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Letters / Our readers speak out

Suspend Briere for Ovechkin hit

Darcy Regier would be well advised to suspend Daniel Briere for spearing Alex Ovechkin in the first period of Tuesday's game against the Capitals.

Since the lockout, the officials are calling the cheap shots, the holding, clutching and grabbing that formerly robbed the game of speed and skill. The new game, with lots of power plays and speed, allows talented players to showcase their skills. Briere is such a player, and the Sabres are blessed with quite a few more. The Sabres are the last team that would like to see hockey degenerate into the pre-strike game.

Just because the officials missed the spear doesn't mean that the rest of the league missed it. Regier and Co. would send a well-advised signal to the rest of the team and the league by benching Danny for a couple of games.

Gregory Vogelsang

Buffalo

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If price is right, Bills can stay here

Many have expressed concern about whether the Bills can remain "competitive." As long as the NFL has a salary cap, they can be competitive on the field. Can they compete economically?

Television revenue is shared, but large market teams receive more revenue from luxury boxes, higher ticket prices, sales of jerseys and so on. As a result, large market teams are worth more. Suppose that a large-market team (A) and a small-market team (B) are for sale. Whether A is a better investment than B depends on the price of A compared to B. Say A costs $800 million while B costs $400 million. The "opportunity cost" of buying A instead of B is $400 million. The opportunity cost is the amount that could have been invested elsewhere.

Whether a small market team like Buffalo is a good investment depends on the cost. At the right price, local buyers will step forward. If Ralph Wilson wants the Bills to remain in Buffalo, he can accomplish that goal by selling to local investors at a reasonable price.

Lance Pollock

Buffalo

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Curious timing on Lindell's contract

Our head coach, who we will never make it to the playoffs under, stated a 45-yard field goal against the wind was "well out of Rian Lindell's range."

Our GM, Mr. Levy, just gave Lindell a five-year, $10 million contract with over $3 million for a signing bonus. I'm stunned by the ill timing of this announcement. If I'm paying my kicker that kind of money I expect him to not only try the 45-yard field goal but to make it.

In the first Super Bowl against the Giants, I didn't think it should've come down to Scott Norwood winning or losing that game. However, if you get paid to just kick, you must make it. On Sunday against the Titans, Lindell got a contract extension for not attempting a field goal.

Donald Teresa

West Seneca

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Coach could've thrown caution to the wind

What a dismal ending to a season that turned out better than we were supposed to think it was. I guess I should be grateful. I'm not. My friends from Chicago warned me that Dick Jauron would bore us to death and he has come dangerously close this season.

I feel like he played the whole season not to lose. After Lindell made five field goals Sunday (and in spite of a strong wind) how Jauron decided (last second) not to go for a win is beyond my comprehension. Not run the ball 40 or more times against the 30th-ranked rush defense and take Young out of the game? Stupefying!

Take a page from Bill Parcells' playbook against us in the Super Bowl and he should have had a game plan to keep Young off the field.

As for the fans of Buffalo, shame on you. How 19,000 seats went unsold for a Christmas Eve game with playoff implications is beyond me. Bad economy, not enough money in the Western New York area -- all play into the "woe is me" mentality. Green Bay is certainly not a hotbed of economic activity but you never see an open seat at Lambeau. In spite of Ralph Wilson's whining about the CBA, he may have a point when he talks of leaving Buffalo. If a game with playoff implications written all over it doesn't sell out, what would? I just hope Levy's decision-making can overcome Jauron's coaching shortcomings.

As a lifelong Bills fan I can only hope the people of Buffalo wake up and sell out every game next season. It may be the only hope the Bills have to stay in Buffalo.

William J. Brazill

Kansas City, Mo.

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Being a true fan isn't about money

To last week's letter writer, I'd like you to work 48-54 hours a week, making what I make, married, with a child, and tell me if you can afford season tickets for the Bills.

I'm not ill, or elderly, I'm 25. As much as I would like to own a season ticket for the football team that I love, I can't. I do have a right to be able to see the game, I've gone to individual games in the past, and have bought merchandise.

It must be pretty nice to sit on your high horse and point your finger at other people. People like you are exactly what is wrong with this area. For you to base fandom on money is a bunch of baloney. It's not how much money you make, or how much you can or can't afford, that makes you a fan.

Tim Kordela

Tonawanda

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-mailed to sports@buffnews.com. Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing.

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