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Letters / Our readers speak out

>Seahawks exemplify NFL playoff absurdity

It's absolutely ridiculous. Pete Carroll's Seattle Seahawks, at 7-9, win their West division and are in the playoffs, while poor Eli Manning's New York Giants had a 10-6 record and did not make the playoffs.

Eli's brother Peyton and the Indianapolis Colts are in the playoffs with an identical record of 10-6. Apparently it's what division you're in that matters more than what a team's win-loss record is.

Not only are NFL player salaries out of whack because they still get paid regardless of whether their team wins or loses, but now even win-loss team records count for nothing. With this absurd thinking, the Buffalo Bills at 4-12 could also be in the playoffs if the Patriots, Jets and Dolphins had poorer win-loss records.

Jo Ann Pellegrino

North Tonawanda

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>Bigger and better for Bills' defense

The Bills desperately need a huge nose tackle, maybe two. Our draft gurus seem to love guys who are less than 310 pounds and cannot stop the run.

In a 3-4, that huge, nasty guy in the middle makes a huge difference. Those predicting that we will draft DT Nick Fairley are nuts. The guy weighs 298 pounds per his bio. Big for college, tiny for the NFL. We do not need another doormat to be tromped on as the runners pass by with a huge smile on their faces.

Phil Wiggle

Amherst

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>Building new stadium would keep Bills here

The NFL is changing and those cities that respond will continue to enjoy the profits of having a major sports franchise in their communities. Those who do not will be hard-pressed to convince any future owner of the Buffalo Bills to stay in Western New York.

We have witnessed other cities, such as New York, Dallas and Pittsburgh, not hesitate to move forward with these civil service projects. Ralph Wilson Stadium is nearly 40 years old, parking is a problem, and the current revenue sharing (the city's contract with Ralph Wilson) is flawed.

Building a new stadium in Western New York can have a lasting impact on our quality of life and our local economy if done right. Imagine a smaller, modern stadium that complements downtown. The facility can make use of the underdeveloped land near the old train terminal on Broadway. The move would encourage new restaurants, hotels and public transportation to expand.

Some have suggested Grand Island as another possible location, potentially drawing thousands from Canada, Niagara Falls, Lewiston, Rochester and Buffalo. The money New York State can collect on tolls alone would help pay for the facility over the next 50 years.

The vision all begins with a building, which leads to a business that fosters an industry. A new owner would be hesitant to move a profitable franchise with a new stadium, an excited fan base and a history of steady success. Buffalo's civic leaders need to start this process now before the team is eventually sold and another great institution, business and tradition is outsourced away.

Sean Kelley

Youngstown

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>Bills' radio team deserves to take a bow

I just want to laud 97 Rock and the Buffalo Bills Radio Network for the outstanding job they do on their pregame, game play-by-play and analysis, and postgame coverage. I'll confess that I don't tune in at 8 a.m. when the coverage begins, but part of the game day experience is tuning in well in advance of the game to hear the Bills Roundtable, thoughts from Vic Carucci, live reports from the stadium, it's all done extremely well and brings so much pleasure. Great job, guys. Can't wait 'til next year.

Mike Scully

Williamsville

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>Chiefs' turnaround has lessons for Bills

Nothing exemplifies what a small market team can do in the NFL more than the amazing turnaround of the Kansas City Chiefs. If you have an owner who hires an experienced GM like Scott Pioli, originally the architect of the New England Super Bowl successes, and adds proven offensive and defensive coordinators from those super teams like Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel, you turn a horrible team into a playoff contender overnight. All that it takes is an owner who wants to win and is willing to invest the capital in those important pieces of the winning puzzle, and then leaves them alone.

The team in Buffalo is the opposite of the Chiefs. The owner hires cheap, unproven characters who won't rock the boat and then he tries to micromanage the team. Other small markets like Pittsburgh and Indianapolis follow the same outline as Kansas City and win constantly. The only way to change the plan is to change the owner -- if only we could.

John Kowalski

Lockport

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>Let Jeanneret's son step up to the mike

Yes, we in Buffalo all know Rick Jeanneret is irreplaceable, but we also know he's planning to retire someday. I do believe the perfect replacement has been found, should he choose to accept the job once that day comes. That man being Jeanneret's son, Mark.

Here's why: Not just because he's the son of the best announcer in sports, in my opinion. I saw his introduction to Buffalo during the Dec. 27 game in Calgary. He shows quite a lot of professionalism in what he does, and I guess he learned all of that from his father. I hope the tradition will continue.

Paul Nathan Jr.

Cheektowaga

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>Ohio State win makes mockery of bowl game

How much does the average American have to swallow while the elitist sports figures spit in our faces? The entire cast of the Ohio State facade should not have been allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl.

They were rewarded for making a mockery of the college football rules. Let's get back some integrity in college football. No individual is bigger than the game, and yet the media and the public kowtow to these spoiled brats.

Henry Mazurek

Lancaster

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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 name, hometown and a phone number for verification.

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