Three weeks ago, after Rex Ryan was fired after 31 games, the Bills finished off another regular season with an embarrassing loss to the Jets. The players cleaned out their lockers, the general manager held a disastrous news conference and the owners sat down for a lengthy interview. Their first order of business was hiring Sean McDermott. He doesn’t move the needle t…

Tom Brady’s return to the Super Bowl after opening the season serving a four-game suspension will resurrect the endless DeflateGate controversy during the next two weeks. Brady will be battling Roger Goodell on the undercard before the Patriots face the Falcons in the main event. Hopefully, the game is more interesting than story lines leading into it, which would be …

Dean Eoannou admits he had his doubts at first. Wendy Casey was a UB freshman when she walked into his boxing gym at Clark Hall back in 2003, looking for a competitive outlet and a way to lose weight. She was sweet, but maybe too sweet. "When she first came to the gym, she was making cupcakes and stuff," Eoannou recalled. "I wouldn't put her in the ring. I said, 'This g…

Great week for the Mailbag. We're not rebuilding, we just keep getting better. There were questions about football, hockey, basketball, a lot on baseball, even one about professional wrestling. The haters seem to have gone underground (where they belong). I did have one correspondent who said I should join Bills fans for a month's vacation to decompress. That was very k…

The voting process for the Baseball Hall of Fame always seemed odd in that it allowed for opinions to shift while statistics and other variables remained the same. Baseball writers agonized over their ballots, sometimes altering their views several times about the same player for a decade. To me, such decisions should be relatively easy. If a player belonged in the Hall…

I dropped in at Coles for a quick one after work Tuesday night and ran into my old pal, Rex Carr, who was sitting at the bar and cursing at the TV as the Sabres were in the process of losing at the Maple Leafs. "Nice goaltending," Rex muttered, keeping his gaze fixed on the TV set as I ordered a couple of drafts. "As if things weren't going bad enough, Mr. Positive has …

It remains unclear who coined the phrase “records are meant to be broken,” but it has been repeated so many times, from Leonidas of Rhodes to LeBron of Cleveland, that it has become a broken record. You can only assume the words were first spoken in Greek based on the following rationale: The Olympics were first held in Greece back in 776 B.C., thereby establishin…

Column as I see 'em, divisional round: Over the years, it has become a January ritual. As the NFL playoffs unfold, with the Bills once again not among the participants, there's a tendency to see events through a Buffalo perspective. During last week's rousing divisional round, I had this thought at some point during all four games: You wouldn't win this game with Tyr…

Thirty notes, one for each team as the NBA approaches the midpoint of the regular season, starting with a question worthy of debate: Who is the most complete player in the NBA? Russell Westbrook is averaging 30.8 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.5 assists per game. He’s leading the league in scoring and could become the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 to …

Kassius Robertson was the first to say that nobody, four years ago, envisioned the performance he had Saturday. He felt like the fifth Beatle of his recruiting class at Canisius, the forgotten prospect from Toronto who was fortunate to land a scholarship and was destined for the bench. Zach Lewis started as a freshman and complemented Billy Baron in the backcourt. Adam …

Earlier in the week, when sophomore Nick Perkins basically handed a game away to Ohio by picking up back-to-back technical fouls late in the game, UB head coach Nate Oats bluntly said that Perkins had momentarily "lost his mind." After Saturday's second straight home loss, a 92-77 defeat to Ball State, Oats was questioning the mindset and toughness of virtually his enti…

Sean McDermott paused after the Associated Press' John Wawrow delivered the first question of the press conference, asking how McDermott expected to succeed where so many Bills head coaches had failed before him. "Is this on?" the new coach asked, gesturing to the microphone on the dais when his voice was slow to come over the PA system. The media got a chuckle out o…

One of those national football "insiders" was being interviewed on local sports radio Thursday and referred to Tyrod Taylor as one of the top 15 quarterbacks in the NFL. He tossed out the cliche about Taylor being "a guy you can win with." That's the perspective you get from outsiders who go by the stat sheets rather than their own eyeballs, the ones who haven't watched…

Early in 2001, a month after I succeeded the late Larry Felser as the main columnist on the beat, the Bills hired a 42-year-old defensive coordinator who had recently coached in the Super Bowl as their new head coach, replacing a retread head man who was the son of an NFL coaching legend. His name was Gregg Williams. It did not go well. That defensive whiz kid went 3…

Last summer, Nate Rose was reintroduced to a life in the South Bronx that didn’t include wrestling. He was working for a local delicatessen, delivering sandwiches for $5 an hour plus tips, while contemplating his next move. His only certainty was that he was finished with the sport. His master plan called for dropping out of the University at Buffalo after one year an…