1) My reaction to the Bon Jovi news…I've always been a cynic when it comes to the Bills future and this just fuels that. I will say this until I'm blue in the face, the NFL would rather have the Bills in Toronto than in Buffalo. Spin the wheel of reasons and it will surely land on green: Luxury boxes, skyrocketing ticket prices, a bigger metro market. Anyone pointing out that the Toronto series has bombed out needs to realize that Toronto is a hell of a sports city. Cheering for the Buffalo Bills in Canada is a lot different than cheering for the Toronto Bills.
If the Toronto Raptors played 5 games in Buffalo and charged a sick amount for tickets, would you be happy about cheering for them or would you rather cheer for your own basketball team? I think the Buffalo Raptors would be my pick. Stop trying to shit on Toronto fans. They are assholes when they come to the F'N Center, but they would rally around their own football team. Also, I could totally see a situation like the Seattle Super Sonics where a new owner took over and promised to keep the team there, only to then move them to OKC once they had a new arena.
A lot of folks in Seattle felt this was BS, that the owner had every intention of moving the team from the beginning. In other words, Rogers/Bon Jovi could buy the team, promise to keep it in Buffalo, and when that 7th year loop hole in the lease is reached, just get the hell out of town because the region isn't economically viable for an NFL owner. That's always been Roger Goodell's POV. If they get their hands on the team, I think the best case scenario for us is a dual partnership like what happened with Green Bay and Milwaukee.
I can handle 1-2 games in Toronto, but if we start splitting it 50/50, it becomes a problem. At that point, when does it stop. Greed has no boundaries once its gotten a taste. Take a piece here, take a piece there and boom, your team is gone. I will say, the idea of a trust is a hell of a lot better than going up for public auction. At least a trust means having a say about who buys the team.
2) Anyone think Pat LaFontaine would be interested in keeping Ted Nolan no matter what the new GM thinks? I know they've got the whole interim tag thing going, but the NHL coaching profession doesn't exactly come with high job security. There are only 30 NHL GM jobs to be had. Why not stick with Nolan for now? If he struggles next year and you start to hate him, you just fire him, right?
3-year plan with coaches? Not in the NHL. You can deal with it for a year and probably be done with it if you are a GM. Maybe I'm reaching a bit but just some food for thought.
3) The Sabres "turd" jerseys are a fricken disaster, but I do think that if the team was better, more people would be willing to embrace them or at least buy them. Don't believe me? Just go back to the slug era when the Sabres had 5 jerseys in the top 10 in sales (Miller, Briere, Vanek, Drury, Campbell) even though those things were an abomination. When the product is better on the ice, we tend to view things with rose-colored glasses (or beer goggles). That said, I can't believe we have gotten to this point. The Sabres have screwed up jerseys for the 2nd time in 6 years. I think it is time to incorporate focus groups with these jerseys.
4) About a year ago, I had someone within the Buffalo media tell me that all bloggers do is trash the local media. That is about as obvious as saying it's going to snow in January. This mainstreamer even told me he thought it was hypocritical for bloggers to want access to the press box after criticizing the guys in the press box so much. I don't really get that rhetoric, but whatever. What this person probably won't admit is that this is like the pot calling the kettle black.
How many times can you count on MSMers calling out of ESPN or Dan Dierdorf? This happens weekly. Hell, it happens daily. I think the biggest difference is, if I trash TBN or WGR, those guys know where to find me and I've gotten into it with them on numerous occasions via DMs or on Twitter. They can easily defend themselves because we are all in a small fishbowl on Twitter.
However, if you are Mike Schopp trashing Jim Nantz or Phil Simms, more than likely, those guys aren't going to give two shits because of their status in the broadcasting world. In other words, at least when bloggers critique the local guys, they are bound to have an argument with them and not pussy out, while the other party are just trashing while getting zero rebuttal.
5) I've been thinking a lot about the narrative that these Bills are different from Bills teams in recent years past. I could probably – and will at some point – put together a piece about how fans and MSM have been duped into thinking "this feels different" about 20 times during the last 13 years. Trust me, people were thrilled about the 2006 team that could have easily been 10-6 (close losses to Jets, Pats, Titans and Colts) or the 2007 team that somehow managed to get 7 wins with like 22 players on IR.
If you really want to find a legit reason to think things are different with the Bills this season, I'd say pointing to the 1st and 2nd year guys has merit. The rebuilds from 2001, 2006/2007, and 2010 didn't exactly have a large number of younger players contributing. The 2006 year under Jauron consisted of fans being optimistic about only a few young guys (JP/Evans/Whitner). The rest of that roster was still pretty long in the tooth (McGahee, Spikes, Fletcher, and Clements).
Go to 2010 and the only thing we could hold on to was that Stevie Johnson really established himself while everyone else was just a undrafted FA. I guess you could throw in Fred Jackson and Kyle Williams, but those two guys had been with the club for a good 4-5 years at that point and contributed.
In 2001, you could say there were some similarities. Travis Henry, Aaron Schobel and Nate Clements were studs as rookies and matched well with young guys like Antoine Winfield and Peerless Price, but that was about it.
With this year's team, you have to feel solid (crossing fingers) about EJ Manuel, the impact of rookie WRs Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin, CJ Spiller, Cordy Glenn, Kiko Alonso, Marcell Dareus, and a few younger guys in the secondary.
The amazing part is that the Bills only have 5 players (Fred Jackson, Kyle Williams, Brian Moorman, Erik Pears and Jim Leonard) who are 30 or older. In 2010, that number was at 11. In 2006, that number was at 8. So we at least have the youth movement on our side.