Ray: Before Wednesday's basketball game against Cincinnati, it was announced that a "moment of silence" would be celebrated in honor of the death of one of Ohio's greatest heroes of all time, John Havlicek.

Watching the tragedy and death of their stars at football matches, the British observe a minute's silence. The silence is deafening.

For Havlicek, the state of Ohio has observed three seconds of silence. Three seconds. I took part in the game and counted it. I consider this one of my lowest moments as a supporter of the OSU. Who in his right mind thinks that number 5, whose jersey is hanging from the rafters of the Schott, is only worth three seconds?

What an embarrassment for our university and what it claims to stand for. I'm sure Jerry Lucas, who was present, was ashamed to be a horse chestnut at that moment.

Michael Holliday, Melbourne Beach, Fla.

Michael: I was not there, so I can not share your indignation, though it is certainly an inappropriate time to honor one of the finest horse-chestnuts – in any sport – to wear the colors. Maybe someone had the feeling that for three seconds all fans could stand to get off their smartphone.

Editors: As dominant as these horse chestnuts were, this offense is not as good as 2014's, which almost went against Alabama and Oregon at will. The accuracy of Justin Fields is not that of Dwayne Haskins, and the passport protection was repeatedly reversed against Wisconsin.

This team has yet to face an offensive with a strong, balanced attack or a defense where Fields can win by throwing the football. I hope this team is as good as it looks, but I wish it had passed better tests than Miami, Florida Atlantic and some overrated conference opponents.

David Scott, Columbus

David: Yes, all true, but at least the Buckeyes avoided unnecessary distractions this season. Hold on to this thought.

Ray: It's about time the top Brown stars hit the brakes on Baker Mayfield's commercials at the Cleveland NFL games.

Often it is a commercial time after being intercepted by Baker or after a race for his life. The worst thing is the ad that starts with Mayfield alone in the FirstEnergy field!

I'm still trembling over the decision to leave Baker and his gang on the cover of a Sports Illustrated preseason. Everyone knew that this is the kiss of death!

Jim Kurtz, Sunbury

Jim: There are quite a few Browns – and Browns supporters – who have skied this season. And now they all fall down the hillside like the ski jumpers of "Wide World of Sports". Google it, kids.

Mr. Stein: I live in London and miss not getting the last games. I know London is a bit away from Columbus, but …

Comments on the decline of the Blue Jackets are premature. Firstly, as a young team, it will take some time for the engines to start up (especially after the loss of Sergei Bobrovsky).

A good example of all sports teams is the world champion Washington Nationals. They lost a lot of games at the beginning of their season, but they stuck to it and believed in themselves. There could be hope for the jackets.

Chris Beale, London

Chris: Maybe, but when I search the list of blue jackets, I do not see anyone as consistently good as Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer who was for the Nats. Who is the slump buster of the jackets?

Editors: An undefeated football team has not missed the Ohio High School Athletic Association's playoffs since 2001. Unfortunately, two teams will suffer this fate in 2019 – Northwood in Division V and Gibsonburg in Division IV.

The OHSAA takes the top eight teams in each region and both teams finished ninth in their region. Both were also in "strong" regions. Two teams in another D6 region rose at 5-5.

Both teams would have made the playoffs easily if the OHSAA had occupied the top 32 teams in each division. The OHSAA should get rid of the regions. West Virginia has never had any regions in the playoff system. Geographical conditions allow teams to travel an hour longer than travel in Ohio.

Large states like Montana and Texas need regions. Ohio not.

Chris Baker, via email

Editors: After just over a tenth of a season, you can see what kind of team the Blue Jackets are. They are a team without starting goalkeeper and without stars.

Sergei Bobrovski hid many mistakes in front of him. He is gone now. As for the stars, I mean a player who can "drive a line". This is a player who can be the leader of a line and you can put any two players next to him, and the line will thrive or dominate.

Artemi Panarin was and is a "drive a line" type. There are not many "Drive a Line" types. Most teams have one, maybe two players at this level. Think of Pittsburgh with Crosby / Malkin or Edmonton with McDavid / Draisaitl or Toronto with Mathews / Nylander.

The jackets have nobody, and it shows. You have a number of second and third line players. Jarmo Kekalainen played last year and had a nice win in the first round of the playoff series. However, he missed the opportunity to secure himself perhaps a starter entitled "Drive a Line" or a possible draft for a choice that could develop into such a type.

Remember, John Davidson has approved these deals. He already knew he was going to join the Rangers and could not have cared about the future!

You need a starting goalkeeper, but that means giving up your current assets. Maybe it's a conversion in the near future. Do not expect much from this team – at best .500 and no playoffs.

For the moment, they better get a sunscreen, SPF 100 or better, for the neck of Korpisalo. The red gate light gives him a sunburn!

Mike Riley, Columbus

Ray: Is it too much to ask for an occasional high school football article in The Dispatch?

I realize we all had Pavlov's dog conditioning to be a football fanatic since we swung in the cradle. However, there are other great stories about local high school athletes who are just as talented and bring out as much as those on the field.

They all seem to be making a step backwards to football all weekend. The new Sunday segment on the Friday night football games is particularly frustrating, especially as we had two local teams (Olentangy Liberty and Worthington Kilbourne), each ranked in the top 10 nationwide and battling for football (last Saturday ).

Please remember to distribute the attention in the future so that other sports can grow and thrive.

Eric Stoller, Worthington

Ray: The Cleveland Browns fans are not getting their money's worth. I'll write that at the end of their game with the Broncos. I witnessed this old adage: "Those who dance must pay the violinist." The Browns have done their part in the dance, so they're paying now.

The Browns kept showing that they do not exert themselves and discipline as the Denverites pull down the field. Routine duels were missed, and our former OSU player Denzel Ward showed a mediocre lack of pass-through in the end zone and missed duels.

Although the Browns have improved with fewer penalties (I think they still lead the league), their lack of discipline was seen with fancy shoes that violated the League rules and the source of several commentary from broadcasters. At some point late in the game Cleveland showed a concerted effort, but it was too late.

What's the answer? It's simple: whenever a collapse of the discipline causes concern, it returns to lack of leadership. If Freddie Kitchens can not control his team, it's time for a change.

Don Denton, Westerville

rstein@dispatch.com