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Jerry Sullivan

Jerry Sullivan grew up in Newport, R.I., though some would dispute the grown-up part. He is a professional skeptic, thanks to 16 years as the lead columnist on the Bills. He loves the NBA, Strat-o-Matic baseball, Tom Waits and reading novels, along with the usual periodicals.


Colleges

Late last summer, at the start of a new school year, UB swimming and diving coach Andy Bashor had a nagging sense of unease. After all, his team had literally been cut in half when the university eliminated the men's team the previous spring. "I didn't know what the heck was going to happen," Bashor said early this week. "What would be the dynamics? It was a really diff…

Latest Sabres

Winger Nick Baptiste was all aglow after the Sabres beat the Lightning, 5-3, at KeyBank Center on Tuesday night. Baptiste, who is still young enough to make the old cliches sound fresh, said they looked like a team that was "desperate to win." Ah yes, the old desperation thing. How touching to hear that, two-thirds of the way through a disaster of a season, our plucky N…

Colleges

A month ago, when UB was rolling along unbeaten in the MAC, head coach Nate Oats said this year's team could be better than the NCAA teams of two and three years ago. He gave two main reasons: Team chemistry and team defense. "Defense carries," Oats said in mid-January during a seven-game run in which the UB men gave up 70 points only once and allowed an average of 67 p…

Bills

I caught up with Marv Levy on Monday afternoon to ask him about Frank Reich becoming the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Levy couldn't recall any other of his former players becoming head men in the NFL. I couldn't, either. Speaking from his home in California, the Hall of Famer was thrilled to see Reich get his chance. "Oh, boy," Levy said. "I had sent a letter o…

Bills

Any seasoned Bills fan would tell you that when it comes to backup plans, you can't do better than our old friend, Frank Reich. Reich is arguably the most famous backup quarterback in NFL history. He's best remembered, of course, for leading the Bills to a comeback win over the Oilers in the 1993 wild-card game, widely regarded as the greatest comeback in NFL history. …

Sports

Hard as it is to believe, it has been 20 years since Jack Armstrong coached his final game at Niagara in March of 1998. A year later, he took a job as an announcer for the Toronto Raptors and has been covering them ever since. Armstrong is now the lead Raptors analyst on TSN and NBA TV Canada, a national hoop icon. Last year, he won a Canadian Screen Award (their versio…

Bills

Unlike the stock market, the price of NFL quarterbacks continues to rise with no sign of a correction. Jimmy Garoppolo, who has started seven games in his career, signed a five-year, $137.5 million extension with the Niners on Thursday. Garoppolo, who was backing up Tom Brady three months ago, got the richest deal in league history on a per-year basis. If that's what a …

Bills

No doubt, Josh McDaniels is getting crushed on social media right now, especially by spurned Indianapolis fans who assumed he was going to be introduced as the Colts' next head coach Wednesday afternoon. The Indiana media can't be too thrilled with him, either. It's one thing for a center like Eric Wood to stiff the media with a 90-second non-retirement statement. Imagi…

Bills

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The toughest question came last. On the morning after his team won its first Super Bowl, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was asked who would be his starting quarterback next season, and how the game's most valuable player, Nick Foles, could return to being a backup. "I knew I couldn't get off this stage without that question," Pederson said with a l…

Bills

MINNEAPOLIS – A prominent theme heading into Super Bowl LII was that fans were sick of the Patriots being in the big game. It was boring and repetitive. People felt the event could benefit from some fresh new blood. Really, would you rather have watched the Jaguars? What could be better big-game drama than two of the top three scoring offenses going at it, with the best…

Bills

MINNEAPOLIS – So, are the New England Patriots the greatest dynasty in NFL history? That depends on your perspective, and what constitutes a dynasty. "It is hard to define," said Carmen Policy, a top executive for the 49ers during their glory years in the Eighties and Nineties. "The Packers were great, the gold standard of their era. The Steelers were great, the Cowb…

Bills

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Reporters waited for more than half an hour Thursday afternoon for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski to show up for his interview session with the Super Bowl media. As the appointed hour approached, they trained their cellphones at a corner doorway that led to the second floor concourse in the Mall of America, eagerly awaiting Gronk's arrival, as if…

Bills

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — At this late date, with Tom Brady still rolling along at age 40 and polishing his credentials as the greatest quarterback of all time, opposing coaches have come to accept that there's no single way to stop him. Most will also acknowledge that one tactic is almost certain to fail: If you blitz Brady, if you send extra pass rushers in an attempt to t…

Bills

MINNEAPOLIS — Wednesday was a very good day for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. He did a typically deft spin job at his annual Super Bowl press conference, and the league made a pile of money. Earlier in the day, the NFL and Fox announced a five-year partnership that will give Fox the right to televise 11 Thursday night games next season. Depending on the source, the de…

Bills

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Rob Gronkowski practiced in pads on a limited basis Wednesday, but the New England Patriots' star tight end was not present with his teammates for the Super Bowl media sessions later in the day as he remained in the NFL's concussion protocol. The Patriots are still talking as if Gronk's status is uncertain, but he told ESPN reporter Josina Anderson …