Co-hosts Jonah Javad, Bucky Gleason and Jerry Sullivan took on several topics -- some local, some national -- on "Sports Talk Sunday."
Here are five major talking points from the show that aired originally at 11:30 p.m. May 15 on WGRZ-TV.
1) How does Bruce Smith stack up among all-time greats? With Bruce Smith due to have his No. 78 retired at the Bills' home opener, Javad recounts many of the Buffalo pass rusher's accomplishments, which include a spot in the NFL Hall of Fame, the most career sacks in league history, 13 seasons of over 10 sacks and eight seasons as a first-team All-Pro.
[Listen to Bucky's segment on Bruce Smith's greatness on 103.3 The Edge]
Sully, however, doesn't believe Smith is the best player in Bills history, and arguably not in the top 20 defensive players all-time in the NFL. It was the offense that made the Bills' Super Bowl teams great, he claims, and Smith did not make an impact in any of those four losses.
Bucky, on the other hand, argues that No. 78 is the best Bills player ever because he was simply more dominant than either Jim Kelly or Thomas, even if Smith was a terrible practice player who hated training camp. Gleason still doesn't understand how the Giants' Jeff Hostetler managed to hold onto the ball that Smith nearly ripped free from his hands as the quarterback fell into the end zone for a safety in Super Bowl XXV.
2) First Niagara Center to KeyBank Center -- should we care? Javad prefaces the topic by summing the Sabres' struggles at the First Niagara Center since the name change in 2011 -- no playoffs and losses in 63 percent of their home games -- before reminding fans that it's now named the KeyBank Center.
Sully finds it funny that so many arenas are named after banks -- which make the world go 'round, he says, jokingly -- and wonders when "College Debt Arena" will become a reality. Bucky doesn't really care about the topic -- he'd encourage the Bills to rename Ralph Wilson Stadium for more corporate money, as it's "not a church like Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park."
Sully misses War Memorial Stadium, not because he supports war, but because it honored the memories of those who died.
3) What does "most valuable player" really mean? The segment opens with LeBron debating the meaning of "valuable" in MVP, shortly after Stephen Curry won his second-straight MVP award, this time unanimously. Sully loves the debate over the meaning of valuable, since it doesn't say "best player." Javad tosses out the names Kemba Walker and Isaiah Thomas, who, at many points, carried their teams on their back, while Curry boasted a terrific supporting cast.
Sully was a little disappointed the vote was unanimous for the first time; he's more interested in a diversity of opinion. Bucky's not even sure that Curry was the most valuable to his own team -- that label could go to Draymond Green -- and Gleason would be more inclined to start a team from scratch with LeBron James, not Curry.
Javad's retort is that it's refreshing to have a unanimous MVP, who was "more alien than mortal" this year, and wasn't a 6'8 dunker, but rather changed the game in other ways. Sully could not help but note how the Spurs' Kawhi Leonard is a superior two-way player to Curry.
4) Quick basketball, hockey and baseball takes: The hosts break down the Oklahoma City vs. Golden State series, which could be closer than many think, as Bucky argues that match-ups favor the Thunder, and Sully says that big men could decide the series, as Enes Kanter was terrific against San Antonio.
Over in the NHL playoffs, the analysts talk about how home ice hasn't been an advantage -- the home team won twice over the seven-game series between St. Louis and Dallas, while the Capitals lost with home-ice, too. Bucky remembers talking to (now Stars coach) Lindy Ruff, who would prefer to start the series on the road if it meant having Game 7 at home. Look how well that worked out for him!
Bucky explains how visiting teams in the NHL may have the superior mindset; they tend to be more disciplined on the road.
Both Bucky and Sully agree that Max Scherzer's 20-strikeout spectacle is more impressive than Noah Syndergaard's two-home runs that accompanied his win in eight innings pitched. Sullivan's support is that a 20-strikeout game has only happened four times in MLB history (and not since Randy Johnson in 2001). Bucky is flabbergasted by the fact that the Nationals' ace only threw 23 balls the whole game.
5) Extra points:
*Sully - He wonders why David Ortiz is retiring -- sure, he's 40, but he's playing like a slugger who's entering his prime. Big Papi came a single shy of the cycle in a 6-5 win over Houston, tripling to tie the game in the ninth before doubling to win in the 11th. The Red Sox are winning games, too, so Ortiz's swansong might include an MVP.
*Bucky - He points out how Buffalo excels in TV ratings, not just in watching the Sabres, but for many sports. The Nickel City stood out for Kentucky Derby viewing, the NBA playoffs so far (and even soccer),
*Jonah - Javad has ample praise for lacrosse, which he wishes he'd have played as a youngster (baseball was his sport). It's soccer, hockey and football, all rolled into one. He teases the Buffalo Bandits playoff game on Monday night at home vs. New England.
[Read: Sully -- "That championship feeling could return for Bandits"]
Stay tuned for the next "Sports Talk Sunday" at 11:30 p.m. May 22 on WGRZ-TV.