Friday, June 29, 2007

NHL Free Agency Predictions

by AP

Anaheim - Teemu Selanne Resigns
Buffalo - Losing Briere, Drury, Roy, Vanek book it
Detroit - Dominik Hasek Resigns
Los Angeles - Aaron Miller signs with Buffalo
Minnesota - Todd White signs with Buffalo
Montreal - Sheldon Souray signs with Calgary
New Jersey - Brian Rafalski signs with Detroit
Nashville - Paul Kariya signs with Saint Jose
Nashville - Peter Forsberg signs with Colorado or Rangers
New York Islanders - Jason Blake signs with Buffalo
New York Islanders - Ryan Smyth resigns
New York Islanders - Scott Gomez signs with Philadelphia
New York Islanders - Alexi Yashin signs with Los Angeles
New York Rangers - Brendan Shanahan resigns
Ottawa - Ray Emery signs with Boston
Phoenix - Curtis Joseph signs with Ottawa

Ottawa trades Martin Gerber to Phoenix
Calgary trades Mikka Kiprusoff to Ottawa
Anaheim trades Bryzgalov to Calgary

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Oden V. Durant

By Andy

It’s only a handful of hours before the NBA Draft and the big question leading up to it WAS Oden or Durant. Well, a report from the Trailblazers said early Thursday morning that the Blazers would be taking Oden with the first pick, meaning Seattle will be taking Durant, unless Michael Jordan comes back in his early 90’s form. Here’s a little piece on the pros and cons of both these soon to be mega stars.

Greg Oden: 7-0, 280.

Oden is the best big man coming out of the draft since Tim Duncan, and look what he has done with a team that changes the roster like hotel bed sheets. He is a true forward/center and prefers to play with his back to the basket and loves playing defense. His strength around the basket has not been seen in a center since the Shaq and Ewing days. This guy can score on double teams because of his fabulous footwork. On defense he is something special. He has developed a shot blocking ability, keeping the ball in play and not putting himself into foul trouble. His presence in the lane alone stops dribble penetration. But will it scare NBA All-Stars, probably not as much as Big Ten players but still will alter a lot of shots. With all of this you would think he is the easiest pick, but he does have some flaws.

With his size, he moves very lethargic up and down the court. He will not be able to keep up with a run and gun team, which ultimately could put him on the bench. Also this “freak” has two different size legs. Right now it has shown not to be a problem, but as he endures the long schedule of the NBA for a few years, what will his back be like? Doctors are saying he will develop back problems, but not sure how soon or how extreme. Another thing to worry about with Mr. Oden is his wrist injury. He broke it going into his freshman year at OSU, and came back quicker than team doctors thought. He wears a brace on it, and says its fine. It did not seem to affect him during the NCAA tourney, leading his young team to the Final game, only to lose to a much better FLA team. This game in many people’s eyes was his coming out party. He showed he was the best center in the game putting up 25 points and scoring at will on a stingy FLA defense. But again, is the wrist fine, I don’t think it really matters because guys break and pull stuff all the time. He has put in the rehab time and is fine. One last thing to chew on is his “Killer” instinct. When you watch him play it seems as though he’s only going through the motions. He has no facial expressions and seems bored. Does he have that edge that he will need in the West? Only time can tell.

Kevin Durant: 6-9, 225.

Durant in the same respect as Oden is the best player, and the most NBA ready player in the Draft. He will be an instant impact to the Supersonics and the NBA. At only 18 years old he is young, but plays like Kobe Bryant circa 2001. His length is one of his best attributes. He can take the smaller guards into the post; he has great post moves, and he can then create miss-matches outside with big men, having a very quick first step. His dribble jump shot is as smooth as anyone’s and has unbelievable range. Once inside the lane, his creativeness and mobility allow him to get to the rim in a number of different ways. According to a colleague of mine, “the guy is a pimp” and was supposed to lead his team to a NCAA title this year. I’ll agree with him on that statement. He is the type of player that when matched with any group of guys, automatically makes them contenders, a la Carmelo with Syracuse. The thing that most people love about this kid is that he has that “Killer” instinct that Oden doesn’t. The guy wants to win, and only knows winning. He will do whatever it takes to win, and likes the pressure. He plays with a chip on his shoulder, like he has something to prove, but really, he doesn’t have to prove anything. Just watch his game against Texas A&M when he hit big shot after big shot and out dueled Acie Law IV for the W. Or watch him score 30+ points in Big XII game after Big XII game. The guy is a winner.

