I coached Tommy Cutinella in a weekend baseball tournament, with his dad, when Tommy was about 9, and my son was 10 ["Comfort for broken hearts," News, Oct. 8].
Since then, I'd seen Tommy just a handful of times at various school functions. I always walked away thinking, "Wow, this kid still remembers me, that's special." This is who Tommy was. He made everyone he met feel special.
I asked my son, "Who were Tommy's best friends?" and with no hesitation he said, "Everyone."
Tommy is gone now. He was playing a game he loved. That's it, just playing a game. As human beings, we try to explain it, come up with a reason. There is no reason, at least not one that we mortals are privy to.
Our attempts to understand his death will always start with maybe. Maybe Tommy was put here to infect us with kindness and a smile. Maybe his presence in our children's lives taught them more than we could do on our own.
Tommy's parents raised one heck of a boy.
Rob Keller, Shoreham
"He was a good kid" are the saddest words. The story about the injury and unfortunate passing of Tom Cutinella, a member of the Shoreham-Wading River High School football team, is beyond gut-wrenching.
I find myself beyond perplexed as to why in a world of daily breakthroughs in technology, science, medicine and so on, someone in the business of manufacturing football helmets has not been able to make ones that prevent the disastrous outcomes of helmet-to-helmet contact injuries. The official cause of Tom's death has not been given, but police and school officials believe it's the result of a head injury.
I can take my own picture with a phone, which means that someone saturated with smarts took an idea and executed it. A similar drive for excellence seems long overdue in making football helmets that protect young men like Tom.
Donald Benenson, Huntington