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Sports Talk letters for Nov. 25

Fans should act to punish NHL

The utter disregard the NHL players and owners have shown for their customers is nothing short of stunning. Few, if any, other businesses have this distasteful luxury. The disregard they have shown for those who depend on their business to make a living; Larry the peanut guy, Mark the beer vendor, and thousands of others both inside and outside the arena, is disgusting. Many await a resolution and are afforded no hope for ultimately recovering their losses.

Fans collectively could bring pressure and influence by uniting and making a determination to stay away for a period of time equal to the time the league has chosen not to play. If the lockout lasts three months, the fans stay home or, perhaps even turn off the television, an additional three months. Is this likely? Of course not, but it would be a thing of beauty. Then again, the fans wouldn’t be that callous to Larry, Mark and the rest.

Edward G. Wright


ECC should offer more to student athletes

Being an avid football fan, I have been wondering what has happened to ECC’s football program and its lack of success lately. The Kats were the Junior College North East Champions in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007. However since then, they have not been very successful, and I began to research to attempt to find out why.

My research has led me to the fact that the competition (Lackawanna, Dean, ASA, Lewisburg and Nassau) offer scholarships and dorms for the players with Nassau being the exception (no dorms). Erie and Hudson Valley are the only schools with no dorms or scholarships. How can Coach Green and the Kats be competitive again when they have nothing to offer the players for ECC? I am certain that if dorms and/or scholarships were part of the package offered to the prospective student athlete, the championship would come back to ECC. Give Coach Green a fighting chance, because the record speaks for itself.

Larry Garmon


Racetrack’s numbers may not add up

I am a longtime race fan and question the feasibility of the Fort Erie track as proposed. Have the investors, supposedly including Jeff Gordon, studied the NASCAR business model? Currently 36 championship point races plus the All-Star race are run on 22 tracks. The majority of these are owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI) and International Speedway Corp. (ISC), who are the power players in the racing facility and track ownership world. Between the two companies, NASCAR visits tracks owned by SMI or ISC for 31 out of 36 races. In all, ISC owns 12 tracks on the NASCAR circuit while SMI owns seven. SMI is owned by Burton Smith and ISC is owned the France Family, the founders and owners of NASCAR.

Getting a Sprint Cup race on a track you own is extremely difficult. Burton Smith purchased a small but popular track, Rockingham, closed it and the two Rockingham races were transferred to Phoenix, an ISC track, and Texas, an SMI track.

Just having a new track does not guarantee having even one Sprint Cup race or a lower class race such as Nationwide or Camping World Trucks.

Attendance at the races is in decline. Tickets for the vastly popular Bristol August night race were once purchased a year in advance. Now it is a “walk up, day of ticket.” This in part is due to the economy and in part to the racing itself which at times is dull at some tracks. Local “short tracks” are facing the same problem as well as low car counts. It is an expensive hobby.

Another problem is access to the proposed site. It appears it is limited to the QEW. Add this to bridge traffic to and from the U.S. and a traffic jam is assured.

The Michigan track in Brooklyn, Mich., is an easy six-hour drive, New Hampshire Speedway in Concord a bit farther at eight hours. Does this proposed track have a chance of success? Maybe.

Dale Placey


Gailey’s record isn’t good enough

Well Chan Gailey’s record for three years with the Bills is 14 wins in 42 games. That works out to a .333 percentage; this would be a great average for the shortshop of the Yankees, but for coaching in the NFL, this is unacceptable.

I am not a believer of changing the GM and coach every three years, but Gailey and Buddy Nix have taken the Bills organization in reverse. The first priority is getting a quarterback, but there are so many weaknesses in the offense and defense that the Bills are years away from the playoffs.

Rich Pietrykowski

North Tonawanda

Harvard Cup deserves revival

As a current varsity football player at Riverside High school, I feel as though the Harvard Cup should be put back as the Buffalo City High School Championship game. I understand that Section VI might help us get looked at by more colleges, but the Harvard Cup was and still is a tradition.

The Harvard Cup was something that high schools and people looked forward to on Thanksgiving. Even if you keep Section VI, at least bring back the Harvard Cup for the Buffalo schools. Let the best records in Buffalo battle it out for the championship on Thanksgiving day.

The Harvard Cup was around for more than 100 years and for it just to end is not fair to us. How do you think that the people from the early 1900s would feel?

We all love the Harvard Cup! Without the Harvard Cup, high school football games and championships aren’t the same. When that ring is put on your finger, there isn’t a better feeling than that. We can win Section VI, but it wouldn’t be the same joy as the Harvard Cup.

Since I’ve been born, I enjoyed going to All-High for Thanksgiving to watch some good old football. If you would just ask city people if we should bring back the Harvard Cup, I bet four out of five say yes with no hesitation. Taking the Harvard Cup away from us is wrong. We don’t have any choice but to deal with it.

When my grandfather and all his buddies found out there was no more Harvard Cup, they cried. They were hurt just like the may others who once played in the “Cup.”

I just ask, “May you please take another look at this Harvard Cup? Picture how we feel. We miss it. Can we have it back, please?”

Let us battle it out for the Harvard Cup. Even one more time will make so many people happy.

I wish everyone in Buffalo would have a say on this. I understand Section VI is just trying to make it better for us, but can we have our tradition back?

Da’Qwan Morris


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 email to Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing. Include name, hometown and a phone number for verification.