THE QUESTION: I'd welcome any comments on our Thursday cover. I know it was controversial. I'm more than happy to print comments as part of the postings. On the sports end:

  1, With all that's happening around the Phillies these past 10 days, I'm led to ask: Does the media in this town blow the wins and losses out of proportion? Are we doing a good or bad job of keeping things in perspective?

  2, Having Sirius radio now, I have listened to NFL draft talk the past 2 months. I'm wondering if there's too much pre-draft news out there, or is this sport and this draft so popular that you can't get enough?

--

1, Keeping things in perceptive? Not if you are a [bleep] like [Howard] Eskin trying to bait somebody like Charlie [Manuel]. The press tries to be the story too much of the time.

Bill Shanahan

Philly

--

2, I know it's your job to listen to all the draft stuff, but any "civilian" who would spend all that time studying the draft needs two things, a therapist and a life. When all is said and done, except for the super studs, the draft is always a crap shoot, and could be handled by you, me, or anyone with a basic knowledge of football. These self-proclaimed front office geniuses make me ill.

Jerry Naab

Punta Gorda, Fla.

--

1, Certainly, the reaction to each Phils loss is overly critical. Eskin is despicable.

The scrutiny of the draft picks increases the enjoyment.

Gregg Atzert

Riverside, N.J.

--

1.  I don't think the Media is blowing anything out of proportion, the Phillies said that they were the one to beat. They are not playing well in the month of April and they need to hear about it.

2.  I think there is way too much draft talk!

Danny Burke

Clarksboro, N.J.

--

1. Media has a job to do and they produce a good, usually interesting, occasionally superb product. However, some, primarily the radio guys are self-serving at times, and attempt to market some kind of faux rivalry among one another in the interest of creating a controversy of sorts, apparently for ratings purposes.  Does anyone really care how the WIP morning guy feels about the "person at 3:00?"

2. The draft talk, so much of it, is apparently a time filler, between reports on Trump's WWF Hair jousts and motocross rankings.

Here's an idea, sports fans, make some popcorn and read the latest Lincoln bio. Its " SERIOUS "stuff.

Michael Watts

Bethlehem, Pa.

--

1, You know I hold a lot of contempt for a large part of the media in Philadelphia.  I think the sports media tends to be self serving.  I think they revel in the losing so that they can stick to what they do best, be critical and controversial.   It's easier to draw attention to oneself when they are getting into a fight with a manager, or dumping on (Flyers) fans who stick behind their team, even when they lose.   Each year the same stories get recycled.

I've noticed the TV stations and the papers seem to move in concert. For example, the Wings have been drawing 10,000 to 17,000 to every home game for 20 years.    That stands even though they haven't made the playoffs for six years. Plenty of people obviously care about this team, yet their six titles since 1989 get no respect and no coverage.  They usually get one decent story a year, plus tiny little game recaps, if that.   There has been a claim in the media that they don't cover "minor sports," yet now, all together, TV and the paper have weekly articles on the Soul.  A true minor league team that draws 10,000 to14,000 to every game...   Does the owner really matter that much?

The bottom line is that it comes down the media not wanting to bother to learn a little about another sport, lacrosse, and instead stick with the minor league football, since that's what they know. It's easier to write the same stories about teams failing than it is to write from different angles.

2.  Once again,   waaaaaaaaay too much predraft hype.  It's nice to know about the players before the draft, but so much attention sets them up for disappointment if they don't get picked where projected, or failure from overconfidence if they are rated too high.

John Tidd

Morrisville, Pa.

--

Today's cover was ridiculous.  It was nothing but exploitations of people's concerns and fears.  "Journalism" at its worst.

1)  Yes, the Philadelphia definitely blows every win and loss out of proportion.  I think that's the nature of a town that's so starved for a championship.  We constantly put our eggs into one basket.  Four times a year.  A generation's worth of hopes and dreams rests on every game.

2)  I NEED MORE DRAFT TALK.

Andre Braxton

Cherry Hill

--

Right now my mind is not on sports although I am watching the NHL playoffs. The finest sporting event that there is.

My heart and my mind are with the people who are suffering from the recent Va Tech tradgedy. An American tragedy. A human tragedy.

The fact that a person in this day and age can be walking around with this kind of hate and rage inside and nobody really did anything to help this lost soul is a disgrace.

I've been to Va Tech. It's a nice place. Very peaceful. One can only hope that time will heal this wound.

I am also upset that NBC would air this sick video. I don't care about any argument about what ever. This was in poor taste.

This video has hurt a lot more people than Imus.

NBC is a joke and so is most TV.

What a shame.

