Column on Vick misses the mark
Allen Wilson thinks PETA owes Michael Vick:
"I thought PETA was going to let this go when it planned to shoot an anti-dogfighting public service announcement with Vick upon his release. But the offer was pulled when Vick's attorneys wanted a promise from PETA that it would help rehabilitate their client's image."
PETA counteroffered -- they won't endorse Vick's return to the NFL unless they know he's not psychotic -- that's unreasonable? And PETA can't guarantee Goodell allows Vick to return, anyway.
"Vick is a broken man right now," says Wilson. "He spent nearly two years in a Leavenworth, Kan., prison. He's now bankrupt after squandering millions. His football career may not be salvageable. But PETA doesn't think he has been punished enough . . . "
Again, how is this PETA's responsibility or PETA's call? Vick's punishment (time, fines and cratering career) he brought upon himself -- and he's broke because he had to return his bonuses, lost endorsements and squandered $100 million -- that's not the court's doing nor PETA's.
Adding perspective on college hockey
Bob DiCesare's column of Jan. 30 only portrays Niagara's side of the story. The four big college hockey leagues are at or around their limit. Frankly, Niagara needs a conference more than the conferences need Niagara.
If you're a Hockey East team, would you give up a game against a bigger team every year so you could play Niagara? The problem is they couldn't keep enough programs going in CHA. They sold their schools on the promise of big-time hockey -- but the teams they played didn't seem any different than the ones in D-II or D-III. Niagara's big hope would be if a Big Ten hockey conference came about, in which case the CCHA would lose three teams and be looking to fill spots.
While it would be in Niagara's interest for something like this to happen, it certainly wouldn't be in the interest of Ferris State or Lake Superior, because instead of playing Michigan or Ohio State, they would replace them with Niagara and Bemidji.
I don't know where DiCesare is getting this about Canisius getting bigger; if they don't have money for an arena of their own, where would they get cash for a bigger program? The ECAC is full and Hockey East isn't going to call -- small school Merrimack is swamped in that league.
Mention of Mazur brings back memories
I was totally shocked to hear that John Mazur, former backfield-receivers coach for the Bills, has Parkinson's disease. I go way back with the Bills as a young boy watching them play in the All-American Football Conference in Civic Stadium when Red Dawson was coach. John Mazur, Jerry Smith and Joel Collier were some of the best assistant coaches in the business. Dick Gallagher and Lou Saban always had a good eye for talent.
I remember going up to Canada with my father around 1954 and watching John play for the Vancouver Lions. Vancouver had to outbid the Dallas Texans in the NFL for his services.
Annis Stukus, then coach at Vancouver, said John would have been one of the outstanding quarterbacks in Canadian history if his career was not cut short because of leg injuries.
John was an assistant coach at Boston University under Steve Sinko when Saban admired his coaching abilities and brought him in. Along with Smith and Collier, Mazur and Saban built a powerhouse in Buffalo by 1964.
Best of luck to you, John, and you will always be in our prayers.
Girls varsity hockey: The time is now
To the school boards of Western New York:
We learned in school that Dr. Martin Luther King had a dream that all men are created equal. But does this only apply to men? As a female hockey player in Western New York, my dream is to play girls varsity hockey.
The year 2008 will always be remembered as a time of change when Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. We were given the opportunity to listen to President Obama make his inaugural address and to hear his words that "all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."
He talked about the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- people like you who work to make the school districts in Western New York better for all. Girls varsity hockey would give female hockey players the opportunity to pursue their full measure of happiness.
We are asking that the school boards in Western New York act swiftly and boldly to lay the foundation for girls varsity hockey for the 2009-10 season by including this important program in your budget proposal.
Please help us create a Western New York varsity girls hockey program. Give girls the chance to play for their high schools.
Williamsville South High
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