Again the questions regarding Durant, what are his weaknesses? Well, he doesn’t have many but the ones he does are ones to be identified. If you’ve ever seen him, he does not have the same physique as Tiger Woods. He is skinny and not that strong in the weight room. But coming from a guy with the same body time, there is weight room strength and court strength. He showed in college that he do post up and could guard big men. That’s all good but what about when he has to guard bigger men in the NBA. Can he is the big question. At Texas he did not go through a military like strength workout. He lifted, but not to gain weight. Once in the NBA, his team strength and conditioning coach will be able to get this guy the strength that weight he needs to be, to be an NBA All Star for a long time. That should not be a big issue. Another flaw of Durant’s is he sometimes has the tendency to ball hog. Yes he’s the best player on the team and wants the ball, but finding your teammates when you’re doubled teamed is something he has got to learn to do better. Coaches in the NBA have seen guys like this come and go, and always find ways to shut them down for a game or two, it is there where Durant needs to learn to make the extra pass and box out or screen away.

Either way both of these guys will be in the NBA Elite group for a long time, pending health and personal issues. If I’m the Portland Trailblazers, I’m taking Oden. The reasons are because true centers are rare and have shown to win championships. Scorers like Durant can be found almost every year in the draft, yes not as special as Durant will be, but guys who can put u p relatively similar numbers. Oden is a guy you can build your franchise around for the next decade and become a contender in the West. The last reason is obvious, he is WNY native. He lived in Buffalo until the age of 7.

Interesting side note … Buffalo, NY has produced the #1 draft picks in the NBA and NHL drafts this year. Good things do happen to this city in sports, if you’re a big draft and development guy.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Roger Clemens Juiced

By Coast

As everyone knows, Barry Bonds is about to break the all time home run record. This is perhaps the greatest achievement in baseball history thus far and nobody cares. Nobody cares because Bonds allegedly and most likely did use steroids. All the arguments consist of "he got so much bigger over the years, his numbers increased as he got older and his power spiked, his hat size increased, etc."

Yes, he did get bigger and I am not saying that Bonds did not use steroids because it is obvious that he did. Steroids however are not the reason Bonds is about to break the record.

When Bonds got traded to the Giants in 1993 his home run totals were as follows:

93: 46
94: 37
95: 33
96: 42
97: 40
98: 37
99: 34
2000: 49
01: 73
02: 46
03: 45
04: 45
05: 5
06: 26

Except for one phenomenal year in 2001, Bonds consistently hit around 40 homeruns, never much more or less. Without steroids, Bonds would have continued the trend, probably not had injury problems and bad legs from 2005-2007 and it is possible that he could have already broken the record.

Bonds deserves the record and Hank Aaron and Bud Selig better recognize it because Bonds is the best power hitter to have ever played this game and perhaps one of the best all around players ever when he was in his prime.

Now, why doesn't Roger Clemens receive the same type of harassment that Bonds does? Clemens is about to win his 350th game this year and is less than 20 wins away from the record for total wins in the live ball era.

Is it not obvious that Clemens has increased in size over the years? He is huge. Also, how is this guys arm still so strong? Hmm...

