Ladies and Gentleman: Your 2011 Buffalo Bills
I'm not working today. I have a job that allows for some time off during the summer months, and despite pleas from the girlfriend to clean the bathroom, do laundry, and several other chores, I have decided to blog a little today about the coming and goings in NFL free agency.
Now don't get it twisted, I completely agree with everything the Apologist said a couple of days ago. The NFL sucks. I LOVE the Buffalo Bills, but the media coverage, whether it be ESPN, SI, CBS, FOX, or the God forsaken NFL network can eat a metaphorical dick. BUT, with free agency crammed into a few days, there is a lot going on and it is pretty exciting. And by exciting, I mean FUCKING AWFUL BECAUSE BUFFALO IS BOUND TO ONLY GET WORSE! Sorry about that, but as the title of this post says; Fuck you Poz. I cannot believe I woke up this morning and that was the first piece of news that I see. Jacksonville? Really? Shit-hole Jacksonville? WTF POZ??? Word is that money wasn't even an issue and he just straight up picked Diarrhea-ville over Buffalo. You are more comfortable in a 4-3? Why, because you can thrive better making tackles 14 yards downfield after RB's streak by you at the line? Cut your hair hippie.
Alright, that rant was ridiculous. I shouldn't care, but I do for some reason. As I write this, the Yachtsman is texting me and ridiculing me for caring this much for such a shitty player, but what can I say? I get attached to certain players and when they spurn my team I have nonsensical reactions. Both the Gal and I own Poz jerseys and those were the last pieces of Bills merchandise I purchased. Whatever.
Wait. $7 million a year??? Oh shit. Please ignore everything you just read. Except Jacksonville being a the worst place on Earth. That part is true.
Moving on. As the day continues, I will chime in with thoughts on the free agency signings and NFL news that occur. Like Tyler Thigpen as a Buffalo Bill. NEW JERSEY PURCHASE!
Throwing interceptions at a Ralph near you!
10:00 am: Hasselbeck to Tennessee is an amazing deal for both. He needed to get out of Seattle and with Jake Locker on board, the Titans needed a veteran to run the ship until he's ready. I think he still has "it" and Locker might be waiting longer than expected. Plus, does anyone else think Locker is the next J.P. Losman? No? Just me? Alright I'll shut up now.
10:21: Wow. Twitter is shitting on Poz. I'm ok with that, but there are way too many dismissive tweets that are playing the race card in reference to why fans love him. Chris Kelsay is a white LB and I don't know a single person who likes him. Stop making yourself feel better about your position in life. You voted for Obama like the rest of us. You're good.
10:35: McNabb to Minnesota for two 6th rounders. Phenomenal. I mean why not make that move? The guy can still play. I have no evidence to back that up, but I once saw him in an airport.
10:42: I am going to watch Iron Man 2 on Netflix right now. I hate football.
11:22 So the movie never happened. Spent the last 40 minutes texting back and forth with the Yachtsman about wrestling. Cena Vs. Mysterio was awesome and Punk's return to "Cult of Personality" by Living Colour made me erect.
1:52 I just watched the food network for over 2 hours. I'm not worthwile.
1:59 Let us see what NFL new has broke. Kolb to Arizona? Hmmm. I like it. Great move for the Cardinals....unless Kolb is the next Rob Johnson. *shutters*
2:00 Apparently the Bills are looking at offensive lineman Willio Colon from Pittsburgh and some guy named Tyson Clabo. I just read that Clabo is a hot commodity. I never heard of him so I'm going to say he isn't exactly a name that strikes fear into the hearts of D-lineman. Then again, I'm pretty sure Erik Pears served me a fat-free macchiato last off-season.
2:01 I was certain Tyson Clabo was black until I just saw his picture. Well look who's racist now!!
2:04 Santonio Holmes for $50 mil. Well Done Jets. Keep the criminal track record going! I'm just going to report now that Rex Ryan has signed Rae Carruth to a $35 mil/5 year deal.
2:05 Oh. And fuck the Jets.
2:15 Poz got more money than Barry Cofield and Eric Weddle is now the highest paid safety in the history of the NFL. Welcome back football. I hate you and you are making me miserable.
