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Rex hits a new low, bar none

All tingly after watching the Sabres shut out the Flyers, I stopped by Cole’s for a cold one Saturday night. My old pal, Rex Carr, was sitting in the corner, a bunch of NFL and NHL draft guides spread in front of him on the bar.

“What’s the deal, Rex?” I asked. “You looking to take over for Darcy and Buddy?”

“Funny,” said Rex, who fancies himself Buffalo’s greatest sports fan. “Like I couldn’t pick better than those two boobs. Do you realize Regier has never drafted a player who finished in the top 10 in the NHL in scoring?”

“Actually, it’s been 25 years,” I replied. “I looked it up. The last Sabre draft pick who finished even better than 15th in points was Mogilny.”

“Pardon me while I boo,” Rex said. “This is the worst I’ve ever felt as a Buffalo fan. Even the good college coaches are leaving. I mean, can you remember a time when both pro teams were this bad? You guys at The News can be jerks, but keep hammering away at these guys.”

“As I recall, you said the same thing a few years ago, when they both went into November without a home win. Then a year later, you were all giddy again, talking about two championship parades.”

“I’ve finally learned my lesson,” Rex snapped. “That’s the problem in this town. The standard has slipped. People have waited so long, they open their hearts to the slightest sign of progress.”

“I’ve been guilty myself,” I said. “I cringe reading some of the things I wrote about Gailey, Fitz and Miller. I really thought Pegula would raise the standard, but he doesn’t have a clue about the NHL.”

“Look, I’m all for waterfront development and being an amateur hockey destination,” Rex said. “But does that mean the Sabres have to be amateur hour? How does a new building with good parking make them better? And who writes Pegula’s material for him? Ralph seems lucid by comparison.”

“By the way, Rex, did you hear Ralph is hoping to make the home opener?”

“Yeah, I see you’re sucking up to his wife again,” Rex scoffed. “Maybe he’ll think he stumbled into Syracuse’s home opener by mistake.”

“I’ll give Marrone the benefit of the doubt. At least Brandon didn’t hire another retread. Let’s see if Marrone has the guts to start a rookie quarterback and go 2-14. It could be the best thing for them.”

“I don’t trust Nix to pick the QB,” he said. We have two general managers who should have been fired when their coaches were whacked. Only in Buffalo.”

“Darcy is basically cleaning up after the previous GM – himself. And I have to think Nix is going soon. Maybe after they finally start that analytics department.”

“Both teams are bottoming out,” Rex said. “That’s a good thing. Maybe it’s time we admitted that both teams are a joke and need a complete rebuilding.”

“Really. Look at the good teams. They have top picks. Crosby and Kane in hockey. Luck and Griffin in football. But our teams always manage to be just average enough to never pick at the top.”

“What do you think these draft guides are for?” Rex said. “It’s not just top picks, either. The Bruins have a bunch of studs who went in the second round. Look at the guys the Bills have missed in later rounds, like Kaepernick and Wilson.”

“All I know is the Bills need to nail this draft,” I said. “I don’t want to hear about a weak quarterback class. Find a guy to love and go get him.”

“Speaking of which, I hear your wife took up golf,” Rex said. “How long before you challenge her from the women’s tees?”