Wilson & Smith Choose Their Presenters
Some of the more cynical Bills fans out there may look at this as a way for Ralph to garner some good will from them on his way into the Hall of Fame. Not that I'd be one of them. But it will be hard for any of us to snarl as he's inducted if Chris Berman is the man talking us through it. I'll guarantee that he'll work "he could go all the way" into his speech. It's the safest bet in Vegas right now. He probably has to work it into every pubic appearance he makes, now that I think of it. It's probably also how Ralph is able to remember him. Isn't that that 'he-could-go-all-the-way' guy!? I like him! Say ... why doesn't HE present for me this year?
(Seriously though, Ralph? Fifty-some years in the league, forming Lord knows how many relationships and the guy you want inducting you into the halls of pro football greatness is a cable sports commentator? Interesting. How many people turned down that gig, I wonder.)
For Bruce, it came down to either Cottrell or his former coach, and soon to be fellow inductee, Marv Levy. He'll be the first of his teammates inducted to not be presented by Levy. But according to Bills blogger Chris Brown, "Smith strongly feels that Levy's hiring of Cottrell as his defensive line coach represented a turning point in his career."
"He taught me how to study film," said Smith of Cottrell. "There are three phases to the game that need to take place, conditioning, studying film and having a coach that you can relate to. If you put all three of those things together you have the makings of something special."
On a total sidenote, does everyone remember that Ted Cottrell will be head coach for a professional football team in New York soon? That's right, the New York ... UFL Franchise? Granted they've only got four teams with no names going up against the biggest sports business in the country, but he's coaching one of them! And apparently, you can help! Just click on this link (dead link) to fill out a coaching application ... no, I am not kidding.
[Author's Note: I swear, at one time, you could fill out a UFL coaching application online like you were signing up for a Facebook page. Sadly, the proof along with the league's website is dead.]
Wilson & Smith will officially be enshrined on Saturday, August 8th.
Don't get me wrong, all of us here at DGWUSports adore the HSBC Arena [First Niagara Center]. How could you not with such a catchy name? It just rolls right off your tongue. But there is no Sabres fan of our generation or older who will ever love a hockey rink the way we loved the Aud. That's a whole other post for another day...
The donation includes blueprints and concrete stones from the Aud's foundation. But most fans will most enjoy hearing that two seats taken from the famous nosebleed orange section will also be making the trip to Toronto. And for total authenticity, they will leave the dried gum fused to the undersides of the seats.
"I'm from Burlington, and I used to come to games in Buffalo. The Aud is part of my upbringing," said Phil Pritchard, vice-president and curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame. "Preserving sports history is special for us ... from a museum standpoint we're glad to preserve anything."
According to Fisher, the seats will be available for viewing beginning at the start of the 2009-2010 season.