2:17 Lunch time and American Restoration. Let's see if italian sausage and Rick Dale can salvage this day.
2:31 The answer to above is yes. And now I'm hearing Jason Babin to Buffalo? YES PLEASE! I hope in some way this means cutting loose the Great White Joke, Chris Kelsay.
Denim shirt - sleeves = Bad Ass
2:47 Ervin Santana just no-hit the Indians. Awesome. Doug Free is now making $8 million a year. Not awesome
2:49 Mason Crosby will be making almost $3 million a year. A kicker. Making $3 million. That just happened. I need to get Steve Christie on the phone and get his thoughts. He's not dead is he?
3:22 Nothing happening right now. Laundry time.
5:55 Just hopped back online to see that Drayton Florence re-signed. I'm a big fan of his. He was easily the best corner on the team and at many times looked downright amazing in coverage. At $15 mil over three years isn't so bad either. I loved when they signed him a couple years and I love it now. Solid move. Now let's get Babin, Colon, and Zach Miller.
6:00 Just saw on Buffalo Rumblings that there is talk with Kevin Burnett
. Good news keeps on coming. My buddy Migs is a huge Chargers fan and I remember him telling me last season how athletic this dude was and that he hasn't even hit his full potential yet. If they land him to play in the middle, I don't mind the rotation of him, Shepherd, and Davis at all.
6:07 Jake Delhomme is going to be released by the Browns, surprising absolutely nobody. He was god awful to watch last season. Before he got benched of course. Or did he get hurt? Whatever, he sucks.
6:08 Catching up on a few other signings and trades:
-Shanahan makes a deal for Jabar Gaffney. Oooo exciting!
-Bruce Gradkowski may be the future QB in Cincinnati. You gotta believe that Cincy is actually wishing they re-signed Fitzy a couple of years ago.
-How the fuck does Matt Leinart get a two year deal worth $5.5 million when no team even wanted him last year. I will never understand how this league works.
-Stephen Nicholas re-upped with Atlanta for 5 years and $17 million, making Poz's contract even more ridiculous. I'm still shocked about that massive contract. I'm actually hoping that the reports that Buffalo offered a similar deal are completely false because that is unreal.
6:16 Plaxico is either returning to the Giants or Steelers. Remember when he shot himself? That was funny. I heard James Harrison does the same thing, but just for fun.
"Kano ain't got shit on me!"
6:23 I just read everything I wrote today. Yikes. If you are still reading, good on ya. And if you think this is bad, wait until you hear my slurring words and Nate Dogg impression during episode 13 of the CrapTastiCast.
6:25 I missed the news that Tom Coughlin extended with the G-Men earlier. Somewhere my girlfriend's father is cursing while pouring another vodka.
6:30 Dear God! Olindo Mare is getting $3 million a year too??? I didn't even know he was still in the NFL.
6:37 Steve Breaston to the Chiefs would be big for that team. With him complimenting Dwayne Bowe, they could both have huge seasons. Fantasy value rising....wait....I have to organize my fantasy league now that the season is starting. Worst part of season is trying get those other nine monsters together for a draft. Shit.
6:45 In case people forgot; Ralph Wilson is an odious taint
7:24 All is quiet. Last thing I saw on NFL.com was Drew Stanton staying with Detroit. In other exciting news, Mike and Frank just bought a sick sidecar for $1000 on American Pickers. Apparently I'm 78 years old.
7:46 I'm reading about hockey. I could not help myself. Solid read on Ryan Miller over at BBG
. Props to the new guy Jason!
7:52 Random predictions for the 2011 season: David Nelson gets 50 catches. Terrance McGee gets injured again and then released, opening the door for Aaron Williams to have a breakout rookie year. Fitzy throws for over 3000 again and gets contract extension. The Tight End corps combine for no more than 30 catches. Chris Kelsay does nothing. I get thrown out of the Meadowlands for the third time in five years.
8:00 I think I'm done here. This was a complete waste of time and nothing thought provoking was said. Thus, I leave you with Randy Moss's dog, who will obviously play a huge role in where he lands in free agency.
