Entertainment Sports

State Of The Union?

Patriots vs Giants

In a somewhat surprising move, the NFL decided to allow CBS and NBC to simulcast the Patriots vs Giants game that was scheduled to be broadcast on the NFL Network this Saturday night. The NFL is not known for its generosity, but the NFL Network is in such a small percentage of homes, and this game is of pretty significant (sports-world) historical significance, so it will be shown on all three networks.

New England coach Bill Belichick said, “It’ll be like the State of the Union, on every channel.”

If you’d like to read more, check out this article.

The Giants don’t stand a chance, but I would laugh for DAYS if they managed to defeat the undefeated Pats. They are the least likeable “great” team I have ever seen in my couple decades of sports fandom. They are arrogant, obnoxious, self-absorbed, and really just a bunch of jerks. Very hard to root for them. It’s hard enough to just stomach them at all.

That said, the Giants don’t stand a chance.

But, not many more people can watch the annihilation of yet another 2007 NFL team. And the unsportsmanlike taunting and gloating of another.

Great TV, eh?


Tape Delay

So, you just gotta love TiVo. It’s so easy. You watch what you want, when you want to (or can) and you can even fast-forward the commercials!

I love hockey! Versus carries at least one NHL game on Monday and Tuesday nights. I’m busy every Monday night, and somehow we are usually busy on Tuesday nights, so I have gotten in the habit of TiVo-ing them.

Well, tonight after recording the show, I picked up where I had left off when I went up to the office to record. Thing is, Jen was there, too. And, while I like hockey… I like talking with my wife more. So, we did.

At one point I finally noticed that the hockey game I had recorded was playing in the background while we chatted and snacked.

Do you find that odd too? Who records something in order to not pay attention to it? 🙂

Coaching Staff Current Bills Offseason

Steve Fairchild Leaves, Bills Fans Dream

Buffalo Bills Offensive Coordinator, Steve FairchildIt’s almost too good to be true. This year, Steve Fairchild has been much maligned for the Buffalo Bills’ offensive production – whether deserved or not – and many fans were calling for his head. Well, they got their wish… in a manner of speaking.

Instead of relying on the ever-faithful, ever-loyal Dick Jauron to make the tough decision of firing the mostly ineffective Fairchild in the offseason and moving on to someone else, the Bills offensive coordinator was wooed by another team to take their head coaching spot. For Bills fans, it couldn’t get any better.

Now that Fairchild has been offered perhaps his dream job – head coach of his college alma mater, Colorado State University – where will the Bills look to fill the vacancy? The Bills are reporting that Fairchild will likely remain with the Bills through the end of the season, and Steve Fairchild has confirmed that himself with a statement released today. But even if he should need to leave before that, they won’t fill the vacancy until after the season is over.

Frustrated Bills fans lament owner (and President) Ralph Wilson’s apparent unwillingness to spend money on coaches, with Buffalo not usually bringing in a top name – and top dollar – head coach, or other coaching staff. The Bills track record would seem to suggest that the Bills will promote from within, or hire a coach with little to no name recognition, but there are some big names out there being tossed around by excited Bills fans.

First, Marty Schottenheimer, the former San Diego head coach and former Buffalo Bills linebacker. He has always been an offensive-minded coach and many have been calling for Levy or Wilson to replace Jauron with Schottenheimer. Personally, I don’t know that Marty would be a good fit as offensive coordinator due to the very reason most fans want to bring him in. His “name recognition” would seem to overshadow Jauron as the head coach. Doesn’t seem to be the best fit.

Another “big name” being bantered around is Steve Mariucci, currently with the NFL Network. Steve was head coach in Detroit, and before that (and more successfully) with San Francisco. Definitely an offensive-minded coach, and would be an interesting choice. However, Mariucci may be waiting for a head coaching opportunity.

