I’ve got a few ramblings about the current state of the NFL and sports in general, but let’s first turn our attention to Sunday’s Vikings-Bills game in Orchard Park, I’m struck again by how little I care about its’ outcome. Thank you, Mr. Tom Donahoe, for sapping all interest and enjoyment of Buffalo football out of me over the past several years. I’m eternally grateful that I no longer have to spend Sunday afternoons gritting my teeth and throwing objects at my television set. It will add years to my life and save me countless dollars on TV repairs.
That being said, the Bills looked pretty decent, aside from some sloppy penalties and special teams. The running game looked great; J.P. managed the game well despite some consistent pressure by Minnesota’s defensive line, and the overall gameplan by the coaches looked good.
I was encouraged to see Willis looking like he has some passion out there. His block on Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams late in the 2nd quarter allowed Losman to complete a deep pass to Lee Evans. If McGahee can get a bit more solid in the receiving game, he’ll cement his status as one of the best backs in the NFL.
I’ve been hard on kicker Rian Lindell in the past, mainly because he seems to miss kicks at the worst possible time. All this despite having the best field goal percentage in the history of the Bills. He’s been very solid this season and, despite a wind-aided miss today, I’ve changed my tune. I’m glad we’ve got him for the moment.
With Miami and the Jets losing today, the Bills are right back in the AFC East race, thanks in no small part, I’m sure, to Bubba Clinton’s presence at the game. Surrounded by homely interns, he donned a Bills’ cap and giggled for most of the game, or at least during those times when his mouth wasn’t stuffed with hot dogs and ribs.
On to the ramblings…
- I’m now officially sick of the Manning commercials, and it’s only week 4. If this keeps up, we’re going to see Peyton and his family hawking the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie at 4am. “Set it…and forget it! NO! Check it to kabobs, check it to kabobs!”
- If I never hear the name “T.O.” again, it’ll be too soon. I don’t care if you tried to commit suicide; I don’t care if you did try to commit suicide; I don’t care if you broke up with your wife; I don’t care if you don’t get the ball enough; I don’t care if you’re misunderstood; I don’t care if you’re a gasbag malcontent who cares only for his paycheck and the number of receptions you get on Sunday, just shut your face and go away. ESPN’s John Clayton was on local sports radio last week, lamenting the fact that he’d be sent down to Dallas to cover the Cowboys-Titans game because of the latest circus. When nationally-renowned and respected sports reporters are sick of it, it’s time to pull the plug on covering this guy. I’m talking to you, network executives.
- I have little to no interest in the outcomes of the Buffalo Bills season this year. If they contend, that’s great, but I’m more interested in player development and building for the future. If Takeo Spikes wants to complain about that, go ahead, but the current players and Donahoe regime had their chance to do something and failed miserably, from top to bottom. It’s time to let Marv build a solid foundation for the future and a team we can be proud of again.
- Regardless of how well or how poorly quarterback J.P. Losman plays this year, I’ll reserve any judgment until after the season. One of the great faults of modern sports journalism is its’ instant-gratification, “what’s happened in the last five minutes” focus. There are gross overreactions and sweeping generalizations concerning each week’s sports events, with the talking heads on TV and in print rarely thinking of long-term implications. As a consequence of that, these sports “personalities” are wrong pretty much all of the time.
The focus on the actual sports and games has been lost in favor of the hot storyline, whether it be Terrell Owens or Terrell Owens, or Terrell Owens. If a team loses one week, journalists predict eternal doom and gloom, only to be shocked and surprised when that same team wins by 28 the next week. I think we have ESPN to thank for much of this, but other networks should not go unscathed. I wonder how much analysts like Al Michaels and John Madden and other sports reporters are making for their 3 hours of work once a week. It’s gotten to the point where they’re more worried about the hot storyline, making appearances at swanky parties, and working on their golf game than they are about substantially researching the game they’re supposed to be covering on Sunday or Monday. Another depressing facet of modern society.
- This has nothing to do with football, but the latest on the Buffalo Sabres’ logo is that it still sucks the goat ass.