Dukes of Awesome

“Bob Sanders”? More Like “Bob …He sucks.
Why didnt anyone tell me Brett left?
“Why didn’t anyone tell me Brett left!?”
8 Thoughts on Bob Sanders.
  1. It is physically and nearly mathematically impossible to have a worse d-line then last year.   So he can’t be of much hurt.
  2. He was just fired, so maybe he can’t be of much help.
  3. His defense ranked near the bottom of the league, despite playing whatever QB scrub Minnesota started (twice); whatever QB scrub Detroit started (twice); and whatever QB scrub Chicago started (twice). 
  4. He went to Davidson, so it fits the profile of Bills coaches who are both book smart and lack personality.
  5. He coached at Duke, so he is well equipped to coach terrible talent.
  6. He coached at Florida in the 90s, so he is well equipped to coach beneath head coaches who are awful in the NFL.
  7. Despite the uncanny resemblance he is not related to Bob Sanders of the Colts
  8. He was fired for blowing too many fourth quarter leads, something he shouldn’t have to worry about in Buffalo, because the odds of us actually having a fourth quarter lead are as remote as the US government sucessfully spending their way out of this  budget deficit.  That’s right. 

Your Newest Brady Quinn Traffic Post
October 7, 2008, 8:59 am
Filed under: idiots, NFL News | Tags: , , ,


Man, what a tool.

Man, what a tool.

Sweet stability: Setting the Sabres’ up in Buffalo for the long haul

So the Sabres have some new owners, in some sense. Good for them.


No really – good for them. I’m sure that people are fired up that Larry Quinn has more power, or the Tom G. is potentially selling the Sabres piece by piece, but I believe that this could actually be a good thing.


When Tom Golisano saved the team (and yes, many tend to forget that he did save the team) he made it known that for all intensive purposes he’d be a bridge between the previous failed ownership and the next group to buy the team. Golisano had never been a big sports guy. He didn’t buy the team to fulfill some childhood sports dream; rather he bought the team because the team matters to the people of WNY. And it’s extremely likely that without him we wouldn’t have the Sabres right now. Remember how close to losing the team we were after Hamister’s bid failed? The team was a financial mess, no other ownership group was stepping up, and all we could do was put up “S.O.S – Save Our Sabres” stickers on some lampposts.


So Tom came and did his part. He bought the team. He made them financially viable. And now he’s willing to set them up with the next ownership group – on his terms. And the problem with this is? Golisano is going on 67 years old. No one in his family has any interest in running the team. Do we really want a Ralph Wilson-esque problem on our hands if he dies in 5 years? The big problem with the Bills is that there is no succession plan in place, and that’s all you hear people complain about on the radio and newspaper. And now Golisano wants to set up the next owners (owners that will keep the team in Buffalo, no questions) and suddenly that’s a problem.


So good for the Sabres. By being proactive in the ownership situation we can ensure the Sabres will remain right here in Buffalo. And considering how little we can take for granted, that I’ll take.

Resurrected…. and it feels so good

How have you been sleeping the last few days Bills Nation? Not well? Lots of tossing and turning? Up all hours all night worried about the status of my Bills Bus?

Well, sleep well now, Bills Nation. The bus has risen from the dead.

Turns out that what brought down a 2-ton party machine was nothing more then a small, corroded yellow wire. That’s it. If 20 years of massive frame corrosion hasn’t stopped the bus yet, well then there’s no way a little wire’s gonna stop our big friend. Me and my bus laugh in the face of frayed wires. Well mainly my bus. I had no idea what the problem was. I half expected when the bus broke down that there would be a part under the hood holding a little “Fix Me” sign. And when that didn’t happen, I was out of ideas.

So all the credit goes to my new best friend AJ. Without him, the bus would slowly be eroding into a gigantic rust ornament in my parents driveway. Instead, our season is saved. So hats off AJ, hats off.

The bus’ resurrection got me thinking about other notable resurrections in history.


Death: Lazarus

Resurrecter: Jesus

Date: 30ish AD

Impressiveness: Pretty impressive. Everybody loves a good comeback story, and Lazareth arguably had history’s first. Too bad no one was around to put it on YouTube.


Death: The Buffalo Bills 1998 season

Resurrecter: Doug Flutie

Date: October 11, 1998

Impressiveness: Very. The Bills had fallen to an 0-3 start under Rob “Mr. Sack” Johnson before the 27th injury of Rob’s career forced Doug into the game. We all know the rest. Doug not only saved the season, but arguable the franchise as the renewed interest sold all the needed club seats to renew the lease.


