Bills and Steelers to hold joint practice


With training camps slated to start next month, word about teams holding joint practices is starting to trickle out. Two of those teams that will be practicing together are the Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The two teams will meet on August 13th and 14th.  Practice on the 13th will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00p.m. On the 14th the teams will practice from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. This will culminate with the two teams playing against each other in week two of the preseason on August 6th at 7:30 p.m.

Steelers to Celebrate Super Bowl IX Championship


The Pittsburgh Steelers have announced that this upcoming season the team will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of their first Super Bowl Championship which was Super Bowl IX.

The Steelers have one a total of six Super Bowls in the past 40 years. Their first came in January 12th, 1974 when the team beat the Minnesota Vikings 16-6. The following five years the Steelers won three more Super Bowls for a total of four for the 1970s.

To commemorate Super Bowl IX the team will wear a 40th Anniversary patch on their uniforms when they play the New Orleans Saints on Sunday November 30th. The day before on November 29th Heinz Field will host an Alumni Weekend Dinner Gala with proceeds benefiting the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program and The Cancer Caring Center.  Also, the Super Bowl IX Championship Team will be recognized at half time.

For additional details, go to the Steelers website.

Domed Stadium isn’t a good option


All over the internet I’ve been seeing comments that a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills should be a domed facility. Being a person that has recently finished his Masters in public relations I can tell you that is going to be almost impossible to get done.

In the field of public relations an idea has to be sold, especially when it involves politics. So, in order for the idea come to fruition and be successful it has to appeal to everyone. The thing is with a domed facility there is going to be one segment that will fight back hard and will have serious consequences.

What many people are forgetting is that Western New York isn’t an area where the majority of people are young families or individuals. The fact of the matter is WNY is a place that is predominantly ruled by aging couples that live on fixed budgets as the majority of young people flee the area in search for a job.

So, what does that mean?

You first need to go back and look at the cost of recently built National Football League domed stadiums. The Minnesota Vikings is projected $976 million, Dallas Cowboys cost $1.3 billion and the San Francisco 49ers cost $1.3 billion. In each of these tax payers had to pay more than $300 million with the city of Santa Clara paying $850 million for a new stadium.

So, the question is will the older community be willing to see their taxes go up to pay for a stadium?

For the most part no, but there is one way taxes can go up that most of the community won’t mind at all and that is sales tax. The reason is a sales tax doesn’t just hit home owners or a certain segment of the community. It affects everyone; even the tourists and Canadian Bills fans that cross the border to come to the games.

The real problem isn’t going to be taxes folks it’s going to be the courts.

This past decade saw to major lawsuits that held up one project for years and completely killed another in the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino and the center that that Verizon wanted to build in Lockport. So, what do you think is going to happen if someone doesn’t like that a new stadium is going to be built nearby?

What’s going to happen is that they will sue and hold the project up. This already happened with the 49ers as the initial plan for a new stadium was proposed in 2006 and will finally be open for the upcoming 2014 NFL season. That’s a total of eight years from beginning to finish.

According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Bills current lease has a onetime opt out clause in 2020 to void the last three years of the contract for $28.4 million. So, there isn’t enough time to build a brand new stadium somewhere else.

In the end, the only real option is to build a new stadium where the team currently plays on the parking lot adjacent to it.  This not only will save time, but money as well.

Bills in a Bind


Many Buffalo Bills fans are wondering what the team will do with Marcell Dareus since he was arrested for a second time this offseason. The fact of the matter is the only real option that the team has is helping Dareus like head coach Doug Marrone said last week.

What people are forgetting is that both arrests were outside of the work place. So, if he is going to be suspended for what he did it will have to come from National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell under the Personal Conduct Policy. So, what are the team’s options?

The only options the team has with Dareus is trade him, cut him, bench him or try to help him.

The reality is that none of them make any sense except for the last. Trading him will get you only a late round draft pick, cutting him gets you nothing in return and benching him after going to the Pro Bowl last year is ridiculous.

The fact of the matter is that a player can only get suspended by a team for something that happens while at the team’s facilities.  He’s then is an employee of the team and they are responsible for his actions while there. Only then can he be suspended by the team.

A good example of this is what happened last season when Dareus was benched twice last season by Marrone. The first was for a quarter and then a half the following week for being late to team meetings.

In that instance he is an employee of the Bills as one of his job functions is to attend meeting that is part of preparing for Sunday’s game.

In the end, all we can do is hope that Dareus gets that the decisions he makes can cost him or someone he loves life.