.)

ML Dunn has moved. Check out their new location on West National Road in Englewood.

Finally, one writer took considerable time to point out that while what we do is good, we don’t do it for enough:

“Compliments on your work, but would point out that while you’re chasing Ohio State and UD basketball you might well share some of those resources with local schools that you never seem to cover. It think it would be appreciated if you gave deserving area schools equal time.” … Henry (via Facebook)

(Ed. Note:  First, the word ‘deserving’ is interesting.  And second, people typically want to read about good basketball, and not all basketball is equally deserving.  Third, Wright State and Dayton are both having fine years, and Sports Illustrated hasn’t covered either.  Write to them and let us know what they say.)

Finally, some enthusiasm for Buckeye baseball, as Greg Johnson wrote this:

“Enjoying your pre-season post on Ohio State baseball, and wonder if there are more in the pipeline.  You guys do a great job.” … Greg Johnson (Coshocton, OH)

(Ed. Note:  Pleased to share that we’ll be with the Buckeyes for their season opening series from Port Charlotte, Florida on February 14, 15, and 16.  And our final pre-season prediction post will appear on Press Pros this weekend.)