No comment needed
Welcome to Part two of my off-season guide to keep you entertained until The Sabres and Bills are playing again. On Thursday I dedicated the whole post to hockey and took you through all the events leading up to the first full year of the Pegula Era. This week I explore football and all the other stuff to keep you occupied through the summer of 2011. The Buffalo Bills, soccer, NASCAR, and baseball: pick your poison.
The future? Or just still in college mode?
NFL Free Agency & Training Camp – No set dates
Even with the lockout lifted, a new CBA still needs to take place, and until then the fans are being left in pigskin limbo. With free agency unable to take place, no undrafted FA’s were able to signed and we still do not know what players will be restricted or unrestricted. The one thing that I hope to God happens is that Donte Whitner leaves town. After his last twitter tirade
, he still said he is open to returning to Buffalo. The self proclaimed football-Jesus needs to shut up and move on. Also if he could get hit by a truck, that would be aaaaaaawesome.
When, or if free agency does open, the Bills still have many holes to fill, especially at QB, TE, OT, DB, & ILB (If Poz walks). The Amish Rifle and Levi Brown are the only QB’s on the roster. Do they add an experienced veteran like McNabb or Marc Bulger, or a mid-level guy like Tyler Thigpen or Matt Moore? Either way, this is Fitzy’s team until they add a QB in the draft. Andrew Luck, anyone???
As mentioned, they also need tons of other help. 2010 waiver wire pickup Scott Chandler is tops on the TE depth chart (Desmond Clark is most likely available with the emergence of Greg “Greggie” Olsen), Erik Pears is our starting right tackle, and we have only three experienced corners, two of which are injury-prone. And with no Poz, it would mean rookie Kelvin Sheppard immediately steps into a starting role (maybe not a bad thing). So there is a ton of work still to be done. Of course Buffalo always seems to find some diamonds in the rough through undrafted FA’s, like Jason Peters, Jabari Greer, and Jim Leonhard. Those guys were steals and I’m so glad….what was that? We let all of them leave? Oh ok, that makes sense. *Smacks head against wall*
FC Buffalo Season – May 22nd opening against FC Reading Revolution June 10th @NJ Blaze
Of course there are many more dates besides the two above, but those are the games that stick out right now. May 22nd the team opens up their regular season at home and the big day on June 10th will see the DGWU crew attending their game on Jersey soil (or is it mud?) in full force. Our trip to Central Jersey is sure to be exciting and will most likely end with my girlfriend’s parents bailing me out of jail. Check out the Barrister’s excellent post
about Nick Mendola’s scrappy FC Buffalo squad and get excited for the upcoming season. You can check out the full schedule here
and plenty of coverage on the team, right where you are at DGWU Sports. I just talked about soccer in a post. The Scizz talked about soccer in a post. I need a medal or maybe one of those nifty scarves I see all you fans with.
NASCAR fun....you can't beat it, I promise you.
The Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen - August 14th
Oh yes, out of Europe and into redneck country. I have to be honest, I feel a little more comfortable here. No, I’m not a redneck, but I grew up watching NASCAR with my Dad and actually attended this race for solid 10 years with him. This year I hope to bring other members of the DGWU crew with me to celebrate some racin’ road-course style in upstate New York. Just a few hours away from NYC, this track is located in the middle of nowhere, but with a registered camping site located within the track infield and my father’s mustachioed best friend pounding beers, it is sure to be a good time. If you are not a race fan because you think that left turns are boring, this is a race that may peak your interest. The road-course features many twist and turns and you can check out a map of the track here
and a list of the events here
. The party goes Thursday – Sunday and I guarantee you a good time if you attend. Unfortunately, dumb ass fuckheads still take up the majority of the sports' fan base. Last year one of my favorites, former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya took the checkered flag amongst outright racist boos from the crowd. Hmmm, maybe NASCAR and soccer do have something in common. SOCCER NASCAR
These people need to die fiery deaths over a tank of blood thirsty sharks.
The farmer in the dell....bitches.
