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Letters for March 22

Dear Ted, losing is everything

Ted Nolan, please stop trying to win hockey games. Sabre fans need you to put your ego and competitive nature aside and please try to understand that WNY must have the best chance to obtain a generational hockey player in Connor McDavid. And if the Sabres finish last in the NHL and don’t win the McDavid lottery we still get consolation prize Jack Eichel. That’s not too shabby.

Ted, you’re a smart man and you know what’s going on. Think of this as the greatest business decision in Sabres history and you’re making it happen. You don’t have to win every battle in the corner, play the hot goaltender or think about your best line or shootout matchups. You’re a good coach but we need to lose now so please use your abilities to make that happen. If we don’t finish last you can hold your head up high and say you’re not a quitter but WNY sports fans will be saying “Here we go again.”

Gary Tomporowski

West Seneca

Basketball putting UB on the map

Rejoice! With UB’s inclusion in this year’s NCAA Tournament, there should be a riot from students and citizens alike. The benefits are extended far beyond ESPN coverage, and they all flood back Buffalo. There is an obvious alignment of the SUNY system to Amherst, and with its first tournament berth, the dream of Buffalo becoming “The State University of New York” (as it says on the front of their jerseys) is becoming a destiny.

Despite SUNY being a benefit to in-state college students, and attractive for the state’s high schoolers, it is a point of criticism from out-of-state students. New York lacks what Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and seemingly every other state in the nation: a major state university.

The city always boasts about UB’s growth, but that does not distract from the glaring need for the university to establish itself nationally. It needs a spark. Luckily, it arrived in the form of a game against West Virginia University (a major state university.)

Even in defeat, the city should call for celebration. This milestone will strengthen the basketball program, and hopefully in the near future the team will gain the national spotlight.

A dominant basketball team will attract a greater number of students from other states, and with UB’s rigid admissions process, there is a great potential for it growing to a top academic university, which it deserves.

Chris McAllister

Hamburg

Witherspoon has hand in UB’s success

Truth crushed to the earth will rise again. So said a great sage. And that is very true when it comes to UB basketball. For as much as AD Danny White tried to discredit UB basketball coach Reggie Witherspoon when he fired him, the truth of the matter is that the core of this year’s MAC championship team is all Coach Witherspoon’s recruits. That’s right. Regan, Evans, Ford and Skeete were all brought to UB by Coach Witherspoon.

In fact, this championship team was put together before Bobby Hurley ever got to UB. The only thing we can give Coach Hurley credit for is not messing up the building blocks Coach Witherspoon left him to work with.

One may twist the facts to fit their agenda. But the truth always speaks for itself.

David Hampton

Clarence

Laettner deserves hometown honor

The ESPN aired their “30 for 30” program titled “I Hate Christian Laettner” raises an old question here in Laetner’s home town. Why hasn’t the town of Evans ever honored its world renowned athlete?

Winning one national NCAA basketball championship would be a cause for a parade and celebration in most towns across America, but not in Evans.

The Laettner family has lived in Angola for decades and is well known and respected.

Winning a second national NCAA championship would be enough to roll out the red carpet, in Anywhere, USA, but not apparently in Evans. No celebration, no recognition ceremony, no hometown honors.

Then Laettner wins an Olympic Gold Medal in the 1992 Barcelona games playing with the “Dream Team” – which many pundits consider the best team every fielded in any sport.

But the Town of Evans does nothing to recognize his achievements.

Twenty-plus years later, while Fredonia is planning to unveil a statue of Olympic pole vault gold medal-winner Jenn Suhr, a group of Evans residents who chat on Facebook start a petition drive asking the three-member Town of Evans Board to honor its famous son with highway signs announcing “Town of Evans, Home of Christian Laettner” with an image of Laettner holding a basketball. (It’s the least we can do) .

But the Evans Board said they needed more time for research. After some years, the idea faded away, like melting snow, and once again nothing was done.

What more could Christian Laettner do to satisfy the high expectations of Evans leaders? What does it take to be honored in Evans? Willis Carrier invented the air conditioner and got a BOCES school named after him, but he left town when he was a child. Perhaps Laettner could win the Mirror Ball trophy on Dancing with the Stars. What is wrong with the Town of Evans?

Bob Catalano

Derby

Thanks to Pegulas for opening the vault

Considering all the “toys” the Bills have picked up on offense recently, you have to think that with any decent quarterbacking the Bills will create matchup nightmares for opposing team defensive coordinators.

Of course this is all on paper and the games are played on turf/grass in the fall.

Thanks to the Pegulas for their dedication to the Bills fans in doing their part to field a playoff team. Its refreshing after all these years of watching other teams do the big deals. Lets hope Rex and his staff are up to the challenge of using these toys to our best advantage. Lets hope the Pegulas and fans are rewarded for their dedication and long time suffering.

Rosemary Kelly Speranza

Hamburg

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