Gregg Bartels

Long Beach Island

--

I'm not sure the cover wasn't glorifying the killer. In a city with this murder rate, isn't it a bit provocative. (And I mean, doesn't someone unstable think, oooh, that could be me.)

1. The team has three wins in the first nearly three weeks of the season, how can that be blown out of proportion. And there's no sense the GM has a solution for the pen. And there's no sense they plan to do anything about the incompetent manager except stage a nice blowup to make everyone concentrate on how much we all dislike Eskin rather than what a godawful job everyone at the Cit is doing. (And really, the most annoying thing is the Phils have set me up to have to defend Howard. And I hate Howard. But considering the Phils PR sent someone to get Eskin and bring him into Charlie's office, I'd say that was staged. And I'm embarrassed for every reporter and columnist who fell for it.)

2. All the draft talk is a dreadful waste of air. Breathable air and radio air.

Deborah Sullivan

Philly

--

1, With all that's happening around the Phillies these past 10 days, I'm led to ask: Does the media in this town blow the wins and losses out of proportion? Are we doing a good or bad job of keeping things in perspective? I think this town's media, like most Northeast cities, definitely blows wins and losses out of proportion. Especially losses. But, I think that's a product of the "bandwagon" nature of the fans in this area as much as anything.

2, Having Sirius radio now, I have listened to NFL draft talk the past 2 months. I'm wondering if there's too much pre-draft news out there, or is this sport and this draft so popular that you can't get enough? There's never too much draft coverage for me. I have Sirius as well and have been listening. I just got my Sporting News draft preview. And I've been watching the draft clips on players and position breakdowns on NFL Network On Demand.

Brian Ward

Blue Bell, Pa.

--

yes.....way out of proportion....the media is the bugle that calls the cavalry of negativity.

on page one everyday is a murder in the streets of philadelphia...stoically reported in a one column newstory.

in a section in the middle of the paper is a lead story and a couple of columns about WHO IS TO BLAME for a baseball loss or a slump.

it's not science, but slow starts in april may have something to do with the expectations in this town.  the players are loved only if they win.

they start every season with the attitude of "we gotta win or else...."  So they play with a self conscious fear of losing,

the press in an effort to be objective has taken on an adversarial role with sports teams.. in their minds. holding the teams accountable like we should to a a racist culture of conservative politics that subjects a quarter of the population to poverty that plants the seeds for indiscriminate violence.  I was in journalism at Penn State for a little while...used to debate this issue a lot......the press, in my judgment needs to put sports in perspective...have more fun with the writing of sports...without being a cheerleader for the team, the press by putting it all in perspective, can lighten the load on local players.  They are young men....younger than my son, who at 30 is still not "there" yet.  The players are greatly affected by the chorus and can sensed that they are to be loved only by getting a base hit, and will be chastised if they fail.  That takes its toll.  That gives the home advantage to the visitor. But negativity has spread like a bad case of measles in philly and its chic to be cynical....derisively ......the words "suck" "choke"  "stinks"  are common rants of fans in relation to the hometown boys.  Nothing more than a transference of the frustrated insecure feelings of city dwellers.  The press panders to these innate instincts to ridicule failure of public people.

When all is said and done, in retrospect the 1961 season was no different than 1980.  I watched or listened everyday.  Read the accounts the next day.

Talked about the games with friends ad nauseum.  Went to bed knowing what the phillies did.  Remember where i was during the season.  1964?  Great movie, sad ending.  But still quite memorable.  Why blast the players. The manager.  Heck the slide in 1950 was just as bad...happens in this town.

Life is a .500 season.  These guys are doing what I only dreamed of doing, but as a late blooming Jewish kid had to postpone those dreams to my next life.

Curse?  Nah.  Not that metaphysical.  The fans and media have to look in the mirror.  Tough town. My hometown. (Springsteen song...fade)

Al Singer

Raleigh

--

1.  It is all about supply and demand.  It is not so much the Phils are losing but how they are losing.  Yuk.  People want to know and if the demand is there, we are welcoming the supply.  The Phils even made the Wall Street Journal this week.

2.  It is all about supply and demand.  For many, Sundays are more than going to church...in fact, for many the Eagles are a religion.  People wanna know about who is going to join the family.

Ralf Baay

Highland Park, N.J.

p.s.  I was living in Milwaukee when the Packers drafted Tony Mandarich.  It is amazing how we all knew he was not going to work out.  I wanted the Packers to draft Rodney Peete.  They did not listen.

