Someday football

will be like boxing

On ESPN's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" show recently, a San Francisco 49ers defensive back predicted the NFL will be defunct in 30 years. The show quoted President Barack Obama saying he wouldn't want his son to play football.

I don't agree that the NFL will be gone, but I do think that the cost of litigation and parents' concerns about injury will shut down youth and high school football.

In 1949, boxing was part of the boys physical education program at Atlantic City High School. Boxing was also a college sport at the time.

Boxing is gone at the high school and college levels. The pros, however, continue to beat the hell out of each other for money.

The NFL will be much the same. But high schools and most colleges will drop football, as they did boxing.

ROBERT FRIEDENBERG

Smithville

Horseshoe crabs

must be preserved

Regarding the Jan. 28 letter, "N.J. can safely lift ban on taking horseshoe crabs," from state Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland:

With all due respect to Van Drew, who must answer to his constituency, I feel he has made the controversy between conservationists and conch fishermen far more even-sided than it truly is.

Over the past five years, conch fishing in our waters has more than doubled due to the insatiable demand from the Asian market, where conch is considered a delicacy. This has resulted in a "gold rush" of overharvesting conch to the point of endangerment, along with horseshoe crabs, which are used as bait.

The blue blood of the crabs contains a special, unique compound, limulus amebocyte lysate, which is used to test for bacterial contamination. Humans take blood from the horseshoe crabs and return them to their natural environment unharmed. We use their LAL to test for the presence of the most dangerous bacteria, called endotoxins. LAL testing occurs, by law, on every injectable medicine and device that touches the human body. LAL is also used in detecting spoilage in our food supply and in determining air and water quality.

Remarkably, there is no other animal that serves this function, and scientists have not been able to duplicate it in the laboratory. Who knows the life-saving role that horseshoe crabs might play in the future, especially with the emergence of superbugs that could threaten mankind. The horseshoe crab could be the key to our survival.

I cannot condone the destruction and endangerment of such a creature to serve the ignoble purpose of being chopped up as bait.

Fishermen are brave and resourceful. They must and will find a way to carry on, without destroying such a an irreplaceable resource.

LOIS C. ANGELOZZI

Mays Landing

Let's stop bashing

Fertitta and Revel

In 1978, legalized gambling came to Atlantic City, regulated and scrutinized unlike any other industry.

New Jersey banned innovative, creative operators such as Hugh Heffner and Hilton Hotels, and over-regulation discouraged others such as Steve Wynn, but the state gave licenses to men such as Donald Trump and Carl Icahn. While the former are risk-takers and job-creators, the latter are known for not paying contractors - who must settle for pennies on the dollar - and for gutting corporations and their employees.

Now the paint is peeling on the casinos and the carpets are more than 20 years old. New properties in other states squeeze the life from Atlantic City, and few will invest in an existing property for even a fraction of its worth just a few years ago.

Into this crumbling market, two groups of investors have taken a chance: Tilman Fertitta of the Golden Nugget and the investment group running Revel. Golden Nugget has sunk millions into the former Trump Marina to make it a first-class operation; Revel has committed more than $2 billion in the Inlet area, producing an unrivaled facility.

How are they rewarded? Fertitta is fined $15,000 because of a misguided regulation banning key licensees from enjoying a night out gambling. Maybe he was checking out his competition to see what he is up against.

Revel is constantly bashed in the newspaper. The latest is state Senate President Stephen Sweeney's call for new ownership. Where is the integrity of a state official in making this kind of statement? These are just two of many issues New Jersey must correct before it is too late.

PAUL McCOMB

Egg Harbor Township

Abortion bill

is a violation

New Mexico state Rep. Cathrynn Brown, a Republican, recently proposed a bill that would require a victim of rape to carry a pregnancy to term as evidence in a sexual assault trial. If a victim had an abortion, it would be considered "tampering with evidence." It is alarming that a woman introduced this bill.

A friend of mine is a victim of rape. Although she did not get pregnant, she suffered a lot from the experience. I saw how the rape affected her. If she was impregnated and forced to carry the fetus, she wouldn't have been able to make the recovery that she did. The pregnancy would be a constant reminder of the trauma she endured.

If a victim did carry the pregnancy to term, then what would happen to the child after the trial was over? A woman who is forced to keep a child of rape may resent the child, which can result in abandonment or abuse. Also, some victims don't have strong support systems to assist them with a child.

Let's not forget that many rape victims are underage girls. Would a 12-year-old victim be held accountable for child bearing and rearing as well?

As one can see, this bill is absurd and questionable. If judges really wanted evidence in order to prosecute rape, they wouldn't need to force a woman to carry a rapist's fetus to term. They could test the aborted fetus, or better yet, process the rape kit.

Abortion is a topic that has been debated or years, and I respect all sides. However, in such a case as rape, a woman should be in control of the decisions regarding her own body. No one should tamper with a woman's reproductive rights.

HEATHER COSTABILE

Absecon