Death: Elvis

Resurrecter: The World Weekly News

Date: Monthly

Impressiveness: While the resurrection of Elvis was impressive the first time, it loses its luster after the World Weekly News touts it month after month. We get it, he’s alive. Now stop recycling your news. Besides, we’re long overdue for that weird alien dude to endorse a political figure.


Death: My Bills Bus

Resurrecter: AJ

Date: Thursday evening.

Impressiveness: One of the most impressive in modern history. Battling rain, an assistant (me) as clueless as the Chinese news media, and a bus undercoating rust-frosted like a wedding cake, AJ still got the job done. Even the Taliban didn’t face odds this menacing back in 2001.


So we are locked and loaded for football season(s). First tailgate event – UB football’s season opener… so if you are going – meet up with us for the first official tailgate of the year. And help us raise a glass to AJ – official mechanic emeritus of the Dukes.

A plea from a Duke….

I own a Buffalo Bills short bus.

A former 1988 Chevy short bus, now converted into a rolling tailgate machine, complete with a TV, ample tailgate space, and a hood signed by Paul Pusluzny.  Purchased in the spring, the thought of tailgating in it come fall had been the last thing in my head before sleep, and the first thing I thought about when I woke up.

But alas, nothing ever comes easy these days…

A bus issue that was a small inconvenience this spring has now balloon into a full on bus problem.  The bus doesn’t start.  And no mechanic that I know can service it due to its size.

So here’s where you come in.  I am in desperate need of a mechanic that can service this ASAP.  I’m not looking for anything free here, I just need the contact of a good, honest mechanic who can fix the problem.

The details: Its a short bus sitting cut from a Chevy Suburban chassis.  It’s weight is 4200 lbs, and is about 9ish feet tall.  Again, it was cut from a Suburban chassis, so the front of it is shaped like a van.  The problem is likely in the fuel line or fuel pump.  And it has 4 tires on the rear axle.

So, please – let me know if you know someone ASAP.  Football season is fast approaching, and if it can’t be ready for kickoff come opening day I may as well kill myself.  If you don’t know someone, please ask some one who might.  And to repeat – I’m not looking for anything for free, just some connections.

Oh, and if you know a tow dude who can tow this, well that’d be appreciated too.

Thanks in advance, friendly reader.  I’m confident you’ll come through for me.  And I’ll count you in for the Seattle tailgate.

5 Great Buffalo Sports Vacations

The great thing about America is you can pick any stupid topic and no matter how mundane and uninteresting it may seem, you will undeniably find people who are completely obsessed by it. Vacuum Cleaners. Hotel Key Cards. The Atlanta Hawks. You name it, and I’m pretty sure a surprisingly large number of people love it.

For me, my obsession is the commercial aviation industry. I love everything about it: the inability for any airline (other then Southwest) to turn a profit for more then 3 days; the fact that a minor snow squall in Duluth will delay and cancel 1,500 flights across America; the unparalleled disaster that is the Philadelphia Airport (try flying through there and having your luggage show up at your destination sometime in the same decade).

But what I love most about commercial aviation is how relatively easy it is to fly for free. In the last six month’s I’ve accumulated well over 200,000 frequent flyer miles (enough for theoretically 8 round-trip U.S. tickets), and all without ever taking a single flight. How I’ve been getting all these miles is of no concern for a Buffalo sports blog (if you really want to know, drop me an email), but what is of concern is using this free travel to support our beloved sports teams in road venues across America.

So armed with more then 6 weeks of vacation time, the Bills and freshly-released Sabres schedules, and eternal Buffalo optimism, I’ve outlined 5 different Buffalo sports vacations over 5 different months. I’d love to go to to all 5, but reality says that probably won’t happened. But nothings preventing you from going to at least 1, no matter what your budget is.

Miami: October 24-27

Since we won’t be able to watch the comedy show that is the Dolphins live in Buffalo – why not venture down to Miami instead? If you’ve never seen a Bills-Dolphins game in Miami this trip should be a must. There’s no sports city that hops the bandwagon with as much zeal as Miami, and the Dolphins poor performance last year made tickets easily available. The stadium will have roughly about 20,000 Bills fans (between transplants and vacationers), the Buffalo tailgates pregame have a great Ralph Wilson Stadium vibe, and you can’t go to the beach or bars that weekend without hearing “Lets Go Buffalo” chants. I went last year and it was a complete blast, although waving this sign around post game almost got me killed:

Get there Friday and take part in a full weekend of Buffalo-themed parties already organized. Plus you’ll be able to watch the Sabres game Saturday night with Kent Hull and hundreds of Buffalo fans. Seriously – check out that link.

How expensive?: Moderate. Always a prime vacation spot, flights and hotels get booked quickly. So make your reservations now.

