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Letters: Streetlight Removal; Bob Costas


Time now for your comments, which include a spirited defense of the national pastime. And first, this correction.


Yesterday, during an interview about a streetlight removal program in Rockford, Illinois, I accidentally said that Daylight Saving Time was now upon us and I was wrong. As John Tellek(ph) of Oakland, California, points out, he writes: We have just switched from Daylight Saving Time back to Standard Time. Tellek softens the blow, he adds: Kudos, though, for correctly leaving the S off the word saving.

SIEGEL: Shows that spelling counts.

And now, passion, it's in the form of a rebuttal to my interview yesterday with Bob Costas about his new book "100 Yards of Glory: The Greatest Moments in NFL History." During our talk, Costas told us why football is not considered the national pastime, even though it has far outstripped baseball in TV ratings.

BOB COSTAS: You're not talking about sepia-toned photographs. You're talking about things we remember if we're old enough, from television or which younger fans can access through video. So it doesn't seem to have that sort of misty connection to the past that baseball does. Hey, leave baseball something.


COSTAS: Leave baseball the pastime designation because in every other measurable way, football has surpassed it.

RAZ: Well, Jerry Hoffman(ph) of Kalamazoo, Michigan, pounced on his keyboard after hearing that. He writes...

SIEGEL: (Reading) Poppycock, balderdash and harrumph. On what is that claim based - the price of Super Bowl commercials?

RAZ: And Hoffman was just warming up. He goes on to say...

SIEGEL: (Reading) American football only appears to be important because, A: The games are played we are all stuck inside in the dark with little else to do. B: there are almost no games, so each game seems important. And, as George Carlin noted, C: It's the closest approximation of war that we do for fun.

RAZ: Hoffman even ridiculed the very shape of a football.

SIEGEL: (Reading) Look at that thing they play with. What kind of a ball has points?

RAZ: And here's Jerry Hoffman's final argument in favor of baseball over football as the national pastime.

SIEGEL: (Reading) Summer, winter, spring and fall, you can hardly go through a day without seeing someone in a baseball cap. Now, think of the last time you saw somebody walking down the street in a football helmet. I rest my case.

RAZ: Deliberate among yourselves. In the meantime, you can write us about anything you hear on this program at NPR.org. Just click on Contact Us. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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