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Letters / Our readers speak out

Miscreants paid with our money

Last year, Marshawn Lynch should have been charged with vehicular hit and run. However, after a period of the police begging him to come in and talk to them he finally pleaded guilty to failing to use sufficient care and paid a $100 fine.

Had this been me, I would be writing this letter from jail. I guess he didn't realize that he got away with one that time, so now he has been arrested in California on an illegal weapons charge. You'll notice I didn't say he was caught carrying an illegal gun, because by the time the Bills organization is done paying for this latest "mistake" I'm sure the story will be that he was on his way to the police station to turn in a gun he found in the street so some innocent child would not be injured.

When are the over-priced-ticket-buying sports enthusiasts going to stop coddling these prima donnas who can't seem to stay out of trouble? They are laughing all the way to the bank on our money.

David Wisniewski



Lynch qualifies as a character

Marv Levy always said he only drafted players with character.

Marshawn Lynch, with his latest brush with the law, has proved Marv Levy right. He is one heck of a character.

John Jendrysek

Orchard Park


Time for Bills to take chances

I was one of fewer than 30,000 people sitting in the stands watching Joe Montana and the 49ers pick apart the Kay Stevenson-coached Bills. That was back in the days when attendance could actually determine the profitability of an NFL franchise. Ralph Wilson took notice, hired a football man in Bill Polian, and the greatest days in Bills history ensued.

The television revenue is now enormous, and any NFL franchise could lock the gates and still make money. The quest for excellence starts at the top, and Ralph, as all of us, has aged. The Bills could be worth a dollar, or a billion dollars. To Ralph, it doesn't matter. He will not personally reap the benefits of the eventual franchise sale; his heirs will. So we are in the midst of a "caretaking" regime, where the Bills are run by bean counters holding the value as stable as possible, and not taking any risks.

Ralph, you and my dad are members of "The Greatest Generation," who went out and saved the world. I couldn't see Ike or Patton developing a "holding" strategy, waiting for someone else to define their success. Give us some football people, people who are competent, who are proven winners, who demand excellence and abhor defeat.

Ken Wojcieszek



Bills fans different kind of animal

Let's face the facts; the Buffalo Bills will always be located in Buffalo. No other city wants the Buffalo Bills simply because they know that if the football team moves to their city the fans in Buffalo will follow them.

Once that happens their city will be overrun with doughnut shops and convenience stores and there will be cheap pizza and wing dives on every street corner. Football fans in WNY are fast-food junkies and couch iguanas that absorb heat and subsistence from the light coming from watching Buffalo Bills games on television.

Matthew R. Powenski



Move Pro Bowl to midseason

Although I love football, I have never been a fan of the Pro Bowl. As far as I'm concerned, once the Super Bowl is over, football is over. Next year the NFL plans to hold the Pro Bowl one week before the Super Bowl. That's ridiculous.

Why can't the NFL follow the example of other professional sports? Baseball, basketball, and hockey have their all-star games in the middle of the season. If the NFL had the Pro Bowl smack dab in the middle of their 16 game season, this might also be used as a bye week for all the teams. Just a suggestion.

Kevin W. Dwyer



What's Pommer bring to the power play?

I just cannot figure out what Jason Pominville brings to the power play. He cannot get the shot through from the point and never keeps the puck in the zone and constantly puts the team offsides with a last-minute move at the blue line. I am not a fan of Ales Kotalik, but he gets it to the net.

Pominville should be thanking his lucky stars that he is on the Sabres and a Lindy Ruff favorite because the amount of ice time this guy gets is unheard of. He is a $5 million man who has a dozen goals and is playing the worst hockey since becoming a Sabre. Ruff better start to pray to the hockey gods for an early return of our only star, Vanek.

Toni Lydman is a guy who will hand the puck over to the other team at least six times a game and stand still to watch the end of the play. The only reason he is an OK penalty killer is that he does not have to complete a pass and can just whack it out of our own end. When the Sabres re-sign him, it may be over for me watching this team, I will become a fan of whatever team Vanek ends up on, it is only a matter of time. Buffalo loses all their goal scorers as you can see over the past few seasons and Ruff plays real hardball with Vanek and never gives him the ice time other stars get. When Vanek gets sick of it, and he will, Ruff and our staff will be to blame and Vanek will be gone. He's a star who gets less ice time than guys on his team who would not even make the roster of half the NHL teams.

