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Letters for Sept. 27

The Bills make him want to ... whisper

On Sunday, Sept. 20, Buffalo Bills fans attempted to set a world record for the loudest crowd at a sports stadium. Seventy thousand screaming fans at “The Ralph” attempted to break the record held by the Kansas City Chiefs, whose fans created 142.2 decibels of sound (which is equivalent to a jet engine at takeoff). This turned out be a failed effort by about 20 decibels.

This was a ridiculous effort by Bills fans and management. Many Americans have little idea of the physical damage from exposure to excessive noise. For most people, exposure to nose above 125 decibels causes physical pain. Exposure to noise above 140 decibels causes permanent hearing loss.

Hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing of the ears) are major problems. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health notes that “each year, approximately 30 million people in the United States are occupationally exposed to hazardous noise.” The National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that up to 10 percent of the United States population has permanent tinnitus.

The Buffalo Bills and the NFL should not be encouraging fans to break noise records. The NFL has a responsibility to protect its players, coaches, and fans from the physical dangers of excessive noise. The NFL is contributing to a dangerous trend: the idolatry of loudness.

Ted Rueter

(Director, Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet)

Chapel Hill, N.C.

What goes around tends to come around

Sept. 11, 1960. That is the day I became a Buffalo Bills fan. I’ve never missed a game even though I occasionally had to wait a week or two to see or hear the game, but I will never be nominated the No. 1 fan because I was lucky to go to one or two games a year. The rest were on the radio or TV or even by the long distance phone of a family member of friend at the cost of 25 cents a minute when I first moved to California where all my neighbors thought “Buffalo Bills” were a gambling casino on the Nevada State line.

When Direct TV came out with Sunday Ticket, I was the envy of every one back in Buffalo and requests for tapes of blacked-out games were granted to all my friends who were kind enough to let me listen to the game over their phone lines. Especially the comeback game against Houston in the 1992 playoffs.

Now that I am back in the Buffalo ’burbs, I hang out my four flags, put out my two inflatable Bills players, don my Fred Jackson jersey and watch the game at home. I regularly purchase merchandise with the logo and wear it most days. How many fans do you have that have been there for you for 55 years and teach their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren the love of the game?

What do I have to say to the Bills organization after Sunday’s loss to the Patriots? Karma, baby. Now you know how all your loyal fans felt when you dumped Freddy like a sack of rotten potatoes just so you could give a cry baby that didn’t even play the first game a few million more. Hope that game left you feeling like you had been sucker-punched in the gut like you did to us when you dumped the moral heart and soul of our team.

Jeanette Andrews


Just shut up and run the table

Tom Brady could have used an overinflated, underinflated football, a Bocce ball or a beer ball and he would have shut up the trash-talking, loudmouth Buffalo Bills in Sunday’s game.

Someone on the Bills needs to go back and pull out the old DVDs of Marv Levy’s speeches and play them for the current Bills:

Some of Marv’s quotes that apply:

“Don’t write checks with your mouth, that your body can’t cash.”

“Act like you’ve been there before.”

“Play smart, not stupid.”

Our vaunted defense looked like the proverbial Swiss cheese against the master of Bills’ disaster, Tom Brady.

The big, bad Buffalo bullies had sand kicked in their face and left the players’ cheeks sore from squeezing the tail that was firmly placed between their legs.

Next time, do more than win an emotional home opener against a weak defensive team before spouting off. With that said, 15-1 doesn’t sound too bad.

Darrell Slisz

Clarence Center

Somehow, A-Rod’s in position to pass Bonds

Will A-Rod do it?

As I write this article, Alex Rodriguez is 76 home runs away from the all-time record of 762 held by Barry Bonds.

He has two more years on his contract with the Yankees. Even if he falls short after two years, I’m sure he will extend his career to set the record. Bonds was 43 when he retired.

A-Rod just turned 40 in July. What an amazing feat it will be for a player who missed an entire year of baseball.

Rich Kanner


Could another Kelly be in Bills’ future?

Memo to Bills’ brain trust:

I think Chad Kelly would look great in a Bills uniform. Uncle Jim could be the QB coach. I’m sure loads of Bills fans would agree. Just stay tuned.

Marietta Cooley


Here’s hoping cooler heads prevail for Bills players

As a Bills fan since the old AFL days, I have never seen a more undisciplined team than this one. In the two games that we played so far, we had over 200 yards in penalties.

There must be a coaching problem here because I don’t see Rex Ryan doing anything about it. These players walk back to the sidelines and Rex does nothing. Coaches like Lou Saban and Vince Lombardi would make their feelings known when they walk back to the sidelines. Rex, it would not hurt if you yell at these players once in a while and maybe discipline might sink in. If not, the only record we will break is the one for the most penalties during a season.

Stan Marlinski


Put the bad Patriots’ game behind and look ahead

Where have all the bullies gone? I didn’t see any on our team but the Pats certainly showed Rex where they were.

The Pats owned the house and kept the Bills from breaking the noise record. After the Bills’ first TD, it was more like the sound of silence. One thing it did prove is that the Bills did not give up even though the Pats played soft.

The Brady Bunch came through again but 14 games still lie ahead. One game doesn’t make a season, so Rex can do it. Bring them back and whip Miami at Miami and show we haven’t seen nothing yet.

Paul DiVito


Cassel merry-go-round doesn’t make much sense

First the Buffalo Bills trade for Matt Cassel, then bring him into training camp and he ends up being the No. 3 quarterback, and they release him to dump his contract. This all makes sense. Then they turn around and resign him, and he makes the team. Now they trade him to Dallas for a No. 5 draft choice, and give up a No. 7 draft choice in return. If that is all he is worth, why did they re-sign him at all? This move makes EJ Manuel the No. 2 quarterback, and that proves in my mind that this team is going nowhere fast. This move is starting to sound like a rebuilding year, again.

Bulletin: Rex, your first year will be 8-8, with luck, and not make the playoffs, again.

Rich Pietrykowski

North Tonawanda

Yogi left a legacy that no one will match

This week our country lost a hero and an icon: Yogi Berra. He was not a hero in the same sense that we use the term now. Today’s use is more idolatry. He was a hero long before he played baseball for the N.Y. Yankees. Yogi fought in WWII. He was on a ship at Normandy during the Allied invasion of France.

When Yogi returned after his tour of duty, he began playing for the Yankees in 1946. He played in the major leagues for 17 years, playing in the World Series 14 times and winning 10. No one else in history is close. Many in history will say that Johnny Bench is the best all-time catcher. I will not disparage Johnny Bench for he was truly great. He had more homers than Yogi, 389-358.

Berra only struck out 414 times. Bench struck out 1,278 times. Yogi won three MVP awards. Bench had two.

But it’s Berra’s colorful personality that also defines his legacy. His malapropisms have turned into classics, such as “It’s deja vu all over again,” “No one goes there anymore – it’s too crowded.” and “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

One of Yogi’s greatest accomplishments is his Museum and Learning Center at Montclair State University in Little Falls, N.J. It is a center focused on children’s learning and it is somewhere that he loved to be and something he was most proud of. The Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center will live on in history and will help his name, legacy, kindness and humility live on as well. In true Yogi linguistics, the sign on the door says: “We’re open ‘til we close.”

Yogi died on the same day and month that he started his Yankees career 69 years ago. Sept. 22, 1946-Sept. 22, 2015. Yogi, today only half of your most famous saying is true, sadly, “It’s Over.” You will be missed but not forgotten.

Greg Gonter


Send comments to Sports Talk, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, NY 14240. Letters may also be sent via fax to 856-5150 or emailed to Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing. Include name, hometown and a phone number for verification.