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OK, so it wasn't the most inspiring 15 minutes in Sabres' history. Terry Pegula never proclaimed himself a romantic speaker, and he looked like he would have elected for a tooth extraction Friday over a news conference. But at least he made a veiled attempt to take responsibility for their failures. "Accountability starts with me," Pegula said. "We are not happy with ou…

Terry Pegula started his first news conference about the Sabres in 3½ years by pointing the finger at himself. The mea culpa was a step in the right direction after going backward for the better part of six years. "Accountability starts with me," Pegula said. "We are not happy with our season this year, and there are no excuses. Six years ago, I stood here and told the…

Over the years, through harsh experience, I've learned that as bad as things might seem with the Buffalo sports teams, they can always get worse. After Doug Whaley's season-ending press conference on Jan. 2, I called it the low point in Bills history. But Thursday was the topper, a crowning day of dysfunction, a singular low for our professional sports franchises. Fi…

Terry Pegula has little choice now given the current state of affairs. This entire mess began when he purchased the team, when he was nothing more than a filthy-rich Sabres fan with enough money to fulfill a childhood dream. He has since found out money can't buy expertise and credibility, and it certainly doesn't buy championships. The transition from successful busine…

Tim Murray lost his job Thursday for one reason among all others: Terry and Kim Pegula needed answers to how the Sabres would proceed after missing the playoffs yet again, and the general manager had very few – if any. Dan Bylsma was fired because he was one rung down from Murray. The Pegulas began cleaning house yet again with actions that were as swift as they were …

We tend to search for the good in people after they pass away, often showering them with positive platitudes under the tenet of respecting the dead. It becomes difficult when the life lost also was responsible for taking another, and ruining many more, as was the case of Aaron Hernandez. The former Patriots tight end didn't lose his life Tuesday so much as throw away hi…

I’m dedicating this year’s column to Al Sillato, a local golf legend who died last month, four days after his 102nd birthday. Sillato passed on after breaking his hip transporting a senior citizen to rehab in a wheelchair. Yeah, Al was still busy. He played golf for more than 90 years, 68 at Lancaster CC. He shot his age 500 times. Al didn’t play the senior tee…

In 1996, in his first season playing for keeps and four years after making his debut in a PGA event, Tiger Woods made the cut in all eight tournaments he entered and pocketed $790,594. He finished 24th on the money list, but it was evident his rise to No. 1 would come in short order. Tiger wasn't just the best young player but the best player period, taking the tour by …

Two months ago, Sabres captain Brian Gionta made a point to say coaching systems didn't really matter in the NHL. It was the 15-year veteran's way of saying most teams approach the game in similar fashion and, therefore, his younger teammates and others needed to stop whining about Dan Bylsma. Gionta is an authority when it comes to systems. He had 11 coaches in his car…

The Bills will enter the NFL draft with immediate needs at various positions, which tends to happen when missing the playoffs for 17 years running. Tyrod Taylor could use another wide receiver, which could open up the offense for Sammy Watkins. They have soft spots in the defensive backfield. Buffalo would like to end the playoff drought sooner than later. Indications p…

As far as Jeff Van Gundy is concerned, they might as well hand over the O'Brien Trophy to the Warriors and be done with it, sparing everyone the burden of staying up late to watch NBA playoff games into the middle of June. "Golden State is your champion," Gundy, an ESPN analyst, said on Thursday. "It won't be close. No one is going to push them. It's over. It's over." …

This week, it's my turn to ask a question or two. It occurred to me while working on our annual golf preview section -- which runs in the paper on April 19 -- that my series on taking up golf and trying to break 100 appeared in 2000. That means my golfing career directly parallels the Bills' 17-year playoff drought, which began shortly after I finished the series in lat…

The Cubs received their World Series rings before Wednesday night's game against the Dodgers at Wrigley Field. It was a long time coming, a 108-year wait. Chris Coghlan is still waiting. Coghlan, who was on that Cubs team, watched the ceremony with his wife and baby boy in his Buffalo apartment, hours after playing for the Bisons against the Red Wings. "I don't know,…

One major rationalization for the Bills keeping Tyrod Taylor was that this was year's draft was such a bad one for quarterbacks. Really? Then how come they're spending so much time evaluating the top QBs? They've had private workouts with Mitchell Trubisky, DeShone Kizer and Patrick Mahomes. Evidently, Terry Pegula was present for the workouts. Nice of the owner to get …

Two years ago, the vast majority of apologists who believed the Sabres could do no wrong happily embraced losing as a strategy for winning. They bought into the asinine notion that a single player -- wait, a "generational" player – could turn around the fortunes of an entire hockey team. It was ridiculous at the time, a product of desperate and delusional fans who all…