Odds of me going: 100%. Tickets are already booked.

Boston: November 7-10

Oh the beauty of the Buffalo double. Sabres @ Bruins on Saturday night. Bills @ Patriots on Sunday afternoon. See two teams for the price of one (trip). Perfect, right?

Maybe not – Patriots tickets are notoriously difficult to get: look to spend at least $80 for Standing Room tix, double it if you want to sit, triple it if you want to sit anywhere remotely close to field. Tack on the expensiveness of Boston (from hotels to $40 stadium parking) and combine that with obnoxiousness of the Bostonians that you’ll have to deal with for a few days.

Biggest problem with this trip is that too much is tied up in us winning the Bills’ game. If we pull off the upset the trip would undoubtedly be worth it. But I’m not excited about the prospect of paying $80 to stand on a ramp and watch from a distance as the Patriots run up the score in a Nor’easter. Even booing Chara for a few hours the night before couldn’t save the weekend then.

How expensive?: Surprisingly expensive, relatively.

Odds of me going: 30%. Like the “double” opportunity, hate the price. Don’t like the odds of winning, either.

New Jersey: December 12-15

Another great Buffalo double. Saturday night spent @ the Prudential Center to watch the Sabres vs. Devils (largely considered one of the best new arenas in America); Sunday afternoon in the Meadowlands to watch Bills vs. Jets. What’s great about this trip is that it’s pretty inexpensive. The Devils draw roughly 17 people per game leading to abundant tickets for walk-ups and below face scalpers; and on the football side, for a big market sellout team Jets’ tickets are fairly easy to get on the secondary market.

If you’re looking for a Buffalo roadtrip on the cheap, this one is it. Save money by carpooling and driving into Jersey on Saturday, staying just one night in Newark. Get three friends to split the costs and you could do everything for easily under $200 each. Or get their a day early and stop in Atlantic City, and you’ll have seen everything there is to see in NJ, and will never have to step foot in that joke of a state again.

How expensive?: Cheap. Surprisingly cheap.

Odds of me going: 85%. At that price, how can I not?

Phoenix: January 28-31

From January 10th to February 3rd, the Sabres will play only 1 home game in the friendly confines of HSBC Arena. As someone who really needs a hockey fix this gap is far too long. Plus the Sabres will undoubtedly need some road support to make it through this stretch. So pick a roadie to go to. How about Sabres @ Coyotes on January 31?

Here’s why to choose Phoenix: interesting arena, numerous cheap tickets, large Buffalo contingent, great January weather, and a sensational peripheral event – the FBR Open a mere 12 miles away.

The FBR Open is not your typically PGA event. Billed as “The Greatest Show on Grass”, it’s not only the highest attended event of the year, it’s also by far the rowdiest. The tournament is described as “one big party” with an atmosphere similar to the infield at the Kentucky Derby. Great shots are cheered with unbridled enthusiasm; poor shots are raucously booed. In fact, one time Justin Leonard even gave the finger to the gallery after they booed a particually bad shot. Where else can you see that, but at at the FBR?

Fly in Wednesday, take in a few days of the tournament, and fly the red eye home after the Sabres game on Saturday. Be home in time for Sunday – to watch the Bills win the Superbowl.

How expensive?: Moderate. Only real expensive part is the flight. Use some frequent flyer miles for a free flight, and an action packed 4 days in Arizona becomes very affordable.

Odds of me going: 50%. I actually really wanted to go to the FBR open before the Sabres schedule came out. The Sabres game made this even more attractive.

Honolulu: February 5-12

It’s been a busy few months jetting around the country. The Bills have just won the Super Bowl, you spent 24 hours camping out to have the best spot for the parade down Delaware, and you’ve finally recovered from that 4 day post-Superbowl boozefest/hangover. Now you need a real vacation.

Aloha Pro-Bowl! A week of sandy beaches, NFL Player parties, and sunny 85-degree days. Not only is it the last chance to see pro football for 6 months (and yes, I use that term loosely to describe the Pro-Bowl), but it could be the last chance to see the Pro-Bowl in Hawaii (it’s rumored to move possibly in 2010).

So enjoy it while you can. Tickets are always abundant and it’s a great excuse to go to Hawaii (which offers all sorts of awesome non-sports things to do). Plus the odds are you’ll have the opportunity to shares some Mai-Thais on the beach with Brian Moorman. Good luck making that happen anywhere else.

How expensive?: Very. Here’s where having a lot of free hotel rooms and free airfare would help.

Odds of me going: 40%. I long targeted the 2009 Pro Bowl as a vacation, and I have the points to make it possible.

