To the editors:

Originally, I intended this to be an angry reaction to the apparent disappearance of Ted Cox from the Reader’s staff. Mr. Cox’s columns on the Chicago sports scene consistently rank as the best in the area, and cast an unflattering shadow on the other “wordsmiths” who ply their trade in the better-known local publications. He writes about sports as a true fan would, but with a deceptive ease that camouflages his considerable journalistic gifts. He seduces his audience into thinking about the games people play for fun and profit without ever making it seem like an academic exercise.

As I indicated, this letter was to be negative in tone. I was all set to be disappointed by the performance of Mr. Cox’s replacement, but Alan Boomer frustrated my best efforts to build up genuine bile. From early evidence, he can write, he derives legitimate pleasure from watching sports on the small screen, and he loves golf–I simply have to cut the guy some slack. In fact, Mr. Boomer (great name for a fan) has complicated my task immensely.

I hope that Ted Cox will return to the Sports Section. We already suffer from a distinct shortage of provocative and entertaining columnists in this town, and his loss would be a major blow. Whether or not Alan Boomer turns out to be a valued addition to that select group remains to be seen, but such an eventuality would prove to be a delightful predicament for both the Reader and its readers.

Dan Pacenti

Hyde Park