Those wishing to promote from within the organization have suggested shuffling around some of the offensive coaches, like Turk Schonert (QB coach) and Alex Van Pelt (offensive quality control). Either have been named (by fans) as possible candidates for the Offensive Coordinator spot. Admittedly I do not know much about Turk Schonert, so I don’t know what his qualifications would be, but as a former QB, and a former Bill… I wouldn’t mind seeing AVP promoted to the OC spot.

Others have thrown out former Buffalo Bills greats like Jim Kelly and James Lofton to take the offensive reins. Lofton is currently the WR coach at San Diego, and has been considered for some head coaching jobs in the NFL recently, including the opening for the Bills prior to Dick Jauron taking over that spot. Jim Kelly was essentially the offensive coordinator during the Bills’ Super Bowl years (calling his own plays on the field), so that selection would make sense – except that Kelly has often said he does not want to coach.

Finally, as we said on the Buffalo Bills Review a few weeks ago, I would like to recommend Rich Gannon. Gannon is currently a color commentator for CBS and just did a fantastic job analyzing the Bills offense and specifically their QB (Losman) during the game in Jacksonville. Gannon played QB for a long time in the NFL and led several very productive offenses. He would be an interesting choice for a “lesser known” coordinator, yet someone from the outside.

What the Bills really need to decide is who can assume the position and move the team forward. Right now, the team is moving forward, and they don’t want to take a step or two back with whoever they hire. Will it be someone from within, to minimize the learning of a new system? Or, since the offense has had an almost record-breaking level of futility this season, would bringing in a new coordinator with a new system actually be the better move to continue moving this team forward?

Whatever the Bills decide, the focus right now needs to remain on the final three games of the season. Starting with the game in Cleveland this week. The Bills are in an excellent position to advance to the post season for the first time since 1999.

It would be a shame to ruin that by thinking about next season’s offensive coordinator.

Fairchild Expected To Stay Through End of Season (
Bills Assistant Fairchild to Return to CSU as Coach (ESPN)
Statement from Steve Fairchild (

Articles Current Bills Players

Kevin Everett Story in Sports Illustrated

Kevin Everett Walking with his FianceeA friend sent me a link today to a story about Kevin Everett’s recovery from Sports Illustrated this month. It’s such an amazing story! How can you go from paralyzed to WALKING in three months??? It really is a miracle. I know it’s modern science too, but I think God must have had some part in it, cause this doesn’t happen for everyone!

Great stuff about a great guy who is a Buffalo Bill. Go Kevin!


My Teams

As many of you know, I am a sports fan. Many sports, but not all sports. (You won’t find any baseball, golf, auto-racing, or gymnastics being discussed here…) Well, there’s a good deal going on with all of my favorite teams, so I thought I’d give a brief update to those who might be interested (or wonder what sorts of things I and the Campbell fam are doing these days…)

Buffalo BillsBuffalo Bills
Obviously I am following this team the closest, as I still have the number one Buffalo Bills show on the internet! 🙂 The Bills are also making it fun! Two weeks ago they benched last year’s starter – for good – and brought in the first year guy Trent Edwards, who after a 4-touchdown game last week is now 5-1 as a starter! That’s fairly amazing for a rookie, but when you factor in the unprecedented amount of injuries this team has suffered, and the already “green” talent that he has to work with anyway… that’s almost impossible!

Believe it or not, the talk around Bills country is that this team of injury replacements actually has a very good shot at making the playoffs! If they win their last three games, they will finish 10-6, and the best the other two teams they are contending with can do is 10-6. Now, if they all finish with that record it’s bad – crazy tie-breaking procedures – but, if just one other team is tied with them… the Bills will go to the playoffs. (I know… ridiculously hard to understand, but I do think I finally get it.) Basically, if we win all our games, and Tennessee loses just one… we’ll go to the playoffs for the FIRST TIME since 1999! Wow!

So, we’re pretty excited here, and had one of our most fun shows last night. If you’ve never checked out our Buffalo Bills show, click the link and check it out. You might like it even if you’re not a Bills fan. 🙂

Buffalo SabresBuffalo Sabres
I got to see a Sabres game last night – which is rare these days, since we’re not paying the outrageous price for cable just to get the channel that carries their games! – and it was … not so good. Strange, really. The Sabres (if you’ll recall) were the President Trophy winners last season. That means they finished the season with the most points and the best record. Of all the teams… they were the best.

