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Kornheiser, Wilbon break with media pack, blast Watkins trade on 'PTI'

Seldom have you heard a discouraging word about the Buffalo Bills trade of Sammy Watkins to Los Angeles for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second-round draft choice.

The local media has been extremely supportive, citing Watkins' injury-prone career and the chance he would cost a ton of money next year if he has a terrific season.

The local media support has been so strong that I tweeted two days ago: "I am a little surprised that almost every Bills media person is supportive of the trades. Might have thought 1 or 2 would be against."

So that's why I was so stunned by the Monday afternoon comments of “Pardon the Interruption” co-hosts Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser about the trade that I immediately tweeted: Tony K and Michael W of PTI blast Bills trade of Watkins: Tony: "I don't think they know what they are doing." MW said almost same thing.

It was refreshing to hear an opposing view because I've been so stunned by the almost universal media support of the trade agreed to by rookie general manager Brandon Beane, rookie coach Sean McDermott and owners Terry and Kim Pegula.

My initial reaction to the trade was in my Friday tweet: "I don't know if the trade is a good one but will miss Sammy's entertainment value. Could catch a long TD on any play."

In other words, I was torn by the trade because the departure of Watkins may make the season a lot less fun and entertaining and he is only 24 years old and still could become everything former general manager Doug Whaley thought he would become.

Tony Kornheiser, left, and Michael Wilbon from ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption."

Some of my followers came to the Bills defense after Monday's "PTI" comments. Kornhesier and Wilbon were accused of not knowing what they are talking about, not being aware of Watkins' contract situation and knocking everything the Bills do.

The last comment got me to head to the News library to research some of their comments about the Bills.

Last season, Wilbon said the New England Patriots would "wipe the floor" with the Bills a few days before the Bills beat the Tom Brady-less Pats, 16-0.

After the upset, Wilbon didn't reference his prediction and Kornheiser called it “the weirdest result in the NFL” Sunday.

"I think at the end of the year this will be seen as the biggest upset all season,” said Kornheiser.

Then the conversation got even weirder.

In the beginning, Wilbon conceded that Bills coach Rex Ryan deserved “a lot” of credit, which he took back at the end of the 90-second segment.

“I know it begins to sound like you may have anticipated it and some people may have anticipated it,” said Kornheiser to Wilbon. “I am not one of them. I am totally shocked.”

I was shocked that Kornheiser suggested Wilbon may have anticipated it when he predicted the total opposite of anticipating a Bills victory.

“Why?” asked Wilbon of Kornheiser being shocked. "The Patriots had no quarterback.”

“The Patriots didn’t have a quarterback for three games and won those games,” added Kornheiser.

Then the co-hosts started name-calling when discussing Ryan.

“The coolest thing was the way Rex Ryan acted to type,” said Kornheiser. “He acted like a buffoon all week, making fun of (Pats Coach) Bill Belichick. Making fun of not having (suspended quarterback) Tom Brady and when he won he was not humble at all.”

When Kornheiser suggested near the end of the segment that they still would have to give Ryan credit, Wilbon would have none of it because Ryan fired offensive coordinator Greg Roman after Ryan said on the MSG preseason program “Rex & Rob Reunited”  that he would be the first to go if things didn’t work.

“When you say you’ll be the first guy out of here and you fire somebody, then you behaved like a bum,” said Wilbon. “You are a liar.”

Ah, Wilbon was ignoring the fact that the change in offensive coordinators seemed to have worked out so far, with the Bills winning the two games with Anthony Lynn in that role.

It would have been understandable if Ryan felt he couldn't win with these guys even when he won.

Kornheiser wasn’t always so tough on Ryan. On another 2016 show, he said that he thought Ryan was a “great hire” for Buffalo because he fit the community and he and Wilbon agreed that Ryan would be great on television if he ever were fired.

We’ll see about that prediction in a few weeks now that Ryan is working with ESPN. Can't wait to see him on "PTI" talking to the guy who called him a liar.

In 2015 after Ryan defended the Bills effort in a 24-10 loss to the New York Giants that featured 17 Bills penalties, Kornheiser had this to say Monday about Ryan after he defended the Bills effort Sunday: “Rex Ryan at the mic. What’s better than that other than (Donald) Trump?”

That comment hasn't aged too well.

In 2013, Kornheiser noted the Bills were "a great franchise for a long period of time … Now they're forgotten, they've been out of the playoffs longer than any other team in the league since the 1999 season, they play a home game in Toronto every single year, everybody assumes they are going to move."

Everybody? They didn't move, thanks to the Pegulas.

And this from a guy that Wilbon said had a special place in his heart for Buffalo because he went to college nearby – at Binghamton. (Kornheiser noted that the four-hour ride from Buffalo to Binghamton isn’t exactly nearby as any Western New York parent of a child attending college there knows.)

Kornheiser continued: "They’ve got no quarterback. How would you like to be the new coach of the Buffalo Bills right now … What do you think about the long-term prospects of being the head coach of the Buffalo Bills?"

McDermott will determine whether that comment ages well.

email: apergament@buffnews.com

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