Since our last readers column responses on our recent post on the value of winning has dominated new correspondence.  And not surprising, we heard from MANY who still believe like Woody Hayes…there is no substitute.

Flooded with recent emails and Facebook messages, many of you sent us your strong opinions on the topic of finishing first:

For the past week email and Facebook have been full of people voicing their opinion about the value of winning (as expressed in our June 23rd column, Who Loses If We Disregard Winning.  Most left little doubt as to which side of the argument they supported:

“I just finished reading yesterday’s column. You should award a participation award next season and give it to the kid whose parents say we place too much emphasis on winning. Call it the “Just Because” award…because he was on the team. You’ll probably be criticized because you embarrassed the kid, but hey, get over it. It’s called life. There are winners and there are losers. If we didn’t win the Revolutionary War you’d have a British accent. And what are you going to do when your kid doesn’t get into a college they want for lack of competitiveness?  And what are you going to do when your kid doesn’t get a job because he got beat out by a more qualified applicant?  You can’t call the company and say he should have gotten it “Just Because.”  ...  Frank Fraas

“I have no ear for those people who want to make sports a welfare state.  There’s no such thing as redistributing accomplishment.  You either work and succeed, or you don’t.  And isn’t it funny that we’re still quoting Vince Lombardi – “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”  There are no quotes from the guys who finish second.”  …  Jeffrey Smith (Westerville, Oh)

“This is absurd, because there are too many examples of individuals who started with nothing and used that as motivation to become successful, or even a champion.  To question the recognition of “winners’ is a slap in the face and an insult to their achievements.  Winning, or losing, is a state of mind.”  … Ken Marko

“Thank you, thank you for defending the tradition of success and winning.  Woody (Hayes) was right, “There is no substitute.”  … Richard Moffett

“The person who criticized you is greatly mistaken that those who are not recognized by Press Pros “achieve equally, but differently”. That statement in and of itself is a contradiction. Equal and different are not synonymous, for crying out loud! What this person is asking for is equal recognition for unequal achievement.”  …  Cris Cron

“Thankfully, they quit playing those announcements at the state tournament (about how you play the game).  I enjoy your website and share it.”  …  Larry (Gloucester, Oh, via Facebook)

“I spent 24 years in human resources for my company and I can tell you that athletic competition was a very big consideration for potential employees who interviewed, and we always looked to see if they had been part of a championship team.  There’s no question about that experience and its value.”  …  Joe Vallo

“The point was that we reward kids who have a better start in life to begin with, so of course they’re going to be successful.  For the kid who starts with nothing they do achieve proportionately, if not equally, by just participating.  It is what it is.”  … Terry Mendenhall

(Ed. Note:  So you’re saying that because someone starts on the right foot they should be penalized?  And how would you explain that to them?  Should I read the book or wait for the movie?)

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

Responding to our June 16 column about climate, spring baseball, and playing into summer, this reader cut to the chase when he wrote:

“Loved your story about playing baseball in cold weather, and the photo of the Ohio State player pretty much ‘iced’ the point.  So here’s my solution.  Take the OHSAA out of the picture as a governing body.  Make it a club sport so they can play when the weather makes sense.  If it interferes with the the school calendar, so what?  It makes no revenue, so what?  Pay to play?  It’s still ‘high school’ baseball.  Have a different tournament at the end of the year with corporate sponsorship.  Have baseball people run it who care more about baseball than they do about vacation, summer basketball, or football.  Your point about competitive fairness is right, and things will never change with the current administration.  But change is coming, and coming in every sport.”  …  Tim Tipton (Ironton)

“Cut the number of games to 18, like we played when I was in high school.  Then, you could justify starting the season on April 15 and probably have better weather.  Scrimmage prior to that IF YOU HAVE good weather. ”  …  Tim Kosta (via Facebook)