NHL deserves one-game holdout post lockout
The NHL lockout is finally over. The greedy players and owners have finally come to an agreement. I would like to encourage all hockey fans around the NHL to hold out for just one game.
It would be great to see no one show up for that opening game. Let the players and owners see how we felt when they didn’t show on the original opening night.
NHL needs to pay the price for work-stoppage fiasco
While I appreciate the sentiment in Ted Black’s email dated Jan. 7 to the fans of the Buffalo Sabres, I have a significant problem with the process that brought us to losing half of a season.
Both sides knew when the former CBA was ending. Both sides waited to get the job done. Both sides failed the people who pay them to do a job most anyone on the planet would love the opportunity to do for a week. The sad thing is, the deal that was signed could’ve been signed before training camp was supposed to have started.
This is how I am handling the lack of regard of the fans by both sides: I will not be buying any tickets this year. I may not buy any next year. I will not buy any merchandise this year. I may not buy any next year.
A healthy dose of skepticism regarding the Bills’ hire
I received the news of the hiring of Doug Marrone to be the next head coach of the Buffalo Bills with a healthy dose of skepticism, a skepticism nurtured since my fandom began in 1960 on Day One.
I am surely willing to give Doug the benefit of the doubt and truly hope the he is “the one,” but as soon as I heard the news of his hiring the first thing that I thought of was that the Bills had repeated the “Mike Mularkey mistake” of hiring a coach who came highly recommended as an offensive coordinator. Keep in mind that his experience as an OC was in a situation where head coach Sean Payton called all of the plays on game day, not Doug.
Another aspect of this hire that took me aback was that over recent years, the Bills have struggled mostly on the defensive side of the ball. The talent seems to be in place, with the exception of the LB corps. How that talent is employed and inspired will tell the tale. It should be interesting.
Gailey wasn’t a savior but was a class act
Chan Gailey was not the savior coach the Bills had hoped for. He was criticized for his rash coaching decisions during critical games throughout his time as head coach.
One thing Gailey did do was honor the Bills and fans with class and dignity.
The Comeback made for gripping radio
On that Sunday, Jan. 3, 1993 our family was returning home from visiting my parents, traveling the endless stretch of New York State Thruway between Albany and Buffalo. Our son Ben, who was 7, sat in the backseat strapped into his car seat. All of us looked forward to making the time pass more quickly by listening to the Bills game on the radio. I think Ben and his grandfather had “a ferocious bet” of a quarter on the game. With each Houston touchdown our spirits sank, and the prospect of another half of the same relentless attack made the miles ahead look pretty bleak.
By the middle of the second quarter, Ben began the predictable litany of, “So how long until we get home, mom?” and “What did you bring for me to do?” At halftime we stopped to stretch our legs and buy gas. No sooner had we buckled our seat belts, and Houston scored again. We heaved great sighs of resignation.
Then by the middle of the third quarter, I realized Ben hadn’t said a word. I turned around. He was gazing out the window, but his attention was focused on the call of the game. He didn’t say a word to me almost in fear of breaking his concentration; he was listening that intently. With only minutes left in the game, I turned once again to look at my son. His hands were gripping the arm rests, his eyes had a look of wild, wide-eyed wonder. Again he spoke not a word.
Later when we arrived home we called my parents, where the game was not blacked out, to let them know we had returned safely. When Ben got on the phone, his grandmother told him, “Too bad you weren’t able to see the game!” And he replied, “Oh, no, Grandma, I made the pictures in my head.” Van Miller, what a fantastic storyteller.
Sorrentino’s athletic feats are just part of his story
On Dec. 27, a hero passed away. Jim Sorrentino, a local area businessman, died peacefully to join his son 14 years to the day.
Jim was one of the first athletes to star as an “all Catholic” (today’s version of all-WNY) in three sports at Bishop Timon: football, baseball and basketball. His feats included pitching a no-hitter versus St. Joe’s, which at the time had something like a 32-game unbeaten streak.
He was a modest, mild-mannered man who didn’t like the limelight but is due recognition not only for his athletic achievements but also for his contribution to the sporting goods business. His business is one of the last “mom and pop” shops left and he taught all of his sons the “right” way to do business and treat people.
Please stop and say a prayer if you had the great opportunity to cross paths with this man along the way of life.
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