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Jerry Sullivan

Jerry Sullivan spent 16 years as The Buffalo News' lead columnist on the Bills. He loves the NBA, Strat-o-Matic baseball, Tom Waits and reading novels, along with the usual periodicals.


LIKE EVERYONE else, I'm a bit puzzled about Alexander Mogilny. He is obviously a troubled and confused young man, and I suspect his problems go far beyond his fear of flying. It doesn't matter if he travels by plane, train or automobile. Mogilny has a long way to go before his feet are planted firmly on the ground.For his sake, and the sake of the Sabres, I hope Mogi…

You want to know what sort of an evening it was? Well, at one point Frank Layden was standing at the dais wearing the world's largest jockstrap -- on his head. That sort of evening.Nothing was sacred Monday night at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo. Not the Pope, not Lassie, not Ronnie Harmon. Mayor Griffin took a cheap shot at journalists. Then, just to show he's a good spo…

BERNIE NICHOLLS IS a pretty resilient guy. By now, he's recovered from the initial pain and disappointment of the trade. But it will take a while longer for his curiosity to be appeased. One of these days, he would like to sit down with Bruce McNall and Wayne Gretzky to find out some real answers.Nicholls says McNall, the Los Angeles Kings owner, had promised not to t…

It was early in 1982. Rick Dudley lay on the beach outside his home in Florida, gazing out at the ocean horizon and wondering just what he was going to do with the rest of his life.Just days before, he had come to the realization that he could not push his body any longer. He had been playing with Fredericton of the American Hockey League, testing his ravaged knees to…

A AS USUAL, CALVIN Murphy was busy. He said he had 99 different things to do, which is difficult even for a man of his quickness. And he made it clear that worrying about Larry Bird isn't one of them."I'm not really following it," Murphy said Wednesday from his office in Houston. "Records are made to be broken. The first time I heard about him getting close was two da…

CHRIS PLONSKY is in charge of public relations for the Big East Conference, which does not exactly qualify her as an objective observer. Plonsky is required to see things in the best possible light, and to advance the notion that her league is the best thing to hit college basketball since someone got smart and cut the bottoms out of the peach baskets.But even Plonsky…

BOTH CANISIUS and Niagara lost their basketball games Saturday night. As you're probably aware, that is not the sort of development that impels the television people to break into their regular programming and alert the local populace.Still, if you were an avid hoops fan, the Niagara Falls Convention Center wasn't a bad place to find shelter from the ice storm. Those…

Nick Macarchuk said he's watched the tapes, and he doesn't know how in the world they do it, either. All he knows is that this Niagara team doesn't know how to quit.Macarchuk's Fordham team found out first-hand Saturday night at the Niagara Falls Convention Center. The Eagles, overmatched but never overwhelmed, took everything the Rams could throw at them, and still n…

BUFFALO STATE COACH Dick Bihr didn't know quite what to make of the kid at first. Shane Johnson had special basketball gifts, that much was certain. But he was a wildly unpredictable talent, the sort of player who puts a smile on your face one minute and a gray hair on your head the next.The two had their clashes. People at Buffalo State tell of the time when Johnson…

SO AS it turned out, the Sabres did what they had to do Wednesday night. Even the most ardent pacifist would have to concede that the time had come for them to make a statement, and to make a stand.They had to send a message, not only to the goons and gumbies from Quebec, but to the rest of the NHL. You can't run around injuring their skill players -- as the Nordique…

Craig Patrick, the Pittsburgh Penguins' new coach and general manager, referred to it as a "lost weekend." Mario Lemieux managed to keep his scoring streak alive, but that was about the only sign of life in his team by the time Pittsburgh's back-to-back nightmare had concluded.Only 24 hours after losing, 9-3, to the Islanders, the Penguins lost, 7-2, to the Sabres in …

Mario Lemieux kept the streak intact, but no one seemed too upset about it afterward. In the end, what mattered most was not that Lemieux got his point, but that the Buffalo Sabres made theirs. And made it quite emphatically.With a five-game home losing streak hovering over them, the Sabres rediscovered the brand of hockey that had vaulted them to the top of the NHL e…

Suddenly, the Sabres don't feel so safe and secure in their own home anymore.The five-game losing streak is rattling around in the attic. To make matters worse, Mario Lemieux is making his way toward the Auditorium, like some brazen daytime house burglar.The Pittsburgh Penguins are in town for a 2 p.m. game today (cable TV, Radio 930), and the Sabres are faced with a …

Perhaps what the Sabres should do now is pack their bags, say goodbye to their loved ones, and spend the hours leading up to Sunday afternoon's big home game against Pittsburgh in some local hotel."Maybe that's a good idea," Scott Arniel said after Friday's 4-2 loss to Chicago at Memorial Auditorium. "It seems when we're on the road we're relaxed, because the pressure…

If this keeps up, the only Sabres who look forward to playing in Memorial Auditorium will be the ones who have been traded away.The Sabres tied a team record with their fifth consecutive home loss Friday. That was bad enough. But as a further indignity, they had to watch a former teammate skate away with the first star for the second home game in a row.Just as the rec…