Talk about numbers spiking after the age of 40? Clemens had his best career ERA at the age of 43 in 2005. With an ERA well over 4 in 1999 and 2002, Clemens was obviously deteriorating. Then all of the sudden, naturally without any help of performance enhancing substances, Clemens' era dropped over 2 runs per game to 1.87. Bonds went from 49 to 73 home runs and it's steroids. Clemens goes from 4.35 to 1.87 and he is a God. In fact, Clemens' lowest ERA in the previous six seasons was 2.98 and his ERA averaged 3.84 from 1999-2004. That is a 1.97 run drop from his average over six years. Yet noone gives any serious consideration to the fact that Clemens may have cheated. He even tried throwing a broken bat at Mike about roid rage. Bonds never tried throwing a jagged broken wooden object at a player and then claim he didn't mean to do it. Give me a break. Bonds' home run total increases by 25 and now it is looked at as one huge scam. Clemens is a joke, a cheater, is way overpaid and is the one who should be holding some or most of the scrutiny Bonds receives. Bonds is about to break one of the greatest record in sports, give him some love.

Clemens currently stands at 235 pounds. Bonds is 228 pounds. Barry is the one who is "huge" because of roids...not Roger.



Keep that ERA over 5 Roger, way to earn your 4.5 million a month.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

S Donovin Darius visits Buffalo

The Bills are still looking to add to their talent pool before the 2007 season begins. Buffalo hosted veteran safety Donovin Darius Tuesday at One Bills Drive.

The 10-year veteran has twice been a Pro Bowl alternate and a starter at safety since the Jacksonville Jaguars made him one of the club's two first-round picks in 1998. He led the secondary in tackles his first seven seasons and has recorded six 100 tackle seasons in his career.

Darius, who will turn 32 in August, has had a pair of serious injuries each of the last two seasons. The Jaguars all-time leading tackler played in just two games in 2005 before tearing his ACL forcing him to miss the rest of the season. Last year he started the first 10 games before a broken leg ...
The Bills obviously have two solid young safeties in Whitner and Simpson but behind them there isn't much. Retread Bowen didn't work out last year, and the Bills could use depth at the position. Bringing in a 32 year old veteran could help push the young guys and provide much needed depth. Who knows if Darius is looking to start and what kind of contract he is looking for.

Then again if he can't start at defensive tackle he doesn't fill the biggest need on the Buffalo Bills defense. At least the Bills are still bringing in dudes before camp starts July 26th.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Interleague play is over (NL isn't bad)

by Steve

Baseball's Interleague play has finished outside the All Star Game. A quick look at the numbers and winning percentages and the idiot fan would come away thinking wow the American League is so much better than the National League. Sure the American League had a .544 winning percentage while the National League had a .456 winning percentage (At least according to but aren't the differences between the National League and the American League suppose to give the upper hand to the American League in any given game?

Sure the rules are based on the home team's League, but still, the American League teams are built from the ground up completely different than that of a National League team. In the NL as we know there is no DH, the pitcher has to hit. This fact alone gives the National League almost an automatic out ever 3 innings or so right away. In the American League with a DH, each team knows they need a player, who is probably past his prime and has little range but can still occasionally rake or "knock the fuckin ball outta the ball park" to quote Earl Weaver.

When the National League has to play in an American League barn, the difference is so dramatic it is painfully obvious. The National League doesn't have some old crusty player that can still swing a stick occasionally and drive in runs just sitting on their bench. All the old timers move to the AL where they can sit and enjoy a game and go up and bat once every 2-3 innings. National League teams do not have this extra bonus as American League teams do. You could argue that the NL pitchers are better batters than the AL pitchers when they have to dig in and swing the bat. This is not the case, pitchers bounce from league to league every season, pitchers regardless of the league have probably had at bats in the majors and regardless do not practice hitting. Any way, most pitchers bunt, and either you can bunt or you can't and most can't.

OK, but what are the real statistics then?
Well after painstakingly breaking down each Interleague game, here is what I found. The National League when playing in a National League ball park is 63-64 against American League teams. This is only 1 game under .500 or .496% when compared to the over all winning percentage of the National League at .456%. Obviously much better. Sure when at home you get the last ups in the 9th, but if the American League was such a great league and the NL a complete joke, wouldn't the numbers be consistent irregardless of the location of the game?

Plus the All-Star game is in an NL barn this July, and if NL pulls it out, the season series would then be exactly .500 baseball.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Buffalo Bills training camp dates

Buffalo Bills training camp opens up for the 7th year at St. John Fisher in Rochester New York. The full schedule includes 3 "two-a-days". All practices are open to the public with the exception of Sunday July 29th and Thursday August 9th. The night practices require tickets.


