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'Sports Talk Sunday' rewind: Bills' media policy, NHL and NBA playoffs

Channel 2's Jonah Javad and Stu Boyar teamed up with The News' Bucky Gleason and Tyler Dunne on "Sports Talk Sunday," which aired at 11:30 p.m. May 29 on WGRZ-TV.

From a debate over Sidney Crosby and Joe Pavelski to shared distaste at the Bills' new media policy, several topics were covered. Here are five topics that were discussed:

1) Bills' media policy: At the start of OTAs, the Bills released a new media policy, intended to prevent reporters from writing about personnel groupings, interceptions, details about injured players and much more. Dunne reinforced his position that he would not be adhering to the guidelines, calling them a "laughingstock at a national level" and "Communist" in nature.

Bucky echoes that the whole premise is stupid, that the Bills wouldn't want their own fans to know who's doing well and who's struggling during the offseason.

Boyar sees it as an example for the Bills to control the message delivered to fans -- how would the organization have spun EJ's meltdown against the Jaguars in 2015? Bucky adds that the local media couldn't care less what happens with the Bills in May, but that the fan-base is genuinely interested in updates throughout the season.

Dunne and Bucky can't believe that Rex wasn't aware of the policy, and Senior Vice President of Communications Scott Berchtold has been around the organization too long to be behind something like this. The hosts think that the command came from higher up the totem poll.


2) Braggadocio from Rex and Rob Ryan: Referencing Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback column on Rex and Rob Ryan, the hosts discuss the tenor of the piece, which was filled with bold predictions -- that the Bills would beat the Patriots -- and odd excuse -- like how Rob Ryan was not at fault for the Saints' defensive struggles.

Dunne explains that Bills fans want to see results from the Ryan brothers; the Bills beat reporter remembers when Rex said he didn't know who Patriots running back Dion Lewis was, before he torched the Bills for 138 total yards and a touchdown in a 40-32 New England win. Dunne also says that the Ryans should be open to compromise between players and coaches, as the finger-pointing between the coaches and Mario Williams didn't involve anyone making concessions.

While Boyar is tiring of the Ryans' shtick very quickly, Javad points out that Rex Ryan wouldn't be as popular without his bold proclamations.


3) Injuries to Sammy Watkins, Shaq Lawson: Bucky is annoyed by the Bills' lack of consistency with their message regarding Shaq Lawson, who was originally drafted to start "when he got off the bus." The News columnist would have been OK with Lawson's surgery if the Bills would have admitted that there was some concern upon drafting the pass-rushing linebacker instead of confidently proclaiming him a Day One starter.

Dunne was surprised, too, as the Bills are in obvious win-now mode and needed to address their needs through the draft due to a lack of money in free agency. He says there's a real chance the Bills are out of the playoff hunt by the time Lawson returns to the field.

Injury to top pick Shaq Lawson has fans unhappy.

Injury to top pick Shaq Lawson has fans unhappy.


4) NHL, NBA quick-hitters: The hosts debate who will win the Stanley Cup Finals between Pittsburgh and San Jose, as Sharks-proponent Boyar touts the Western Conference team's size and speed, the dominance of Joe Pavelski and the superiority of the conference.

Bucky counters by predicting the Pens will win in six games, as their depth and balance works nicely with their star power in Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and upstart goalie Matt Murray. Dunne leans toward Pittsburgh, too, arguing that Crosby understands the meaning of legacy, while Bucky adds that the Pens' superstar can be dominant without lighting up the box score.

Over in the NBA, Dunne marvels at how unbelievable Klay Thompson's Game 6 performance was in keeping the Warriors' hopes alive, as the shooting guard stroked an NBA-record 11 three-pointers. He says that the Warriors' win was the first time he'd screamed at his TV since the red wedding in "Game of Thrones." Often the contrarian, Bucky sides with the Thunder for Game 7, as he believes Golden State still looks like a team weary from chasing a record.


5) Extra Points:

Tyler: Dunne passes along that another person close to the Bills' Marcell Dareus has died -- Jeremy Bernard Bennett -- which the defensive tackle shared on Instagram this past week. The off-the-field tragedies suffered by Kevon Seymour, Mario Butler and Dareus remind the media and fans that NFL players aren't just names thrown into a fantasy lineup, robots or cogs in a machine.

[Read Dunne's emotional features on Butler, Seymour and Dareus]

Bucky: He praises Tim Kaufman, who completed the Buffalo Marathon on Sunday after weighing 400 pounds just four years ago. Bucky told the story in detail in Monday's Buffalo News.

Tim Kaufman, who weighed 400 pounds four years ago and was addicted to painkillers, completed his first Buffalo Marathon on Sunday.

Tim Kaufman, who weighed 400 pounds four years ago and was addicted to painkillers, completed his first Buffalo Marathon on Sunday.

Jonah: Javad elaborates on Bills GM Doug Whaley's comments that "humans aren't supposed to play football," noting how the NFL is crucified for its handling of concussions and CTE, but peripheral sports (in comparison) like Muhammad Ali in boxing get a free pass. The NFL is the scapegoat for America's love for violence, but Javad feels the blame should be shared by other sports.

The next "Sports Talk Sunday" runs at 11:30 p.m. June 5 on WGRZ-TV.

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