Niagara Gazette

Columns

October 19, 2013

LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Making most of Masters Field final game

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Among the players Gene developed here was a quarterback named Dean Santorio, all-Western New York in 1985. Dean became Gene’s assistant, then his successor. Things hardly missed a beat. Their winning percentages are nearly identical. This year, Grand Island weathered a series of injuries remindful of the Bills and will again enter the top tier of the playoffs.

Yet with all this, Grand Island has never developed a fervor for football comparable to, say, the steel and coal regions of Pennsylvania. Three digits suffice for crowd size. Fortunes do not rise and fall with football. Two weeks ago, a savvy promoter scheduled the Taste of Grand Island on the same day as football Homecoming. In the villages of mines and mills, that would have gotten him run out of town.

No “seat licenses” here. A hot dog at Theodore’s costs more than a ticket to Viking football and the refreshments are pretty good, too. You might call it disinterest; we call it perspective. Come visit. Bring a blanket and a seat cushion, too.

To contact Polly and Doug, e-mail pollyndoug@hotmail.com

Polly and Doug E-mail pollyndoug@hotmail.com

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