Baseball: Orioles @ Yankees - July 29 – 31
Yankees @ Orioles - August 26 - 28
Cubs @ Mets - September 9 – 11
Bisons games – Check the schedule
Always remember that during the summer months there are oodles and oodles of pointless baseball games being played for you to enjoy! I realize that maybe we have readers who are Indians, Pirates, and Blue Jays fans because of close proximity to Buffalo, but the DGWU crew represent the Cubs, Mets, and Orioles. The three series listed above are all ones to take interest in, because some of us may actually attend these games. You can look forward to ridiculously detailed Oriole knowledge from the Apologist at some point on this site, continued live-blogging of Cubs games from the Yachtsman and I, and terrifying accounts of being a newish Mets fan from the Barrister. I for one am excited about another possible DGWU roadtrip to Baltimore’s beautiful Inner Harbor for the Yankees series. Get on that Aps, but be careful of Omar Comin' (see image above).
If you don't understand this image, I'm not sure what to say to you.
The DGWU CrapTastiCast – Every week this summer (hopefully)
Finally, if you are new to our site or at least have ignored our lovely podcast, please continue to look for new episodes of the CrapTastiCast with many different Buffalo-related guests all summer (including Joe from BuffaloWins
this Monday). We will try our best to have a new one out to you each week with fresh/stale comedy, average sports knowledge, and sweeping generalizations. At least you get to hear that awesome intro music we have. Feel free to hit that nifty little iTUNES subscribe button down below to keep track of all new episodes and please download the past ones. It is a guaranteed goodtime for all to enjoy (except children, the elderly, and anyone originally from Philadelphia). And naturally a lovely way to waste away your mornings at work. Catch ya on the flipside.
Why do the players I like always let me down? Also, I am MEGA constipated right now.
Apologies to anyone who actually checked the blog last weekend looking for my addendum to my 2007 draft class anaylsis (Ha). I truly sat down to type it up Saturday afternoon, but quickly realized I had way to much to say about the top two picks from this specific draft class, and that entire draft in general. I started remembering a lot about the actual day, as well as my huge expectations and love for both of these players. It was no longer a quick post, but becoming a full blown column, so I figured I would save it for today. Before I get into it too much, a little about the day itself.
April 28th, 2007. McFadden's Sports Bar in New York City. 1 p.m. This was before the NFL realized they could make even more $$$ by moving the opening rounds of the draft into primetime, thus ruining what was always a fantastic day of sports talk with friends and heavy drinking over several hours. I met up with several friends and fellow Bills' fans that day, but arrived with my good friend TomDogg at about Noon in order to get a spot by the bar. It was going to be a good day.
The beer started flowing immediately, and as JaMarcus Russell walked to the podium, signaling another EPIC, EPIC, EPIC failure for the Oakland Raiders, I felt confident. Buffalo was coming off a much improved 2006 season under new Coach Dick Jauron, and more importantly new GM Marv Levy. The draft class from the year before appeared to have some solid sleepers (obviously I was wrong
), and the available draftees of 2007 looked incredibly deep. The bar was packed, and as a result of the draft itself taking place in NYC, people that were actually at Radio City started trickling in after their teams had selected. TomDogg and I actually ended up hanging out with a couple of Green Bay Packers' and Arizona Cardinals' fans. It was a joyous occasion for all. In fact, before Buffalo ever selected, my favorite moment of the draft occurred. But more on that later. On to the heartbreak.
How's my Drivin'? Call 1-800-555-THUG
I loved this pick. I don't care what anyone else says. I knew he could be trouble, but everything about him football-wise was amazing. He worked hard, played harder, and was actually thrilled to come to Buffalo. I wanted Patrick Willis more than anyone else, but after San Fran snatched him up right before Buffalo's pick, this was my next favorite choice. And since Marv made the pick, I figured that the worries about his character issues were in the past. Obviously that last part was incorrect, but everything Marshawn did on the field in his 3+ seasons with the Buffalo Bills made me happy. Yes, he had his moments in 2009 where he thought he was an outside the tackles runner, but he eventually reverted back to his power running ways. I could be wrong, but I don't think I ever questioned his heart or work ethic.
