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Letters for September 29

Strike up the band at today’s Bills game

Normally, it is not my desire to criticize the Buffalo Bills organization, as they have brought me many great memories, including going back to my childhood days when they won two AFL titles when I was 8 and 9 years old.

But I came this close to writing a letter to the News complaining about the recent disappearance of marching bands at The Ralph, where for years I would sit back and enjoy halftime shows provided by not only some of the best bands in WNY, but from Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states.

After having attended a college football game earlier this year in the Meadowlands, I was blown away by the fact that not only was there one band, but actually two bands (one from each college) performed at MetLife Stadium that day.

However, I recently discovered that today there will be a college marching band performing at the Bills-Ravens game, namely the Pride of the Orange, the Syracuse University Marching Band, of which I am a proud alumnus of participating with back in the day.

Congratulations, Buffalo Bills, for bringing back not only an exciting team, but also marching bands to entertain fans as well.

Jim Antes


Edgar Allan Poe may have it right

Can the Bills beat Baltimore? Quoth the Ravens — Nevermore.

Dennis Weber

North Buffalo

Bills did not look like much has changed

The Buffalo Bills, in their dreadful loss to the New York Jets, let the rest of the bottom feeders know that they’re in the sweepstakes for the first overall draft pick. Personally, I like their chances.

I know you’re saying it’s only the third week, but I can tell you EJ doesn’t have the gunslinger mentality. Geno Smith made his share of mistakes but he has “it.” It would be a good idea to schedule your projects for Sunday afternoons. Never thought I’d say this but I miss Chan & Fitz.

Ron Topolski


Tweaking of rules could curtail big brawls

There are fans who love fighting in the NHL. There are fans who deplore fighting in the NHL. And the league itself hasn’t displayed a clue on how to stop brawls like the one that occurred between the Sabres and the Leafs as well as that huge battle in the early ‘90s when Calgary came to town and tangled with the Sabres after Pat LaFontaine suffered a broken jaw in an earlier meeting in Calgary. No sooner had the puck dropped at the Aud when all players squared off in a huge brawl. One of the Flames players suffered a broken leg.

So how do you get a win-win situation that satisfies everyone.? Simple. Keep fighting a part of the game but the two combatants get five minute majors and the teams play 4 on 4 for the full five minutes. That should increase scoring and allow skill players to really perform with so much open ice.

The NHL should get rid of the instigator rule but if they insist on keeping it, that player gets an additional 2-minute penalty. That means it’s 4-on-3 for 2 minutes and then 4-on-4, etc. All this to the pleasure of fans.

I wonder how many coaches would send out the “enforcers” on the ice. You can be assured coaches will warn their players about fighting consequences since it probably could cost goals and games. This situation still keeps fighting in the game but might limit the number. For more serious offenses, like what happened in Toronto, fines and suspensions would still be issued.

Art Wander


Tiger didn’t cheat, penalty was proper

The Tiger Woods haters have come out of the woodwork again. A writer last week charged that Tiger “blatantly cheated” in a recent event. Webster says to cheat is to violate rules dishonestly. I submit that Tiger did neither.

Tiger, the most visually scrutinized golfer in the world, was photographed removing loose impediments from around his ball. A close inspection by rules officials later determined that Tiger’s ball moved during this process and rightly assessed him a two-stroke penalty. Tiger disagreed but accepted the penalty, therefore no cheating occurred.

The writer also opined that Tiger was a “disgrace” to all current and former players. Tiger is the PGA of America’s Player of the Year, has won five PGA Tour events this year, won the Vardon Trophy for lowest stroke average and won $8.5 million this season. I’ll bet there aren’t any current or former golfers who wouldn’t want to change places with Tiger. And he didn’t do it by cheating.

Whitey Nichols


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.