--

I don't have a problem with the cover photo ... In fact, I'd have been more surprised if you didn't run one of those ... The DN is known for being edgy and testing the line ... It was a legit news photo off the AP wire ...
  I believe the media (not just in Philly) does blow one win and one loss out of proportion, which fuels the masses into jumping on and off the wagon so much the shock absorbers are wearing out.  One day a player is a star ... Literally days later, that same player is a bum.  It's ridiculous.  If people would get off Pat Burrell's back, it's probably be having a great career ... As it is, he should get traded to a team (and there's about 20 of them off the East Coast) where he would blossom.  That's just one of many, many examples.
  The publicity machine known as the NFL should be lauded for turning its sport from a 5-month venture to a 24/7 obsession over the past 4 decades (since the inception of the Super Bowl).  There are people out there that want to follow their teams in the offseason — so give them what they want (and are willing to pay for).  Just please get rid of Mel Kiper — he's an obnoxious idiot.
Else Burns
Irwin, Pa.

--

I have been a Daily News reader almost since the day I learned to read.  Since that time there have been many pictures and headlines on the cover that got heat from the general public.  I was never disappointed or disgusted by the paper until yesterday.  Not only was it insensitive to those affected by the Virginia Tech tragedy, but in a city where a life is changed by a bullet on a daily basis, it was just plain irresponsible.

Cho Seung-Hui's had already made the cover of Wednesday's paper, he certainly did not deserve two days.  I understand including Cho's frame of mind and some pictures within the pages of the paper but let's use the cover page to honor the heroes, victims, and survivors.  Although today's cover page is heartbreaking, I would rather learn about the beautiful young women that were tragically lost, than to hear anymore about the deranged killer.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the VT students, their families, and friends.  Let's go Hokies!!

Tara Miller

Mt. Airy

--

1, With all that's happening around the Phillies these past 10 days, I'm led to ask: Does the media in this town blow the wins and losses out of proportion? Are we doing a good or bad job of keeping things in perspective?

It depends on what we mean by "media." These days, we have the traditional print media, TV media, sports talk and the "e-media" (blogs and web sites).

Overall, the print media have not blown the wins and losses out of proportion. And I think their perspective has been balanced. As with anything, there have been one or two people whose columns have been over-the-top.

The traditional TV media coverage (local TV stations) is, due to time constraints, so plain-vanilla and superficial that it's hard for them to blow anything out of perspective.

Comcast SportsNet's TV coverage, on the other hand, is much more intensive and extensive. One would think that with all the analysis that takes place, that there would be ample opportunity to go overboard about the Phillies woes. But they, too, have done a good job of balancing reporting with analysis, while not overdramatizing the team's poor performance. The question is, though: Is this the result of rational restraint ... or the reality that they carry most of the Phils' games?

Sports talk, as we have seen this week, is another matter entirely. As events of this week showed, they have blown things out of proportion. Anytime a talk show host becomes a part of the story, it's going over the top. It blurs the line between legitimate coverage and contriving controversy to ramp up ratings. The criticism of the team is fair game -- and being provocative and providing a forum for fans to rant is healthy and what sports talk is all about. But to when a sports talk host becomes the story, that's over the top. And to take the Phils' poor performance and use it to leap into mean-spirited, highly personal criticisms of Charlie Manuel -- well, that's way over the top and completely misdirected.

Manuel is not a very good manager and he won't win any any awards from Toastmaters. But I don't see the connection between those two things. Yogi Berra was a great player and a good manager. He's a lovable guy because he won. But if there were a connection between performance and speaking habits then Yogi would finish in last place. And by the way, none of the talk show hosts I've heard speak the King's English or are exempt from mangled syntax. We all have our flaws. Let's lighten up.

As for whether the Internet-based media has blown things out proportion? Who cares? As this e-mail proves, anyone with a keyboard can have an opinion -- but that doesn't make them of the informed variety.

2, Having Sirius radio now, I have listened to NFL draft talk the past 2 months. I'm wondering if there's too much pre-draft news out there, or is this sport and this draft so popular that you can't get enough?

It depends. It's fun and informative to listen to a Ray Didinger or Greg Cosell analyze what the Eagles need, and then give thoughtful suggestions about players who might fill those needs.

But there are way too many know-nothings out there who confuse having a web site or blog with being an "expert." It seems anybody who adds "-ologist" to their title can get on TV or radio. There is even one guy I saw on TV who talks about the draft on a web site called something like footballinjuries.com. What's this site about; publishing a damaged goods list of potential draftees? Sounds like it might be a great site for Joe Banner to look for player bargains ... but it ain't for me.

The one thing that is really overdone, though, are the mock drafts. Just like the bracketologists who predict NCAA selections, these mock drafts are meaningless. Why do we need to have someone guess for us now when we'll all know for sure on April 28th?

