“Negative Stanley” was basically the director of conversation topics when he gathers with his posse at the chiropractor’s office. When Mondays rolled around during the football season he was the lead black belt of the six sigma executive steering committee, Kind Arthur of Camelot’s Knights of the round table, Kylo Ren of the Knights of Ren, Jeff Bezo’s ten Executive direct reports at Amazon, or more appropriately Moe, the brains and self proclaimed leader of the legendary “Three Stooges”. As I entered the waiting room in a great post Bills victory happy Monday mood I caught the end of a parley that I was not inveigled to join in.
ROUND TABLE: “Negative Stanley” culminating his lecture which appeared to speed up even more as I approached. “So basically, you all are over reacting. The Bills were four and two last year and had more talent in many key areas. Guess what? They finished seven and nine and missed the playoffs again as the coach and GM were relieved of their duties. Sound familiar? How about when they finished with six wins after a four and two start in 2011? More? How about five and one finishing the ever familiar seven and nine record. These were teams not in the first year of a system. They had talent at skill positions. So all of this playoff talk that I let take place to open this session is nonsense. I should have shut it down, but it was so pathetic it made me laugh. How in the world after squeaking out some very lucky wins can you waste your breath discussing wildcard possibilities? You folks sometimes make me wonder how I let you take place in our round table talks. I gave you prime examples of teams that had more talent, started out similar or better as far as records go .Then when the good teams start getting stronger and more in rhythm as they established chemistry, hey leave Buffalo back in their standard position: missing the playoffs, not a great draft pick because they won too many games and keep the absolute most embarrassing drought in sports alive and kicking.”
I decided I was not in the mood for Stanley’s preaching of negativity. “ Stanley…why do you fail to bring up the Bills starting out one and five in 2004 while on the road to a solid nine and seven season. Not too shabby? Today was a huge memorial funeral service for Fallen Police Officer Craig Lehner who dies last week while doing training exercises in the Niagara River diving? Lots of people are struggling with that one. Does the recent passing of Gord Downie, former front man for The Tragically Hip, the Canadian Iconic band that was held near and dear to the entire nation of Canada as well as Western New York who adopted the Hip as their own effect you in any way? Maybe it has been a very tough several weeks for all over the USA which includes Buffalo without doubt. Maybe getting excited about their football team winning and doing it with some league leading dominance in certain areas is exactly what the doctor ordered. The Sabres start to the season with the new coach and GM has not necessarily been anything to feel good or hopeful about. Maybe everyone, including Kyle Williams and Eric Wood have made a point to mention this team is so different from work ethic, to character and obviously the coaching philosophy. Let the system play out. So Stanley…the Doctor just called you for your tune up….get in there and stop bringing everyone down.”
Stanley was caught off guard because not very often do I or anyone just cusp his round tables. He did make some valid examples and points. I would like to think this year is different because of things or lack thereof, going on around the rest of the AFC. It could change and the Pittsburgh’s, Raiders and other teams can grow stronger like they have done in the past as the season progresses. That said, this season just has a different feel to it. No team is really jumping out as that unbeatable team. Kansas City has now lost two games. New England has really played the worst defense that I have seen a Bill Belichick team field since he was the head coach of the Browns so many years ago. Could that have been the Baltimore Ravens/Browns? Refresh now….(Wayne’s world dream segment noise plays here as you waive your hands in a warped consciousness fashion) when Ronnie Harmon dropped that for sure touchdown pass from Jim Kelly one year removed from the Cincinnati AFC championship game and one year prior to the four consecutive Super Bowl appearances? Why don’t I remember Harmon being on the Super Bowl teams or for that matter…being traded during the off season being a former first round draft pick? I just remember him appearing on the Chargers teams with the tinted windows on his helmet never showing his face? Let me guess…next you are going to tell me later in the 90’s Doug Flutie will return from his Bruce Smith induced banishment turned dominance in the CFL? He will lead Buffalo to the playoffs becoming a pro-bowl cereal box mullet head franchise saving quarterback all because of his decade long experience on the Argos as well as the Rough Riders and the Rough Riders and maybe even the Ruffriders? Discuss among yourselves now if rules north of the border were that Flutie could chuck the ball side armed like skimming rocks…it could bounce off the ground in to his awaiting receivers hands for the score? Funny stuff.
Things We Know This Week:
The Bills signed cornerback Tony McRae off of waivers, then was released by the team. He was on the Baltimore Ravens practice squad earlier in the year eventually being promoted to the active roster playing in five games this season. Kaelin Clay, who they acquired before the start of the season in a trade, was the latest casualty being released by the Bills to make room on the roster as they add depth to the secondary which is banged up from the Tampa Bay game…Seymour was a sixth round draft pick out of USC and started the majority of the games his rookie campaign for Buffalo.
It has been reported that Buffalo will wear the AFL retro all white uniform this Sunday with the standing Buffalo on the white helmet. I think that will look sharp at home as the Raiders come in wearing black and silver. Next week in fashion we can discuss the outfit Tyrod Taylor wears when he travels out west as the Bills go on the road after the Raiders game.
Five and two is much better than four and three. You heard it here first. Just another of my breaking stories.
The Bills claim CB Lafayette Pitts off of waivers. They released cornerback Tony McRae to open up a spot for Pitts. I am comfortable in saying that McRae most likely did not get too attached to the team at this juncture. I am sure he will speak highly of the time he spent playing for the Bills.
On the team’s current 53-man squad, only 24 remain who were with the franchise last year.