Bills lucky in week one of 2015


Many Buffalo Bills fans will refer to how great the defense was in their week one win over the Indianapolis Colts. The fact of the matter is the Bills defense was lucky they weren’t playing Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning or New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, because if they did it would’ve been a different story.


The one thing that stood out throughout the first half of the game was the fact how the Bills cornerbacks were playing five yards off the line of scrimmage.  In the NFL today you cannot do that as great quarterbacks like Manning and Brady will audible all day long to take advantage of it.  A decade ago I was at a game at Ralph Wilson Stadium where I watched then Indianapolis Colts quarterback Manning audible all game long and pick apart the Bills defense that day.


On various downs throughout Colts offensive drives I was in disbelief of how quarterback Andrew Luck didn’t take advantage of the cushion Bills cornerbacks were giving him.


The Colts first drive of the second half was no different as on the Colts first drive in the second half they went 4-5 on third downs. The only incomplete pass came on 3rd-2 from the Bills two yard line Luck threw an incomplete pass.  However, on fourth down the Colts scored and then completed the two point conversion to make the score 24-8 Bills.


The other thing that I can take away from this game is that Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor has a long ways to go to be a great quarterback in the NFL. On the Bills first drive with the offense facing a 3rd and 5 from their 46 yard line; Taylor scrambled for one yard after feeling immediate pressure. Part of the problem was Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s calling for run plays on first down.

In the second half it was different as the first two 1st-10 for the Bills were passes that were complete. The point being in the NFL you need to mix things up in the NFL in order to succeed.

However, the Bills are basic old school as they rely on their defense to make plays and their offense to control the clock and score the occasional points.

The problem with that is that great teams like the Patriots and the Broncos will exploit the Bills’ weaknesses. They will then rack up the score and make the team look silly.  That’s unless the Bills take their heads out of their rears and do what is right.

In the end, unless the Bills realize that Tayor isn;’t the answer and backup quarterback E.J. Manuel is their best option, the Bills will make it 16 straight years without making the playoffs.

A public relations perspective to new Spygate article


Many people were shocked by the bombshell report by ESPN rocked the football world Tuesday as it was confirmed that Spygate was indeed much larger than what National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell told the media, U.S. Senator Arlen Spector and other NFL owners. So, here is a look from a public relations perspective.

NFL owners support for Goodell has been eroding since Spygate and definitely took a hit when U.S. Federal Judge Richard Berman ruled against the NFL in regards to the suspension for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The problem is that Goodell’s contract is through March 2019. So, it will be very costly to replace Goodell, which means that the two will have to find some way to coexist for the time being.

As for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, he was a coach that was renowned for his defenses, but now will be known as the greatest cheater in all of professional sports and will most unlikely get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Things will get tricky when it comes to Brady. The selection committee for the Hall of Fame will be debating this question for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, because Brady has performed great after Spygate broke.

So, is Brady worthy of the Hall of Fame?

It’s pretty clear that the Patriots won the three Super Bowls from 2000-2008 by cheating. All one has to look is at the three Super Bowls since. In three games they lost twice to the New York Giants and should have lost a third as we all know.

When it comes to statistics one could make a case for him. After Spygate Brady has thrown for 4,000 yards five times where before he only had two and secondly threw more than 30 touchdowns four times where before he only did once.

The biggest question of all is would Brady be Brady if he was on any other team?

There is a good possibility that Brady would be a starter for another team, but there’s serious doubt about that. Brady got a clear advantage as a starter in his second year as Belichick was able to minimize some of his mistakes by knowing what the defense was going to do. What I mean by that is if the Patriots didn’t know what the defense was doing, there is a good that Brady could have made some key mistakes in his first year as a starter that could have changed the course of it dramatically.

As for Specter, his instincts proved to be correct. Spygate was much bigger than what anyone was led to believe, but will congress call for a congressional inquiry?

There is a good chance this could happen. We are in the middle of Presidential nomination cycle and so far billionaire businessman Donald Trump is in front of his fellow republicans. So, it wouldn’t be surprising if one of them jump on this piece of news.

In the end, until Belichick fesses up publicly to what type of cheating he has engaged in, this will be an ongoing issue for a long time.

