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Letters / Our readers speak out

>Class of players like Cookie missed

Sad to hear of Cookie Gilchrist's passing. He was one of the many true football players I grew up watching in the early AFL days.

Unlike the self-centered clowns of today who make fools of themselves dancing whenever they score, guys like Cookie, Ernie Warlick, Wray Carlton and the others acted like they'd been there before when they got to the end zone.

The more ridiculous the end zone celebrations get, the more I miss the '60s Bills and the real players of that era.

Jim Koelmel

Hamburg

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>Gilchrist was Bills' jewel in the crown

The year was 1964. The place, the Rockpile. Our late, sainted father would take us to Bills games.

The Bills were the kings of professional football. They were Buffalo. Cookie Gilchrist was the jewel in the crown. More than Tom Sestak, more than Golden Wheels Dubenion, more than Billy Shaw or Mike Stratton or even Jack Kemp and the others in the pantheon, Cookie Gilchrist was the icon of the Bills.

In 1964 we kids didn't understand the problems of race in America. We began to learn that with the Buffalo riots in 1967. We didn't understand why the team didn't use Cookie against Boston. We certainly didn't comprehend why the heart of the team was traded.

In '64 we knew the Bills were champions and Buffalo was great. We knew Gilchrist was the best. Looking back I can't believe he was here so briefly.

May he finally rest in peace.

Charles E. Wiles

Grand Island

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>Stopping the run wins NFL games

Interesting stat from last week's four playoff games. Three of the four losing teams gained less than 100 yards running the ball. Only Kansas City had more (109). James Starks beat them all (123). Good going, James.

The conclusion from these stats are obvious: Stopping the run wins games. So now let's ponder who should be our No. 1 pick. Duh! Hope GM Nix and coach Gailey are not oblivious to the obvious. Remember, stopping the run wins games.

Paul DiVito

Getzville

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>Canada claims its Scott Norwood

Hey Canada,

(Cough, cough)

Now you got your wide right!

Joe Pasquale

Buffalo

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>American fans let their team down

I do not understand the apathy shown by USA hockey fans towards the World Junior Hockey Championship. In particular the Sabres fan who said on TV he would rather "see the Sabres lose than watch the USA juniors win."

How do you think the USA team felt coming on to home ice against the Canadians and being drowned in Canadian cheers with the crowd being about 90 percent Canadian? The atmosphere, the passion, the skills, and the sportsmanship shown by these juniors outdid any NHL games I have seen. Shame on you, American fans, for not supporting such a proud team of skillful and hard working American juniors.

Michael Gilgunn

Buffalo

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>Don't mock Russians for celebrating

I can't believe all the hype and print wasted on the Russian youth team celebrating as they did after beating Canada for the gold. Someone tell me the Canadian boys haven't had alcoholic beverages after a win. If I am correct, the drinking age in New York State was 18 at one time until some politicians decided to change the law.

The Russian team celebrated in the closed quarters of the hotel bar, not one of them was driving, they only made themselves sick, and had fun doing it. Hey, beating a powerhouse Canadian team is a big achievement for them, let them celebrate in peace, the way they know how. And let those without sin cast the first stone. Congrats team Russia. From a huge Team Canada fan.

Jean Pierre Auger

Tonawanda

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>A Canadian offers thanks to Buffalo

Just a brief note to thank the entire Buffalo community for hosting in spectacular fashion the World Junior hockey tournament.

For me and my family it was a roller-coaster ride of superb hockey with many colorful moments embracing all aspects of hockey, from beer-tent celebrations through visits to the Anchor Bar to hockey victories (Russia, USA) and hockey losses (Russia, Sweden), culminating in our surprising loss to the Russians in the final game.

Here I am recovering from the flu brought on, I'm sure, by our loss to the Russians but realizing humbly that win, lose or draw, hockey is Canada -- and Canada is hockey.

Passionate hockey fans in the USA, in Russia, in Sweden and in many other countries can and will make the same proud claim for their own country And that's OK. Hockey is meant to be played and shared and enjoyed by all.

Thank you, Buffalo, for a hockey job very well done.

Frank R. Gardiner

Toronto, Canada

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Send comments to Sports Talk, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y., 14240. Letters may also be e-mailed to sports@buffnews.com. Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing. Include name, hometown and phone number for verification.

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