When the Bills announced their new general manager with three games remaining in the 2009 season, I was left scratching my head. Not because I thought it was a bad move, but merely because I had no idea who Buddy Nix was.
I consider myself to be a sports aficionado, and can designate countless sports personalities to their professions. But, for some reason I was oblivious as to who Nix was. Well, I quickly found out he was an integral part in turning around the San Diego Chargers franchise as assistant GM and Director of Player Personnel from 2001-2008. That alone got me excited, because I was aware of the many all-pro players that were drafted by Nix and co. during the Chargers dominant reign of the AFC West.
But there was something else about him that kept me enamored and interested in anything involving the current Bills’ GM. Even without knowing his outstanding draft-record, I knew I liked this guy from the first time I heard him speak shortly after being hired. His Alabama-induced drawl, to go along with his unconventional and sometimes satirical humor, has made for some immortal quotes and sound bites, and I have been a sucker for it all.
His thick drawl is simply fantastic to hear and is breath of fresh air in a town that does not feature a great diversity of accent. Off topic, but if I ever meet a good-looking girl with a similar deep-south intonation, I will drop to one knee quicker than Tebow and pop the question. There are fewer things sexier than a woman with a fine accent. What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, our pal, Buddy. It is also great that Nix will say whatever is on his mind, evidenced by him rarely blowing smoke to confuse the competition in what his plans are in free agency and the NFL draft. He is brutally honest in everything he says. He won’t sugarcoat anything and I admire that kind of honesty in a person.
That admirable honesty was in full force after the Bills cut that worthless, incompetent excuse of a defensive end, Aaron Maybin. My love for Nix was only escalated when he made the whole Maybin hate-club, aka Buffalo, euphoric by suggesting that the only way he could fit into a defensive scheme is by playing safety. The sad part for Maybin was that after weighing in the 220’s at the start of 2011 training camp, Nix was impartial with those comments. I’m paraphrasing here but I can still here Nix saying with that exquisite voice of his, “He’s not big enough, he’s not fast enough, he’s not strong enough!” He was brutally honest about a first-round bust he clearly was not fond of. Nix only said what everyone in Buffalo was thinking. His words just carry more weight — and it sounds a lot cooler than if a local had said it.
Buddy’s words are probably intimidating to the likes of people like Maybin, and others who are in his doghouse. If he were reproaching me about my inability to do something, I would listen and apologize for not performing to his standards. A co-worker of mine once explained to me a funny theory of his about Buddy. He said he sounds like a Confederate States general during the Civil War. I laughed, but suddenly thought, “I’m not sure what General Robert E. Lee sounded like, but I’m willing to bet Buddy speaks quite a bit like him.” I feel that he is viewed with the utmost respect in the organization and is held in the same regard a Civil War general would have been held to. He may just give a whole new meaning to the title of “general manager.”
Needless to say, when Buddy speaks, people listen. When I am having a middling day, it can quickly become a fantastic one when I receive a WGR 550 text update saying, “Buddy Nix press-conference live on WGR right now.” Or better yet, “Buddy Nix, live on the phone right now on WRG.” I know I am about to be treated to high entertainment that I can get nowhere else. How many GM’s across sports can give as many mindful and intelligent, yet hysterical, quotes and philosophies? This is why I propose something: Buddyisms.
Buddyisms consist of anything he says that is comedic gold, an off-the-wall viewpoint about life and/or football, or anything else of high entertainment value from the mouth of the guy that is leading the charge in making the Bills relevant again. There then needs to be a way to preserve Buddyisms.
There have been plenty of prevalent words from Buddy heard throughout the Western New York community in the last two and a half years. It would be phenomenal if these unforgettable words were made into a website fans can scroll when in need of a good chuckle or pick-me-up. Such a site would definitely contain sound clips from some of his most memorable pressers and interviews as well. I know me and a couple friends could spend a whole night drinking listening and reading Buddyisms and consider it a quality night of hanging out. On some nights, we could even do a spin-off of this and create our own drinking game from a Buddyism or two.
If this site were real it would contain classics as simple as, “That big ole boy is as big as a house,” as Nix commented in reference to the team drafting Georgia left tackle Cordy Glenn in the second round. And who could forget when he was asked why he traded up one spot to get T.J. Graham in the third round, and responded by saying, “I’m a river boat gambler.” There is also his most recent WGR interview when he said, “You don’t want all-choir boys that can’t play the game,” after stating he wants high character players that can also play good football. Of course, the Maybin quotes would surely make the cut. So would the time he explained the importance of late-round draft picks. He compared them to “your wife’s ugly babies,” and went on to explain that you have to love them because they’re yours. Classic. Corky Buddy-speak like that all seems so irrelevant, but once they are all digested, they make a ton of sense. That is the subtle brilliance of this man. Often times, the things he says sound like nothing more than comic relief. However, they are legitimate metaphors that prove germane to his job of improving the team and changing the culture in Buffalo to a winning one. And look at that smile.
On top of Buddyisms, it would be an extravagant win for local sports media if Buddy Radio were created. One hour, Monday through Friday where Nix goes into the WGR studio and he exhilarates listeners with whatever he wants to talk about. Buddy Radio — now that’s easy on the ears. It can be the Seinfeld of radio waves — a show about nothing. Buddy just sits there and talks, while screened callers periodically ask him questions. But mostly, he would talk about whatever is on his fascinating mind. It would preferably not even be anything about football. Tell us about your day, Buddy. Tell us what really grinds your gears — when meterologists get the whole week’s weather wrong? When the toilet paper roll isn’t replaced when out? When the mail is late? — Whatever. It’s Buddy Radio! It would be like breakfast for me — I’d make room for it daily.
There will also be an annual contest of some sort on the show where the winner gets to go out to dinner with Buddy. He is then required to read the whole menu to you in his enthusiastic voice. Just imagine, “THEY HAVE BEEF ON WECK. OR, I HEAR THEIR CHICKEN WINGS ARE TASTY. AND EVEN THE SIRLOIN STEAK IS AN OPTION.” Given his recent draft history, his top food suggestion would probably derive from the south, though. “I THINK YOUR BEST BET IS TO GET THE FRIED CHICKEN OR THE CAJUN SHRIMP!” Now, the capitals are not the same as Samuel L. Jackson trying to sell you his beer, it is just that said gusto of Nix.
If you got the wrong vibe from this and think that I am laughing at Nix, then you are completely off-base. He is an incredibly intelligent football person who knows how to run player personnel, and also happens to have unique and chivalrous philosophies that are too good not to be spread to the public. He is the main reason the Bills have been put in position as a popular sleeper pick in 2012. He has had three drafts with the team — all highly touted by most football media — and was the lead-horse in acquiring Mario Williams.
As much as I love Buddy the GM, I am just as enthused about the guy that is so extrovert, personable and funny outside of his work. Nix personifies Buffalo as a city in that way. Now, I want to reap every last benefit of having such a fun-loving out-of-towner in town.