Hitting the road in support of the Bills
Starting with an 0-2 record to commence their 2016 season, the Bills were leading me to believe that my 4-12 prediction may not be too far off. However, I am pleasantly surprised to have personally witnessed their upset victory last Sunday at The Cap over the Arizona Cardinals.
Having been a devout Bills fan since 1964, when they won the first of their two AFL titles, it brought much joy to my heart to see them finally get on the winning track and get momentum for this Sunday’s game in Foxborough against the Patriots. Now I am not going to say that the Bills will come home with a victory, but hey, anything is possible in the NFL these days and I would not be too surprised to see the good guys even their record at 2-2 with a date in Tinseltown next Sunday against the Rams.
It will also make for a more enjoyable trip for my brother and I to attend the game at the venerable Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, as there would be a definite possibility, if the Bills beat the Pats, to fly home to Buffalo with a winning record for our beloved Bills.
It has been 45 years since my brother and I last attended a professional football game at the Coliseum, so we are eagerly awaiting our next game, and I hope that Rex and Co. do not disappoint. However, even if they do, I am truly thankful that it is not the L.A. Bills that we will be rooting for. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Pegula for keeping the Bills in Buffalo, where they belong.
Victory over Patriots would be a validation
It was a totally unexpected and enjoyable victory over an excellent Arizona Cardinals team. Considering all our injuries, the Bills still came up big and defeated a consensus playoff team. But this Sunday’s game against our arch rival New England Patriots is pretty much our “Super Bowl” as far as I’m concerned.
I can’t help thinking the Cardinals game was a fluky combination of us playing way above our heads and the Cardinals simply having a bad game. I’m thinking Bill Belichick has already dissected our victory and has a game plan in place to take away the good stuff that we did. Obviously it gets pretty gloomy if we lose and drop to a 1-3 record.
Belichick unfortunately reminds me of Don Shula and the 0-20 record we had against the Dolphins in the ’70s. To me he has become the best football coach since Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers of the ’60s. He seems to win consistently with his system and a lot of average, no-name players and in spite of who plays quarterback. So for me, it will show me a lot if the Bills can rise to the occasion and can defeat the Pats in Foxborough Sunday. It would set us up for a potentially winning season and maybe the playoffs.
At this point, trading up for Watkins a bad deal
Wide receiver Sammy Watkins once again is nursing another injury. Since joining the Buffalo Bills in 2014, he has had eight or nine so called injuries. His status for playing any more this season is up in the air.
We gave up two first-round picks to move up in the draft to get him and the way it looks now that is beginning to be a major mistake. With his history of injuries, he is looking more like damaged goods.
More to the story on Burgard player
In the past week, there has been frequent reminders printed in varied high school sports publications that Domenic Prince from Burgard was suspended for the recent football game with Cheektowaga. We do not dispute the facts but we are sensitive to any implications that this young man is a behavior problem of any kind. In my 38 years of coaching high school football at Clarence, Maryvale and Burgard, I have not mentored any players that have a greater wealth of character and dedication than Dom.
The incident at West Seneca East that resulted in Domenic’s ejection was questionable at best. A very good lineman from WSE was engaged with Domenic at the whistle ending the play and Domenic’s helmet was torn from his head as the players rolled to the ground. Prince got to his feet and pushed the other boy in the back twice. It looked similar to kindergarten playmates getting rough in the sand box and not much more. However, the rules are the rules and we abided by them.
During this past week of practice, Domenic responded to his suspension for the following game by being the first player at practice, leading stretching period and finishing first in all of our conditioning sprints. He also filled in on offensive line and defensive line for our scout teams when needed. How many kids from the suburban schools would match these behaviors? As it has been emphasized by those same recent publications, Domenic is one of our eight players that attend MST Seneca on Delevan Avenue. That is a significant number to consider since it indicates that our consolidated players comprise only one quarter of the Burgard roster.
Again, it is important to remind you all reading this that Domenic Prince attends MST Seneca High School. This means that, in order to be the first Burgard player at practice, he must run all the way to Burgard located on Kensington Avenue, get dressed for practice in the hallway and run to Dewey Park, where we hold our practices. I am blessed to witness him do this every day because I have first supervision at Dewey. When he gets there, he greets me with a smile on his face and asks me what we are doing today. Most people in Section VI know what a gifted athlete Domenic Prince is but we feel it is more important to know what a fine young man he is.
Gary D. Braun
Burgard asst. coach
Sabres fan not a fan of printing own tickets
After spending thousands of dollars for season tickets to the Buffalo Sabres, I really resent being forced to print my own tickets.
There are 41 home games in the regular season. In my experience few, if any, season ticket holders can afford the time to attend all 41 games, so we split our tickets. Now we must also supply those tickets? Not a fan-friendly move.
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