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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.


BOTH CANISIUS and Niagara lost their basketball games Saturday night. As you're probably aware, that is not the sort of development that impels the television people to break into their regular programming and alert the local populace.Still, if you were an avid hoops fan, the Niagara Falls Convention Center wasn't a bad place to find shelter from the ice storm. Those…

Nick Macarchuk said he's watched the tapes, and he doesn't know how in the world they do it, either. All he knows is that this Niagara team doesn't know how to quit.Macarchuk's Fordham team found out first-hand Saturday night at the Niagara Falls Convention Center. The Eagles, overmatched but never overwhelmed, took everything the Rams could throw at them, and still n…

BUFFALO STATE COACH Dick Bihr didn't know quite what to make of the kid at first. Shane Johnson had special basketball gifts, that much was certain. But he was a wildly unpredictable talent, the sort of player who puts a smile on your face one minute and a gray hair on your head the next.The two had their clashes. People at Buffalo State tell of the time when Johnson…

SO AS it turned out, the Sabres did what they had to do Wednesday night. Even the most ardent pacifist would have to concede that the time had come for them to make a statement, and to make a stand.They had to send a message, not only to the goons and gumbies from Quebec, but to the rest of the NHL. You can't run around injuring their skill players -- as the Nordique…

Craig Patrick, the Pittsburgh Penguins' new coach and general manager, referred to it as a "lost weekend." Mario Lemieux managed to keep his scoring streak alive, but that was about the only sign of life in his team by the time Pittsburgh's back-to-back nightmare had concluded.Only 24 hours after losing, 9-3, to the Islanders, the Penguins lost, 7-2, to the Sabres in …

Mario Lemieux kept the streak intact, but no one seemed too upset about it afterward. In the end, what mattered most was not that Lemieux got his point, but that the Buffalo Sabres made theirs. And made it quite emphatically.With a five-game home losing streak hovering over them, the Sabres rediscovered the brand of hockey that had vaulted them to the top of the NHL e…

Suddenly, the Sabres don't feel so safe and secure in their own home anymore.The five-game losing streak is rattling around in the attic. To make matters worse, Mario Lemieux is making his way toward the Auditorium, like some brazen daytime house burglar.The Pittsburgh Penguins are in town for a 2 p.m. game today (cable TV, Radio 930), and the Sabres are faced with a …

Perhaps what the Sabres should do now is pack their bags, say goodbye to their loved ones, and spend the hours leading up to Sunday afternoon's big home game against Pittsburgh in some local hotel."Maybe that's a good idea," Scott Arniel said after Friday's 4-2 loss to Chicago at Memorial Auditorium. "It seems when we're on the road we're relaxed, because the pressure…

If this keeps up, the only Sabres who look forward to playing in Memorial Auditorium will be the ones who have been traded away.The Sabres tied a team record with their fifth consecutive home loss Friday. That was bad enough. But as a further indignity, they had to watch a former teammate skate away with the first star for the second home game in a row.Just as the rec…

At times, Lionel Simmons seemed almost bored out there, as if waiting for some urgent situation to command his attention and his extraordinary talent.Let's face it. A year from now, Simmons will be matched against such NBA specimens as Karl Malone and Charles Barkley.Under the circumstances, it's difficult for La Salle's All-American to get aroused by the likes of Sea…

JIM CALHOUN, the University of Connecticut basketball coach, was a very busy guy Monday. You could tell, because he was speaking even more rapidly than usual. You'd have sworn he had half of North America on call waiting. It was like interviewing a machine gun. You didn't know whether to take notes, or to take cover.It was understandable, though, because Calhoun and h…

AS THOSE OF you who pay close attention might have noticed, I've been on something of a roll in our weekly staff picks column. Through a rare combination of intuition and good luck (thank you, Scott Norwood), I somehow have managed to pick all eight NFL playoff games correctly against the point spread.Over the last week or so, a few people have offered their congratu…

IT WAS not what you'd call an artistic success, but Marty Marbach wasn't complaining. Sure it would have been nice, on his 37th birthday, to make a wish and blow out the opposition. But the way things have been going for Canisius lately, any win was cause for celebration."So we'll take it," Marbach said Saturday after his team's arduous, 75-67 win over Loyola of Maryl…

IS IT MY imagination or have the Bills suddenly become touchy about the trade that brought Cornelius Bennett to Buffalo?In his post-season address, Marv Levy talked about the "heavy price" the Bills had paid to get Bennett in 1987. Levy said, by giving up their first-round pick in 1988, and their first- and second-rounders a year later, the Bills lost an opportunity t…

SO AS IT turns out, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan probably won't get to play their $1 million game of one-on-one. There's not much chance that the NBA and its players association will be willing to sanction a pay-per-view showdown between basketball's two greatest players. I'm sorry to hear it, because that's one matchup I'd pay money to see on TV.I wish I could s…