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Stevie needs to put performance first

Oh come on, Stevie Johnson, you said on local radio that you would be the best receiver on the field in Sunday’s game. You also stated that you and the Bills aren’t worried about New England because the Bills players were better and faster.

Guess what. A funny thing happened on the way to the final score. Yes, you did catch a nice pass for a touchdown in the end zone. Nevertheless, you dropped a very crucial pass on third down while being wide open that would have kept a Bills drive, alive resulting in a punt late in the game. As for the next opponent, the Carolina Panthers, just zip your lips.

Tony Hammill

Buffalo

Unruly fans spoiled first trip to Ralph

Last Sunday my family attended our first ever NFL football game at your stadium in Buffalo. Having never been to a professional football game before, we spent the summer looking forward to enjoying every aspect of the experience.

Our son is a New England Patriots fan. We are Canadians and live in Ontario. For the purpose of economy and distance we thought it would be great to catch the game in Buffalo and bought tickets for our family as a birthday gift for our son.

I am very sorry to report that we have never experienced such appalling treatment in our lives. While we walked in we had to listen to heckling and shouts of obscenities the entire way, just because our kids had on Patriots shirts. Obscene, hateful language directed against us because my son had on a Tom Brady jersey.

It continued in the lineup to get in the gate, then in the stands during the game, but the worst was when we had to walk back to our car. People were literally leaning out their car windows and yelling obscenities directed at not only Brady, but at myself, my husband, my 17-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter.

I have to admit, I did finally lose my temper and yell back when these “fans” started taunting my kids directly. I am not proud of it, but a line was crossed and mama bear was unleashed.

We have attended sports events in Canada – and yes, even games where we were cheering for the visiting team – and have never seen or experienced treatment like this.

I noticed your posters about Fan Code of Conduct and your video about “make mom proud” – well, I am sorry to tell you that your organization and your players would never be proud to have fans like these. These people are giving all the good fans (and we did meet some pleasant Bills fans) a horrible reputation.

We will never again attend any sporting event in Buffalo. It was a huge and very expensive disappointment. Had I any idea at all that we would have been treated like that (and it was happening to all Patriots fans around us too) I would never have brought my family.

J. Amey

Ontario, Canada

Bills’ play calling gave Pats an opening

Well, another day, another heartbreaking loss to the Patriots. My main gripe was the play calling with 5:51 left. Nathaniel Hackett actually called on Spiller to try yet another run right into the pile. It hadn’t worked all day and it didn’t work again.

OK, fine; that took some time off the clock, even though if they had Jackson in there, they would have had second down and 3-4 yards instead of 8-9. The next play was another foolish call, an incomplete blooper pass 20 yards down field. And on third down, they passed up the middle to the tight end for a short gain.

A three and out in less than one minute. Belichick had to be smiling inside. With Brady on his side, the game was won. The Patriots and Tom Brady were given all they needed to win the game.

But after watching parts of several other games that day, I realized that the Bills made a lot of other mistakes that could have changed the outcome of the game. Sure, the refs called the usual dubious penalties on the Bills that you usually see when they play the Patriots, such as a suspicious ‘hands to the face’ penalty that reversed a third down conversion. Veteran Bills fans have come to expect calls like that over the years.

But the Bills killed themselves with turnovers and other penalties, just as they always do against New England. And they had other chances to succeed, but Stevie Johnson dropped a critical pass and Mario Williams was rendered useless yet again.

Millions in Bills nation were crushed yet again by the surgical precision of Tom Brady.

John Swigonski

North Tonawanda

Flash soccer team a welcome addition

Soccer was never even on our radar when we became interested in the Western New York Flash three years ago through team owner Joe Sahlen, who is a lector at St. Louis Church. We thought it would be fun to surprise Joe with a bus load of parishioners for the home opener. Well, we fell short of a full bus and the surprise part didn’t work out either, but the game was exciting, we had fun and we were hooked. We repeated the bus trip to Rochester again this year with the same success. The friendly and helpful people we met from the Flash organization made the whole experience totally enjoyable. They really appreciate our support.

We were also impressed with the Sahlen’s Sports Park in Elma and the commitment to our youth exhibited there. The newly formed Women’s Professional Soccer League is a culmination of that local effort on a national scale. The cooperation displayed between various soccer federations to form the league is a remarkable story in itself.

In short, we want to thank The News for its excellent coverage of the Flash this season. We are looking forward to next year and your continued support.

Mike & Carol Zobel

Elma

Sometimes uniform change isn’t a good thing

The California Golden Seals called. They wanted their uniforms back.

James Ziolkowski

Buffalo

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