Felser helped settle question on AFL

While attending the Super Bowl in Minneapolis courtesy of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, I entered into a discussion with a few other Western New Yorkers about the Buffalo Bills during their years in the American Football League.

Although I was quite young at the time, I was certain that I saw AFL games on Channel 7 during the 1964 season. Another person in our group who was currently working for NBC Sports began to vehemently reject my memory and stated that the Bills had always played their games on Channel 2 throughout their 10 seasons in the AFL. I had no proof so I just kept quiet.

However, upon returning to Buffalo, I wrote to sports editor Larry Felser to see if he could settle what had become a not so friendly dispute. Within a few days after sending my letter, one was returned to me, hand written by none other than Larry Felser.

Larry took great pride in not only letting me know that I was right, but that all AFL games were televised (except local home games since the blackout rule was not lifted until 1973) from 1960-1964 on Channel 7 locally, then Channel 2 from 1965 on. He wrote that the father of current NBC sports broadcaster Al Michaels was actually the lead negotiator for getting the first television contract for the American Football League.

Count me as another person who will miss Larry Felser and his history of the American Football League.

Mark Benton


Sabres’ price increase a slap in the face

As a long time Sabres season-ticket holder and a diehard fan since 1970, I find it crazy for the Sabres management to implement a 4 percent increase for our season tickets. Especially in light of a lockout-shortened season that saw the Sabres scrambling to play .500 hockey and not make the playoffs for the fourth time in the last six seasons. To not make the NHL playoffs over this stretch either can relate to poor coaching or a poor talent pool.

Bottom line: Fans are willing to support and pay for a product that improves and goes into the playoffs. The audacity for them to increase ticket prices for the second year in a row without those results is a slap in the face. And to blame it on the collective bargaining agreement, even with a reduced salary cap of $6 million next year, just doesn’t add up.

I can see why Mr. Pegula was not at the postseason conference. To grow league revenues at the expense of your loyal fans who have suffered through a truly unbearable season just isn’t right.

Dennis Mitchell


Patience a virtue fans are running out of

Terry and Ted, shame on you. The fact is Darcy has been given 16 years to produce a Stanley Cup team and he has the nerve to tell the fans to be patient.

If Darcy truly respected the team and the fans he would resign. He should show some class and have some self respect and move on, he can’t do the job here which he has more then proven. This city needs some hope and it will never happen with Darcy here.

Cindee Clay

North Tonawanda

Postseason presser shows Sabres don’t get it

April 28 was a bad day for the Buffalo Sabres. Unlike the other dysfunctional major pro sports team we have in town, I thought the new regime of the Sabres was different. About the only good thing that came of the postseason press conference was they actually had one.

While members of the media may have been somewhat confrontational toward Mr. Black, they were mostly attempting get an answer to the question that has nearly every Sabres fan puzzled: Why does Darcy Regier still have a job in this organization? Once Ted Black made it clear that the GM reports directly to the owner and not to him, the urgency to speak to the man responsible for giving Regier another pass came to the forefront.

Ted Black used words like “typical owner” to describe Terry Pegula. That’s funny because we were all led to believe that he wasn’t a typical owner. They also played the “small market” card again when attempting to justify ticket price increases. It sounds like Mr. Black has been spending some time with Russ Brandon.

All the negativity and bad public relations of this press conference could’ve been avoided had the Sabres decided to change GM’s. In fact, the result would’ve been exactly the opposite.

What Mr. Black and Mr. Pegula seem to fail to realize is that Regier represents more of the same. The expectations are low under any team Darcy will try to assemble because we’ve seen failure after failure and we’ve heard every possible excuse under his leadership.

I’m still rooting for the new regime to make this team into a winner. I still believe in them, but I’m starting to have doubts.

Jack Saccomanno


Management gave up when they shouldn’t have

So let me understand this. The Sabres need to increase ticket prices to raise more revenue. However, near the end of this season, when they still had a chance to make the playoffs and presumably make more money, they decided since they couldn’t win the Cup to forget about the playoffs. Thank goodness the players didn’t give up and made an exciting push to get in.

Now, management has decided they’re going right for the Cup. No first, second or third round exits, none, just going to win it all. I would feel a little better about their plan if it didn’t include the possible dumping of two very good building blocks in Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller. I think these players would like to stay but maybe they are having the same problem I’m having understanding all of this. Vanek and Miller aren’t just great players, they are quality people worth building a team around.

The NHL is getting closer to parity. The Sabres need to keep their best, add a couple of new players, develop the ones they have and find a new general manager.

Please stop the insanity.

Tim Feider


Manuel the right man to lead Bills to success

The Bills finally picked a quarterback and EJ Manuel was the right choice. A physical specimen along with great talent and to add to his resume he’s a gentleman on and off the field.

Being the god son of one of the greatest defensive lineman in football in Bruce Smith doesn’t hurt either.

John Jendrysek

Orchard Park

Why can’t Bills give locals a shot?

It seems the Bills rarely show interest in any of the local talent when they draft. In the current draft, two promising locals were passed over, Luke Tasker and J.C. Tretter. Over the years the Bills passed over players like Mark Murphy, Bill Bergey, Mike Williams and James Starks.

Can’t the Bills recognize all the good home-grown talent? These players all performed better than some of the flops drafted by the Bills.

Don Weimer


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