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Letters / Our readers speak out

Sabres' success hurts Bills' sales

Much discussion has been taking place recently regarding the non-sellouts of the Buffalo Bills games. It's been centered on why this is happening. I believe it is the simple concept of disposable income being used elsewhere, namely the Buffalo Sabres.

The incredible interest that this team has generated has swayed the economic minds of the area sports fan toward the blue and gold and away from the red, white and blue. It's obvious that the choice these days is to sit in an electric, exciting atmosphere protected from the weather as opposed to watching a frequently frustrating, inconsistent team playing outdoors.

I don't believe the interest in the Bills has waned as much as that of the Sabres has skyrocketed. It's going to take a good playoff run by the Bills to get the fires burning in the fans to the point of possibly going out and buying a ticket for the Miami or Tennessee game.

Just think about it, would you rather get a Bills ticket inside your Christmas stocking or one to a Sabres game? I rest my case.

Dale Slisz



Curses! Viewers are foiled again

$!#@ you very much "Crime Warner" for blocking out the NFL games!

$!#@ you very much NFL (No Free Lunches) for blocking out the NFL games!

Jim DelGaudio

West Amherst


Blackouts unfair to taxpaying fans

The policy of the NFL to black out its games is fine if it were done by a 100 percent self-sufficient business. However the Bills along with most other NFL teams take millions of dollars from taxpayers each year to maintain and improve their stadiums and provide security and traffic control for their games.

While myself and many others in this area can't afford to take their families to a game, the Bills are still getting my money through the taxes I pay, yet I can't see a home game if it does not sell out. All of us who pay taxes -- be it property, sales, or income tax -- should be outraged at this.

I call for the elected officials in this county and state to stand up to the NFL and demand that if they want to black out those that support their teams in not only spirit but with their tax dollars that the Bills will no longer be given taxpayer dollars.

Brian Sciortino



TV blackout rule a necessary evil

I have been listening to the local radio experts complaining about the NFL blackout and whether it is unfair to our city. Our stadium is larger than the NFL norm and some people feel that if the average size of NFL stadiums is sold, the games should be on TV.

First I want to say that I am a season-ticket holder. Also I am not talking about those individuals that cannot make it to the stadium due to health reasons or age. However, I am starting to feel while listening to the radio call-in shows that we are starting to expect something for nothing. The blackout rule, unfortunately, seems to be a necessary evil. I know many friends that do not want to go to the games anymore later in the season, since they can sit in the comfort of their living rooms or favorite watering hole. At times, I have an extra ticket and I cannot give it away, since they expect the games to be on the tube.

The ticket prices in Buffalo are among the NFL's lowest. I pay $44 a game for a 50-yard line seat. Two years ago, we were taking a trip to New Orleans, and with licensing fees, I had to pay $145 for a ticket on the 10-yard line. The NFL screwed us this year due to the schedule. When I saw four home games late in the season, it was a no-brainer that they would not all sell out. I know it is the holiday season, and money is tight. With the Sabres red-hot, entertainment dollars have another option, however; it bothers me to listen to these individuals who consider it a right to be able to see every home Bills game at home. If we want to be a NFL City, whether we like it or not, we need to pay for it. If we don't, someone will be more than happy to take our place.

Ron Cianciosi



Trip to stadium is an eye-opener

My favorite player in the NFL is LaDainian Tomlinson, so two Sundays ago I attended the game wearing my powder-blue Tomlinson jersey. I was expecting some comments here and there, but what I experienced was nothing that I expected. It's funny how something as simple as a football jersey can reveal the character and class (or lack thereof) of so many Bills fans.

Not even five minutes after I arrived at Ralph Wilson Stadium I was greeted with profanities and homosexual slurs. And when it was time to enter the stadium, the screaming and yelling of profanities seemed nonstop. Throughout the entire game, fellow Chargers fans and I were the target of constant insults and curses.

Whenever I read letters in the past from people out of town regarding the behavior of Bills fans, I always sided with the hometown fans since I don't regularly attend Bills games. But after the Chargers game, I'm embarrassed to be part of a community filled with Bills fans. Stay classy, Buffalo.

Douglas Olejniczak



Students should get first pick of seats

Having attended the biggest game ever at UB last Saturday I was very disappointed to see the arena only 15 percent filled with students. This is not the fault of the students, rather an apparent huge allotment of tickets to the community or maybe corporations.

I don't claim to understand the financials, but pure and simple, the game and team is for the students to get behind. I couldn't believe students had to camp out and brave the extreme cold in order to get in line for a limited number of tickets at a game at their own school. The enrolled students should have first priority as the arena could have easily been half full of screaming students enjoying a tremendous college experience.

What a great chance to get the student body behind UB athletics. Instead, half the crowd sat in their seats like they were watching a theater play, even as the UB bench stood, waving their arms, to get people on their feet. It was only with 16.7 seconds in the game that finally the boring non-student crowd stood up and cheered the final shot.

If you want the students to support your athletic program you have to let them in to see the game!

Frank J. Coloprisco


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.

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