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Letter: WNY should not have trouble deciding between NFL and food

WNY should not have trouble deciding between NFL and food

Was there some intent at outrageous irony in placing the two articles at the top of the front page on Aug. 10 (“NFL says new Bills stadium is a must,” and “A struggle to put food on the table”)?

On the one hand, we get a disturbing look at the bottom line criterion that the NFL owners will utilize in deciding who gets to buy the franchise: Will the new owner do whatever is necessary to increase gate revenues and thereby move more money out of the pockets of the fans and host community and into the owners’ coffers?

Western New York should consider jettisoning the Bills and ridding itself of an increasingly barbaric “entertainment” spectacle. How many of us can’t see the undeniable similarities to gladiator culture?

On the other hand, the pervasive reliance of the elderly Western New York population on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is certainly a more troubling and solution-resistant development.

Indeed, even if we were to cast the Bills out, it is not clear what Western New York might do as a community to address the food needs of the growing senior population.

And yet, how can we obsess about seeking out and submitting to extortion by NFL owners set on forcing a community with so much human need to surrender more of its financial resources so that they can hoard what is truly needed here?

We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: Ransom a future of continued wealth transfer to an owner and an owners’ association that cares for nothing but their bottom line; or wave them adieu and turn our attention to the things that really need to be addressed to maximize Western New York pride and attractiveness.

The clock is ticking.

Stephen Burns