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Letters for May 10

Fans need to chill, and cut EJ some slack

Here’s the deal: EJ Manuel needs at least one full year of starting to get his game to the NFL level; he may even need one more year on the sidelines, learning. He’s a leader, so he might just win the starting job in camp again, but this coach has proved in the past, he dances with the one he brought to the party.

If EJ wins the starting spot, then he’ll most likely get the nod for the entire season. His play in his rookie season showed sparks of what he can be capable of, but his injuries due to conditioning and lack of experience almost did him in as a second year player.

This guy is the real deal, folks, but no matter how much the fans want him to be an NFL QB and win most of his games, you can’t rush it. We fans need to let him develop the right way. Stop calling for his head after every defeat and every win. That’s right I said after every “win” too!

There are fans that burn up the Internet even after wins and insult this guy or that guy, instead of basking in the glory of the win itself. Kyle Orton put in some amazing displays last year and still got berated after the win for doing this thing wrong or that.

Buffalonians need to stop being such whiners & complainers. Complaining after the win about some stupid missed play is probably just another reason why Buffalo doesn’t get much national media coverage. Nobody wants to hear it, especially after a win.

The reason it’s so hard to get things done for Buffalo is the bad attitude of a people that have been mostly left behind by modern society.

EJ might end up being another quality player/person who gets run out of town by the fans.

One final thought here - think of it this way: With 15 years of missing the playoffs one could make the argument that we need to be even more patient as fans than at any time before.

Think about how you’d feel, if you just went out and put it all on the line to win. You win the game, and the fans still pick apart the performance and complain about everything you did wrong. Buffalonians need to stifle the anger a bit, or the city will never get ahead.

R. Richard McMullen

Los Angeles, CA

Brady simply was trying to find a way to win

Why is Tom Brady being picked on? Remember these famous sport sayings? “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” and “It’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game.”

Those are especially true for professional sports since they are paid to win. Why keep score if winning isn’t the only thing? Would we be angry with Jim Kelly if he had done the same and won us a Super Bowl? Not me.

Bill Clark

West Seneca

Starting fights late won’t help sport of boxing

Tim Graham’s feature story about the state of boxing was spot on and a nice exposé about how years of corruption have led to a slow decline to the once important sport. One thing that was clear to me about the “fight that was supposed to save boxing,” was that it wasn’t going to be before it even started. 

I remember as a boy, my father used to take me to his uncle’s house to watch Mike Tyson fight in his prime as well as other feature fights in the late 80s and early 90s. It was a generational event that brought three generations together for an all-important event. It even left enough of an impact on me to begin an amateur boxing career.

When this fight was announced, it generated enough interest to casual fans and my father and father-in-law wanted to watch the fight. Problem was, I knew this would not start until close to midnight.

Can you imagine if the Super Bowl started at 11:30? Or any major sporting event, or award show, or presidential address? If boxing really wanted to be relevant again, even for one night, wouldn’t they have adjusted the start time to a reasonable hour in Eastern time? 47 percent of the U.S. population lives in the Eastern time zone, whereas only 14.1 percent live in the Pacific time zone, which is still third in population to the Central time zone at 33 percent.

In a sport where most of the fan base around for its heyday is aging, the late starts make it a deal breaker before the bell even rings. Sure, the small (but wealthy) Vegas crowd will be appeased, but so much for the average sports fan.

David Szprygada


Murray’s mindset fits in with history of Sabres

So Ted Nolan was very wrongfully let go, in my not so humble opinion, mainly because he was not a perfect fit in GM Tim Murray’s perfect world. Well, I hate to tell you this, Tim. You’re not perfect either.

As far as I’m aware, even a GM and head coach on a Stanley Cup championship team are not always going to agree all of the time on every single personnel decision. Disagreements are probably going to come up from time to time.

You said, Tim, that you just wanted to improve this team every day. Well, getting rid of both goaltenders, Enroth and Neuvirth, around the trading deadline and sending Mark Pysyk back to Rochester, over Ted Nolan’s objections, for example, is not improving the team every day. It confirmed that you and the ownership wanted to tank the team so that you could better your chances of winning the McEichel sweepstakes.

On second thought, maybe you turned out to be the perfect person for an organization whose history for the past 30 years or so is to go so far, rebuild, go so far, rebuild, always rebuilding when the Sabres are no more than a step or two away from seriously contending for/winning a Stanley Cup.

Nancy Rizzo

West Seneca

Getting Eichel in lottery hardly a consolation prize

As a diehard Buffalo sports fan for over 40 years, I truly understand the passion we show for our sports teams. Win or lose, we are fiercely loyal.

With that being said, I was shocked by the reaction of some Sabres fans when told we didn’t get the first pick in the NHL draft lottery (even though there was an 80 percent chance we would not get first), and that we would be getting Jack Eichel instead of Connor McDavid.

Did these people think for one moment how this young man would feel, knowing that he is probably coming to play in a place that views him as a “consolation prize,” while the real prize got away?

Good job fans. We are better than that. We are known as “The City of Good Neighbors.” How about showing some excitement about adding this fantastic new talent to a team that has been struggling so badly of late?

I am ecstatic and proud that Eichel will bring new life to our team and give us a reason to get excited again. Welcome to Buffalo, Jack. I hope the fans embrace you and all that you will bring to this franchise.

Gail Hyziak


Eichel may adapt better to NHL than McDavid

I was relieved when the Sabres “lost” the draft lottery because we have the right choice locked up, Jack Eichel.

The reason I didn’t want Connor McDavid? The NHL doesn’t protect its star players or allow them to flourish in today’s game like they once did. It’s stifling.

He’s supposed to be the next Sidney Crosby, but personally I feel Crosby should’ve had a better career. He has only one Stanley Cup and two serious concussions to show as a superstar. The culture of today’s league leaves McDavid vulnerable to be a prime target night after night for some cement head who wouldn’t mind sitting down for two minutes to ring “The Next One’s” bell with an elbow.

You can’t spell Neanderthal without the letters NHL. In this league, rough and tough trumps skill and scoring. Plus, the referees have swallowed their whistles. Do you think that will help or hurt McDavid?

That’s why I’ll take Jack Eichel. The kid is better equipped to break through traps and defenses. He’s stronger and packs smarts and talent. He’ll have a longer and more productive NHL career. He’s been labeled “second best” and instead of the future of the NHL on his shoulder, he’ll have a chip on it. Hopefully the size of the one Thurman Thomas had his whole career. Sorry, Tim Murray. With all due respect, I like Eich.

Larry Steszewski


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