OFF MAIN STREET / The offbeat side of the news - The Buffalo News

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OFF MAIN STREET / The offbeat side of the news

Baseball body art

The Buffalo Bisons blew a 4-1 lead before holding on to beat the Syracuse Chiefs, 5-4, in 10 innings Tuesday night. But here’s the number that really stood out from the contest between the Thruway rivals: 36.

As in, the Chiefs held a promotion offering free, lifetime admission to home games to any fan willing to get a tattoo of the team’s logo, and representatives from Carmelo’s Ink City inked 36 people during the game at NBT Bank Stadium.

The Tattoo Night promotion required that participants be at least 18 and sober. They had to get the tattoo on their arms, upper shoulder, ribs or lower legs. The black-ink logo shows a locomotive bursting through the letter “C.”

The Post-Standard newspaper reported that the three dozen dedicated Chiefs fans, who started lining up six hours early, included a 72-year-old grandmother. They get general-admission tickets – which go for $5 – to any game as long as current management owns the team.

We wondered if the Bisons, who take a backseat to no one in wacky promotions, would do their own Tattoo Night. “That’s great branding, that’s for sure,” said spokesman Brad Bisbing. “Those are the kinds of things that make baseball great.”

The Bisons aren’t likely to do it themselves, Bisbing said, but we’re hoping some other local institutions try the idea. Forget the Bills and Sabres. We’d get inked for a lifetime supply of Flying Bison beer, Anchor Bar wings or Watson’s sponge candy.

Franchise feedback

Love of minor league baseball isn’t the only thing Buffalo and Syracuse have in common.

The Post-Standard polled its readers about how New York should spend a $2.2 billion windfall from French bank BNP Paribas.

At least two commenters suggested the state should buy the Buffalo Bills with the money, with one noting it’s the only team in the state.

Given the way state government operates, we wonder how it would do managing an NFL franchise.

The music man

Restaurateur Russell J. Salvatore’s habit of making grand public gestures is nothing new, from scooping up the last of the unsold Buffalo Bills tickets so games can be shown on television to donating $500,000 to Erie County Medical Center for a new orthopedic unit.

But like the opulent decor that is the hallmark of his restaurant, the news that Salvatore would pay for the fireworks display at Canalside and that he had picked out the music to go with it caught our eye.

Years ago, Salvatore paid for fireworks displays, but this year is his first at Canalside.

According to Salvatore, fireworks should only be watched with a soundtrack of patriotic music.

“You are so proud you are American you want to cry,” he said of the experience. “It’s all patriotic music. It gives you the goose pimples.”

A sweet offer in Hamburg

It may seem like the Hamburg School Board member misconduct hearing, which so far has spanned more than 26 hours, is going on forever.

It has gotten into screaming, yelling and confrontational behavior, and that’s just when the two sides are trying to schedule future meeting dates.

But they agreed to four more dates in August. By the last scheduled session, three of the participants will have turned a year older: District lawyer Andrew J. Freedman, whose birthday was June 25, defense co-counsel Nicholas Hriczko, whose birthday is Aug. 4, and the subject of the hearing, Catherine Schrauth Forcucci, who has a birthday in August.

There was good-natured joking about attending the hearing on such occasions, and Schrauth Forcucci offered an olive branch, of sorts.

“It’s my birthday,” she said of Aug. 13. “I’ll bring a cake. What kind do you want? Chocolate? Vanilla?”

“Chocolate,” Freedman said.

Finally, something everyone can agree on.

Written by Jill Terreri, with contributions from Stephen T. Watson and Barbara O’Brien. email:

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