Jeff Brooks

Montgomeryville, Pa.

--

I read both editorials in Friday's edition about the gun front page, one pro, one con against the cover.  Certainly, the Cho video and stills of the video are newsworthy.  Do I think that the rationale the paper made about violence and most people never staring down the barrel of a gun makes sense?  Yes.  Especially in light of Philly violence and the paper's ongoing coverage of the growing local murder rate?  Yes.  Do I think the paper celebrated this killer's goals and played into his intentions?  No.  Regardless of what someone seeking attention may have as a motive, media outlets cover the news.  Do I think the paper chooses sensational covers for economic business reasons?  Yes.  As well as to provoke a response?  Yes.  Do I think that's necessarily wrong?  No.  Each situation is different and should be judged on those merits.  I found the photo disturbing, yet was not offended.  Only the people who make the decisions at the Daily News know which came first, the sensational reason or the newsworthy one.  Either way, debate on these issues can be cathartic and insightful when kept in perspective.

1. I think the media and the fans (me included) react to wins and losses.  In football, due to a 16-game schedule, it's heightened.  In baseball, less so.  Yet a fair amount of games have been played by the Phillies, and since we have seen this poor start so many years before, it's obvious they have serious problems.  They have a streaky lineup in need of the long ball to win.  Their defense has major weaknesses, ditto their bullpen.  Strategically, their manager is weak. If the players like playing for Manuel, why doesn't it show up in their performances?  Moving Myers to the bullpen smacks of desperation and causes you to wonder what their plan is.  When it comes to the Phillies, the media are not blowing things out of proportion.

2. Though I can't explain it, I love the NFL draft and gobble up as much information as possible.  When I saw that Daily News Live was talking about the draft, I set my VCR to record because I had to run some errands.  Newspapers, magazines, websites, I can't get enough.

Thank you,

Joe Boyce

Levittown, Pa.

--

The front cover was a disgrace.  I can understand, while not totally agree with, NBC's position, that about this information being newsworthy, and that sharing it may even help defuse future occurrences.  However, your cover was just a cheap attempt to sell newspapers without any redeeming qualities whatsoever.  Suppose one of the victims' families lived in this area?  How do you think they would feel about seeing a picture of this scumbag pointing a gun at them?  Do you think they could draw comfort and solace from it?

The news media, print and electronic, has the potential to be a catalyst for major changes in this society, but it seems like you are only interested in your bottom line.

Richard Shaeffer

Philly

--

My two cents:

1. Yes, the media does blow things out of proportion, although I'm not sure they do it more than many fans. They just have a bigger forum to get their overreaction heard by the masses. If we win a few in a row, we're on our way to a championship. If we lose a few in a row, somebody should be fired. Considering the way the Phillies have started their season, I'm surprised some media person hasn't started following the "magic number" for them to be knocked out of the playoffs. Baseball, like other sports, is a marathon. They've only played about 1/10th of their season. The Phillies start off like this every year, then just miss the playoffs. The media should give them a chance to stink for a few months before they bury them.

2. Personally, I think there is too much NFL draft talk out there. But, this is clearly just my opinion. The NFL does a great job of making people talk football all year round, even though the season is only six months long. Simple economics: If people didn't care, it wouldn't be covered so much.

Thanks.

Tim Hawthorne

Collegeville, Pa.

--

1. The Phillies should be glad people are interested....only for them to go right back to their old habit of starting slow AND losing when they are expected to win. What I do think is that they are focusing on the wrong things. From what I have been seeing the main focus has been the manager...and I don't think that's the main problem. Doesn't the media find it funny that no matter the personnel happens to be.....the results are the same? Wade or Gillick......Bowa or Manuel.....the formula is the same. Start slow....dig a big hole until people expect them to be in the basement.......then start to win when no one expects them to.....ALMOST making the playoffs but collapsing as soon as they face a good team or the pressure to win makes them falter. I believe it's the corporate culture of the Phillies to be losers. If that culture does not change...the results will be the same. Better hope they win by mistake like they did in '93.

2. I see it as they have to put something on to fill the time. When you have tv and radio networks devoted to the NFL 365 days a year...then your are gonna have some over covered stuff. They would not exist if there was no demand for the information they give. I think it's an indicator of just how big football is right now in America.

