Buddy Nix gets vote of confidence
When does Christmas come in April? When Santa (aka Roger Goddell) walks to the podium Thursday and declares the start of the NFL Draft.
Which present will Buddy Nix open first? It's likely it will come down to four players -- Riley Reiff, Cordy Glenn, Jonathan Martin or Michael Floyd. Whoever it is, he will start immediately. In addition to those positions, cornerback and outside linebacker should also be addressed by round five.
If he is still available in the second round, don't be shocked if Nix takes quarterback Brock Osweiler. He is 6-foot-7, mobile, and has a strong arm to combat the Orchard Park winds. He is also very raw, so he can learn behind Fitzpatrick for the next two or three years.
It wouldn't be a Bills draft unless they selected someone from a small school who will surprise you with his strong play. This year's obscure pick could be Brian Quick, a big and speedy wide receiver from Appalachian State.
Buddy Nix is an astute talent evaluator, it's what he does best. Although no GM gets all the selections right, I'm confident that he will get more than his share. That, plus the recent free agent signings will bring us a step closer to ending the longest current playoff drought of any team in the NFL.
Watching Sabres line is worth a move
I have been a Sabres fan for a long time now. In the beginning there was "The French Connection." As a teenager, I could not wait to see the next game with these guys. Super fun to watch.
Now in my 50s, I have seen something amazing come out of this year's push for the cup (ended too soon), and that is in the form of our next best thing.
"The Right Connection" (Ennis, Foligno and Stafford). These guys are great together. Keeping them together should be the Sabres' No. 1 priority.
I live in Viginia at this time and plan to move back to Buffalo before the start of the 2012-13 season.
I can see myself becoming a season-ticket holder, just to see this line. And I bet others will do the same as long as they stay right here.
Newport News, Va.
Happy to hear more of Jeanneret
The best news in the sports section recently may have been the article that Rick Jeanneret wants to announce more games for the Sabres next season. Heck, that may be the best news to come from the Sabres this year. (Well that's a toss-up between that and finally trading Paul Gaustad). Any true hockey fan wants a true play-by-play announcer. And Jeanneret is the consummate pro at this. He announces the play as it happens, adding excitement and humor along with every broadcast.
Kevin Sylvester, while a solid host of pre- and post-game functions, is atrocious as a play-by-play man. He stumbles over words and falls behind the play way too much. He tries to add stories during the middle of the play and when something exciting happens he just mumbles real loud and makes sound effects. And while many people might think that Harry Neale has lost a step with his Hockey Night in Canada hey day (he has), he is much more tolerable than Danny Gare's cliche sayings.
I am not saying that Kevin and Danny are bad people, they just can't do this job. When Rick finally does retire (hopefully not until this team finally tries to win a Cup for him) the Sabres need to look for suitable replacements for Rick and Harry. I would suggest we beg Pete Weber to move back to Buffalo from Nashville.
Let the Three Stooges handle NHL discipline
How ironic the new Three Stooges movie is playing in a movie theater near you given the violence, cheap shots, hits and outright attempts to purposely injure and hurt NHL star players during the first round of the NHL playoffs. Curly, Larry and Moe can do a better job of running the NHL.
If commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL brass are proud of the first round playoffs with all the cheap shots, intent to hurt and injure players, this is a sad day for pro sports.
Why not let the players who have been given God-given talents play their game with the art and grace of hockey instead of these games looking like gang wars on ice. What will it take for a cheap and intended shot to badly injure a hockey player's life before the NHL wakes up?
I am sure the Stooges would have done a better job of disciplining Boston Bruin Milan Lucic's cheap hit on Ryan Miller and could clean up the NHL.
Rev. Joseph F. Moreno
Bid for Olympic dough is NBA overreach
The news that the NBA players asked for payment for the Olympics is the last straw. These are people that make, literally, millions per year in salary. What then of national pride? The greed of the professional sports player is now at the level of disgusting. It has nothing to do with pride in their country, just give me the bucks seems to be the motto.
Frankly, I would not cross the road to go to a game or watch on TV anymore to patronize their ego and greed. So many are struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis and to patronize these guys is too much to ask. What has happened to honor and patriotism to the country that gave you that opportunity in this life?
Send comments to Sports Talk, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y., 14240. Letters may also be sent via fax to 849-4587 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing. Include name, hometown and a phone number for verification.