Fat Man Walking

Mike WilliamsRight tackle/right guard/left guard/fat waste of space was released by the Bills on Thursday, putting an end to his lackluster career in Buffalo, and putting a punctuation mark on Tom Donahoe’s biggest miss as former general manager of the team. The 4th overall pick in the 2002 draft, Williams never lived up to lofty expectations, never taking his place as the franchise tackle the Bills had envisioned when they drafted him. He’d been wildly inconsistent playing at right tackle, and never really had a realistic chance of having success at the marquee offensive line position, left tackle, much to Buffalo’s dismay. In fact, he was so bad at right tackle, that the team moved him to guard in the second half of the 2005 season, cementing his “bust” status. The Bills will save more than $3 million against the cap, and had they kept him, Williams would have counted $10.8 million against the cap. That’s a staggering number when you factor in where he was drafted, what position he was playing, and how little effort he seemed to put into getting better. He had been beset with injury problems throughout his career, though I’ve always thought he was simply being a lazy load not willing to put in the extra effort and push himself to a higher level.

I’ve never been a fan of players from the University of Texas; they all seem to have a sense of entitlement about them, not to mention what I kindly call “questionable” work ethics. Williams was no different; the proverbial “light” never turned on for him. Back in 2004, I remember being at a local video game store around midnight, the night Halo 2 was due to be released to the masses (nevermind the implication that I was at a video game store at midnight on a weekday; I will get a hold of my life on my own time). While waiting in line, a giant, black SUV/Truck with blinged-out rims comes pulling up to the curb and stops. Out of the truck comes Mike Williams with an apparent friend/bodyguard of his. Williams and friend amble past the line and walk right into the store and exit a minute or so later, brand new copy of Halo 2 in hand; Williams obviously ready for a night full of pwning n00bs (i.e. “gaming”).

68Putting all the disdain I have in context, this is the week following a game Williams missed because of what was called a “neck injury.” This same neck injury didn’t seem to get in the way of being out late at night to pick up a video game. I’m probably a tad off-base on this, but how does a guy like this, in the middle of football season, have time to be out at that time of night to buy video games, when he should be at home either getting better, sleeping, or reading his playbook and studying film. I’m sure there are plenty of players who do stay out, party, and even buy video games. But those players also put in 110% every week and–gaps–actually play on Sundays! Williams never “got it” and was never willing to put in the effort that would have justified him being a #4 NFL draft pick.

So this brings to an end the Buffalo chapter of Mike Williams’ NFL career. I’m sure someone else will pick him up for training camp this summer, and they too will come to the realization that Mr. Williams’ priorities rank as follows:
1) Eat some chips.
2) Take a nap.
3) Play videogames.
4) Play football…Madden NFL 2005 Football on the PlayStation 2, that is.
5) Make some time on Sundays to be at the stadium.

Marv Levy and new Bills’ coach Dick Jauron have their work cut out for them in making the Bills a contender again, and getting rid of some dead weight (quite literally) like Williams is a big step in the right direction. It was time to cut the cord. Good riddance.

To the Extreme

Washington Post Chat Transcript with Vanilla Ice

Minneapolis, Minn.: Yo Vanilla — do you still rock the mic like a vandal?

Vanilla Ice: Oh, of course, that’ll never stop. A lot of people don’t remember anything since Ice Ice Baby, but I’ve got 3 records out since then and they’re all successes — but not commercially.

Washington, D.C.: I understand that you have both a pet kangaroo and a lynx. Where did you get such exotic pets?

Vanilla Ice: Ya, it’s funny how people found out — my kangaroo got loose. It was on CNN and I was in London at the time. I have a goat, too. The goat pushed the gate open with his head and they both got out and ran around. And the goat and the kangaroo never parted. The whole entire time.

Washington, D.C.: What do you think of Eminem?

Vanilla Ice: I’m glad there’s another white guy out there having success because it’s all been on my shoulders for so long. There’s a lot of talented — white, Puerto Rican or Jew — if you’ve got skills, you’ve got em.

XX Giochi Olimpici Invernali di Torino 2006

TorinoSo I’ve caught a bunch of the Olympics over the last week or so, and since it’s become a decidedly passé event, if you believe the media (in)attention, I find it absolutely necessary to inform you as to why you should be watching. Despite there being many things to dislike about the Games in Torino (Turin, my ass!), there is much to enjoy about the 20th Winter Olympic Games, and I don’t just mean the “Olympic spirit.” Here are some brief thoughts and observations on each of the, ahem, sports, I’ve been watching on NBC, CBC, CNBC, MSNBC, USA, WTF, BBQ, and OMG!

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Watch like an Egyptian

That picture of the hatch counter from last week’s promo wasn’t from tonight’s episode, that’s for sure. Regardless, the counter finally did reach zero, and we got a great look at some hieroglyphs and the sounds of “something” powering up. I’m not sure why I keyed on this, but the floor of the armory Sayid was torturing Mr. Balloon in looked similar to that of an aircraft’s cargo bay (like a C-130 transport). Is the island actually a ship of some kind? A submarine? An aircraft?

The counter itself:

Counter Hieroglyphs

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Battlestar Fantastica

Another show I’ve become enamored with is the SciFi Channel’s Battlestar Galactica. At the recommendation of this dude who was raving about it, I acquired the initial mini-series and first two seasons (13 and 10 episodes, respectively) and ran through them in a few marathon viewings. The show’s got great acting (Edward James Olmos, Mary Macdonnell most notably), great writing, and great production values (especially the effects work).

Olmos Macdonnell

And no, this isn’t a continuation of the classic 1978 series starring Richard Hatch. This is a “reimagining” of the concept. And while I usually frown upon such things (see: Adam Sandler’s The Longest Yard, Steve Martin’s Pink Panther, etc.), I was never familiar with the ’78 series, so there’s nothing that could have tainted the new series for me. I can’t imagine the old series being as good as SciFi’s rendition, though. I mean, the biggest thing I’ve heard about the old show that there was a robot dog who hated Cylons… On second thought, that sounds like absolute genius.

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Refs 3, Sabres 2


I’ve become convinced that when I attend a Sabres home game, their success or failure is directly related to whether or not I wear my vintage blue-and-gold Pat Lafontaine #16 jersey. My track record while wearing the sweater is 100%. Last night, I decided to look all presentable and wear “normal” clothing. Lo and behold–the Sabres lose (albeit in overtime). I’ll not make that mistake again. Let that be a lesson to all of you: always dress like a drunken hobo sports fan when you have the opportunity.

Anyway, enough about my attire, fascinating though it may be. The Sabres eked out a point in the game against the Canadiens, scoring a goal with about 0:30 left in the 3rd period. Buffalo had played rather poorly the entire game, though a lot of that had to do with refs putting away their whistles while the Sabres were interfered with at every opportunity. So much for the “crackdown” that was supposed to reinvigorate the league. As has happened in every other year when the league says it will crack down on obstruction and interference, the refs get short memories each year around this time, and stop calling it. This could spell doom for the Sabres. They’re built to take advantage of the new rules, and if teams like the Canadiens are allowed to put their version of the neutral zone trap on the ice each night, what’s the point of even having referees? Call the damn penalties!

I must again recommend HSBC Arena’s beef on weck at the Harbour Club. DELICIOUS! Though, I was again smacked in the face with the horseradish upon said sandwich. It’s perfect for clearing out your nasal tract.