A plan to bring NASCAR and PGA to WNY


For my Master of Science final project, I was asked to come up a project for a nonprofit organization. I’m a unique person who takes up tough projects and there was only one organization that I felt was worthwhile and that is the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

Like many of you, my knowledge of the parks was limited to what I heard in the media, which was one of the historic systems in all of America.

Through my own research this proved to be very true. Fredrick Law Olmsted teamed up with Calvert Vaux to come up with a design for a new park in New York City. They were picked for the project and currently the park is one of the most renowned parks in America as it’s known as New York City’s Central Park.

From there Olmsted was asked to come to Buffalo, N.Y. and design a three park system. He did that in Delaware Park, Front Park and Martin Luther King Park. However, what is notable about this is what he didn’t accomplish.

Olmsted was asked to come back a decade later by the leaders of the City of Buffalo. His first recommendation was a park on the waterfront, but the city rejected the idea. Instead, Olmsted came up with three more parks in Cazenovia Park, South Park and Riverside Park, which brought the total up to six, but is still the oldest park system of all of the United States.

The one thing that links all of these parks together is that four of the six parks have a golf course system and each park is connected by a series of specific roads. The only park to not have one is Riverside and Front Park. With help of the City of Buffalo, Erie County and the PGA; the Olmsted Parks can be redesigned to be able to host a PGA tour event every year.

Yes, an event like this would require the closure of the roads that connect the parks, but it would present a unique situation to professional golfers that they wouldn’t get anywhere on the planet Earth and a needed boost to the economy of Western New York.

My other idea is a race track for NASCAR. The closest NASCAR race is held in Watkins Glen, N.Y., which is several hours away to the Southeast. However, this idea as it’s very realistic if you have followed the proposed sites for a new stadium for a new Buffalo Bills.

Outside a major renovation for Ralph Wilson Stadium, it’s been proposed that a new stadium should be built in downtown Buffalo and along Buffalo’s waterfront. Currently, there is one affiliated NASCAR track in Holland, N.Y. and another that isn’t in Lancaster National Speedway in Lancaster, N.Y.

To see the evidence of how big NASCAR, visit the McKinley Mall where not even feet from Footlocker is a stand that advertises Holland Motor Speedway. The thing that will make both of these projects work is another work by Olmsted that is in WNY. That work is in Niagara Falls State Park.

My biggest surprise in my research was that Olmsted later designed Niagara Falls State Park. Millions of tourists world wide visit the parks and an expansion of the Olmsted Park system to include Niagara Falls is common sense.  The logistics of who takes care of what will have be worked out, but a good marketing plan touting NASCAR as the second biggest racing league to Formula One will bring tourists visiting the Niagara Falls to the City of Buffalo.

n the end, Western New York has been looking to bolster its economy through the tourism industry. A solid marketing plan including these ideas would bring millions of dollars to the Western New York Economy.

What will happen to Kane


Chicago Blackhawks forwards, and Buffalo, NY native, Patrick Kane has been embroiled in a rape controversy since August 2nd. Many nation wide are asking what will happen of the case.

The one thing I can state from my own limted experience, is it’s what you can prove in a court of law that matters, which is another case for another time.

The biggest and most glaring example came in the 1990s. Nicole Brown Simpson was murdered and her ex husband and former Buffalo Bills running back O.J., Simpson was the number one suspect. O.J. was charged with the crime, but when it went to trial he was found not guilty, because the prosecution messed up on one piece of evidence.

The main piece of evidence was a bloody glove found behind his Brentwood, CA house. However, when Simpson tried it on at the prosecution’s request it didn’t fit, which led to his attorney Johnny Chocran coining the phrase, “If the glove don’t fit.Then you must acquit.”

Even though many believed O.J, murdered his wife, because he couldn’t be found guilty of a shadow of a doubt, Simpson was found not innocent.

That leads me to the current events with Kane. As far as reports go, neither of the friends of the two have come forwards to hearing anything. That leaves it to be a he said/she said case.

In the end, if no further evidence comes to the police attention then the case will be kicked to the curb by Hamburg, NY police ad Erie Couny District Attorney.

