Our opening share for 2017 of the best responses from daily readers of Press Pros, with appreciation for those who’ve taken the time to write…on hunting, good will towards mankind, the Reds’ rebuild – and the struggle to understand basketball. Read, think, and enjoy!

For the fact that we frequently publish outdoors content on Press Pros (hunting and fishing) there has always been a division in appreciation between those turned off, and those turned on over stories about the lawful enjoyment of our natural resources. The past month was no surprise:

“I see that you’re on your usual kick about hunting and I will remind you again that most who read Press Pros have more positive passions than the caveman pursuits that you write about. You could do far better, and you should.” … Jonathan Lasecky

“It’s one thing to glorify the slaughter of animals, but it’s another to actually promote the products to do it with, as Mr. Cappell did in his story on how to kill more pheasants in winter. It seems ironic to me that if nature provides for the protection of birds against the conditions of winter, that he would write about how to beat nature with more powerful ammunition. This sickens me.” … Syl

“I’m writing to thank you again for including stories about hunting (and fishing) in the regular content of your web page. These stories bring back many positive memories and experiences I had growing up, and lessons I’ve passed on to my own boys and grandsons. Great stories and great photos. Thank you, again.” … Raymond Adams

“As a life-long hunter I’m so impressed that you have the courage to present the positive and ethical side of hunting. Please keep the faith that many people will still read and enjoy your work.” … Daniel Dewinter (Columbus, Ind.)

“The fact is that we’re losing valuable opportunities to train young people for lack of people who actually hunt now. If people don’t hunt they don’t buy the licenses which help pay for the management and protection of our natural environment, including the animals in it. Thanks for sharing your own positive message about ethics and responsibility.” … Jason (Pataskala, Oh)

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On our Dec. 23 column about promoting genuine good will on earth, we received this:

“First time reader, and WOW. What a concept. It’s actually good to read someone who believes that we can create a better world by each of us becoming the best we can be. No excuses, just do it. PS…does Nike know about this?” … Jack (Findlay, Oh)

“Tremendous story, and so true. It’s hard to help and support something (or someone) that you don’t respect.” … Wm. Ackerman

“One size does not fit all, as you suggest.” … Barbara Henderson  (Huntington, WVa)

“You assume, of course, that everyone has control over their circumstance and destiny. You’re wrong.” … Philip Wright
(Ed. Note: As it’s become, yes, Phil. But the pursuit of taking control over one’s circumstance and destiny is a noble, and life-long endeavor…or should be. Agree?)

Hal McCoy’s Dec. 13 “at large” story on the Reds and rebuilding brought a whole lot of response:

“First of all, Hal, why would you suggest that the Reds have a dwindling fan base? I’m still a Reds fan, win or lose.” … James Bosick

“You wrote, ‘That isn’t enough for the casual fan. A casual fan wants his team to have a chance to win when he or she spends money to watch a game.’ The problem is the Reds have become a casual organization content with casual results…because of casual fans. These guys (Castellini and Jocketty) couldn’t get by with this in New York or Chicago.  You also wrote this: ‘The worst thing a professional team can be is inconsequential, an afterthought in a sports fan’s mind.’ Bingo!” … Joe B

“I shake my head over management’s position that they apparently have enough money to own a major league team, but they don’t have enough money to operate it successfully. This is like taking the fans’ money under false pretenses. You cannot ask them to wait year after year while you develop talent that you won’t pay to keep after it’s developed.”  …  Michael (Centerville)

“There must be a reason why other teams can spend less and compete, like Miami (two world championships since the Reds last won). This might be a good topic for a future column, Hal.” … David Waller

“At the rate they’re going I won’t live long enough to see the Reds become ‘consequential’ again.”  …  Name Withheld

And finally, many took the opportunity to share the opinions about the modern state of amateur basketball (The Struggle To Understand Basketball):

ballonrim_inset“Kids can’t shoot because they don’t shoot, or shoot enough.” … Jack Riess

“Basketball has suffered because we ask too much of the kids who play. We want them working out for football twelve months a year. In small school districts we ask them to do that plus play multiple sports, and we ask them to help the team be successful in all of those sports. And then we’re surprised when they can’t compete against other kids whose commitment to basketball is year-round?” … Jack Evans

“There is no excuse for shooting 50% from the foul line. Period.” … Mike Francis

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