Jerry Sullivan - The Buffalo News

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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.


ONE EVENING in the early 1960s, Joe Lapchick, the legendary St. John's basketball coach, arrived home and walked quietly up the stairs to his bedroom. His son, Richard, soon realized something was wrong, for his father hadn't come down to read the afternoon paper, as was his custom. Richard walked to the bottom of the stairs, where he heard the sound of his father cr…

A ALEX KARRAS, the actor and one-time pro football star, used to host a celebrity golf tournament in Detroit. Karras, an irreverent and fun-loving sort, wanted to poke fun at golf's rigid standards of etiquette and decorum. So he designed some rather bizarre hazards for his event. For example, at one point he had a bunch of zoo animals -- giraffes, elephants, the whol…

A FEW days ago, Thurman Thomas decided it was time to watch the videotape again. He was not interested in being entertained. This isn't exactly a Honeymooners rerun we're dealing with here. When Thomas watches the tape, which he has done more times than he cares to count, he does it to become enraged.The Bills second-year running back still has the tape of ESPN from A…

SHORTLY AFTER 10 a.m. Thursday, they finally began tearing down War Memorial Stadium. In other words, they had a press conference. A few of the old Bills showed up for the occasion, along with the usual chorus line of politicians. At times, it was hard to tell whether the purpose was to knock down the Rockpile or to build up Mayor Griffin.The mayor got the first shot …

OK, HERE'S the play. Steve, you line up wide to the left, over by the curb. When the ball's hiked, you take a step back and I'll hit you behind the line. Fake like you're gonna run, but stop before the line and look for me squaring out near the first telephone pole. Now Billy, you follow behind me in the middle and be ready for the lateral. Unless they know it's comin…

WHAT'S THAT? You want to know about Leonard Smith? You've come to the right man. After all, Fred Smerlas has been in this league for a dozen years now. He has seen a lot in his day. A lot of movies, anyway."You ever see the movie 'Three O'Clock High?' " Smerlas asked.The answer was negative, so the Bills' veteran nose tackle offered a quick film synopsis. "Three O'Clo…

ONE OF the first things you notice about Jim Kelly is that he likes to refer to himself in the third person. "People expect a lot of Jim Kelly," he'll say. Or, "One thing you can say about Jim Kelly, he'll never go out the back door."He's hardly alone, of course. Speaking in the third person has become the fashion among modern-day professional athletes. Isiah Thomas a…

A AT THE RISK of having all my times out taken away, I'd like to take this opportunity to shout at the NFL owners. Come on, fans. Help me on this one. Let's make it so loud they won't even be able to hear themselves thinking. That is, those few owners who haven't yet lost all capacity for rational thought.Hey, guys! If you could stop squabbling over the new commission…

I SUPPOSE the most comical reaction of all came from Norman Braman, the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles. Upon learning that Eagles guard Ron Solt had been suspended for steroid use a week ago, Braman quickly identified the culprit. He blamed the media.That's right. Braman said that the "savaging" by the Philly press had been one of the major factors in Solt's decisio…

PAUL BIERON knows all about this "Field of Dreams" thing. And he can tell you, it's sure not as simple as it looks in the movie. Kevin Costner built his dream field in the time it takes to finish off a medium box of popcorn. It took Bieron almost 20 years.He didn't have any mysterious, unseen voices prodding him along, telling him, "If you build it, he will come." The…

HIS SPEECH LASTED all of 90 seconds. Mickey Mantle stepped up to the podium outside Pilot Field and, after announcing the release of his new instructional video, fulfilled his basic commitment by telling the kids to stay away from drugs. Remember, he told them, you have only one chance.Mantle had a pretty simple chance Tuesday night. It was your basic can of corn. All…

Don't get him wrong. Terry Collins loves playing the game this way. It suits his personality. The Bisons' aggressive young manager derives great satisfaction from scoring runs by creative, opportunistic means.It's just that, now and then, Collins wouldn't mind seeing his team strike in a more sudden, violent way. You know, with an occasional home run.But Sunday night,…

One thing is fairly certain. This is one football story that's destined to be told time and again.Years from now, no doubt, Buffalo native Tom Doctor still will be telling it. Even if he never plays a down in a regular-season NFL game, Doctor will talk about the night he made the defensive play that turned the game around before his hometown fans.With 3:39 to play in …

IT WAS AN interesting Thursday at Bills training camp. First of all, I ran into the infamous Roxanne Pulitzer, who spent the day observing her favorite football team with a bunch of tow-headed children trailing behind her. And later, I got to meet last year's NFL scoring champion.His name is Scott Norwood, though he is hardly what you'd call infamous. In fact, I'm not…

NO, RAZOR SHINES was not worried. Hungry, yes. He was sitting in front of his locker, balancing a paper plate in his lap and looking distinctly unaffected by the unfortunate events of half an hour before. If anything, Razor was worried that someone might drop a tape recorder into his Sloppy Joe.Well, I told him, you've still got a 5 1/2 -game lead. Putting his dinne…