E.J. versus Tyrod: a look at the stats


Many in Western New York just simply want a franchise quarterback to lead the Buffalo Bills back to the playoffs, which has been over 15 years. In the upcoming 2015 regular season opener, Tyrod Taylor has been named the starter recently, but if you look at just the stats, many would be hard pressed to declare a starter.

fI will admit that my bias is toward quarterback E.J. Manuel. Especially after the articles this season showed that Manuel is one of the best young quarterbacks on first down ever.

However, as much I was rooting for E.J., I had to be neutral as a journalist and I will defer to a quote by Bills General Manager Doug Whaley.

“It’s a production-based business,” Whaley said in The Buffalo News.  “He produced with the twos (Talking about Taylor) so we’re excited for him to get in there Thursday with the ones to see what he can do. Everybody knows what he can do with his feet. But I’m impressed with a couple of his throws.”

The problem is that when you look at the stats objectively their is a different story.

After four preseason games:

Taylor:  24 of 31 for 77.4% passing with 236 yards passing 0 TDs and 0 Int

Manuel: 30 of 20 for 66.7% passing with 358 yards passing 4TDs and 0 Int

When you just look at the stats clearly Manuel is the better of the two. However, it’s when you break down game film the difference is clear.

By athletic standards Taylor is superior between the two. However, in the history of the NFL, it’s pocket presence that wins out, which by the way was the main concern of main Bills media professionals.If you don’t believe me then ask yourself who are the top two quarterbacks in the NFL?

By most peoples’ standards’ it’s Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Neither of which are known for their athleticism.

So, how many Hall of Fame quarterbacks are known for the athleticism?

According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Modern Era quarterbacks, definitely two in former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway and Tampa Bay and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young. After that you could make a case for Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw and Bills Jim Kelly. Outside of those you’re talking about former Minnesota Viking Fran Tarketon and Cleveland Brown Otto Graham.

Either which way, athletic quarterbacks are no more than a fad. Pocket passing franchise quarterbacks will be remembered forever.

In the end, I will state that Taylor will falter and E.J. will prove to be the franchise quarterback we have been waiting for as pocket presence will always prevail over athleticism.

The truth of Whaley’s comments


Pretty much all of Western New York was upset over the fact that the Buffalo Bills cut running back Fred Jackson. All over social media there were videos of children breaking down and crying over their favorite player no longer with their favorite team.

Since then Tim Graham of The Buffalo News reported that two sources told him that Bills General Manager Doug Whaley went “Rogue” when cutting Jackson. However, some have criticized Graham over the validity of the report. So, here is my insight into the whole situation.

As a person with a Master’s of Science in Public Relations, the first thing that they teach is whatever comes up in the press it’s your job to handle it and defuse it. In the National Football League the job starts the minute that the news breaks.

When I was an undergraduate at Buffalo State College, I had the pleasure of hearing three speakers in my sports reporting course, which was taught by The Buffalo News’ Alan Pergament.  Two of the three were  The Buffalo News’ Tim Graham and Mark Gaughan. The third was Buffalo Bills Senior Vice President of Communication Scott Berchtold.

Before I go on I must tell you this. In the world of journalism you typically do what the source asks you. So, what I’m about to tell you is breaking that cardinal rule, but considering all the circumstances lately, I feel it’s well worth it.

It was the summer of 2011 and I just finished last fulltime semester as an undergraduate. I had only two courses to go to complete my Bachelors of Arts in journalism and media production.  One of the course offerings that summer was sports reporting, which to my surprise in the course catalog it said Alan Pergament.

Like many of you reading, my knowledge of Mr. Pergament came from reading The Buffalo New. In the news typically he wrote columns about the media, so the first thing that came into my mind was why he’s teaching a sports reporting course. The answer came within the very first days as he revealed that at Tbe Buffalo News he was first a sports reporter and transferred to his current position at the request of his superiors.

Of course that immediately got my attention and I wondered to myself if he would bring in some of his connections or colleagues to guest speak at my classes.

A few weeks later those questions proved to be right.  The first and third was Graham and Gaughan, who provided great insight to the industry.  However, it was the second speaker in Berchtold that provided to me the most insight into the NFL.

The one thing that I was surprised at was what he during the final stages of the game and just after.

During the final stages of a game he would go up to the media and confirm who they would want to speak to.  This gave him the necessary knowledge and insight to what was come as a longtime veteran of the NFL he knew how the media operated and how to diffuse a situation before the player ever stepped up to the podium.