Kyle Outting

North Philly

--

1. The media scrutiny adds anxiety to the situation; for the fans and the players. I knew going into this season that this team needed to start fast for several reasons: one of which was because if they didn't they'd get hammered by the print and broadcast media, in addition to the listeners of sports talk radio, and secondly, because with that kind of negative attention and  scrutiny this group of players would melt. Their history is falter when the attention is on them. Get hot when the focus is off and everyone has written them off, then when they get back in it...they blow it. This team is not a wire-to-wire horse. It's a delusional also-ran. We, the readers, viewers, and fans are  also delusional. We buy what certain pundits say, because we just want to have hope. Hope springs eternal each spring with us for this team and in the end it doesn't pan out. Here are certain realities that seem to be forgotten around mid-feb of each year; this team, as currently constituted has too many strike-outs in the line-up, and way too many unproductive at-bats, which lead to an incredibly poor RISP. We become infatuated with the numbers produced the season before when the hot-white-glare was off them. Not to be too critical about Utley, Rollins, or Howard, but....only one of them at a time is hot at any point, just look at last September. I know Howard was not pitched too, but Utley played as if her were worn down. Burrell, as is usually the case, did not even show up. The other point we knew about and I guess hoped and prayed that it wouldn't be so, was that the bullpen needs went unaddressed - that's a management thing. Which leads to the final always-there reality; they are committed to only making a profit and do not have the desire to win it all. They are not crazy, insane competitive - they are civil and decent minded. If they ever win it, it will be partly an accident or perfect storm of events; everyone getting hot at the same time while having a career year. This fish stinks from the head down!

2. More Draft stuff...thank God for the NFL Network. Talk about distractions! I for the most part am sick of ESPN but in these dark hours I find some repose in their beating-to-death of the topic. I want to personally cut Mel Kiper, Jr.'s hair...with a cheese grater and expose him for the fraud that he is. If the Eagles do take a wide receiver I will then have some respect for him, but I like what Bill Polian had to say about hinm when he criticized Polian's pick of Trev alberts....I won't repeat here, but suffice it to say, that it wasn't complimentary.

Rob Alessandrine

Sewell, N.J.

--

YES, I BELIEVE THE MEDIA BLOWS WINS AND LOSSES IN A 162 GAME SEASON OUT OF PROPORTION.  EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION, AND YOU GUYS DO LEND PLENTY OF PERSPECTIVE TO THINGS.

WAY TOO MUCH DRAFT STUFF, MOST OF IT MEANINGLESS.

I CAN GET ENOUGH, BUT I GUESS MANY PEOPLE CAN'T.

HOWEVER, THE MEDIA MUST FILL THEIR PAGES, I GUESS.

IT'S JUST LIKE MEDIA'S CONSTANT USE OF "_______ IS ON PACE TO ________"  COMPLETELY MEANINGLESS, BUT YOU SEE IT ALL THE TIME.

Larry Buzby

Ocean City, N.J.

--

The Phillies are 4-10 and literally are now the team to beat. Is the media blowing out of proportion? If, I could rip every one of my season tix up and ship it back to the Phillies' front office, I would. However, my maroon heart can't allow me to do it. Still, this diehard has lost patience with ownership.

Heather Greenberg

Marlton, N.J.

--

1, With all that's happening around the Phillies these past 10 days, I'm led to ask: Does the media in this town blow the wins and losses out of proportion? Are we doing a good or bad job of keeping things in perspective?

The media definitely blows things out of proportion. It's come to the point where the media has to create controversy in order to fill news space or TV time. Case in point, the Gerald Henderson, Jr. elbow on Tyler Hansborough. Because Henderson is from the Philly area, the local sports outlets dragged this story on for a week. It's become more than just wins and losses. Donovan McNabb could stub his toe stepping out of the shower in the middle of June, and the sports outlets in this town would have live reports and podcasts from outside his home.

2, Having Sirius radio now, I have listened to NFL draft talk the past 2 months. I'm wondering if there's too much pre-draft news out there, or is this sport and this draft so popular that you can't get enough?

There are other sports out there besides football, for those who are wondering. There is entirely way too much emphasis put on this draft (the NBA follows a close second). Sirius is like any other news outlet (except it's stock is tanking and I'm taking a bath). It needs to fill it's programming time with something. It's too much for me.

Rick Bauer

Bellmawr, N.J.

--

1, I think the media does blow the wins and losses out of proportion to some extent. As Mike Kern mentioned last week on Daily News Live, everyone seems to treat baseball like football where every game has more meaning. While it would be great for the Phillies to get off to a great start, they have only played about 1/10th of their season.

2, I think there is too much pre draft news. Many magazines have issued devoted to just rating all of the college prospects. I like the way Sporting News handles their coverage. If you want, you can buy a special issue on the draft, or do like I do, and wait for the weekly issue which has a special section on the draft ranking the top 20 prospects at each position.

James Frichtman

Northampton, Pa.