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Letters / Our readers speak out

Bills uniforms bring back fond memories

I was 5 years old the first time my dad took me on a bus from his buddy's bar to a Buffalo Bills game at War Memorial Stadium. We went to see my hero, Joe Namath.

I've missed very few games since then, and through the years the Bills have not only been a part of my social life, but they have always been a part of my relationship with my father. A couple of years, ago my father died while walking around Delaware Park with the same buddy who used to sponsor the bus trips to the games. Since then I think of my father every day. But never more than Sundays in the fall.

Last Sunday at the stadium, and then Monday as I read The Buffalo News and looked at the photos, I missed my father more than usual. Mostly in a good way. I didn't have to think twice as to what had warmed my heart.

It was the Bills wearing their real uniforms!

As simple as the design is, the uniforms represent tradition. They are what connect most of us to our fathers and our grandfathers. They represent a town, a people and a team of class, simplicity and grit. The uniforms made me realize that back in 1969 my hero was not only Joe Namath, it was more so my dad. Although I still love the game and the players, the uniforms also reminded me how much I needed to be around my father and his fun-loving friends. A lot of sports and family memories were evoked.

I want to thank Mr. Wilson, the Bills' front office and the team for warming the heart of a life-long Bills fan.

Andrew C. LoTempio



Cable-less fans left out in cold

Well, it's the last season of Monday Night Football on regular, wireless television. Those of us without cable who love this long-standing sports tradition will be left behind.

This is the latest downside to the marriage of ABC Sports and ESPN. Amateur figure skating shows have been increasingly moved from the wireless network to the cable counterpart, which may be leading to the ridiculous 24-hour Figure Skating and Ice channels, which may lead to no skating shows on either regular television or basic cable. So, too, have the games of the NBA and WNBA since they were turned over from NBC, many games also going to NBA-TV, not available in many cable markets.

What is television sports coming to? It is certainly leaving behind many loyal fans who are not couch potatoes or junkies.

Kevin F. Yost



Thanks, Bisons, for excellent season

Congratulations and thanks to General Manager Mike Buczkowski and the Rich family for another great season of Bisons baseball.

Coming up short in the IL semifinal series should not overshadow the excitement the 2005 Herd gave us.

This season continued a remarkable record. Since Mike became GM, the Bisons' record as winners and runners-up in their division and in league semifinal and league final series may be unparalleled in Triple-A history.

Western New York is indeed fortunate to have such consistent quality baseball in a wonderful baseball stadium. A Bisons fan for 68 years, I recall a considerable share of lean seasons before the present park opened.

A half-century earlier, Bisons' playoff games drew larger crowds. Now that has changed due to two major league sports teams, the realities of the economy, diminishing area population and the passing of generations whose favorite sport was baseball.

While the Bisons are not a major league franchise, the baseball experience now provided for Bisons fans is second to none. May our good fortune continue.

Conrad Toepfer



Men's tennis exciting again

Would it have killed Roger Federer to have tanked it in the U.S. Open finals against Andre Agassi? I mean, really, Agassi almost saved a men's sport that has become as exciting over the last decade as watching paint dry. C'mon, name the last men's champ in any Grand Slam event.

Now here we are on the NFL's opening Sunday, and I was actually watching tennis at 5 p.m. I haven't watched this much tennis since Wimbledon had white tennis balls. After enduring years of, "Boom! . . . another ace!" I actually saw rallying on the men's side.

At least the women's game has been saved by Kim Clijsters and Maria Sharapova. Not so the men. We now have at 24 years of age "Ivan Lendl II" with more talent. You remember Lendl, he was so disliked for lack of personality, he became a U.S. citizen just so the American fans wouldn't boo him as much.

Andre Agassi bridged the gulf that existed when Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe and finally Jimmy Connors left us to the likes of Boris Becker and later Pete Sampras. Yes, good tennis players, but exciting? People liked Agassi even when he had hair. Now, after marrying Steffi Graf and settling down, Andre is at the peak of his popularity only to be destroyed by "Mr. Personality of a brick."

"I played great. . . . I won." That'll make me forget Connors whistling while a plane overhead drowned out his Open winning speech!

Richard R. Charlap Jr.


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. Submissions must include address and telephone number for verification.

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