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Letters / Our readers speak out

>Kane and Blackhawks made hockey fun again

We all know that Pat Kane is a great hockey player. First player taken in the NHL draft. Rookie of the year. Member of the US Olympic Team.

In the interview after he scored the biggest goal since Brett Hull's "No goal," Pat Kane's first words were love for family, friends and his home town of Buffalo. This was not a scripted statement; it was from his heart.

That was the best positive lift our city has had in decades. He said later that the year was up and down and he made a major mistake last summer. I am sure he will continue to mature and learn to be a better person.

Finally I would like to thank Pat Kane and the Blackhawks for making hockey fun again. It is great to root for someone that actually delivers.

Jim Kaney

Hamburg

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>Hometown hero Kane made perfect ending

What better way to end the Stanley Cup finals than to have Buffalo hometown hero Patrick Kane score the winning goal in overtime to have his team win the Stanley Cup.

He is not a Sabre or a Bill, but he represents Buffalo and deserves the key to the city.

John Jendrysek

Orchard Park

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>Soccer overlooked by U.S. sports fans

Last weekend the eyes of the international sports world turned to the soccer fields of South Africa when the 2010 World Cup kicked off.

While the attention of other nations turned to the "futbol" matches, few Americans tuned in as soccer isn't nearly as popular in America, where we have a plethora of sports leagues filled with the best athletes, so soccer gets overlooked by sports fans the way the middle child does in a large family. The 2010 version of the World Cup will miss the goal in America.

Dean Adams Jr.

Williamsville

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>No-hitters have no unwritten rules

I beg to disagree with the letter writer who blamed the baserunner for not conceding the no-hit effort of Armondo Galarraga.

After having played organized baseball for 25 years, I can assure you that there is no such written or unwritten rule regarding the no-hitter.

Players in any sport at any level will tell you that you play hard until the game is over.

George Kwitowski

Alden

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>Unwritten rule says bunting is a no-no

I believe one of your letter writers has his unwritten baseball rules confused. It is taboo to bunt in the late innings with a no-hitter in the balance, not for the last batter not to run hard to try to break up the perfecto. Imagine the likes of Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio or Willie Mays not busting it down the line to prevent a no-no. Blasphemous.

Vince Paladino

Cheektowaga

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>Griffey's retirement stirs admiration

With the retirement of Mariner great Ken Griffey Jr., baseball has lost perhaps its last clean, steroid-free slugger from the era say from mid-'80s to the present, with Jim Thome maybe the last sole survivor.

When the man with the sweetest swing ever and the infectious smile decided to hang them up from Seattle, his being clean and not mentioned in an any scandal involving HGH helps ease some of the pain that cheaters like Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, Canseco, Giambi, Palmeiro, Manny, Ortiz, Clemens, and Pettitte, to name of few of the suspect parties, inflicted on us baseball fans.

As we all know, Father Time catches all of us, but it makes you feel your age when a 19-year-old breaks in for the '89 season and 21 quick years later, as you approach 53, start to marry kids off and retire from a job, do you actually realize that time actually does indeed fly by all of us.

It truly was a shame that Griffey suffered many injuries after his trade to the Reds, because if he stayed healthy, just maybe he would hold the two most prestigious home run records held by the most notorious cheater amongst a Who's Who of cheaters: Barry Bonds. That being most home runs lifetime and most in a single season.

This fan since 1968 acknowledges under my own ruling that Aaron and Maris still hold the achievements and glory they richly deserve and no steroid using monster will ever take that away.

Joseph V. Zanghi

Buffalo

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>Flood's story should open eyes

In times when all can plainly see what one is up against when fighting corporate rule -- consider a forgotten baseball/labor hero: Curt Flood.

Traded after the 1969 baseball season, Curt Flood had no desire to leave St. Louis after 12 seasons. Rather than leave or quit -- his only choices -- he decided instead to sue baseball over the reserve clause.

Baseball had so much muscle that not one active player would stand beside him publicly.

He sacrificed a great career for his principles and to benefit players of the future. They have been more than benefited by his courage and suffering, as the lawsuit was largely responsible for getting baseball to gear up for the modern times.

A historically valuable, eye-opening book, "A Well-Paid Slave," was written by Brad Snyder in 2006.

Read the story of a real sports hero, who was ridiculed in his time. History has proven him to be way ahead of his time -- as many heroes are.

It is a travesty that many players and fans don't even know who he was.

Larry Kassirer

Lancaster

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>Law of averages favors Buffalo, right?

It's difficult being a major league sports fan in Buffalo. The Bills and Sabres are the teams that most of us live and die with. Unfortunately, for way too long, it has been a lot more dying than living. Management longevity doesn't really make a difference. The Bills seemingly change their coach and GM every three years, while the Sabres have kept the same duo for 13 years. Neither team can get us anywhere near a championship.

It's really a hard pill to swallow for all Buffalo fans. Ticket prices continue to rise despite an awful economy. Yet because of a rabid fan base, both teams sell out their games. For all of this fan loyalty, the last championship we celebrated was the AFL Bills 45 years ago.

Should we be happy that the Sabres just make it to the playoffs about half the time? They clearly don't show the attitude or effort necessary to win a Stanley Cup. You have to go all the way back to the 1990s to remember a Bills playoff game.

I try not to think about all of this very much -- it's too disheartening. You try to be positive. The law of averages has to catch up with us sometime, doesn't it?

Most of us have been taught otherwise, but to keep our "sports sanity" I guess we just have to lower our expectations. It doesn't look like there will be any ticker-tape parades down Delaware Avenue anytime soon.

Dennis Weber

North 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. They should include the writer's name, hometown and a phone number for verification.

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