Bucky Gleason, The Buffalo News
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Bucky Gleason

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Bucky Gleason is senior sports columnist for The Buffalo News. He has covered sports on all levels since 1992. He is a terrible golfer who remains undefeated in match play on the 19th hole. He lives in Hamburg with his wife and four children.

PITTSFORD – Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane were embarking on first training camp in their respective positions Thursday, so naturally they weren't lacking for enthusiasm. At times, they beamed with excitement like freshmen who had been invited to practice with the varsity. You couldn't help but envy their energy and optimism, qualities that had been drained from man…

The incubator for idiocy known as Twitter rarely ceases to amaze me, but the reaction from Discovery Channel viewers who were upset because Michael Phelps raced a simulated shark rather than a real shark might have been the topper. "WE WANTED TO SEE PHELPS RACING NEXT TO A REAL SHARK," one woman wailed, according to an MSN.com compilation of tweets. "WE WERE ALL TRICKED…

When Jordan Spieth overcame a slow start Sunday before rolling to a three-shot victory in the Open Championship, he became the first player to win 10 tournaments and three different majors before his 24th birthday. He'll celebrate his birthday Thursday with the Claret Jug he won at Royal Birkdale. Spieth would be the youngest player to capture the career grand slam if h…

LEWISTON – The framed letter has been hanging on a wall in Gavin Hall's bedroom in Pittsford, a continuous reminder for the past seven years. He was 15 years old and coming off a second-place finish in his first Porter Cup appearance when an ordinary envelope addressed to him arrived in the mail. "It said 'great playing this summer' and explained how important it was …

Ted Nolan knew before he was hired to coach the Polish national team that the country was long on ambition but short on players. Talk about finding a man suited for the job. Nolan's career is defined by his ability to build teams that were greater than the sum of their parts no matter the level or location. Nolan's gift for motivating and communicating, effective with h…

Brian Campbell will be remembered largely for flattening R.J. Umberger in the playoffs, for his spin-o-rama while carrying the puck, for winning a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks. One number he never forgot before he retired Monday after 17 seasons in the NHL: 29. Campbell spent four years bouncing between the AHL and NHL before sticking with the Sabres in 2003-04. …

Joe Licata has no experience as a high school administrator or head coach, but Bishop Timon-St. Jude supporters can rest peacefully knowing the Tigers are in good hands with him taking over as athletic director. He has all the qualities needed to restore order after Charlie Comerford resigned last month. For starters, Licata is among the most upright and upbeat people y…

The Edmonton Oilers had an easy time signing Connor McDavid to a long-term contract extension because everyone had the same objective. The Oilers wanted McDavid for as long as they could keep him, and McDavid was willing to stay in Edmonton for as long as they wanted him. It made for a simple process: Back up a Brinks truck, make their biggest star one of the highest-pa…

As you know, Babe Ruth isn't the biggest hero in American sports history because he was a terrific pitcher. People still marvel over him hitting 60 home runs for the 1927 Yankees, one of the great teams ever assembled, but more astonishing was the number he hit compared to players of his time. In 1920, two years after he was traded to the Yanks, Ruth hit 54 homers while…

Last week, I wrote a column designed to put professional sports contracts into perspective while suggesting an athlete would make $100 million annually in my children's lifetime. Talk about safe predictions. At the rate salaries are escalating in the NBA, it could happen in the next 15 years. James Harden signed a four-year contract extension worth $160 million, giving …

My wife would argue otherwise, but I'd like to believe my teenage self emerges only once in a while. Every now and again, usually after hearing about a professional athlete signing a monster contract, I whip out my calculator in an effort to put the numbers into perspective. The practice for me began in 1980, the year I turned 13, after Nolan Ryan signed with the Astros…

One great pleasure of taking vacation time, other than drinking cold beverages without the pressure of writing the next day, of course, is watching sports from a distance. That probably sounds odd to some people. The whole idea of sports writing is bringing people closer to the action, not widening the gap. But sometimes it's healthy to get away and enjoy the view from …