My nephew Russell is in management in the restaurant/Food Beverage Industry in Las Vegas. He graduated college last year with his second degree after spending several years in the Navy.
He was married to a wonderful young lady one year ago this month. Previous to the Navy he was a punk rocker dressing the part, unlike now always in a suit. He can play drums in a Travis Barker like style, belonging to multiple bands over the years playing a tad different than he did at Sunday mass. Same can be said for his years as the drummer boy in Civil War reenactments during his WNY days.
I flew to New Orleans in the late summer of 2015 to meet him there for a few days to unwind. I had been there a few times, but this was his first time there. We had a spectacular time on Bourbon Street sipping the 190 Octane’s from Fat Tuesdays. He played some drums in the streets with some bands and jumped on the microphone to sing some Karaoke which he excels at compared to most people I know. We hit up the World War Two museum, French quarter, the market, had some fantastic meals, and checked out the casino, hit up river walk as well as taking the famous ferry boat across the Mississippi. We even had a 190 octane at the mall along the river, imagine that. Did I mention we really enjoyed the 190 Octanes?
We even toured a firehouse and hit up a local fire department’s favorite water hole as a buddy Chris, previously from both Vegas and Western New York, lives down there with his lovely wife and is a Firefighter. Chris met us out and showed us a great time. Of course I insisted on taking the walk over to the Super Dome and checked out the Saints store.
This young man who is no longer a kid was born many months premature, that year I last attended a Bills game against the New Orleans Saints. He weighed about a pound and a half making him a miracle baby based on 1989 standards.
I am not sure why I haven’t been to more meetings between the two teams as they have met 10 times with the Saints holding the lead six wins to Buffalo’s four. I have gone to many many games both at home and on the road, some years making every home game.
I was telling my nephew about that game because the Bills were known as the Bickering Bills that particular season. They still managed a nine and seven record which somehow clinched the AFC east title that particular year. I will not say much more about the playoffs that season except to sum it up for those who remember with two words. Ronnie Harmon.
I went in to that game after hours of tailgating expecting a Buffalo victory as the Saint starting quarterback, Bobby Hebert was injured, which in hindsight sums up his career. This injury handed the job to Fourcade, maybe the actual man they created the phrase” journeyman Quarterback” for.
But on this day, the former Mississippi star had the game of his brief NFL career handing the Bills the middle loss of a three game losing streak.
Fourcade. The “almost a dynasty” Bills lost to Fourcade. Fourcade. In front of 70,000 fans in Orchard Park in mid December. John Fourcade.
That was a long time ago. Russell’s younger brother Chris, a college graduate as well advancing along in his career, a young man having the luck and honor of being my Godson, was not even thought of being born yet. Cheers still had three solid seasons on NBC to go before he is even close to being a single cell embryo. The Simpsons were in year one. Enough said.
Tomorrow as I approach the gate at New Era Field, John Fourcade is not a threat. He will not be pulling off another game of his career. No Fourcade game of a lifetime.
No John Fourcade. No Bobby Hebert. This time the team tied for the NFL’s second best record will have 38 year old Drew Brees behind center.
At age 38, in his 17th season, Brees has the Saints at 6-2; tops in the NFC south, and on a 6-game win streak.
This season he ranks as the NFL’s third best quarterback following Alex Smith and Tom Brady. Brees, a future first ballot Hall Of Famer enters the former Rich Stadium sporting a 105 quarterback rating. The Saints have the NFL’s second most prolific offense after a zero and two kickoff to this season.
Bring back John Fourcade. I do not care if Drew Brees is short. He plays like a giant. Not the New York Giants. A giant Saint. I am holding the applause sign now. Or the laugh sign. I will take what you are giving. That being said ……move over Rover let the master of digression take over.
Things We Know This Week about the Bills:
Stephen Hauschka needs one more Field goal from 50 yards or more to hold the NFL record for most consecutive 50 plus yard field goals made (13)
Jordan Matthews needs four receptions for 250 in his career.
Tyrod Taylor needs one touchdown pass to hit a franchise best for most passing touchdowns by a Buffalo quarterback in the first 20 home starts which has been Jim Kelly.
With a win, the Bills could improve to 6-3 for their best record after nine games since 1999, the last time they reached the playoffs.