It was the busiest week yet for the old Mailbag. Who said people don’t write letters anymore? Much of the correspondence was about Tom Brady’s suspension – and as you can imagine, there’s little sympathy for the Patriots’ star in the Buffalo crowd.
Some people submitted rambling screeds, rather than simple, concise questions. Hey, I can relate. But some editing is necessary. Making it into the mailbag isn’t license to be a windbag.
Anyway, send your comments and queries to my Twitter account (@TBNSully) or to my News email address (email@example.com).
Jack Gray asks: Now that you have admitted that Tom Brady is a cheater, you still consider him the best QB of all time, do you also consider Barry Bonds the best left fielder or A-Rod the best shortstop? How about Ben Johnson the fastest human? Lance Armstrong? Different story cause these guys were all druggies?
Sully: That’s part of it. I do believe steroids are a far greater offense than underinflating footballs – or scuffed baseballs. Whatever edge, if any, that Brady got was minuscule compared with what athletes derive from pumping performance-enhancing drugs into their bodies.
Actually, I do still consider Bonds the best left fielder ever. I felt that way before he ever took steroids. It’s sad that he felt he needed to juice to gain the adoration that the American public was heaping on Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.
So Brady liked a softer football. Aaron Rodgers admits he likes an overinflated football. Do you honestly believe he has never thrown a ball that was over the limit? Does that mean his No. 1 all-time quarterback rating is illegitimate?
Brady broke the rules, but I don’t think it gave him a big advantage. The NFL should be more flexible with the footballs. It’s a quarterback league. If the two best QBs in the game like balls that are inflated outside the PSI limits, why not change it?
JJW@HeyWNY asks: Why do you think the Sabres won’t hold end-of-year pressers? What is the relationship between the Pegulas and Buffalo News compared to prior owners?
Sully: Apparently, the Sabres don’t feel an obligation to answer the myriad questions that hover over the franchise after one of the most bizarre seasons in team history.
As Mike Harrington pointed out, they’re the only team in the NHL that won’t have a final presser. That’s twice in four years. Pegula has done great things for Buffalo, but it was clear the day he set foot in Buffalo that he doesn’t get the role of a critical, objective media.
No one expects Pegula or Ted Black to show up. I imagine the PR folks worry that they’ll embarrass the organization. But there’s no reason GM Tim Murray couldn’t do it. He spoke the night of the lottery, but the public deserved more.
But when you’re selling out every game and getting fawning coverage from other media, why let the more objective reporters hold your feet to the fire? The Pegulas need to have thicker skins, and Kim needs to have more of a voice.
@SirKennyPoo asks: Think Murray’s backhanded insults of Eichel after the lottery will result in him going back to BU for another season?
Sully: It’s an understandable fear. @DennyMazur had a similar tweet. The possibility of Eichel going back to college is remote, though it can’t be ruled out. He loves his team, which named him captain. He would like to make amends for a loss in the NCAA championship game.
Eichel’s performance in the World Championships could end any thoughts of going back to BU. He has been one of the top forwards for the U.S. and scored a game-winning goal against Slovakia. He’s proving to the world, and himself, that he’s ready for the NHL.
But if Eichel goes back to college, Murray’s weak response at the lottery will be at least a small factor.
@Lukej6400 asks: As a guy who bleeds pinstripes, I don’t know how much longer I can not root for A-Rod. And for that I hate myself! Any advice?
Sully: My son is an unrepentant Alex Rodriguez fan. For most people, A-Rod is easy to hate. But he served his time. As a Yankee fan, you should rise above the hate and be grateful that he’s able to contribute at his age.
By the way, did you root for Roger Clemens, or Andy Pettitte, or Jason Giambi, or Gary Sheffield? Did you hate yourself for that?
James Griffin asks: Sully, I disagree about Brady being the best qb ever; the great qbs didn’t cheat, I’ll add Brady to the cheaters list along with Barry Bonds and A-Rod. Do you think Fred Jackson should be added to the Bills Wall of Fame when he retires?
Sully: Yes, Jackson should go on the Wall. He deserves it as a terrific all-around running back and leader, and one of the most popular athletes in Buffalo history. He also reflects the positive qualities that the Wall represents.
Maybe they can take O.J. off the wall while they’re at it.
@SinisterSully asks: Who has a better chance at making the postseason, the Mets or Astros?
Sully: Great question. They’re the top surprises in baseball. Both have good young pitching staffs and position players, including great defensive center fielders in Houston’s Jake Marisnick and the Mets’ Juan Lagares.
While I don’t think either will win the division, the Mets have the better chance at a wild card. They have deeper starting pitching, and if Noah Syndergaard comes along, look out. Houston is thin after Keuchel and McHugh. Really, Roberto Hernandez the No. 3 starter?
Paul Schoninger asks: What’s up with Purple Eagle basketball? Fifteen transfers after two seasons. Casey can call it a national issue, but that’s crazy.
Sully: Casey has lost seven of 12 players in the past year. Close to 800 players have transferred this season in D-I, but seven is alarming. Still, I haven’t heard any talk of major issues between players and Casey.
To some extent, Niagara is still recovering from Joe Mihalich’s departure. Casey had to recruit on the fly. He got lucky with Ramone Snowden, who fell into his hands when he couldn’t meet the academic standard at Old Dominion. Snowden has transferred.
Casey still has a solid core in Dominique Reid and Emile Blackman. But he has to find seven new players. He needs guys who stick and contribute in the MAAC. Niagara is 15-48 in Casey’s two years. If they’re losers in two years, he should be gone.