Summer Beach Reading: Buffalo Bills Books

For all the positive publicity that summer gets, we do tend to forget some of the negative points – mainly the NFL news wire slows to a pace even slower then Anthony Thomas.

So what’s there to do? Well how about the next time you hit the beach, you pick up one of the many Bills books available for reading? Not only are many of them a really interesting beach read, but it will give you something to do when those teenage female volleyball players run off to call the police because you won’t stop staring at them.

I’m fairly well read when it comes to Bills books, so let me offer you this – my guide to Bills summer reading. But first, since this is a football related blog post I’m contractually obligated to mention Brett Favre, so… Brett Favre. Good, I’m glad we got that over with.

Relentless: The Hard-Hitting History of Buffalo Bills Football
Published for the 35 year anniversary of the Buffalo Bills, you won’t find a more in depth book out there. At roughly the size of the phonebook, Relentless packs a wallop of a punch, with detailed stories and full page glossy photographs. It being nearly 15 years old now, it does come off as a little dated, and although a companion volume was issued to get us to year 40 (2000), it still misses some of the more interesting stories of recent memory. Even so, you won’t find a better book for a Bills fan.

But is it beach reading material? Sadly it is not, unless you frequently bring you set of encyclopedias to the beach. Think of it as a coffee table book. Well a coffee table book that if it got a chance, would murder every book and People magazine around it.

If this book was a player it would be: Ted Washington. Huge and dominant in every way.

Steve Tasker’s Tales from the Buffalo Bills

Steve Tasker’s take on his days in Buffalo – from his arrival to retirement. One of my favorite players of all time actually does a very good job of breaking down all of the moments of his career into short clips that are both interesting and easy to digest.

Both readable and fun, this book epitomizes a beach read. Grab it on the way to Sunset next time.

If this book was a player it would be: Steve Tasker. He did write the book after all.

Tale of the tape: A history of the Buffalo Bills from the inside

There was few people in the Bills organization that spent more time around the team then longtime trainer Eddie Abramoski. After his retirement with 40 years of service, he penned some memoriors from a behind the scenes take.

The book is interesting in the sense that it’s one of the few “inside” stories that was not written by a player. Sadly though, the book lacks the true neutrality that you’d hope from a non-player. It seems at times that Eddie is pandering to certain former Bills, and he doesn’t get into the dirt and nitty gritty that undeniably must have occurred during his time. Additionally the book does drag at times, including a chapter detailing his pigeon racing.

If this book was a player it would be: Damien Covington. Solid at times but forgettable.

Armed & Dangerous by Jim Kelly

Not much to say here, because I figure that if you are a fan of Kelly you’ve already read it (being that it’s 15 years old); and if you’re not, well odds are you aren’t placing an order to Amazon.com anytime soon.

If you haven’t read it, but were interested here’s a quick synopsis: written at a time when Jim Kelly really really loved himself, its a decent read about his life, family, and early pro days.

If this book was a player it would be: ummm, Jim Kelly? In the early 90s, no one loved Jim as much as Jim loved Jim. The only thing that loves Jim nearly as much is this book.

Legends of the Buffalo Bills

This moderately interesting read details the stories behind 40 or so players deemed to be “Legends” by author Randy Schultz. Interesting concept, but here’s the problem – all the real legends we know a ton about (you can’t tell me anything new about Jim Kelly in a 4-page chapter); and to fill the book Mr. Shultz really bended the definition of the term legend. Was Tony Greene really a “Legend”? And was Drew Bledsoe for that matter?

Read this book if you want to learn a few things about some overlooked players from Bills history. Just don’t expect to be blown away.

If this book was a player it would be: Joe Panos. Seems like it could work out well, but overall just kind of disappointing.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Buffalo Bills: Heart-Pounding, Jaw-Dropping, and Gut-Wrenching Moments from Buffalo Bills History

Ahhh, there it is – the mother of all Bills beach reads… Finally a book that has it all.

Not only does it have all the moments of the Bills’ history, both good and bad; but it is actually written from a true outsiders perspective. You want the truth about how the Flutie-Johnson affected the lockerroom? All the information about the “Bickering Bills”? It’s all here: holding back no punches and pandering to no one.

Very readable, full of great sidebars of trivia, lists, and “tidbits” – a true must read for any Bills fan. Take it to the beach, on a plane, wherever. It won’t disappoint.

If this book was a player it would be: Marv Levy. Just as Marv’s shadow is cast over any future head coach, this book should be the standard of future Bills novels. And yes, I know that Marv wasn’t a player. But work with me here.

Do you have your own favorite Bills read? Let me know in the comment box.