Buffalo Bills: Things we know this Week

Taking a look at the things we know this week about the Buffalo Bills.

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Buffalo Bills
Sep 13, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; A general view of a helmet worn by the Buffalo Bills before a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Friday night was an epic evening Buffalo style, gathering down at Canalside, pure Buffalonians everywhere your eyes peered and as Buffalo natives always do, they came to get their party on. The Canadian brand beer, Labatt, both Blue and Blue Light, which Buffalo basically adopted as the Queen City’s beer over the past three decades was “flowing like wine, where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I’m talking about a little place called ASPEN”.

Stealing from the extremely worthy — in a shameless fashion — and legendary character Lloyd Christmas in the classic Jim Carey movie, the Citizen Kane of jobless bachelor road trip movies, Dumb and Dumber.  Harry — Jeff Daniels – replied “Oh I don’t know Lloyd, the French are assholes!”

I digress swiftly. Other vendors were selling popular local craft beer for those who prefer the IPA’s, stouts, ambers and have moved on from the basic lagers with so much variety these days. When I was growing up you got lured towards Labatt’s as you got old enough to afford it over the dirt cheap swill consumed by the poor youths.

However, if you wanted something local, it was Genesee Crème Ale, straight out of Lake Ontario with the sneakers, dead trout and broken glass professionally  filtered out of the water; closest to Rochester, New York and famous for assisting as a laxative the next day.

This gathering of all gatherings was the famous Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra along with the well known tribute/cover band The Strictly Hip. Dedicating their musical careers 22 years ago to the music of their idols and music mentors, The Tragically Hip were jamming near perfect renditions of the real Tragically Hip who basically went on a farewell tour last year after front man Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra played gracefully behind them adding a unique touch to a large portion of the coveted show.

Tragically Hip, a huge legendary band in Canada, often called the nation’s best band, did not dominate with commercial success south of the border in the states. They played their fair share of U.S soil shows in Vegas and California and made appearances on Saturday Night Live and other shows, but as much as they really did not care, they did not grab the United States like the Beatles and many others did during the British Invasion.

Western New York, and especially the Buffalo metro area, fell in love with this band back in the early to mid 90’s — some earlier in the 80’s who listened to a lot of Canadian music — and from my first time seeing them play up in Barrie, Ontario in 1989, followed by years of seeing them at festivals and arenas, it was amazing see how the legend of Gordie and his band grew and their songs became anthems of a wide range of ages and backgrounds of Western New Yorkers.

Friends of mine from college who live in the mid west have never heard of this band. They were single handedly adopted in Buffalo as if they were from the Queen City herself, similar but on a less mainstream scale as the Goo Goo Dolls. But Canada is our friendly neighbors to the north, a mere 90 minute car ride to Toronto from my driveway if I go at an odd hour with no traffic.

Excluding monster Canadian bands with major commercial success in the states like Rush, Triumph, Bryan Adams, and Loverboy, Buffalo has had many other bands from Canada close to their hearts like 5440, Barenaked Ladies, Lowest of the Low, Moxy Fruvous, TPOH and many more. One reason for this musical love affair is possibly because many of us grew up listening to their radio stations like 102.1 CFNY and 97.7 Hits FM.

We even voyage up and over on the Queen Elizabeth Highway to see bands like Depeche Mode, The Cure, The Killers, Phoenix… bands that maybe pass by smaller populated areas like Buffalo, but cannot resist the draw from the multi-million populations in North America’s fourth largest city. Keep in mind our beloved Bills played one super successful home game in that same city each season for a stretch of years which we attended and please find my sarcasm in the earlier portion of this sentence regarding super and successful.

The Toronto experiment was a complete failure and it also really threatened and angered Bills fans who own season tickets. We still share the Bills with southern Ontario as far as support of the team goes. However, a game did not need to be played in front of a half empty old Sky dome, I believe now known as the Rogers Center, to have support of southern Ontario.


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Rogers’s communications was one of the ownership threats that would have eventually relocated the Bills with that traitor Jon Bon Jovi. Hey Jon… You are from New Jersey… why such traitor? Who knows how long President Trump would have taken to move them had he outbid and been awarded the Bills franchise?

As my traveled 47-year-old bladder and I waited in line to use the super clean, well lit, smelling like roses, gleaming like Matt Dillon’s smile in “There’s something about Mary”, I chatted with several different groups of people in different lines. This was much more interesting than one would think. One couple had their kids all waiting in line that were big Bills fans.

After talking about Shady McCoy and expectations of the defense, I realized most of these various high school aged teens were not alive until well after the music city miracle. They are huge fans of a team that for their entire lives have not played in a single home or away playoff game.