BUT, this year has been very different. They are near the bottom. Were AT the bottom at one point. Bad bounces, players lost in the off-season, injuries, strange bad luck. I saw more of it last night. They outshot the other team more than 2-1, but only scored one goal! Goal posts, great saves, missing the net, more great saves… it was crazy. And so, they are 13-14-1. I don’t think they had 14 losses till March last year! 🙂

Michigan State UniversityMichigan State Football
Yes, my Spartans are in a Bowl Game! December 28th at 5:00pm you can catch the Spartans and the Boston College Eagles on some channel somewhere. 🙂 They have a pretty good team this year. Some stars on both sides of the ball… lost a lot of close games in a very tough conference. They hung with the #2 team in the country, Ohio State. (Or are they #1? I forget…) They are all a bunch of young guys, too… so expect to see them near the top of the Big Ten next season!

That’s a pretty good update for now. There might be more, but I need to get back to working on websites 🙂

Go Bills, Sabres and Spartans!

NFL Playoffs Schedule

Playoffs? Oh, the Possibilities…

Yes folks, I am that crazy. Every year about this time, our Bills are somewhere near the .500 mark and visions of playoff dates dance in our heads. Well, in mine at least.

So I broke down the five contenders’ schedules today, and believe it or not, things are looking very promising for our Buffalo Bills!

First, let’s look at who is still in the race:

  1. New England: 12-0
  2. Indianapolis: 10-2
  3. Pittsburgh: 9-3
  4. Jacksonville: 8-4
  5. San Diego: 7-5
  6. Cleveland: 7-5
  7. Tennessee: 7-5
  8. Buffalo: 6-6
  9. Denver: 5-7
  10. Houston: 5-7

Wow! When you look at that list, what shot do the Bills have?? Assuming the Division winners are set (New England is, then Indy, Pittsburgh, and San Diego) that leaves the two wild card spots in contention for SIX teams! Ouch!

But let’s take a look at those six teams, and their schedules.

Denver & Houston
These two teams are at 5-7 and are going to need a LOT of help. Basically, I’m just being kind to their fans putting them on here. They would have to win out, and get some serious help from teams above them in order to make the playoffs. Let’s count them OUT.

That leaves four teams who are in the thick of the race. We’ll look at them one by one.

Let’s start from the top down.

Jacksonville (8-4)
Jacksonville beat the Bills so, they own the tie-breaker over us there. And, with a two-game lead, they are definitely in command for one of those two spots. Their remaining games include: Carolina, @ Pittsburgh, Oakland, and @ Houston. Three of those games could be tough, but I see the Jags winning three of those four. That would put them in the playoffs as the top wild card seed, finishing 11-5.

Cleveland (7-5)
With Cleveland losing to Arizona yesterday, the Bills are in a much better position against this team. Even if the Browns win all of their games except the game against Buffalo, both teams could end up 10-6, with the Bills owning the tie-breaker having defeated them. That makes the game on Dec. 16th pretty crucial for both teams’ playoff hunt. Cleveland plays @ NY Jets, Buffalo, @ Cincinnati, and finishes at home against San Francisco. I see them winning at least two, maybe three of those, finishing 9-7 or 10-6. OUT of the playoffs.

Tennessee (7-5)
Tennessee has been quietly efficient this year. Like everyone else, they have fought through injuries, suspensions, and other roster changes to be two games above .500. Vince Young can win a game at any time, and their defense plays tough, too. They have some pretty difficult games on their remaining schedule, however. They start this week at home against San Diego, then @ Kansas City, home vs. the NY Jets, then finish @ Indianapolis. It seems very likely that they will lose at least two of those, and I think they lose three. That makes then 8-8, and OUT of the playoffs.

