The Washington Post Sunday - - On The Air Sunday Morning -

This is not a great time to be a Wash­ing­ton pro sports fan. The Wiz­ards are strug­gling with­out two of their stars. The Na­tion­als lose a lot more than they win and their games of­ten are painful to watch. The Cap­i­tals missed the NHL play­offs for a third straight sea­son. The Red­skins are in­volved this week­end in ac­quir­ing play­ers (uh-oh). Even D.C. United has started the sea­son slowly. The Mys­tics? It’s still too early for anal­y­sis.

Lighten up on the Nats and sup­port they are re­ceiv­ing. It might help if The Post would stop treat­ing the Ori­oles as an iden­ti­cal twin. It is mad­den­ing — like hav­ing Dick Vi­tale as a room­mate. Team pres­i­dent Stan Kas­ten told you what he was go­ing to do. If you want to see a team with no plan, watch the NFL draft this week­end. Kevin Dowd, Rockville The Post’s edi­tors al­most al­ways play the Na­tion­als over the Ori­oles. And what’s wrong with hav­ing Dick Vi­tale as a room­mate?

I hope Stan Kas­ten is right. But I refuse to drink the Kool-Aid yet, as many Nats’ fans have done. I re­mem­ber Stan also was pres­i­dent of the Thrash­ers and Hawks. How did they do? I’d feel bet­ter if [Braves GM] John Schuer­holz was with the Nats. Bill Garn­her, North Po­tomac Kas­ten has a good rep­u­ta­tion in sports from his work on the teams you men­tioned. His “plan” needs time, but get­ting through the cur­rent sea­son could be dif­fi­cult to even the most loyal fan.

Wis­con­sin of­fen­sive tackle Joe Thomas is not the first player to es­chew off­sea­son foot­ball busi­ness to go fish­ing. It’s been re­ported that Thomas turned down the NFL’s of­fer to at­tend the draft held in New York this week­end. In­stead, he will go on an an­nual fish­ing trip with his dad.

An­other fish­er­man of note was the late, great John Paluck, a de­fen­sive line­man who played in 1956 and 1959-65 for the Red­skins. When train­ing camp came, Paluck would go off to fish. This was 35 or so years be­fore cell­phones and it was like Paluck had van­ished from the face of the earth. He would, though, show up for the last one or two ex­hi­bi­tions (that’s what pre­sea­son games were called then) and go on to have a great sea­son. Bob Moss, Sil­ver Spring For many, the NFL draft week­end has be­come a cir­cus. Thomas’s choice to skip the event to go fish­ing is fine. As for Paluck, he’d have a tough time nowa­days ex­plain­ing his ab­sence from train­ing camp.

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