5 Least Popular People in Buffalo Sports

OK, so I’m blogging like a bat out of hell and I’m just thinking of different topics that have been really bothering me. As of late I’ve been feeling quite angry about the Buffalo sports world. I really can’t think of anything positive to look forward to (Besides going to the Bills bar in NYC) that is on the field related. Yes, I’m excited about T.O. being in Buffalo, but lets call it what it is, its a rental deal. He most likely won’t be here after this year unless he turns the team completely around, and I’m not talking 9-7. In other words there really isn’t anything to hang your hat on to look forward to these days. And why is that? Well that’s why they make top 5 lists. Here it is Bloggers (Mom and the homeless guy looking in my window) the 5 individuals to blame for the the Buffalo sports world being in recession.

1)Larry Quinn
Is there a more unpopular guy in Buffalo than “Mr. Land Developer?” Look, I’m going to give Larry some credit, the guy helped develop and get the HSBC Arena built and if it wasn’t for him being friends with Mr. Seles (Golisano) the Sabres may be playing in Portland. But there is a old saying, “the two most important requirements for major success are, first: being at the right place at the right time, second doing something about it.” Larry has always been great at the first part but has been god awful with the latter. It is no secret in hockey circles that Larry Quinn runs the Sabres. The problem is he should be running where the draft party should be held this year and not what FA’s the team should be interested in. If you’ve read any of Bucky Gleason’s articles, he says it best, give Darcy a budget and get the hell out of the way. My other issue with Quinn is that he always finds every excuse in the book for the Sabres short comings. If I have to hear about the Sabres had the 3rd most injuries in the NHL this year I may have to hang myself from a Bass Pro Fishing line (Knowing how cheap Quinn is the Fishing Line will break before I get off the ground). Injuries are part of the game, you didn’t hear coach Belichick coming out with the “we didn’t make the playoffs because Tom Brady tore his leg up” card. That right there is a loser mentality when you blame injuries. I can go on and on about Quinn but I’m sure I will write a post about him all by himself in the near future.
2)Dick Jauron
Well, he use to be a NFL player….(Insert cricket sounds)..OK that’s all I got on the guy. The guy reeks of just Mediocrity. His game day coaching decisions from when to challenge a play to when to go Conservative should all be archived in “the how not be an NFL Coach” handbook. I know his players love him and that’s probably because he goes easy on them at “Club Dick” aka training camp and that he doesn’t call out his own players. I remember when Tom Coughlin was almost getting run out of NYC by his players and media because he was abrupt with the press and the locker room wanted to kill him. Michael Straham and a couple of other players met with Coach Coughlin and told him he needed to smile a little more and act nicer to the players. And that’s what he did, now don’t get me wrong he wasn’t singing camp fire songs with his players, he just discovered there’s a yin to yang with coaching. Jauron needs to find that yang. Another reason Jauron is hated is that he’s not the prototypical coach that the city of Buffalo would embrace. Buffalo fans love in your face guys! That’s why Lindy Ruff has made it in Buffalo for so long without fans calling out his name, it’s because he doesn’t take s$%t and will express himself. Coach Jauron has the same expression win, lose, or draw. Even when he talks to the media I wonder if the guy is thinking “what the hell am I doing coaching in the NFL.” Coach Jauron better get that mojo he had 8 years ago in Chicago when he had his only winning season or he will be going back to Yale University and teaching a course on “BSing your way to the NFL”

3) Darcy Reiger
For years now I have been giving Darcy the benefit of the doubt. He works for an ownership group whose bottom line is making money and cutting costs with scouting and even suspending guys with heart problems. But every time I hear the guy talk it’s like listening to a husband who is miserable in marriage and has to keep it positive for the kids sake. Well if your sick of this marriage then why don’t you get a divorce. The guy has gone from being a GM to being a math teacher. His rhetoric about how the market is out of control has been said for the last 300 years it seems like and I’m sure he will say the same next year and the year after. All I know is you can sum up Reiger’s GM tenure in two terms, the Rigas and Golisano years. During the Rigas years they guy wheeling and dealing with the best of them. Grosek for Dumont and Gilmour, Briere for Gratton, Drury for Warner, Barnaby for Barnes. The deals he made at that time were very impressive. Since the lockout we all know the Sabres have done a terrible job in resigning talent, but even worse is the fact that Reiger has only made 4 trades in 5 years. And these trades aren’t even close to what the one’s in the 90’s were. Zubrius and Rivet have been the only guys of note that have come to the team and have made a marginal improvement. That tells me that he is being held back by Quinn/Golisano. But on the other had if your going to avoid the FA Spending which this team has done then you should be drafting a team of stars. In Darcy’s 13 years with the team he has only developed 3 all-stars (Vanek, Miller, and Campbell). That is not good enough! And I don’t want to hear about Roy and Pommer being developed because those guys are role players at best. Darcy to me is a Riddle trapped in a Enigma, I just can’t make out if the guy is really that dumb or if he is just pu$$y whipped by his bosses.
4) Ralph Wilson
Of this List, Mr. Wilson is biggest lightning rod of the group. Everyone has either a negative or a positive say on the guy. The guy wants to win! But I think in his mind he feels that he has done enough for the city of Buffalo when it came to keeping the team here all these years, and that he will not go overboard with spending money. The other issue with Mr. Wilson is he is brutally honest about the team’s future in Buffalo. He at times has bashed the city of Buffalo for it’s inability to not get more businesses in the city to buy his luxury boxes (how can you forget the Toronto Press Conference). I can almost guarantee if the ownership roles were reversed the Quinn/Golisano group would lie through their teeth about how the team isn’t in any danger to relocate. But keep in mind, Ralph is a hall of famer and all the original AFL Teams have moved their teams at one point and Ralph has never took the money to go some where else.

5) Buffalo and NYS Politics
Why are the suits in Albany and city hall on this list? Well, its simple they are the reason Buffalo has become a small market. I’m not going to try and give you a history lesson but during the 70’s Buffalo was actually a pretty popular and rich city to live in. They had the steel mills going on and the city was able to support 3 teams and there was talk about even getting a MLB team during the late 80’s. When all the steel companies in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Baltimore closed down those cities had to think fast and develop new businesses to attract people and dollars to the city. Buffalo is about 30 years late when it comes to that line of thinking. Because of this there is a fraction of corporations in Buffalo in comparison to the cities I mentioned above. No corporations means no buying luxury boxes and that my friends is what Mr. Wilson has been complaining about for a decade now. The Giants and Jets are selling suites for $500,000 to a cool million. Anchor bar and La Nova pizza can’t compete with that. Unless Albany starts making head wave with bringing businesses back to Buffalo, this will be the biggest reason the Bills would leave town.
Honorable mention: Tom Golisano, Russ Brandon, Tim Connolly, Terrell Owens
Thanks for reading

Joey P
always go 8 miles above the speed limit
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