So what seems like an eternity to me, I still clearly remember rushing the field after clinching the division against the Jets in 1988 — thanks Fred Smirlas — and going to my only Super bowl in Minneapolis in 1992, along with plenty of playoff memories that are irrefutable, it is still a sad state of affairs knowing so many fans have never once seen our beloved Bills in the postseason.

I am somewhat used to former employees of mine who were younger or my nephews and neighbors not recalling the Super bowl era because they were not born just yet, or if they were they were too young to remember. They all know of the legends and stories but only have recollection of playoffs under Wade Phillips or the last couple games with Marv and Kelly in playoff form.

The teens that do not amass any real memory of any form of playoff football have really been short changed in their time as Bill fans. It was really challenging to relate to that point when we talked football. So I changed the subject to The Tragically Hip and we ran into that same issue when talking about the younger version of the band from the early 90’s and late 80’s.

I was saved by the door to a porta–potty popping open as I said “It was such a pleasure chatting, but I got to get in there really quick before the smell goes to waste. I was kidding, referencing the guy in front of us was getting high in there and I was being silly that I would grab his second hand smoke.

The teens did not catch on and looked at me like I was one sick old man who wanted to go smell the porta-potty after a guy dropped said deuce in there. I hesitated for a second or two planning on setting the facts straight about what I was actually joking about. Clear your name Scott you dummy!

I then realized it was not worth my time, I will never see these tools again, and I proceeded to go use the facilities and there was no treat waiting my arrival. It was all business. Enough with the Potty Mouth though…..

Things We Know About The Buffalo Bills This Week:

LeSean McCoy is a 29-years old for this coming season, coming off a nice season of combined receiving yards, rushing yards and touchdowns scored. He looked great out there and he says he feels great. Technology in training has come a long way, but in the case of the running backs, they have had shorter careers than in the past. McCoy claims he’s elusive and does not take those punishing shots and when he gets hit he knows how to take the hit. Keeping him healthy may be the most important challenge due to what he can do all on his own.

Several reports have surfaced that 27-year old Jerel Worthy, defensive tackle brought in as a backup last season by Rex Ryan, had a noteworthy OTA display of talents. That is some nice depth on the line if he continues with the form he is showing under the more basic scheme Buffalo will be using this season.  Good news. Good News.

Niagara Falls native and Canisius High School product Qadree Ollison, plays running back for University Of Pittsburgh and was conference rookie of the year in 2015. Why am I bringing this to your reading eyes? That means he played with the Bills fifth round selection in this year’s draft, quarterback Nathan Peterman.

“What John Gruden said is so true about him being the most NFL-ready quarterback because he’s real big on timing and spacing and depth of routes, all those things you need to know to try to be a great quarterback. He’s a leader,” Ollison said, echoing much of the analyst-speak heard after the Peterman pick.

Ollison will not be joining his good friend in the NFL this season. Do not worry! He is not quitting football and hanging from his teeth above the Falls from a helicopter or walking the tightrope. The only records he looks to break would be college football related. He is returning to school and will hopefully have the starting position locked up now that his predecessor has moved on.

Ollison text Peterman to congratulate him when he was picked. He reassured him he is going to an awesome city in Buffalo where the support from the fans is second to none. Who knows… maybe we will have a local product playing running back next season if the Bills draft him or sign him undrafted. That would be a nice.

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Speaking of nice,

The Bryk House

“Shake it down, shake it down now. We’re together everybody knows
and this is how the story goes.  Mighty Mighty…Bryk House”

Great Song. Funky Tune. It’s no “I love College”, but then again, what is? The Commodores were never the same after Lionel Richie’s departure to go dance on some ceilings all night long. They just never could quite rock like Blink 182 or The Killers, could never get me dancing like New Order, emotional like The Cure, singing along like The Smith’s or Phoenix or just loving every song, lyric and beat as Depeche Mode or The Tragically Hip did… well… does.

But not being my style of music does not make me naïve that a great song is a great song with a glorious name.

Herb Brooks once said before the 1980 Olympics, ”With Great Songs come great responsibility”. That’s not what he said. I am here for the Buffalo Bills and not hockey coaches or music so “Back the Brick off.” And by me stating I am here for the Buffalo Bills only – you would never guess that reading my commentary most weeks. Long winded… well yeah, duh, shah huh… that is why I write a mere one of these hotrods per week and spare you of multiple.

Random Bryk House Thoughts on Independence Day 2017:

Obtainable/Reasonable Goals

1.) Win double digit games: If 9 get’s you a wildcard berth. So be it, beggars can’t be choosers.

2.) Make the playoffs. (See above)

Bonus:

1.) Wildcard Round Victory

2.) Divisional Round Victory

Anything after that I would say is ‘nice’

“Shake it down, shake it down now. We’re together everybody knows
and this is how the story goes.  Mighty Mighty…Bryk House”

READ MORE: Buffalo stuck in no-man’s land for 2017

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