Buffalo (6-6)
That leaves the Bills. Our injury-riddled Bills who have been starting rookies and first-year players who have no NFL experience, and are at the bottom of the league statistically on both offense and defense… and yet, they are 6-6. And surprisingly, they Bills are in a pretty good spot. Their remaining schedule includes: home vs. Miami, @ Cleveland, NY Giants, then they finish @ Philadelphia.

Here’s the key. If the Bills win out, they will make the playoffs. Because winning out puts us at 10-6, AND includes beating Cleveland (who could then finish no better than 10-6) the Bills really “control their own destiny” as the saying goes. (Of course, Tennessee could disrupt that with a surprisingly good finish.)

So with that look at the schedules and the standings, and assuming the Bills can play smart, efficient, productive football for four straight games, the Bills look to be in pretty good shape for ending their playoff-less drought!

Every game counts, and the biggest one will be two weeks from now in Cleveland.

Go Bills!!

Personal Sports

Some Teams…

There are just some teams that I never like to see win. I know, I should root for a team instead of against the other one, but … that’s just the way it is.

Tonight I am rooting for probably my second favorite team, the Cincinnati Bengals, but it’s not looking good for them. The Steelers (one of those teams I never want to see win…) are getting lots of “homer” calls, and it’s pretty annoying. Probably wouldn’t be as annoying if I didn’t like the Bengals and so strongly dislike the Steelers…

Just so it’s in writing, here are the teams I always root against (and if they are both playing, I usually just don’t even watch the game!) 🙂 Steelers, Cowboys, Patriots, Giants, Eagles, and Ravens. So yeah, remember those two Super Bowls that featured Giants vs Ravens and Eagles vs Patriots? Didn’t see ’em. 🙂

There are some other teams in other sports, but since it’s primarily football season, I’ll leave it at that.

On a more positive note… my Bills did pull out a last-second, one-point victory today! Nice job, Bills!


Bills Fans Shouldn’t Expect Miracles From Edwards

J.P. Losman made things easy for Dick Jauron. Prior to the Jacksonville game, Losman publicly announced that Sunday’s game would be the most important of his career and that his job was on the line. He then barely showed up in Jacksonville and put on a typically sloppy performance. For the record, I think Losman has the talent to be an NFL quarterback, but he seems to fall apart under pressure. The only time he has played well and with consistency was in the second half of 2006 when it was made clear that his job was not on the line. 2007 started well for the young quarterback in the pre-season until Edwards started out-performing him in the pre-season games and the talk started. Losman clearly couldn’t keep his head in the game and struggled mightily.

When Losman injured his knee in New England, Edwards came in and had a horrible performance that was over-shadowed by one solid drive (his first series of the game). Edwards completed a paltry 50% of his passes in the game for 97 yards (55 of which came on his first possession). His attempt to go deep to evans resulted in an interception. The following week Edwards came out of his shell a bit and had a strong performance against the lowly NY Jets. His high completion percentage was impressive at 78.6% but resulted in only 234 yards. He had his only touchdown as an NFL player in the game, but also threw an ugly interception. The result was a 3 point victory over one of the worst teams in the NFL. The following week he had another impressive completion percentage game at 74.2% but the result was for fewer yards despite an additional completion (176 yards). The Bills defense forced 6 turnovers and scored twice as did the special teams, but the Edwards led offense only mustered 3 points. The Jets and Dallas games were by far Edwards’ best and between the two he averaged only 9.1 yards per completion. His play fell off significantly in his 3rd start, completing 52.4% of his passes for 153 yards and one interception. With some help from Marshawn Lynch and the defense, the Bills still managed to pull off a win against the Ravens. At this point Bills fans were singing Edwards praise as was much of the national media, despite his overall unimpressive numbers. He then started the second Jets game where he was pressured and generally looked pretty ineffective against a terrible football team. Edwards then hurt his wrist and Losman stepped in and easily handled the Jets late in the game.

