When I received the text alert from ESPN telling me that Mr. Ralph C. Wilson Jr. had passed away, I was instantly overcome with sadness. Like most Bills fans, I had been dreading (yet expecting) this moment for years, but no amount of psychological preparation could brace me for the sudden shock of finally hearing it.
Regardless of whether or not we choose to come to terms with it, the reality is that Mr. Wilson, the franchise’s sole owner for the last 54 years, is gone. Now Bills fans will have to endure the endless speculation that has already started buzzing around whether the team in the league’s second smallest market will be auctioned off to the highest bidder and abandon Buffalo for a more cosmopolitan locale such as Los Angeles, Toronto, or even London.
However, before we get to that, I think we owe Mr. Wilson the respect of acknowledging his character and his contributions to our city, no matter how ambivalent the relationship between the owner and his fans may have been at times.
This week, Rusty & Marci pay tribute to Ralph Wilson, talk about some breaking news, and discuss the upcoming X-Men movie and season of VEEP. Plus, they cast roles for an imaginary Hi Mom Biopic.
Don’t get me wrong, I like How I Met Your Mother as much as the next guy. When I’m drinking Old Vienna’s in my underwear on weekday afternoons, I’ve been known to watch a rerun or two of Barney, Marshall, the smoking hot Canadian lady, Lily, and the worst character in the history of television. As the show comes to an end, and terrible Ted finally meets the mother of his kids (cause everybody is really on pins and needles after nine f—king seasons), it’s about time that I air my grievances about this guy.
I am known among friends and family as a Buffalo Sabres apologist.
In a few years, I believe we’ll be sending Christmas cards to Darcy Regier for many of the moves he made in the final year or two of his tenure as GM. Others may choose to look at Grigorenko and Leino and decide the glass is half empty, I’ll point to Girgensons, Pysyk, and Zadorov as evidence the glass is half full. It’s my fervent belief that people in this town give Terry Pegula way too much crap for not answering Mike Harrington’s phone calls and not nearly enough credit for spending a kazillion dollars of his own cash to save my team and build the HarborCenter.
Yet for all my happy hometown hockey team myopia, there is one piece of evidence that indicates Sabres management has no idea what the hell they are doing. That piece of evidence can be heard Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and its name is Sabres Hockey Hotline with Kevin Sylvester.
The Buffalo Bills are a team with an unrivaled sense of identity (with the exception of maybe the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears). They are synonymous with the city that they represent, and are home to one of the most rabid and dedicated fan bases in the league. Yet with the death of the legendary Ralph Wilson Jr., speculation about the Bills’ future in Buffalo is running rampant. The team’s lease with Erie County runs through 2022, so moving in the next eight years would be legally challenging and cost-prohibitively expensive if not impossible. After 2022 comes uncertainty. The emotional pleas to keep the Bills in Buffalo are endless, but the NFL is a business, and the team’s future will be decided by the financial interests of the league and the new owner. The upshot is that from a purely financial and strategic perspective, the Bills should and will remain in Buffalo for years to come.
There is another round of Sweet 16 games tonight, and with Brian Dockstader correctly picking all four of last night’s winners (Arizona, Florida, Wisconsin, and Dayton) I have a tall task of attempting to predict who will move on to the Elite Eight. Here goes nothing.
This year’s March Madness has already seen its fair share of close games with a tournament record six overtime games. That kind of competitive play will continue tonight. Two top seeds and tournament favorites are battling tonight as Arizona takes on San Diego State and Florida plays UCLA.
With the NCAA tournament down to the Sweet 16, meaning there’s only 15 games and approximately 2,580 media timeouts remaining, I figured it’d be entertaining to take a look at the best remaining NBA prospects at the guard position. NBA talent evaluators continue to value upside and athleticism far more than they do actual accomplishments, which explains why a guy like Zach Lavine may go in the lottery, but DeAndre Kane may go undrafted. There is also no way that I’m going to dare and try and project the upside of big men either, mostly because big men are thoroughly uninteresting.
This past Friday, the quarterfinal draw for the Champions League took place and as always, the results left fans salivating at the potential moments that lie ahead. Out of the four matchups, which will be played in two different legs starting on April 1-2, several storylines stand out. Two very familiar Spanish teams will play one another. Two foes that played against each other in last year’s semifinal will rekindle a rivalry again this year. Two English teams will also take on the current and defending German and French league champions. Here’s a more detailed look at the matchups and who I believe is the likelier club to advance.