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Winging it

Ricota’s Pizza and Subs is, no doubt, already a well-known establishment among residents of the Valley neighborhood in South Buffalo.

Now, thanks to a piece in last Wednesday’s New York Times, it might have a new national profile.

The article, headlined Sometimes You Can’t Beat the Postgame Spread, features Ricota’s among various local restaurants around the nation selected to feed National Hockey League players once they retire to the locker rooms after a game.

Ricota’s, of course, is the Sabres’ pick, which means the humble eatery also supplies meals to members of the visiting teams during the Sabres’ home games.

Samir Khoury, one of the brothers who owns the modest pizzeria and grocery store on Elk Street, told the Times that their first opportunity to serve the Sabres and visiting team members occurred about six or seven years ago because of the Khoury brothers’ habit of opening Ricota’s for a few hours every holiday. With all the usual places closed one particular Thanksgiving Day, Khoury said a friend who worked with the Sabres’ equipment manager knew that Ricota’s would be open.

Now Ricota’s gets a call from the Sabres about 30 times a season.

Too sexy for this job?

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s job approval ratings may be faltering – depending upon which polls you consult – but his stock appears to be rising with the editors of People Magazine.

The chronicler of celebrities recently released its sexiest men alive issue and Cuomo landed on the list as the “sexiest 55-year-old.”

It’s not the first time the magazine took notice of the governor’s apparent “it” factor. He made the countdown in 2010 as well, after his election to the governor’s office. Sex appeal is not a prerequisite for the job, but it doesn’t hurt.

When asked about it, Cuomo attributed his sexiness to his being the governor of the Empire State.

“I think it’s about New York,” Cuomo said at a news conference held to address more substantive matters of state.

“I think New York is sexy. And since I’m the New York governor, that’s how it got there,” he added.

According to other published reports, Liz Sporkin, the executive editor of People, said Cuomo’s many years of public service make him sexy.

Or maybe it’s in his genes. The governor’s younger brother, CNN morning show anchor Chris Cuomo, made People magazine’s list of most beautiful people in 1997.

Win, and he can write a book

We all have our escapes. Some of us read. Some do drugs.

Here’s what we just learned about Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone: He enjoys a good story, but current events are not on his reading list.

At a news conference this week to talk about the Bills game against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in Toronto, the football coach was asked, “What do you think of their mayor and the kind of example that Rob Ford presents?”

“The mayor of Atlanta?” he replied.

No, the mayor of Toronto – the one attracting headlines around the world and punch lines on “Saturday Night Live” for smoking crack cocaine, making crude remarks and looking un-statesmanlike on video.

“I have no idea who he is,” Marrone said.

We don’t know if Marrone is a workaholic coach who sleeps in his office and logs countless hours watching video and adding to the playbook.

But he let on how he takes his breaks from the game.

“If I want to escape football, I’ll escape it in a novel,” he said. “I call it a novel, my wife calls it fiction. I’ll do that, but honestly, we really don’t have a lot of time for anything else.”

Of course, what’s happening in Toronto has become stranger than fiction, so maybe the coach will give a newspaper or magazine a try.

Written by Harold McNeil with contributions from Janice L. Habuda and Patrick Lakamp. email: offmain@buffnews.com