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Letters for Oct. 26

Former UB players standing out in NFL

Every NFL team was represented last spring at the University at Buffalo’s Pro Day in order to scout a rare talent in linebacker Khalil Mack. However, Mack is not the only former Bulls’ talent to impress thus far in the NFL.

Through seven weeks, Branden Oliver led all NFL rookies in rushing yards with 316. In the past three weeks, Oliver has been on a tear, including a 116-yard performance on 19 carries against the Jets. Undrafted, Oliver has lived up and surpassed any expectations of becoming a key contributor to an NFL team.

Mack has also lived up to potential, recording 37 tackles through Week Seven but more importantly requiring defensive coordinators to scheme for where he is positioned on the field at all times.

Although their former coach Jeff Quinn was fired a few weeks ago because of an underperforming Bulls team, it is obvious he did quite the job in developing NFL potential while at the University of Buffalo. Combine these two players with Bills’ rookie Sammy Watkins’ contribution, and Buffalo has become a hotbed for rookies in the 2014 NFL season.

Matt Lee

Orchard Park

MLB’s decisions turn out puzzling

It’s amazing that major league baseball still exists while it continues to do everything wrong. Today more and more kids do not have the enthusiasm that earlier generations had for baseball and are playing soccer instead. Playoff and World Series games are played too late at night for most kids to be able to watch. And half of the most recent series were telecast on some off-beat Time-Warner Channel 400.

I buy the Major League Baseball package and all Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians games are blacked out and not just their home games. Away games in Los Angeles or Florida are also blacked out. It’s almost like MLB wants young viewers to become totally unfamiliar with these two franchises. That’s sad because these two cities are close to us and very nice to visit and watch baseball. We are bombarded instead with the Yankees, Red Sox and Mets games.

Baseball is about the only major sport that doesn’t have a salary cap so that the playing field most of the time remains totally in favor of the big spenders like New York, Boston and Los Angeles. That’s why small market teams have had streaks of double digit years not making the playoffs and having losing seasons.

The mastermind of Baseball’s demise, Bud Selig, finally retired after he looked the other way for years while his players were using steroids. And after a 162-game schedule the wild cards have only a one game playoff to advance. The season should be reduced by a few games so that the wild cards could at least play the best of three. But that would cut into the greedy owners’ pocketbooks.

In 10 years MLB will probably be relegated to a minor sport.

John W. Kowalski


There must be ways to get tax money back

It’s good news to hear that other venues are willing to appear at the recently rehabbed stadium.

When Ralph Wilson owned the Bills, he was given sole authority on what other entertainment groups appeared there and he insisted that all rental income would go in his pocket.

That has to change. The Ralph Wilson era is over. Taxpayers just gave up $130 million to doll up the stadium so I feel all rental income from other venues should go back to the taxpayers.

While our local officials mull this over, let’s ask them to let out for bids new naming rights for our stadium which can generate millions of dollars to help pay back what the taxpayers have doled out.

Cheryl Cranston

West Seneca

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.