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Letters to the Sports Editor (Jan. 3)

Bills are lacking the ties that bind

Many stories have been written about the dismal results of the Bills the past 16 seasons. We’ve got the talent, we’ve got owners and coaches who want to win, yet year after year, the results are the same − the Bills miss the playoffs. The Bills are mediocre at best. The Bills are a .500 team. Yet one has to look objectively and ask, what is missing? With the talent of many of the NFL players today, the margins are quite slim between all but a select few in the league. So, a string of 16 years of no playoffs seems out of the statistical realm of possibilities. Except for one thing that isn’t talked about much-

Team Relationships. Call it what you want, but you can see and feel the difference between what we have here, and a championship (or even a playoff-bound) team. Mr. and Mrs. Pegula, Mr. Brandon, I would encourage you to find an individual who can get this team to play as a team, to care about each other, to spend time together. We’ve had a run of 16 years now with a bunch of talented individuals caring more about themselves than the greater good of why they collect their paychecks.

Yes, they are talented. Yet without this team playing with a care of their teammates, and the care of the greater good of the single focus of this team, we should plan on suffering through a 17th season of a non-playoff run. Relationships matter. We need a person in the organization to make it happen.

Playoff-bound teams seem to have it. The Bills of the early 1990’s certainly had it, and many from that team continue to have it 25 years later. The Bills of today need a leader in the organization to teach them how to do it.

Kevin Sparks

Lime Lake

Bills found themselves in a world of hurt

I guess it is time to reflect on another losing season by our Buffalo Bills. The one person we can place a lot of the blame on for this losing season is the “Injury Bug.” This team has had more than their fair share of injuries this season in key positions on both sides of the ball. The Bills played a few games this season with three or four starters out. Those games turned out to be losses. A couple of wins in those games and we are looking at a different ending to our season.

I guess Rex Ryan deserves some of the blame for the woes of our defense. There are some people who want Rex fired for this. You can’t fire a coach after Year One. This would make the Pegulas look bad. No one would coach here on such a short leash.

So once again it is time to sing an all too familiar tune, “Wait until Next Year.” Maybe with a little luck we can escape the injury bug.

Steve Marsh

Depew

Pieces of puzzle don’t fit for Bills

For a football team to be successful, a good coach will put in a system that stresses the strength of his material. Unfortunately in Buffalo we are fitting square pegs into round holes.

This is not the hallmark of good coaching. Is it any wonder the defense has been atrocious?

Mr. Pegula, if you want a consistent and championship contender, Rex Ryan is not your man.

John Poole

Kenmore

Finds coverage just like [BN] behind the scenes

Looking for a silver lining in the Buffalo Bills season? The Buffalo News sports reporters! This year’s commentaries, analysis and recaps of the games were engaging and informative. Their featured commentaries provide exceptional insight to the games, regardless if readers agreed or disagreed with their opinions.

Hats off to veteran reporter Vic Carucci’s “Take Five,” Tyler Dunne’s “Report Card,” and Mark Gaughan’s ”Matchup Winners” and “Top 10 Plays.” Along with Jay Skurski’s “Coming Attractions,” articles awakening us to what’s next around the corner.

Enjoy Jerry Sullivan, but next year’s football season we need him to make a firmer commitment on his opinions and not always give himself an out with his shrewd writing talent. An opinion commentary the way he approached “breaking 100.”

And looking to the future for our “BN sports team,” how about weekly featured Ralph Wilson Stadium tailgating cuisine articles with your restaurant critic or, better yet, a female perspective on Sunday’s pre-game experiences?

Joseph Britton

Youngstown

New regime didn’t deliver as promised

What has happened to the Buffalo Bills? A team that last year looked to have a promising future is now in a defensive and offensive shambles.

We have Rex Ryan and his coaching crew to thank. Other than Mr. Ryan and his contract worth millions, why is he being held over next season? He is stubborn to change his style of coaching.

Next year more excuses and another losing season. Look at the Jets’ record this season and compare it to last season. That tells you the story.

Daniel Botzko

Tonawanda

The 1965 Bills: Those were the days

Thank you for the great story on the 1965 Bills. It seems to me that the old AFL days are too often forgotten.

This was the last Bills team to win the final game of the season, the AFL title game over San Diego. It made my day.

Mark Hibschweiler

Lockport

The ‘Clown Prince’ left an impact

The court jester who entertained people of all ages for years has passed. Meadowlark Lemon, the “Clown Prince,” has moved on to the hardwood courts in heaven. I’m sure Meadowlark will have his bag of tricks as he enters the Pearly Gates to the sounds of “Sweet Georgia Brown.”

John Jendrysek

Orchard Park

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