Moulds deserved his week off
Am I the only person in Western New York who believes that Eric Moulds actually deserved to be suspended? The News writers treated it as a small philosophical disagreement. In effect, he refused to go into a game because he was upset at the success his teammate was having. This is not a team leader. He initially refused to meet with his coach the following day.
I imagine if one of the News writers were insubordinate to their editor, refused to write a column that was due, and then blew off a meeting with the head honcho, it would probably cost that person their job, and rightfully so. Just because the team is not having the success it believed it would have does not mean that the players can pick and choose when they will play. They make millions a year. Am I actually supposed to be sympathetic?
A fan is fed up with Bills president
So Tom Donahoe hires Gregg Williams. After public outcry, he fires him, but says he is "ashamed to be part of this community" (which he had been a part of for two years) because we expressed our displeasure with our team being terrible.
So he hires another "coach" with no experience, Mike Mularkey. More ineptitude continues. Now, after a 48-10 loss on the road and another loss involving blowing a 21-0 lead, someone calls a radio show, that only the Bills endorse because they do not talk on stations that do not pay them, and asks for his resignation, and what does he say? "We don't encourage those kind of calls and there are obvious stations to call in this town if you want to act like a jerk."
Wow. So any one of us who thinks such things is a jerk? Tom Donahoe is what amounts to the CEO of a multimillion-dollar company. That's how he talks to his customers?
We Bills fans have been through a lot -- none of the good parts any of his doing, by the way, though you'd never know it with his arrogance -- and have stood by. I have had enough. I turn in my Bills fan club card with regret. Poor Ralph. If the Bengals and Jags make the playoffs this year, that means the only two teams to not make the playoffs from the AFC in Donahoe's tenure are us and the Texans. Good company.
Coaching staff is out to lunch
Jerry Sullivan deserves an accolade for the shot he took at Bills coaching, and I use the word coaching loosely. Three of my sons and I have had season tickets since 1973. We are thinking of dumping some in '06. The Miami meltdown was pathetic, but along came the Pats and the complete breakdown or "out to lunch" attitude, take your choice.
Pop Warner would turn over in his grave. Coach, duh? When the pass rush is hot, how about screens and draws? Where is it written in concrete that J.P. has to signal for a free catch when he goes into the shotgun?
Mularkey would rather chew ground glass than admit to the fiasco that's killing our team. And while I'm in this somber mood how can you justify earning $7 million per season and just sit on the bench grinning while your teammates are getting killed?
Dolphins game is the last straw
The Bills' game with Miami is the straw that broke the camel's back. It is time to part ways with Tom Donahoe and the entire coaching staff.
Since the arrival of Donahoe, the Bills have not gotten better. The offensive line is terrible at pass blocking and very average at run blocking. Instead of re-signing and continuing to develop offensive linemen that were drafted, he has just allowed them to leave and replaces them with "serviceable" linemen.
He got into a snit with the agent for Pat Williams over "nickels and dimes" and allowed Pat to leave. Combined with Sam Adams, the two solidified the defensive line into one of the best run-stopping defenses in football. Now look at the defense -- one of the most porous run defenses in football.
When Donahoe was at Pittsburgh, coach Bill Cowher complained about the players Tom was getting. Donahoe's response was to tell the coach to play the players he gets and keep quiet. In addition, Donahoe has not exactly made the best decisions in hiring a head coach. First there is Gregg Williams and now Mike Mularkey.
With better players, Mularkey and his offensive coordinator could probably do some wonderful things since the Bills are not hurting for talent at wide receiver, running back and tight end. Of course there is one caveat. We still do not know if J.P. Losman is the quarterback for the future or not. It's hard to tell when all he does is "run for his life" because of the pass rush.
Kenneth J. Dent
Columnist's vendetta is wearing thin
Just wondering if anyone else is growing tired of Jerry Sullivan's negative writings. Like most views, there is some validity in his opinion.
In his column of Nov. 29 he mentions the "attack-dog" media of some larger markets. It is hard to believe they could be more vicious than what appears to be the personal vendetta he is waging against Tom Donahoe.
Miami interception blamed on play-calling
I've been a Bills season-ticket holder since 1979. I don't ever remember being as upset over a loss as I was after the Miami game. Not only should Tom Donahoe be sent out of town, Mike Mularkey and some of the other coaches should be sent packing with him.