With his starting job gift wrapped and handed back to him, Losman had an impressive performance against an unimpressive Bengals defense and then went back to his inconsistent and sloppy play. The pressure of each game possibly being his last clearly was not good for Losman. The fact that the pressure was too much also doesn’t bode well for Losman’s long-term sustainability as a quarterback in the NFL. Regardless, Losman will get another chance with another team next season and if he is lucky, he will have a better offensive coordinator that will call plays that work to Losman’s advantage. Losman can excel in an offense that utilizes the shotgun more, play action passing and no-huddle. Assuming he can focus enough to avoid over-throwing his receivers etc.

So fans are excited that Edwards is back as the starter, and he does show a lot of poise under center. However, he is a rookie and so far has mostly looked like a rookie when he has played. He is good for an ugly interception per game and 1 touchdown pass every five games thus far. So don’t expect him to step in and throw for big yards and make the Bills offense come to life. It won’t happen this season (possibly in 2008 though). The main reason why Edwards will not set the world on fire is that he, like Losman, has almost no one to throw the ball to. He also is at the mercy of a horrendous offensive coordinator who tries to force his players into a system instead of building a system around his players. The receivers coaching is terrible also as is the offensive line coaching. McNally gets a lot of praise but has not earned it. The expensive and talented offensive line on the Bills is “Big but has poor footwork” according to the Ravens. This reflects on the coaching again.

One thing I have noticed regardless of who is at quarterback, when the Bills throw the ball short to a receiver, the Bills’ receivers just don’t seem to know how to run after the catch for a first down. If the Bills need 7 yards on 3rd down and throw to a check down, its almost guaranteed that he will get 5 yards and they will punt. Josh Reed doesn’t have the best hands on the team but he is one of the only receivers with any run after the catch ability on short routes. Roscoe Parrish is mis-used constantly. Lee Evans is better deep but since the Bills have no other significant receiving threats, he faces constant double coverage. The coaching staff is too conservative to try to force things to go Evans’ way so the whole passing game suffers.

The Bills started the season with lots of young potential at Tight End but most of their Tight Ends are injured and/or on IR. In fact, the whole Bills roster reads like the lineup in the fourth quarter of a pre-season game. Fred Jackson is the starting running back this week. D’giorgio, Greer, Wilson (all depth players) are starting on defense. Its really pretty amazing that the Bills are 5-6 considering the injury situation. This is why Dick Jauron and his Defensive staff should keep their jobs while cleaning house on Offense. Afterall, no one ever said that Jauron was an offensive minded coach, he needs a great offensive coordinator and he clearly doesn’t have one.

Luckily for the Bills, they face the Washington Redskins who are reeling from the fact that their pro-bowl safety was murdered this past week. No this doesn’t help “inspire” the Skins. This, as the Redskins players have said, makes it hard to think about football. When there is a moment of silence at the beginning of the game, all focus will be lost for the home team. The Bills offense will still be awful, but good enough to win another snoozer Buffalo 14 Washington 7.

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On Sean Taylor

The Bills play the Redskins this weekend, and the importance of the game has been seriously diminished by the killing of safety Sean Taylor. Taylor is one of the Redskins best players, leaders, and loved by all of his coaches and teammates.

A lot of people think that will motivate the Skins this weekend, but from what I have read, and especially heard and seen in press conferences and interviews, they are not thinking about football. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling the Bills will end up winning – maybe easily – and they won’t get the credit for it. The Redskins are definitely mentally and emotionally somewhere else.

There is a bit of “good news” regarding the murder. I found this article today which says that the police have charged three suspects and detained a fourth. The “good” is that they have the people who are responsible (and confessions from them) but it’s really sad that these guys are just teenagers. And, according to the story, were not intending to kill Taylor, just got “unlucky”.

Not sure I’m buying that.

So, it’s a really sad series of events, and certainly overshadows any of the fun of this game. It was going to be kind of fun, two 5-6 teams, Trent Edwards starting, London Fletcher playing against his old team, Derrick Dockery for the Bills doing the same… but sometimes there are things more important than football.