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Letters / Our readers speak out

>Wilson's acumen is big league

Because of Ralph Wilson, this city became a major league city, not minor.

The years have shown that he alone saved this franchise with his business acumen. The expansion of War Memorial Stadium, no dome in Lancaster, 80,000 seats instead of 50,000 in Orchard Park, he was right.

Taxpayers, this man has saved and generated millions for Western New York. Imagine if politicians ran day-to-day maintenance and at what cost?

Since the construction of Ralph Wilson Stadium at a cost of approximately $23 million, cities have built second or third stadiums at costs of $500 million to $1 billion. Unbelievable. Again, thank you. A Hall of Famer you surely are.

Some issues: parking, though a bargain compared to other cities, should be more regulated, not a hodgepodge. Littering and garbage not tolerated. Too many injuries in the lot when young football wannabee's collide chasing footballs with old-timers (sorry, Ralph). Portable toilets should be replaced with permanent sewer service, well- attended buildings. More parking lot police and security.

In conclusion, thank you, Mr. Wilson.

Phillip J. Lewandowski

East Amherst

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>Goodyear, Goodrich Dunlop and Bills

The Bills should be in the used tire business. It seems the only players they get in free agency are retreads from other teams. It's going to take more than spares to get the Bills rolling. Too many games are likely to be blowouts. Fans are getting a lot of hot air with playoff possibilities likely to fall flat. All the Bills management does is keep plugging up holes. I, for one, am getting tired of the whole situation.

Don Weimer

Williamsville

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>Bills don't lack for assistant coaches

I think it's safe to say our Buffalo Bills are first in something: the number of coaches.

Ralph Wilson has loosened up the purse strings to hire assistants for assistant coaches; lots of them. Maybe Buddy Nix has a secret plan to overcome mediocre player talent and mediocre coaching by swarming the sidelines with assistant to assistant coaches.

I know there are skeptics out there that will revert to the old cliche "too many cooks spoil the broth," but if that broth has been inedible, what is there to lose? And yes, it will increase the total coach payroll, but that's no big deal because Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey were brought in on the cheap.

So let's give the new Bills administration the benefit of the doubt that our swarm of coaches may just confuse the other teams we play. If it doesn't work out, at least Ralph did his part with his version of stimulus hiring.

Walter Cranston

West Seneca

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>Sabres should put 'system' on hold

I think I have figured out why the music is so loud at the Sabres games; it's to drown out the squeaking sound of the Sabres who are so uptight they can hardly move. Is this team being over-coached? When the skaters coast to the bench after their shifts, where has all the enthusiasm gone? Where is the swagger, the pride, the snap? It seems to have gotten lost through too much emphasis on the "system."

How about running a few practices without sticks so they don't have something to hold onto so tightly? Shouldn't each man with his natural talents be let loose a little more so they can showcase their unique abilities, not just push them all onto that "same page" to where there's too much thinking and not enough good old hockey.

Obviously, they still are not completely grasping that system. It seems that a lot of natural talent has been stifled. Thomas Vanek comes to mind here. Maybe there needs to be more compromise between players and coaches.

Guys that were scorers and guys who had passion or grit when they come here soon seem to be pushed into the same role and it's now getting us nowhere.

Why not put the system on hold for a few games until these guys can begin to enjoy their jobs again? I don't think they are having much fun right now -- and regarding our impotent power play, when you guys spend all that time "setting up" did you know that the other team is setting up too?

Ron Wilson

East Amherst

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>Cheers for USA Olympic hockey

I don't know about anybody else, but I personally enjoy watching US Olympians play in the NHL. It reminds me of the great run we had. I especially like watching them succeed. It really shows how much talent America has on the ice.

I was watching the Rangers versus Sabres game recently, and I loved watching Callahan and Drury play together. It just shows how strong the Americans are in hockey.

I am also very happy that Miller has gotten Buffalo and America more recognition for our skilled hockey abilities. I'm tired of some Canadians saying they are so much better than us in hockey. It doesn't matter how good they think we are -- we made it to the gold medal game, and beat Canada earlier in the tournament.

Carson R. Gicewicz

Orchard Park

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>Damon a Tiger: What was he thinking?

Johnny Damon is amazing, truly incredible. What in the world was the new Tigers outfielder thinking when he turned down the Yanks offer for two years at $14 million only to settle for a one-year deal for $8 million with Detroit? He shortchanged himself.

After playing 15 seasons, wouldn't one think it's about World Series rings and titles more than another few million dollars? How much more is needed for these athletes to enjoy life? Obviously it's a necessity when they choose a team that has not won a title since 1984, and in this case, snubbing the best of all time. The Yankees have won only five rings since the last Motown celebration.

Who would you rather play with, Jeter or Guillen, Posada or Laird, Inge or Arod, Cabrera or Teixiera? Best wishes to John Damon, who most likely will be golfing come early October instead of chasing what most players should covet, a chance for immortality playing for the finest sports team in the history of organized athletic competition, one that is gunning for its 28th World Series championship.

Joseph V Zanghi

Buffalo

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 sports@buffnews.com. Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing. Include the writer's name, hometown and a phone number for verification.

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