There is a giant hole in this team right now and it is due to the injury of No. 26! The Sabres need him back as soon as possible if they have any chance of making the playoffs.

Carl Dunning

West Seneca


Sabres players not cutting it

I have had enough of watching someone else's joke playing for the Sabres. Players like Andrej Sekera, Adam Mair, Toni Lydman; guys who couldn't start for the Phoenix Coyotes much less a real NHL team.

I mean, seriously, there's nobody better than a runt like Nathan Gerbe to call up from Portland? He looks like a little kid next to his own teammates much less the big guys other teams have. Unless you want kudos for Zdeno Chara missing him because he couldn't find him, put Gerbe on Miracle-Gro and see what happens in a couple of years. Otherwise, why in the world is Mark Mancari not a regular?

Most fans and season ticket holders now realize that our owner and, especially, everyone's pal Larry Quinn are in a money grab and we don't expect any common sense come trade time. However, is it too much to ask that Teppo Numminen retire and save the embarrassment of watching him the rest of the year? How about this Larry: If you and Darcy see a defenseman that has a European sounding name, don't draft him!

Richard R. Charlap Jr.



How much more can fans pay?

I read with great interest Mike Harrington's Sabres Notebook, especially the part about ticket prices and I must admit that I laughed more than if I had read the comics.

The prices set forth for the "platinum" games are absolutely absurd. For the headline to say that the "Front office learns lesson on ticket prices" and for Jeremy Jacobs, the owner of the Boston Bruins, to espouse higher ticket prices proves that while he lives in this town he has no understanding of what the average fan can and will pay.

I understand very well that professional hockey does not have the TV money that some other sports have. The Collective Bargaining Agreement is between the owners and the players, but somewhere there should be some thinking and some consideration by both parties what this agreement does to prices and how it affects the fans who pay to go and watch these games. This market which had a pretty good reputation on this topic up to now dropped the proverbial puck on pricing.

With a median income of $30,000 or less, how can this area afford too much more? This wasn't the way to go.

Tom Greenwald



Canisius should change or quit

In reference to a recent article by Larry Felser concerning Canisius basketball, I too would like to see a greater commitment to raising the competitive level of the men's basketball program.

I do not agree with Mr. Felser's remarks concerning the athletic skills of this team. They have several players who can jump over the backboard but the team is unable to make simple layups with any consistency and is terrible at the free throw line.

A look at the "stats" through Saturday shows that the team has attempted 1,526 field goals and Frank "Coast-to-Coast" Turner has taken 371 or 24 percent. It is maddening to watch him standing near midcourt dribbling and dribbling, while the clock runs down.

The team as a whole shoots 40 percent and 27.9 percent on three-point shots. The Griffs average 16.3 turnovers a game. This team is worse than it was last year and they only lost one or two players to graduation. They still stand around and do not move well without the ball. The guard position is a disaster and the team lacks a go-to guy.

This is Coach Parrotta's team. He recruited the players who are on the current roster. The school has to change the way things are done. More money must be allocated for scouting and recruiting. I don't see Coach Parrotta as the answer. He has not recruited well.

As an alumnus, I say this to Canisius: Improve or get out of Division I basketball.

Ed Clohessy



Griffs don't belong among 'Big' 4

I am writing in support of the writer in the recent column regarding the men's basketball program at Canisius College.

As an alumnus of the school, it is embarrassing to me and other alumni to see the lack of attention given to the commitment of having a successful basketball program.

Since the 2001-02 season, the Griffs' cumulative record is 75-158, with at least 18 losses each of those years. Whether it's mediocre recruiting and/or coaching, Father Cooke, the athletic director and the student senate need to address the issue now. Otherwise, it will no longer be the Big 4, but the Big 3 and Canisius.

David Wrotniak

East Amherst

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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