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Standing up for Buffalo

Apparently I wasn't the only one who had a bone to pick with Willis McGahee. Judging from the tsunami of reader e-mail, comments by the former Buffalo Bills running back hit a nerve. Current and former Buffalonians, and Bills fans everywhere, were dismayed that the kid the Bills took a chance on didn't just take the trade he wanted and say sayonara.

It's Tuesday at 11 a.m. as I write this, and I've heard from people in half the states in the union, NORAD headquarters, a Navy base in Virginia, and a Denver yoga studio. Plus a whole lot of people who found the story ("Dear Mr. McGahee - Take This!) in today's Life & Arts section while looking for a Sabres medallion coupon.

I heard from a woman in Maine who's moving back with her family to take a job here, and a man who moved here from Oahu six months ago with his pregnant wife. Now they live with their infant son in a lovely three-story on Linwood they own for half of the rent on their 700-square-foot apartment in Hawaii.

"When we do get a chance to go out," he wrote, "I'm continually impressed by the new places we find to go and the exciting restaurants that seem to be around every corner."

I write about Western New York for a living. My News colleagues and I have done our jobs and chronicled its problems and shortcomings in sometimes painful detail. But anyone who doubts that this city holds a special place in the hearts of people who have really lived here doesn't know squat.

To read the original story that's causing all the comment, here's the link.

- Andrew Z. Galarneau



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