You're ahead, 23-3, in the third quarter. You have first-and-goal at Miami's 3-yard line. At the very worst, you come away up 26-3 and virtually assure yourself of being up four scores. Instead, you have J.P. Losman on an ill-fated rollout that ends up in an interception that turned the game around.
What were they thinking?! I can almost guess Mularkey's response to why he did it. He'd say something like, "Well, we figured Miami would be expecting us to run the ball." They should have run the ball three plays and then kicked the field goal if they had to.
Mularkey is a nice guy, but frankly I've seen enough already to know he's never going to be an elite coach.
Donahoe's giving repeat performance
I just wanted to let Jerry Sullivan know that the headline for his column is almost an exact quote of what I said would happen immediately after hearing that Ralph Wilson hired Tom Donahoe. My exact words were "he took the Steelers from a Super Bowl team down to nothing -- and he's gonna do the same thing with the Bills."
I've repeated that statement several times over the past five years. Thank you, Mr. Sullivan, for underlining and substantiating my statement. And it's only going to get worse! Too bad the Bills organization doesn't learn by example -- the Detroit Lions being the example I'm citing!
Giving thanks for small favors
Cheer up, Bills Nation! Things aren't all that bad. Look at the bright side of this year's debacle:
1. Saturday was the last home game at which to freeze your tails off.
2. You'll be able to switch TV channels if the last two games of the season get ugly.
3. The money you'll save not having to pay for playoff games can be used to buy Sabres and Bandits tickets.
4. Ralph Wilson has not been meeting with the mayor of San Antonio and touring the Alamodome.
5. The Bills won more games than the UB football Bulls.
6. Ralph Wilson has not mentioned Matt Millen as a possible successor to Tom Donahoe.
7. The Bills won't have to play the Dallas Cowboys and Drew Bledsoe.
8. Maybe your family isn't quite as dysfunctional as you thought it was.
9. Ralph Wilson hasn't mentioned Norv Turner as a possible successor to Mike Mularkey.
10. Maybe the Bills will use their high draft pick to choose a tough, cold-weather quarterback out of the Big Ten or MAC.
11. At least you don't live in Detroit or Cleveland.
Losman provides postgame punch line
I am constantly amazed by J.P. Losman's postgame comments. I thought his funniest, or most disturbing, came earlier this season when he said maybe he should listen to Sam Wyche more since it appeared Wyche knew what he was talking about. Duh.
But after Sunday's loss to New England, I knew I heard it all when Losman said, "Sometimes as a QB you are just a little off."
Hey J.P. -- let me know when you are on -- I can't tell the difference.
Children impart a valuable lesson
It's about time we took a step back from seeing the Bills in a win/lose perspective. I am guilty of pinning my hopes on a playoff year as much as the next person, but Bob DiCesare's commentary on Tuesday (Children give Bills a break from woes) was a huge reminder that all these athletes do is play a game, but they can give so much back to those whom they help.
For the most part the league is not made up of T.O.'s, but rather players like those who hosted the needy children. I know only a few Bills were mentioned in the article, but there are also players on the team who dedicate their time and money to causes like visiting the sick and delivering meals. I for one needed to be reminded that 4-9 means much less after hearing about a wonderful 9-year-old who thought of his grandpa before thinking of himself.
Thank you to all the members of the team and what you do for our community.
Few anticipated Donahoe's missteps
While all the scribes in Western New York are busy crucifying Tom Donahoe, and rightly so, I would like to point out one thing: Almost to a man, every article I read prior to Donahoe's arrival lobbied for his hiring.
I grew up reading and loving Larry Felser and still enjoy his columns when they appear and without question, I have always found Mr. Felser to be fair, accurate and honest in his assessments. But I distinctly remember Mr. Felser insisting that the only candidate for the GM job was Donahoe and after he was awarded the position, Larry exclaimed that "Christmas had come early for the Bills." And many other writers agreed.
John Butler, rest his soul, doesn't look too bad now.
To all of you I say one thing -- next time, be careful what you wish for!
Sullivan, DiCesare are off the mark
I would like to object to a sports column printed recently in The News by Jerry Sullivan claiming that the Niagara basketball team played "soft and dumb" against Bucknell. And I would also take exception to another column by Bob DiCesare, who argued that coach Mike MacDonald's "free pass" at Canisius has expired.