Thursday July 26th
AM: 8:30-10:20
PM: 2:15-4:05

Friday July 27th
AM: 8:30-10:20
PM: 2:15-4:05

Saturday July 28th
AM: 8:30-10:20
PM: 2:15-4:05

Sunday July 29th
closed practice

Monday July 30th
AM: 11:00-1:05

Tuesday July 31st
PM: 7:00-9:05

Wednesday August 1st
PM: 1:00-3:05

Thursday August 2nd
PM: 7:00-9:05

Friday August 3rd
PM: 2:15-4:25

Saturday August 4th
PM: 1:00-3:05

Sunday August 5th
off day

Monday August 6th
PM: 7:00-9:05

Tuesday August 7th
PM: 1:00-3:05

Wednesday August 8th
PM: 7:00-9:05

Thursday August 9th
closed practice

Friday August 10th
Preseason Game
at New Orleans
8:00 PM

Saturday August 11th
no practice

Sunday August 12th
PM: 3:15-4:45

Monday August 13th
PM: 7:00-9:05

Tuesday August 14th
PM: 1:00-3:05

Wednesday August 15th
PM: 7:00-9:05

Thursday August 16th
AM: 11:00-12:45

Friday August 17th
Preseason Game
7:00 PM

Saturday August 18th
no practice

Sunday August 19th
PM: 3:15-4:45

Monday August 20th
PM: 7:00-9:05

Tuesday August 21st
PM: 2:15-4:25

Wednesday August 22nd
AM: 11:00-12:30
Final practice

Friday August 24th
Preseason Game
7:00 PM

Season starts September 9th... duhhhhhh

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Buffalo Sabres 2007 Draft

First pick(2nd round)

T.J. Brennan, 6-1 200 4-3-1989,
St.Johns Fog Devils QMJHL, 68 gp – 16 g – 25 a – 41 points - -8 – 79 pims.
++ Upside, Shot, hand skill
+ Creativity, mobility, physical play
- Defensive awareness, raw.

Was invited to St. John’s camp for a walk on try out in which not only did he make the team but he finished the season as their top defenseman playing 30 minutes a night. He’s an enticing package of size and offensive skill. Brennan possesses nimble feet for a big kid with a strong stride and good mobility. He’s blessed with soft hands and he’s capable of going coast to coast. He sees the ice adequately well and displays some creativity while playing the point. His most stand out quality is his ferocious point shot that is NHL caliber already. Defensively he needs some work as he can get over aggressive and take himself out of position. At times he’ll get caught up the ice and will make risky offensive plays. That said his gap control is already good and he can skate with anybody. He also is a big and strong kid that can land a stiff body check.
from here highlights

2nd pick (3rd round)


Scouting Report: This unknown skating and puckhandling standout was buried on Mississauga’s last defense pairing .. long legs generate powerful and graceful strides .. hovers and then has an explosive burst of speed .. reaches top speed in seconds .. has good puckhandling ability and can lug the puck up ice effectively .. owns a good lead pass .. has a nice shot which he could use more often .. is capable of making the safe play but needs to show his steady side more .. likes to pinch sometimes overenthusiastically .. as a result gets caught deep but can catch his assigned forward because of skating ability .. solid in reverse .. susceptible to drifting and leaves his man alone .. collapses easily at his own net and is not willing to engage mischievous forwards .. prone to miscommunicating with his partner .. has the potential to get better as he is very coachable .. looks to be underdeveloped with the mechanics of being a defenseman rather than having poor hockey sense or being a dumb player .. Schiestel has interesting raw offensive upside as evidenced by his 6 assists in 5 playoff games, but he needs to discover an acceptable defensive game with time.

from here

3rd pick

Corey Tropp RW 5-11 185, 7-25-1989, Sioux Falls USHL 54 gp – 26 g – 36 a – 62 points.
++ Offensive instincts and ability to finish
+ Hands and balance
- Me first attitude, defensive play.

