By TW Contributing Editor, Ed McGrogan
Good morning everyone. Pete, along with Steve Tignor, is doing some reporting down in Florida, and he asked me to put up a new post for you to camp out at while he's away. Steve is focusing on the most polarizing year-end No. 1 that I can remember, Jelena Jankovic, while Pete is talking shop with tennis maven Nick Bollettieri. Pete says he's been on-court with Nick since 5:15 am. Is that really a shock though, considering who the drill instructor is? It sounds like a dream assignment to me though, as I'd love to be playing tennis in warm weather right now. (Although, Pete's actually probably just watching Nick's pupils do wind sprints, or, is being commanded to do wind sprints himself.)
Being that I have the floor, I'd like to revisit two things that I wrote in my last post here at TennisWorld:
1. The Plight of the Buffalo Bills
After winning their first four games of the season, the Bills have lost three of their last four games, virtually negating all the momentum and good cheer that had captured Western New York (as well as the McFadden's & Calico Jack's bars on 42nd & 2nd in NYC; aka, "Little Buffalo"). Despite the 5-3 mark on the season, the Bills haven't defeated a team that currently has a record of .500 or better. Western New York's finest is still tied for first place in the AFC East (along with the Jets and Patriots), but that may not last much longer, either. Trent Edwards and Co. travel to Foxboro, MA this Sunday to play the Patriots, long a thorn in the Bills side. If the Bills drop that contest, even the once-maligned Miami Dolphins, currently 4-4, could pass them in the standings. First to worst? Say it ain't so, Buffalo.
And I thought things were bad then. Since then, the following has happened to "North America's Team":
- They lost the game I went to against the hated New York Jets, rushing for just 30 yards on the day.
- They lost at home, on Monday Night Football, to the 3-6 Cleveland Browns by missing a 47-yard field goal wide right. It would have won the game; bear in mind that Cleveland's Phil Dawson struck a 56-yarder less than two minutes earlier.
- They lost at home to the 3-8 San Fransisco 49'ers in a game that the Bills had to win to keep any realistic playoff hopes alive (the Bills were 6-5 heading into that game). Bills kicker Rian Lindell hit the uprights on two field goal attempts, one from just 20 yards away.
- They lost "a home game" to the Miami Dolphins 16-3 in Toronto. Bills owner Ralph Wilson brokered a deal with Rogers Communications earlier in the year to allow Toronto to host five Bills home games during each of the next five seasons. The Bills recieve roughly $80 million for this deal, and in the process, completely sold out their loyal, dedicated fan base. (The Bills have not made the playoffs in almost a decade, but fans continuously sell out their home games.) The only thing sadder than that transaction was the way the Bills looked on the field against Miami.
- Most recently, they lost this past Sunday to the Jets in New Jersey (only one NFL team actually plays in New York State, and that's the Bills) by fumbling the ball with two minutes to go on their end of the field, where a Jets defensive player scooped it up and ran it in for the game-winning touchdown.
The Bills are now 6-8, and have completed the first to worst slide with such ignominy that all you can do at this point is laugh. After, of course, you yell, scream, toss your beer, and wipe away your tears.
To celebrate the good times, and there were plenty early in the season, I've decided to decorate this post with some memorable photos. Just like at a funeral, except this one is for a season that died with each passing week.
2. Moving in New York City
Pete Bodo tells a tale about New York City living and moving. Coincidentally, I'll be doing the same thing myself in the next few weeks.
I'll keep this one short: If you are preparing to move to, or within, the New York City area, I wish you luck. It may be the only thing more frustrating than watching the 2008 Buffalo Bills.
Pete put it best later in that same post:
"Moving is one of the all-time worst experiences, isn't it?"