First of all, you'll have to forgive me if I seem a little rusty. I haven't done much sports writing since my time at The Griffin—the student newspaper at my alma-mater of Canisius College—and at a Sabres fan site.
So I'm a bit new to the game. But the events of past weekends have led me to let off a little steam at the current state of Buffalo sports.
On Sunday, I watched the Canisius women's basketball team lose to Marist, the Canisius hockey team give up a shorthanded goal late in a game against Army to end up losing, and then found out that the Canisius men's hoops team was blown out by MAAC cellar dweller St. Peter's.
Oh, and the Bills barely showed a pulse against Miami. More on that later.
This feeling is not really anything new. We here in Buffalo are used to seeing heartbreak when our teams get to the big games (see No Goal, Wide Right, Music City Miracle). But this year has been especially torturous for Bills and Sabres fans.
Before I go any further, let me congratulate the Buffalo Bulls for their victory in the MAC Championship Game vs. no. 12 Ball State. I admit, I was thinking of a ton of ways they could mess it up in the final moments, but Turner Gill has worked wonders with that program.
Now, on to the year so far in Buffalo professional sports:
Buffalo Bills. The Bills started out 5-1 and everyone was talking playoffs. Then, the trouble started.
Three straight losses to division opponents and a gut-wrenching loss to the Browns on Monday Night Football. A blowout win over the Chiefs had everyone thinking things were on the right track again (face it, who can't beat the Chiefs? Besides the Broncos and Raiders)—but six points scored in the next two games against the 49ers (the 49ers?) and Dolphins (in Toronto) still have people talking about a possible Bills playoff appearance...next year.
I won't even go into how Trent Edwards' numbers have dropped off since his concussion against the Cardinals.
BTW, Sunday's game against the Dolphins in Toronto was probably the first Bills game I hardly cared about in a while. After checking the score on my cell phone and seeing the Bills were down at halftime, I wasn't holding my breath for a possible comeback. Goodbye, Dick Jauron. No way the Bills bring him back after the year's up.
Buffalo Sabres. Like the Bills, the Sabres had a promising start, and it looked like the team was back to its 2005-06 form. They began the year with a 6-2-2 record in October, and a 10-3-2 record over the first 15 games.
Then things turned sour—Buffalo lost five in a row, but bounced back to beat the Bruins and Pens at home, and things were looking up. But they went on to lose the next three, scoring a grand total of three goals in that span. Buffalo did beat the Lightning 4-3 the other night, but it wasn't easy at all.
By the way, Thomas Vanek has 19 goals this year, tied for the league lead. Sources say the Sabres considered cloning him, but were disappointed to find out such technology wasn't quite ready yet.
So there you go. Buffalo professional sports in a nutshell. Like everyone else, I'm hoping things change soon. But win or lose, I'm still sticking by them.