An offensive game breaker who steps up in the big games. He Lead the Clarkson Cup Champion Sioux Falls in regular season and playoff scoring and w as also named the USHL All Star Game MVP. Tropp is blessed with outrageously soft hands that can undress the opposition and he uses a long stick. Seemingly handles the puck as if it is on a string and he’s very dangerous one on one off of the rush and in heavy traffic. Tropp is imaginative and patient with the puck. He’s resilient in possession as he is sturdy on his feet .as he has a knack for slipping off checks. Possesses strong arms and has covers the puck well. He likes to change direction on a dime behind the net to shed the defenseman before taking the puck to the net. Trop can be guilty of over handling the puck at times. He’s strong along the boards and in front of the net and he will be able to handle the trenches in the NHL some day. Especially dangerous from within 15 feet of the goal although he can also be an end-to-end threat despite lacking explosive speed. Has a goal scorers release and instincts as he releases the puck in a heart beat. His hot is accurate and hard and he anticipates well as he finds the quiet areas near the net. Has a knack for disappearing back door before remerging wide open. Trop also sees the ice well and has the vision, creativity, and touch to be an above average playmaker. He spots the open man instantly and can execute passes through tight lanes in heavy traffic from his backhand and forehand. Tropp displays impressive imagination while distributing the puck and can execute with the opposition all over him. He possesses a good first step and a decent top gear when he keeps his feet moving with the puck. He does lack an explosive separation gear but he is agile with good lateral cuts. His defensive play is lackluster and he is always the first to leave the zone and is the last one to get back to his own zone. He competes and wins battles for loose pucks in the offensive zone but not in his own. Puck pursuit is non-existent unless an offensive chance is probable as he does not finish check. He displays poor body language and he gets frustrated too easily and sulks noticeably at his teammates time to time.

5th round

Bradley Eidsness G
posted a 2.87 goals against average and a .907 save percentage in 48 games for Okotoks of the AJHL.

Jean-Simon Allard C (6'2'', 195 lbs.) with the 147th overall selection.

6th Round

Nick Eno G (6'3'', 190), of the Eastern Junior Hockey League with the team's seventh selection in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. A larger goaltender Eno posted a 3.60 goals against average and a .902 save percentage.

7th Round

Drew MacKenzie D high schooler out of the Taft School in Connecticut. In 24 games, MacKenzie recorded three goals and 10 assists for 13 points. He also posted 10 penalty minutes.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

2007 NHL Draft Preview

by Andy P

A lot of experts say this draft isn't
 filled with any Sidney Crosby's
or Alexander the Greats and this is
a weak draft compared to the last
few drafts. I think we will look back
on this draft in five years and
disagree. There is no clear number one
and no Sidney Crosby but a lot
of future first liners will be in this
draft. I've been going back and
forth about Kane going number 1 or
Turris going number one or wild
card number 1. I believe Kane is the best
prospect but sometimes the best prospect
doesn't get taken number
1. It won't be the first time
or the last. I know one thing, any team that passes on Patrick Kane
will regret this decision much like the
Portland Trail Blazers have
since Air Jordan walked away with a bunch of rings and Sam Bowie
walked into journey man role for the rest of his career. I think
Turris, Toews, and Skille would make a awesome line and the same with
Kane on that line. I think
Philadelphia is going to get a great deal.
My take on Esposito is that he with make every team punish for passing
on him. I can't honestly imagine him falling passing the 10th pick and
if he does
Montreal will take him. This isn't the NFL where most
prospects have more street cred than they have college credits, NHL
prospects don't have kids, families to support, know gang signs, or
have run ins with the law. NHL prospects just chew too much and drink
too much. Most kids playing hockey are good kids that come from good
families, so minus all the psychology problems, although their are
rare cases (Patrick O'Sullivan getting a court order on his old man)
these kids only will be judge what they can and can't do on the ice.
We will also strongly judge what
Saint Louis does in this draft
because it will huge impact on their franchise future. They have three
picks in the first thirty could mean, A) a trade into the top 10 B)
Building a Dynasty C) Hopefully we didn't mess up and set the
franchise back another five years. I believe
Saint Louis will draft
three NHL players and we will be talking about winning the Cup in four

