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Rome's interview with UB's Oats is a winner; Local ratings for Simpson series are steady

This is what I’m thinking:

Sports talk show host Jim Rome had an excellent, revealing interview with University at Buffalo men's basketball coach Nate Oats Wednesday afternoon that was carried on WGR radio.

Of course, Rome asked the requisite basketball questions dealing with UB's NCAA tournament game tonight against Miami of Florida.

But Rome also addressed the cancer battle that Oats’ wife, Crystal, has had this season and that led him to consider not coaching this year after getting his first opportunity as a Division I head coach.

In the interview, Oats mentioned that his wife was able to go up on a ladder to cut down the final string of one net after UB’s MAC title victory over Akron last Saturday after he had cut down the other one on the opposite end of the court,

In addition, Oats discussed his relationship with Danny Hurley, who convinced his brother Bobby to name Oats an assistant at UB. Oats became UB's head coach after Bobby Hurley left for Arizona State.

At interview’s end, Rome said he couldn’t do justice to the story of Oats and his wife. However, he did just that.

The interview stood in stark contrast with a brief ESPN interview with Oats Sunday that had some people shaking their heads because his wife’s illness never came up.

During Tuesday’s “Today,” Matt Lauer introduced a story dealing with the FX limited series “The People v. O.J. Simpson” by calling it “wildly popular.”

It made me wonder how it has been doing in Western New York, where Simpson was a football hero.

The rating for the series has been very consistent, with episodes earning between a 4.6 rating and a 5.6 for the first five weeks when viewing up to seven days later is added to the live 10 p.m. Tuesday time slot. Those are very good numbers for a FX series here, but I expected them to be a little higher because of Simpson's days as a Buffalo Bill. FX also airs the series at other times during the week with slight viewership gains.

In a Twitter exchange, Channel 7 reporter Desiree Wiley wouldn’t address whether she plans to leave the station for a bigger market after her contract expires at the end of July.

“I love working in Buffalo and that remains my focus,” she initially wrote.

She didn’t answer a follow-up question about whether she plans to leave after July. But she did confirm she has an agent and also was willing to address her wedding plans.

She recently became engaged to David Fluellen Jr., who, like Wiley, is from Lockport and a bit of a celebrity. He was a star running back at the University of Toledo. He now is a member of the Tennessee Titans of the NFL, reportedly being a member of the practice squad last season.

Wiley wrote they both went to Lockport High School, reconnected nearly three years ago and hope to get married in July of 2017.

If you haven’t picked up the current Sports Illustrated with Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane on the cover, I suggest you grab a copy. The excellent lengthy story by S.L. Price is a very balanced piece that deals with his hockey skills, his off-the-ice issues and his South Buffalo family and roots.

It also answers a question I had about Kane’s incredible success this season after dealing with a rape investigation that ended with the district attorney declining to bring charges: Has he changed his ways?

Near the end, the article states that Kane “has made some personal adjustments,” including stopping drinking.

I must confess I’m a little stunned that the claim that local Congressman Chris Collins made on CNN Tuesday hasn’t gotten much local TV attention.

Collins, who became the first Republican to support Donald Trump, claimed that paid protesters were disrupting Trump’s rallies and then took a shot at the trustworthiness of Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. He didn’t offer something you might expect from an elected official making such a controversial and damning statement: Proof.


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