Once Berchtold confirmed who the media wanted to talk to, he would grab the player. It was in this short period of time from the player’s locker to the podium that he works his magic.

“Every time that I walk with a player up to the podium I always go over things,” Berchtold said. “I would remind him to thank his teammates, the coaching staff and others. I did this in order to get the player to snap and sound off  before they ever reached the podium, because the media asks the same question five different ways to aggravate a player and get what they really are thinking.”

One of the most memorable moments to Berchtold came in the 1990s after a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. On one of the key plays there seemed to be pass interference, which Kelly vehemently thought.  Of course Berchtold did his usual spiel to elicit a response from Kelly, who he knew before hand was upset about, and worked as Kelly snapped and replied he knew what he was doing.

However, on that fateful day Berchtold’s tactics failed.

“On my way up to the podium I did my usual thing,” Berchtold said. “I told Jim to thank his offensive line, his coaches and not to say anything about the referees. I knew he would snap, which he did, but that day things didn’t work.”

One of the media’s tactics is to ask the same question in various forms to elicit a emotional response from a player in order to get his true feelings.  With the Bills under Berchtold that is very rare as Berchtold is good at what he does.  However, that day was one of the few to have failed him.

“After I got a response from Jim he went up to the podium,” Berchtold continued. ‘ He answered all the media’s questions, but they came back to the play that there should have been a pass interference.  Eventually, Jim gave me a look he had enough and then snapped and criticized the officials and get a fine from the NFL.”

So why am I saying this? Berchtold is a veteran of the NFL of over 25 years.  His tenure starts before the Bills even went to four straight Superbowls. In other words he is very good at his job.

Why do you think when Graham reported Whaley went “Rogue” that the Bills in the media would show a unified front?

The answer is simply because Berchtold knows how to handle the media and more importantly how to make a scandal slip through the media cycle with very little coming back to the team. The evidence is what Whaley said yesterday.

“Let’s put it this way,” Whaley said. “I gather information from everybody, from the running backs coach to the offensive coordinator to the head coach and the owners. I wouldn’t be in this position – especially with new ownership – I’m going to include them. That’s my boss. We wouldn’t make a decision without them.”

In other words, Whaley gathered information from his roster and came to a decision that the team would be better off with Jackson cut and the money spent elsewhere.

Eichel Sabres good no matter what


With the Buffalo Sabres having the second overall pick in June’s NHL Draft, many people have Boston University’s Jack Eichel being selected by the Sabres. No matter what decision Eichel makes, both he and the Sabres will benefit any which way.

Boston University came close to winning the NCAA Championship as it reached the Frozen Four. According to the Buffalo News Eichel was already selected as an assistant captain for the upcoming 2015-2016 season. So, if Eichel were to stay he would be the man on the team, expected to lead them to a NCAA Championship and have a ton of pressure on him, which is experience that he wouldn’t get this season with the Sabres.

Before the Sabres gutted their core players, they earned a reputation as a soft team that crumbled when under pressure. The teams that win the Stanley Cup are teams that can deal with the pressure and persevere under it.

Now, don’t get me wrong as I’m not saying leaving Boston University wouldn’t be good for him either.

If Eichel were to leave for the Sabres he would be immediately paired with a certain player that is already on the roster. That player is nobody other than Brian Gionta.

Gionta in college won the NCAA Championship as captain of Boston College for the 2000-2001 season. He then won a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 2003 and just last year led the Montreal Canadiens to the Easter Conference Finals where they lost to the New York Rangers in six games. So, if Eichel were to leave he would be in good hands either which way.

As for the Sabres, if they were to get Eichel they obvious get a top notch player ready for the NFL that would vault the team towards making the NHL Playoffs. If Eichel were to stay at Boston University, then they would get to find out about some other prospects.

Forwards Johan Larsson and Mikhail Grigorenko have been languishing in the AHL for the last several seasons. With the trades the Sabres made at the deadline, along with injuries, both players got significant playing time with the team. Grigorenko scored two goals and two assists in the last 10 games while Larson had two goals and five assists.

Those aren’t great numbers, but they don’t account for the numerous opportunities that they created for their teammates that they didn’t capitalize on.

