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Bills

Sorry for this. A Bills head coach is making his regular-season debut on Sunday at New Era Field, and I'm leading with the other guy. You know, the buffoon who couldn't count to 11. It won't happen again. But remember when a Jets-Bills game was a major deal? Two years ago, when Rex Ryan returned to New York for a national TV game, it was the biggest story going, the old…

Bills

New Era Field has hosted a pair of preseason games and two big-time rock concerts in recent weeks. While those are nice appetizers, the main course comes Sunday when the Buffalo Bills open the regular season against the New York Jets. "There's nothing like opening day in Buffalo for a Bills game," said Andy Major, the team's vice president of operations and guest experie…

Bills

They can hear it all. The questions. The concerns. The doubts. The Bills’ receiving corps knows it’s a work in progress, an unfinished product that has yet to prove itself in a game that actually matters. But that all could change Sunday. And rookie Zay Jones is counting on it. The second-round pick expected to be shepherded by Sammy Watkins and tutored by sage veteran …

Columns

Welcome to the all-new BNblitz.com. Because we care about the Buffalo Bills as much as you do. It's been that way from the beginning. In several interviews over the years, Buffalo Bills founder Ralph C. Wilson Jr. said The Buffalo News sealed the decision to locate the team in Buffalo. For a 2009 story in Sports Illustrated, Peter King quoted Wilson saying: "I though…

Bills

I often refer to the NFL as the most popular sport in the U.S. But you could make an argument that fantasy football has become a greater obsession in this country. I'm sure some fantasy fanatics consider it an actual sport. The average weekly viewership for NBC's Sunday Night Football last season was 22.5 million, the largest of its 11-year existence. Estimates of fanta…

Bills

Last Tuesday, I was chatting with veteran center Eric Wood and asked if he knew how many current Bills were on the team when Rex Ryan was hired in January 2015. “Nine,” Richie Incognito interjected from the adjacent locker. “Without counting, I’d say nine,” Wood replied, in an inspiring show of team unity. Not bad. The number is eight. I thought they’d guess highe…

Sports

There were numerous times over the years in which I wished to speak to that kid in the picture standing proudly alongside Greg Bell after his first practice in Fredonia back in 1984. You see a young, vibrant and wishful teenager who was eternally optimistic when it came to Buffalo sports. If he only knew what would transpire in the coming decade, how the lousy team he a…

Sports

The Bills' regular-season opener is barely a week away, so the populace is getting restless, and a little crazy. After Thursday's stirring preseason win, you can probably guess who was the main topic of discussion in the weekly mail. Yes, it's Nathan Peterman, the backup quarterback for a rebuilding team and therefore the most popular man in town -- with the possible ex…

Sports

Who says the preseason finale is a meaningless exercise? The Bills made history on Thursday night at New Era Field, beating the Lions, 27-17, in the traditional exhibition finale for the first time in a decade. Seriously, the Bills had lost nine straight to Detroit in the NFL's fond, forgettable preseason rivalry. Before Thursday's breakthrough, they hadn't won the late…

Sports

Ed Cunningham stepped down from his role as an ABC/ESPN college football analyst, the New York Times reported Wednesday. The five-year NFL veteran no longer could handle sitting "in the cheerleader's spot" while brain injuries happened on the field below him. He's believed to be the first football broadcaster to quit because of growing concerns over CTE. Some have…

Sports

Fans of the Buffalo Bills' "original glory days" can rejoice. The two long-standing oversights on the Bills' Wall of Fame now have been corrected with Wednesday's announcement that Cookie Gilchrist has been given the team's highest individual honor. Cookie's name will go up on the wall on Oct. 29 and join that of great coach Lou Saban, who was inducted to the wall in…

Sports

J.J. Watt was hoping to raise $200,000 for recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and instead collected more than $4 million in donations after two days. The amount will increase with proceeds from the Texans-Cowboys preseason finale being directed toward southeast Texas. Ideally, every NFL team would follow Watt's lead and donate profits from preseason games …

Sports

Sean McDermott arrived 20 minutes late Tuesday morning for his scheduled gathering with the media, which was hardly anything new. McDermott had been tardy nearly every day since training camp began, prompting a veteran grump (not me) to ask if he would send himself home. McDermott showing up late for a bunch of reporters certainly isn't a felony, but he couldn't dismiss…

Bills

Art Briles cared. During a 10-minute phone call, the then-Baylor head football coach raved about the inner strength and courage shown by two of his former college players turned NFL pros. They were young men who, like him, had faced devastating heartache far too early in life — the loss of a parent. “It's an inner pain that never leaves,” Briles had told me, expressing c…

Sports

Fine, I’ll admit it. I was one of those naive souls who thought Tom Brady’s suspension to start the 2016 season would open the door for another AFC East team to (finally) close the gap. But after four games, I had learned my lesson: Never doubt the genius of Bill Belichick and the power of The Patriots’ Way. We’ve all heard the tired coach-speak cliché, “next man up.” Bu…