Letters: High School Football, Mardi Gras Melissa Block and Michele Norris read from listeners' letters, weighing on stories about the losing River Valley High Mustangs football team; the debate over having Mardi Gras in New Orleans; noisy toys; and our remembrance of ALS sufferer and commentator Darcy Wakefield.
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Letters: High School Football, Mardi Gras

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Letters: High School Football, Mardi Gras

Letters: High School Football, Mardi Gras

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It's Thursday and time to read from your letters.


And we received a good amount of sympathy and praise for the River Valley High Mustangs. That's the football team from Michigan we told you about last week. It hasn't won a game since 2003.

NORRIS: Liz Pulanco(ph) from Plano, Texas, says our story really touched her heart. She writes, `The courage, determination and hope of these kids, their coaches and their parents was great. I was excited to hear they scored a touchdown.'

BLOCK: A number of listeners were not excited, however, with the coach of the Mustangs. Dick Ammerman(ph) of Gig Harbor, Washington, writes, `The root cause of the team's dismal record became instantly obvious when we listened to the coach berate his players, shouting at them, degrading them and humiliating them at halftime. He should be replaced with someone who can relate more to the joy that can and should be achievable in high school sports.'

NORRIS: Some listeners wrote in to take issue with my interviews about plans to hold Mardi Gras in New Orleans next year. I spoke with the head of the city's Marketing and Convention Visitors Bureau and a leader of the movement to stop the Mardi Gras celebration.

BLOCK: Michelle Domangue of Columbia, Maryland, writes, `Ms. Norris, I usually value and even applaud your work on ATC, but yesterday I was taken aback. It was your tone in the interview with Mr. Perry of the New Orleans Marketing and Visitors Bureau. It's not your job to scold interviewees.

NORRIS: Whether you liked how that interview sounded or not, I'm sure there were some sounds on this program over the past week that you did not enjoy. I know I don't enjoy them.

(Soundbite of talking toy)

Electronic Voice: Watch these hydraulics.

NORRIS: Those, of course, are toys, very loud toys. I call them LFTs or least favored toys. Well, it turns out that lots of parents had LFTs of their own.

BLOCK: `Thank you, Michele,' writes Elizabeth Eisinger Landa(ph) of Bridgewater, New Jersey. `Thank you for highlighting something that I experience every day, 90 decibels of Power Rangers, Barbie guitars and, of course, the TV where my kids see the ads for such toys.'

NORRIS: Listener Susan Henn(ph) shared this sly story. She writes, `When my daughter was very young, my sister found it amusing to get my child the noisiest toy she could find. I placed these toys on the top shelf of my daughter's closet where they could be seen but not used. I explained to my daughter that they were her very special toys, so special that the only time they could be played with was when we went to her aunt and uncle's house. The noisy toy gifts ended quickly.'

BLOCK: Finally, we took time this week to remember Darcy Wakefield. She wrote commentaries for our program about her struggle with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. She died last Saturday. Anna Potemska(ph) of Staten Island, New York, was touched by our remembrance. She writes, `This story is very personal for me. I listened when you first broadcast Darcy's work and I even got in touch with her. Today, as back then, my eyes were full of tears. Like Darcy, I also used to be an avid runner but due to a neurological condition I cannot run anymore. Well, today I decided that, weather permitting, I will run--i.e., hop and limp--in memory of Darcy.'

NORRIS: We want to know what you think about our show, what moves you and what you don't like. Write to us. Go to npr.org and click on `contact us' at the top of the page.

BLOCK: This is NPR, National Public Radio.

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