The two headed Freddie Jackson-Marshawn backfield was solid. At least this fan/writer/teacher/handsome sonuvabitch thinks so. It could have worked long-term, I really think so. However, the ridiculous drafting of C.J. Spiller ended that pairing before it ever had a chance to REALLY get started. Here there was two players with very different styles and skills in the Bills' hands, and they dropped one for a lousy 4th round pick (which they will most likely fuck up) because "the best player available at the time of the draft" was an undersized specialty player who "could be" a "gamebreaker". I feel like Dr. Evil with all of these quotations, but for God's sake this STILL pisses me off.
Some of my favorite moments watching the games from Calico Jacks in NYC happened to be when Marshawn would bust a 15 yard run up the middle without any hole ever opening up, my friends and I flashing the BEAST MODE sign and going nuts. I know many people loved the Spiller pick originally, and just as many, if not more were fine with the Lynch trade to Seattle. but c'mon people. Tell me you didn't miss Beast Mode even a little bit when you saw this run during the playoffs last year:
In theatres this summer: Marvel's THOR
Just as I was settling into loving that Marshwan selection, someone yells out from the bar "IT SAYS BUFFALO IS ON THE CLOCK!!!" The place erupts in cheers. Everyone in the building with any inkling of knowledge knew exactly what had just happened. The Bills had traded up to the 34th spot in order to select Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny. It was no secret that experts and fans alike had been predicting that Buffalo would make some sort of move to grab "Poz".
Originally thought to a mid-1st round selection, Poz slipped down the charts and Buffalo jumped at the chance to have a Shane Conlan clone. Conlan anchored the Bills' defensive backfield through the 90's and hell, Poz even wore his jersey number at Penn State in his honor. How could this go wrong? It was a perfect fit. I for one was even more excited because I had just started dating a girl who went to Penn State who was football obsessed, and this gave us a little common ground to enjoy games together. In fact, one of the first gifts I ever bought her was a Poz jersey (and before you make fun of me for that, she loved it, and is still with me today. So suck on that).
How has the pick turned out? A resounding meh. I hate to say it, but Poz has been no better than a run-of-the-mill NFL linebacker. That isn't necessarily a bad thing considering that so many players are out of the league within three years, but he has not lived up to the huge expectations that Bills fans, myself included set forth on him. He also has not exactly been a player of great health. The first mistake was moving him to middle-linebacker in a poor 4-3 defense, but I could go on with that for another 2000 words.
This upcoming season (if there is one), Poz will be a free-agent. Although Buffalo has tendered him an offer, it may mean absolutely nothing if a new CBA is agreed upon. What should Buffalo do? I honestly don't have an answer. Poz had a strong season in the new 3-4 defense, creating six turnovers (which was tied for the NFL lead) and was among the league leaders in tackles despite missing several games AGAIN with injury. But Poz has yet to make a pro bowl, and last year was a contract year.
As you saw fron the title of this post, I have been emotionally invested in both of these players. From day one I was a huge supporter. I own a Poz jersey. I own a Marshawn BEAST MODE t-shirt. I absolutely thought that these guys were the future of the team. But alas, I have been let down again. I'd like to say I'm still holding out for Poz to return and have a monster season that I always knew he was capable of, but that would be a lie. I have honestly become quite indifferent about the entire situation (kind of like anything political in the U.S. at this present moment).
Which brings me to my most lasting memory from the 2007 draft. The Miami Dolphins were on the clock with the 9th pick overall. They desperately needed a quarterback and Notre Dame star, Brady Quinn was still available. In a bar with mostly Buffalo fans, everyone was almost certain that Quinn would get snatched up immediately, especially after the commisioner walked to the podium made with time still left on the clock. What happened next was one of the best examples of unintentional comedy in the history of sports:
Ted Ginn Jr. A guy that many draft experts might fall to the 2nd round. Hilarious. I wish I had video of McFaddens when that went down. Tagliabue did not even get the "n's" in Ginn out before the bar erupted in laughter. Amazing. Even my friend TomDogg, who is a diehard Giants fan still considers this an amazing moment. Then again, the Dolphins have made the playoffs in the last 10 years. EPIC FAIL.