Let’s not forget 2014 second overall pick Sam Reinhart. The only thing that is keeping Reinhart from the NHL is his strength. However, with the season over Reinhart should have no trouble improving on that before the next season comes.

The NHL is a team sport and if one man could improve a whole team then the Edmonton Oilers would have won the Stanley Cup multiple times as they had the first overall pick from 2010-2012. The last time they were in the playoffs was the 2005-2006 season when they went to the Stanley Cup finals. Let’s not forget about the Pittsburgh Penguins who have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and still not made the playoffs this year.

In the end, Eichel is just one piece of a much larger puzzle.

Woods still has a chance


The National Hockey League and National Basketball Association seasons are about to come to a close, and Major League Baseball season has just gotten under way. That means all eyes are  on Augusta, GA and Tiger Woods as he makes his comeback.

It’s Woods first tournament since February and even though he finished a one over par at the Masters it doesn’t mean he is out of it.

Golf is different than most sports. Popular leagues like the NFL, NBA and NHL are team based sports, However, the game of golf is different as it’s a individual performance based sport, which means Woods still has a chance as even though he finished a one over par he still has a chance as there are still three rounds to go.

Woods has been known for making remarkable comebacks in the past. Down multiple shots he still made comebacks to win tournaments in the past.

A lot of people will discount Woods with all his injuries, but that doesn’t mean anything/

The evidence is in the hole in one par three tournament that preceded the Masters. One of golf’s legends in Jack Nicklaus at 75-years-old made a hole in one prior to the tournament.

In the end, Nicklaus’s hole in one shows that in golf it’s not about one’s age, but about consistency.

Williams supports Incognito


The Buffalo Bills started their offseason workout program on Monday and of course the longest tenured Bills is there in defensive tackle Kyle Williams. Like always it’s interesting to hear what he has to say.

Of course Bills reporters asked everyone and anyone about guard Richie Incognito, which of course Williams answered.

“Yeah I saw him,” Williams replied to a question. “And one thing, when we signed him, I was happy. He was a great teammate. Obviously a good player and when he was here he was a fantastic teammate and I wasn’t down when all that junk went down in Miami. So, I tend to base my opinions on my firsthand experiences with people and I had a great time with him as a teammate and I’m glad he’s here.”

The Bills already have a leader on the offensive line in center Eric Wood. According to, Wood signed a contract extension prior to the 2013 season, which runs thru 2017 and means that what happened with the Miami Dolphins won’t happen again.

Incognito was asked to take a leadership position with the team, and failed miserably at it.

However, this is a country that believes in second chances. Numerous athletes through the professional level of sports have been given a second chance, and Incognito is no different.

Another factor for Incognito is his age. As of July 5th, Incognito will be 32-years-old. That’s getting up there in age for a professional football player as most players are retired by their mid-30s.

In the end, Incognito will be on his best behavior as a Bills player, but if he doesn’t he will be done in the NFL,

What the Sabres fans and Tom Brady have in common


The Buffalo Sabres are on a two game winning streak after their win Wednesday night against the Toronto Maples, which leaves them two points behind second last place Arizona Coyotes. If the Sabres don’t finish last, Sabres fans have only themselves to blame.

Going into the March 26nd home game against the Coyotes many in the media were wondering how fans would behave themselves. Those who watch the game saw the game know what happened. Let’s just say the Sabres didn’t like what happpened, which could cost Sabres fans the chance to draft coveted prospects Erie Otters Connor MacDavid and Boston University’s Jack Eichel.

The most aggravating thing is that you think that Buffaloians would have learned to keep their moths’ shut after New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for the last 15 years..

However, that isn’t the case as Sabres fans cheered for the Coyotes to win that night

After the game it was pretty evident from multiple Sabres players comments that fans cheering for the Coyotes didn’t sit well with them. They proved that on March 30th when they beat the Coyotes by a score of 4.-1.

So, how does Brady figure into this?

Simple, he and the Patriots for the past 15 years have used every single little quote in the media to motivate them to wins. That has led Brady to his fourth Superbowl win for his career this past Feburary with plenty of time for his fifth.. That fifth win would make him the greatest quarterback in the history of the National Football League, no matter what has happened in the past.

n the end, if the Sabres don’t finish last the, fans only those idiots who attended the game and cheered for the Coyotes.