Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Singin' the Blues in Buffalo

There has been a whole truckload of weeping and gnashing of teeth in Buffalo since last Sunday. The Bills collapsed again, and are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.


The main Buffalo sports radio station, WGR 550 on your AM dial spends days following the weekend games dissecting the Bills. None of the dialogue is very pretty.


“Mike and Mike” in the morning is a popular show. The hosts are well versed in the game, and they are not afraid to share their opinions.


In the afternoon, as is the case with many of these sports stations, fans are encouraged to call, email, and text, communicate somehow with the hosts. In this case, the comments are mostly venomous. And the hosts, “Shopp and The Bulldog”, are not shy with their opinions.


The hosts had this to say about the team: “They are just incompetent. There was poor clock management and dubious decisions were made. There were serious blunders made by the players, and the coaching staff. December football is again meaningless in Buffalo. From October 14th on to the present, that has been the case.”


“The Bulldog” went so far as to say that Bills coach Chad Gailey was scared. At one point in the game, the team sent place kicker Ryan Lindell onto the field to attempt a 52 yard field goal, with reasonable expectations. Gailey then called time out, re-evaluated the situation, and chose to punt. The fans climbed all over him. The coaching staff has taken the heat.


After the game, Coach Gailey, in his southern drawl, was asked what his plans were now that the team has been eliminated from post season play yet again, barring a miracle. “We have to try to get better every time we walk out on the field,” he told the phalanx of reporters after the game. He is a proud individual, and you could sense that all of this bashing hurts.


In his defense, the team has been decimated by injuries the entire season. He has lost key interior linemen, and other players at key positions. If you haven’t got the troopers, it is difficult to win the battles.


Arguably, the players on the field should be held responsible for some of the damage. The St. Louis Rams, now a .500 team for the season, moved the ball down the field on 14 plays to score with 48 seconds remaining to win the game. They covered 84 yards on that particular drive. Granted, the fourth quarter is the easiest time to move the ball in the NFL, as defensive players feel the exhaustion more that the boys on the other side of the ball. And the Bills have allowed that to happen far too many times this season.


C. J. Spiller, arguably the Bills’ best player, only got the ball 8 times in the game. The other running back, Fred Jackson, carried the ball 9 times, managing to move it just 14 yards! Not exactly getting the job done.
             C. J. Spiller                                                                   
                                                                                                                      Fred Jackson
Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Bills’ oft maligned quarterback, completed 25 passes on 33 attempts. That result is superb, although many of those completions were for short yardage. The team picked up only 247 yards in the air.


                                                                 Marshawn Lynch
The Seahawks are in Toronto to face the Bills this Sunday. They are coming off a 58-0 shellacking of the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday. Marshawn Lynch can't wait to face his former teammates! Yikes! Time to circle the wagons!


I apologize. I am starting to sound like a whiney radio guy. Upstate New Yorkers and die hard southern Ontario fans just want the best for the Bills. They have been to four Super Bowls, but have no rings. A lot of frustration.


It is time for change. And not just for the sake of change.


December 11, 2012. 

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