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Letters / Our readers speak out

Bills' defense overrun by Cadillac

No one should be surprised that J.P. Losman played like he did last week. It was his first road game, and against a very good defense to boot. They should only be slightly surprised by the inability of Willis McGahee to gain substantial yardage on the ground.

After all, even though many people have prematurely anointed him a game breaker, his average of well below 4.0 yards per carry (3.9 last year and even less in two games this season) hardly invokes memories of Jim Brown. They had a Cadillac Sunday. Supposedly, we had a Rolls-Royce. Actually, Willis looked more like an Edsel to me. At least last week.

The biggest shock, though, was how bad our "supposed" self-proclaimed great defense performed, especially against an offense with a rookie running back, a journeyman quarterback and a young offensive line. The Bucs' offense hardly can be compared to the Rams' "greatest show on turf" of a few years back.

When I first heard the current Bills defense members mention themselves in the same breath as the '85 Bears and '00 Ravens, I went back and watched some old tapes of those defenses. Now I'm hardly Siskel or Ebert, but that comparison when I watched was like comparing "Citizen Kane" to "Dude, Where's My Car?" on film.

Need I say which reminded me of the Bills? They couldn't find the "Cadillac" Sunday, now could they?

Joe Pulvirenti

Orchard Park

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More of the same for Sabres fans

Zhitnik, gone. Satan, gone. Teppo Numminen, age 37, suffers from knee problems, signed for $2 million. Jochen Hecht, whose career year in 2003-04 consisted of 15 goals, signed for another $2 million/year for the next three years. Toni Lydman, career rating of minus-16, who had a career year in 2001-02 with four goals and 22 assists, was acquired, along with his $1.9 million salary, for a third-round draft pick. Jay McKee, an exceptionally popular player on the ice and with the fans, gets low-balled and flaps in the breeze before signing an insulting two-way contract.

The three-headed goalie situation still not resolved. These are the moves made by Darcy Regier since the return of NHL hockey under the new, small-market friendly, collective bargaining agreement. Players alienated; money wasted; nothing new to rally behind as a fan.

Nice job, Darcy. I suppose we shouldn't be surprised. After all, Regier is one of the guys who helped run/ruin the disastrous Islanders of the early to mid-1990s.

Regier has all but guaranteed that 2005-06 will be as much a wash as the non-existent 2004-05.

It looks like nothing has changed for the Sabres, and it looks like nothing will change for them in the near future. And if they manage to do well this year it will be in spite of management, not because of it.

Marc L. Rummenie

South Wales

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Tennis doesn't need bad-boy personalities

A gentleman from Lackawanna last week wrote about the fact that there are no more exciting players in tennis, such as Andre Agassi. Since when do tennis players have to be exciting personalities?

The really great tennis players of the past such as Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Tony Trabert, Fred Stolle and Arthur Ashe, just to name a few, were perfect gentlemen and sportsmen, in the true sense of the word.

They did not go into a lot of shenanigans and ploys to try and throw their opponents off their games. They behaved both on and off the court, and were respected by their peers, and the fans.

Along came brats and misfits such as Ilie Nastase, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe, who were utterly disruptive and annoying to no end. These are the jerks that hurt men's tennis, by constantly complaining and whining.

Oh, I forgot to mention two other gentlemen, Stan Smith and Bjorn Borg.

There is no place in sports for misfits who tend to rob the fans yearning to see good, clean, entertaining tennis, where one can concentrate on the task at hand, and that is a hard-fought battle.

Kevin D. Naylor

Kenmore

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