Niagara, which at this point in the season is rebuilding, played very competitively against a regionally prominent team whose strong defense has frustrated national powers Syracuse and Kansas. MacDonald, who labors under difficult circumstances, has had anything but a "free pass" at Canisius. He continues to coach well, developing a young team that will have its day in the sun. I admire both his technical skills and ability to draw the best out of student-athletes.
If there's anything "soft" in the Western New York sports scene, it's the clack of radio talk shows and the equally irresponsible writing of Sullivan and DiCesare. They are the ones getting the "free pass," as their top-of-the-head judgments usually go unchallenged. Perhaps this is because people are too busy enjoying, rather than whining about, Little Three sports.
Mets and Red Sox get a media pass
Well, after this past week's major league baseball winter meetings in Dallas, I find it a bit shocking that no one is yelling and screaming about the New York Mets or Boston Red Sox and how these two teams have pushed their respective payrolls to almost New York "Yankee-ish" proportions. Meanwhile, the Yankees, who are in dire need of a pitcher and a center fielder, did absolutely nothing!
It's amazing how there are no articles detailing how Boston and the Mets are "ruining" baseball's pay scale. Yet, if the Yankees had been the team making all these moves, there'd be nothing but letters crying and whining about how unfair it is that the Yankees have "all the money in the world" to spend on buying a championship. Yet, the Red Sox and Mets are close to, if not past, what the Yankees spent last season and nothing is said. Hypocrisy at its best!
Big talent comes from small teams
After viewing the 2005 All-WNY Football Team, I felt compelled to voice my opinion on this team, the selection process and lack of representation of the small schools in Western New York.
First and foremost, I want to congratulate all the players in Western New York whether you were selected or not. Without the student-athletes, there would be no high school football.
I believe there are 87 teams and 3,000-4,000 athletes in consideration for the 25 slots on the All-WNY team. There's no doubt that it's a difficult task. There's no way to please everyone. That said, consider this fact -- 14 slots went to players from just six of those 87 schools (one school had four players selected). You've got to be kidding, is someone playing politics? The other 11 slots were chosen from the remaining 81 schools with approximately 3,500 players.
Next, not one player from a C or D school made the first team! I ask a Buffalo News representative, why not? I was told that "the numbers of the Class C and D players are sometimes hurt simply because they are more often playing against competition which isn't as good as the large schools." Strictly looking at the numbers that may be true. A larger base to draw from, on average, would result in better, more talented teams, and in turn, tougher competition in that division. Remember "bigger isn't always better!" Most small schools are out in the country, they don't get the TV and newspaper coverage afforded the large school in the Buffalo metro area.
How many people outside the Southern Tier knew about the Randolph team until it was favored to win the state championship? Yet this team played great football all season in a very tough Section VI D East Division. TV coverage began with their 10th game at the Class D Section VI Championship Game at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Please, don't shortchange any athletes just because they play in Class C or D.
I do wish to compliment The Buffalo News for naming state Class D champion Randolph as the No. 1 team in the final Small School Poll. It's the first time in the 25-year history of the poll that a D school was ranked No. 1 for the season. Thanks for thinking outside the box!
Coach disrespected Class AA champion
Congratulations to the St. Joe's football team for a great season and sharing top rankings with Orchard Park. The Marauders and Quakers can be proud of continuing the great football tradition at their schools.
St. Joe's coach Bob O'Connor has fielded some outstanding football teams over the years. He has, however, embarrassed himself with his statement to The News on Dec. 3, "Do I think we would have won the (Class AA) state title this year? Absolutely."
His statement not only shows he's out of touch with reality, it's also an insult to Webster Thomas, Christian Brothers Academy, Orchard Park, Union Endicott and the Class AA State Champ, Monroe Woodbury.
Coach, you had a fine year but let's set the record straight. You beat Aquinas and "edged" Victor, two Class A schools who did not even make the playoffs. You lost to Steubenville, a powerhouse in Ohio, but at the Division III level (Ohio has six divisions). These are fine programs but not at the level of the Class AA playoff contenders.
Again, congratulations to the fine young men of St. Joe's and Orchard Park for a great football season. You both played hard and should be proud of your year. But shame on you, coach O'Connor, for not respecting the outstanding accomplishment of Class AA State Champion Monroe Woodbury.
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