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RPI’s coach could have done more to stop brawl

Friday, January 31, 2014
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RPI’s coach could have done more to stop brawl

Re recent articles and the Jan. 28 editorial on the incident at the end of the Jan. 25 RPI-Union hockey game. I also attended the game and was sitting in the front row near the penalty box, across from the Union players’ bench. From this vantage point, I could also clearly see the RPI bench.

At the end of the game, many of the RPI players left the bench to “celebrate” as Mike MacAdam stated, [Jan. 26 Gazette]. Celebrating involves mobbing the goalie, it does not involve engaging players still on the ice from the opposing team.

Instead of focusing on the unfortunate, escalating melee occurring on the ice with the players, I looked at what was happening on both teams’ benches. What I saw on the Union bench was coaching staff doing everything it could to prevent its players from going onto the ice. Coach Jason Tapp was holding the jersey of one of his players who already had one leg over the boards, attempting to get onto the ice. The Union coaching staff was clearly trying to prevent a situation that game officials could no longer control.

On the RPI bench, I saw the five or six players sitting closest to the center line remaining on the bench, with one of the assistant coaches talking to them. Farther down the bench, with no players sitting in front of him, was Coach Seth Appert. Standing there, Coach Appert had his arms folded across his chest, nodding and smiling. He made no effort to defuse a bad situation, such as moving closer to the boards to get his players to disengage from the Union players. Instead, Appert chose to approve of, and enjoy, his players squaring off with the Union players who were on the RPI end of the ice at game’s end.

Although he has made no comment for his reaction toward Appert, I suspect [Union Coach] Rick Bennett also saw this. It is unfortunate that the tapes reviewed by the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference most likely only contained what was occurring on the ice and not on the benches.

While Appert did not make the first move in physically engaging Bennett, it was apparent to me that the RPI administration’s decision to not discipline their head coach for [not trying] to restore order on the ice was, in fact, a stamp of approval for [what took place].

Jim Beranek

Schenectady

Beware: casino hype like Super Bowl’s

Re the many recent articles and letters pertaining to [siting the region’s] casino in Saratoga: I would advise all the pro-casino people to read the Jan. 28 Associated Press article, “Economists question Super Bowl impact.”

If we substitute “Saratoga casino” for the upcoming Super Bowl, the article serves as a warning for the gullible.

The article reads, “Despite such lofty predictions ... the financial impact of the Super Bowl [on New York City businesses] could fall below expectations.”

Later in the article, economics professor Philip Porter found that a comparison of past Super Bowl sales tax [receipts] to non-Super Bowl sales tax [receipts] from similar time periods showed “hardly any change.” In other words, [Super Bowl fans] were not supporting local businesses.

Porter stated that “visitors spend money at NFL-funded events and buy NFL-branded memorabilia during Super Bowl week instead of frequenting local establishments.” You could argue that the Saratoga-based casino would be the event and people would buy Saratoga-themed merchandise. I am not convinced.

People who go to Turning Stone and Foxwoods casinos are usually bused in and never leave the site. These massive casinos contain everything people need on-site. Why would anyone need to go to downtown Saratoga?

Two other areas of possible profits for a Super Bowl-type event are increased hotel room sales and media exposure. One of the subtitles in the article was “hotels disappointed,” explaining that the hotels near the Super Bowl are now taking off the four-day-stay requirement and lowering their prices.

One could argue that the hotels were being greedy with those type of restrictions or were misled by promoters into thinking that they should create those restrictions.

Seems like Saratoga does well all by itself in the [promotion] area. To this point, Porter suggested, “there is no evidence that the game(s) have any lasting brand impact for any city.”

When people go to Foxwoods, do they use the location name of Mashantucket? Or when they go to Turning Stone, do they say Verona? I don’t think so.

As the anti-casino people suggest, there are many unintended consequences to new developments like casino resorts. As members of the Capital Region community, we can lend our support to those who question the easy buck and questionable promises of these casino developers. Remember Barnum’s saying.

Janice Walz

Scotia

Hard to fault Troy cops’ response

The Troy police answered a call from a tavern owner who needed help with an unruly crowd [Jan. 26 Gazette].

The police came, were pelted with missiles of various kinds, and a police car rear window was broken by a garbage can thrown at it. Many police were hurt, and now some people want the chief to resign because a few of the police were “too rough.”

I am not a defender of the police all the time, but in this case I think the charge of police brutality is bogus. The police had a bunch of unruly bar patrons to deal with in the early morning hours.

K.C. Halloran

Melrose

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