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Letters / Our readers speak out

Wilson deserves Hall of Fame entry

With the passing of Lamar Hunt, there is now exactly one living member of the "Foolish Club" (the original AFL owners) who still owns the same team in the same city from Day One, and that is Ralph Wilson.

Wilson oversaw the building of Rich Stadium, then the redesigning of Rich Stadium into Ralph Wilson Stadium in 1998.

He recently spent almost two years lobbying hard for the NFL to create a better revenue sharing plan for the small markets of the NFL, was asked to serve on the revenue-sharing committee, and spearheaded a better plan into reality.

Wilson recently made a presentation to his fellow owners asking them to allow the Bills to play one regular-season game a year in Toronto. Reports are that almost every owner was impressed with Wilson's bold idea to capture the Toronto international market by taking the Bills to them, hoping to gain more premium seat sales to Southern Ontario in return for the Bills back home.

With this amazing resume fast approaching 50 years in the small market of Buffalo, how could this man not have been elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame by now?

Vinny Ferrentino



Toronto's teams should emulate Bills

As long as the Buffalo Bills are negotiating with Toronto to have Bills games, why not add to that mix something that may really benefit Buffalo.

Why not negotiate with Rogers Centre to expand sports regionally. Let's see if sports can help turn this town around.

My vision is one where in return for giving up 10 percent of the Bills games played in Buffalo -- two games -- the Rogers Centre agrees to send 10 percent of the Toronto Blue Jays games to Buffalo.

This would expand the marketing of the Blue Jays and it could help ticket sales for the Bisons. This would be especially true if there was a tie-in for tickets to Bisons games. It could even lead to the expansion of Dunn Tire Park to a major-league size stadium.

Why give away Bills games and get nothing back for Buffalo? Let's promote Buffalo as a regional sports center.

Alan R. Mollot



Biased criticism unfair to Losman

Jerry Sullivan's biased rants have been obvious for weeks. Last week, Sullivan described the end of the first half as a "poorly managed two-minute drill." The facts are: the Bills get the ball on their own 35 with 1:10 remaining in the half, and two time-outs left. With six seconds remaining, the ball on the Miami 44, J.P. Losman throws a perfect pass to Josh Reed who gets out of bounds with one second on the clock at the Miami 27. This gives us a chance to tie the score, but the timer incorrectly lets the clock run out. Does Sullivan criticize the officials? No way. He just ignores the whole incident.

With the Bills trailing, 10-2, in the fourth quarter, Losman leads a drive of 56 yards tying the score at 10-10. Losman gets the Bills into easy field goal range and we win. This is the third straight game that Losman quarterbacked the team to a win in the fourth quarter.

The unfair treatment of Losman by much of the local media and Sullivan in particular is infuriating.

Bill Price

Grand Island


Sabres botched 'Ice Bowl' tickets

I am very disappointed with the Buffalo Sabres and their handling of the tickets for the "Ice Bowl." The entire process was botched from the start.

As a season-ticket holder, I received a letter stating that tickets were going on sale the next day. We would be allowed to buy extra tickets as a perk.

We all know what happened next. There was no limit on the tickets sold at the window. When the organization saw the demand, individual ticket sales were limited. So, now I was able to buy two extra tickets, when people off the street were buying 20-plus tickets. For my season ticket, which is dead center, first row, third level, at HSBC, I was given seats in the third level, first row, at The Ralph. I feel that the 14,000 Sabre season-ticket holders should have been allowed to select their seats at the Ralph and let the other 60,000 people get leftovers.

The team knew that this game was going to happen long before it was announced. They had time to devise a fair and equitable method to disperse tickets. Yet, they chose to rush into the sale of tickets. The only explanation that I can come up with is that they knew the team would be taking a step backward this year and wanted to take advantage of the early excitement about the team.

Brian Durant



Bona should embrace Big 4 tournament

It is time for St. Bonaventure to join the other Western New York Division I men's basketball programs to make it a true "Big 4". Without St. Bonaventure, it is only the "Big 3 plus 1."

Imagine the interest that could be created, for example, if there were to be a Big 4 Tournament in HSBC Arena over two nights of a weekend. Four teams play a doubleheader the first night with the winners playing the second night. The losers could play for third place.

Some well-heeled company or individual could come up with a worthwhile trophy (and thus also a name) for such a tournament.

Don Barry



Yankees' dollars made Torre successful

Give me a break. Joe Torre's success with the New York Yankees is tied directly to George Steinbrenner's wallet.

In 14 seasons managing the Mets, Braves and Cardinals, Torre had five winning seasons and one first-place finish. In 12 seasons with the Yanks, he finished in first place 10 times.

Whenever a top-flight free agent is available, everyone wonders, "Do the Yankees want him?" When small market teams can't afford to hang on to their budding stars, the Yankees are ready to take them off their hands. It must have been real hard for Torre to fill out a lineup card full of stars.

Let's see how successful Torre would be managing the Pirates or the Royals.

Michael A. Measer


Send comments to Sports Talk, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y., 14240. Letters may also be sent via fax to 849-4587 or e-mail to Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing.

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