Letters for Dec. 29 - The Buffalo News

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Letters for Dec. 29

Booth should decide, have final say on football replays

How many times have you waited an eternity for a play to be reviewed in the NFL, a play that you, in a matter of seconds knew should have been overturned after seeing the replay. And the ref says, “the call on the field stands.” How can they continue to get the play wrong? It’s simple, the entire process is flawed.

The problem stems from the rule that you have to have “incontrovertible evidence to overturn the call on the field.” This rule is put in to sooth the egos of the refs, just as the ridiculous review that sends a ref to the booth on the sideline and wastes all kinds of time to determine if the call should be overturned.

When a controversial call is made by a ref in full speed he almost always is only 50 percent, or even less sure, of the call. But that call is ‘sacred’ unless there is 100 percent evidence to overturn it. In many cases the replay in slow motion shows the ref that he can only be 90 percent sure that the call should be overturned.

Challenges should be made upstairs in the booth as they are in college and reviews should also be done upstairs. That way it won’t take forever to determine the call. But most importantly, the call on the field which is almost always ‘iffy’ should not be the overriding rule. Most fans can figure out a call on replay in seconds. Even if the replay booth is only 90 percent sure of the call, that call and not the call on the field should be primary.

John W. Kowalski


Alumnus isn’t fan of UB’s New York state of mind

I have been known to express my opinion frequently, but never have I written about the same subject twice; until now. After my initial expression, I had hoped several UB alumni might have followed up on this, but only one gentleman from Williamsville shared my views. For that I thank him, and wonder where the rest of you are?

Let me appeal to all of you, especially the University President, and Athletic Director. My cherished alma mater administration continues to slight the very pride we all share in “UB” by hiding “Buffalo” in the UB Bulls athletic jerseys. Check out the football and basketball jerseys; they are embarrassing. How can you insult the only full Division I athletic program in the SUNY system by disguising the real identity of this great university?

I don’t know anyone here who wants to refer to our team as the New York Bulls, yet check the website and you will see this boldly presented.

Thinking that maybe New York State has mandated such a policy, I took a quick look at all the other SUNY school websites. It was encouraging to me that all the others have maintained their cherished pride and identity in every way.

Don’t get me wrong; I am proud of the state I live in, but when some committee or non-resident influence chooses to diminish the identity of the beloved school and the area in which we live, I have to fight for what is right and proper, and the recognition that should accompany this real jewel for WNY.

We all know Buffalo has an image to overcome, but wouldn’t you think the university administration would want to help us do just that rather than create a new controversy?

We have all suffered through some difficult times with the Bills, Sabres, and Bulls. But the University at Buffalo has turned the corner by recruiting many good administrators and athletes to Buffalo, and not by recruiting those good people to just anywhere in New York State.

Folks, please get behind this movement to help reverse this abuse of administrative power that created this huge mistake, and hopefully we can see an immediate change to this ridiculous policy.

James R. Ahrens


Father and son’s first Bills game is one to forget

For months my 9-year-old son pestered me to take him to a Bills game. Last Sunday ,I took him Ralph Wilson Stadium to see the Dolphins and Bills.

My tickets were at midfield, 20 rows up, expensive seats where one would expect a pleasant experience. Wrong. Dozens of fans continually stood in front of us making it impossible for my child to see the plays.

After 30 minutes, my son Conrad said, “Dad, what are we doing here?” With profanity being shouted by the two women two rows back, we vacated our seats and walked up the ramp, with me covering my son from two-fisted beers being spilled above his head. As we walked to our car I knew neither of us would return for the NFL Sunday experience.

Joe Weiss


Emphasis on protective gear is long overdue

The time is long overdue for the sports world to put a stronger emphasis on protective equipment.

The number of head injuries causing paralysis, death and dementia is staggering. The causes are numerous and the accountability is widespread.

The NFL recently settled a lawsuit destined to cost the league a staggering amount of money. That is measured by the almost $800 million they were happy to pay out to players currently retired from the NFL.

When I stated that the accountability is widespread, that is true as well. The average salary in the NFL is around $2.5 million per player yet there was a miniscule amount of money allotted by today’s filthy rich players to assist those players that came before them that fought for unions and a percentage of the revenues. Johnny Unitas who had triple bypass surgery and two knee replacements among his ailments was denied disability by a board of NFL owners and players because they deemed him “ Still able to work.”

His union brethren should have allotted money from one of these huge TV deals to help the old timers survive for their remaining years.

Moving on to hockey, we have former NHL players jumping onto the coat tails of the NFL players. While there is accountability enough to be spread around there as well, the circumstances are significantly different. Players were aware and made aware of the possible injuries to body and mind by not using helmets but chose not to use them.

Greg Gonter


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 email to sports@buffnews.com. Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing. Include name, hometown and a phone number for verification.

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