1. Chicago PATRICK KANE London (OHL)
I was really tossing and turning on this pick but from my past experience and history
of the Blackhakws organization they make a lot of bad decisions and the bad decisions
will end with this pick, The Chicago Blackhawks are working on the longest Stanley Cup
drought in the NHL, having gone without since 1961. Why the Blackhawks suck - the 1972
defection of Bobby Hull to the WHA, the loss of both Dominik Hasek and Ed Belfour,
the trade of Chris Chelios to Detroit, the awful trade of Jeremy Roenick, and lastly the
trade of Phil Esposito. This all leads
me to belief Pat Kane will be selected, they can't pass on this kid. I'm not knocking
Turris play, I've only scene a few highlite videos on him but Kane is by far the best
player in the draft. BCHL is less superior league than the OHL and Kane is the ready
for the NHL tomorrow. I've seen Pat play many times, growing up in Buffalo, I think
him being listed at 5'9 is still a strecth, more like 5'7" but he has everything you want
in a player and his best assest is his heart. Being told you can't do something or being
told you are too small is enough to motivate this kid to push himself as the greatest
American player to ever hit the ice. Yes, it's a bold prediction by this blogger but it's
going to happen if the game gets called as it has been the past two years, this kid is
going to tear up the NHL ie Sidney Crosby. Like Roger Dangerfield once said
"I get no respect" and this should be Pat's motto, he'll tear up the NHL as soon as he hits the ice.

2. Philadelphia KYLE TURRIS Burnaby (BCHL)
Kyle Turris is going to be a player but is still at least two years away from playing
in the NHL. With the recent moves Philadelphia has made, Turris is going to help
this team into the future, not now, and will look great next to Richards and Carter.

3. Phoenix SAM GAGNER
London (OHL)
Wayne hates Russian's and is always willing to take a gamble, so it
wouldn't surprise me is Van Riemsdyk wasn't selected here. I really
think he is going to take Gagner here if Turris is off

the board at this point. If Turris is on the board still, Gagner is
the pick. No question this pick will be from
North America.

I think LA will trade out of this pick but if they stay at #4, a
number of possibilites could exist. Van Riemsdyk has a lot of
potential, you can't teach size, and he has it.

I would say if Alexei falls at 5, no question will he be a steal, his
work ethic is questioned but what foreign player isn't questioned by a
US or Canadian? I'm 100% position Alexander the

Great is vouching for him and probably knows a lot more about him than
any scout. Washington is going to take a gamble and select him.

Edmonton KARL ALZNER Calgary (WHL)
I really wanted to Esposito here since
Edmonton is all about taking
talent and not worrying about what the player does off the ice. They
got a steal or at least I thought in Robbie Schremp

at 25, trust me Robbie is going to be a baller.
Edmonton needs a young

Columbus JAKUB VORACEK Halifax (QMJHL)
Labeled as a safe pick and
Columbus is all about taking the safe pick
as they are the
Houston Texans of the NHL. Voracek will be a nice fit
Columbus. Again, I really wanted to take

Esposito here.

I think the Blues want a skilled forward, so Sutter is the pick. I
wouldn't be surprised with Ellerby landing here. He has a good blood

Saint Louis KEATON ELLERBY Kamloops (WHL)
I like what JD is doing in StL. I think he is building a team of hard
working players and AE isn't his player and Sutter is off the board at
this point . He is mobile, big, and tough and some

would even say nasty, a JD type of player.

I know
Florida has selected a center in the first round, two out of
the last three but Roy coached this kid, I'm sure a phone call has
been made to Carbonneau or he may not have. Esposito

would be huge pick for the french speaking kid for the french speaking
land (
Montreal) but he is too good to pass up. Esposito has fallen
farther than Quinn did in the NFL draft. Esposito

was ranked #1 at one point during the season.

11. Carolina NICK PETRECKI
Omaha (USHL)


Toronto ZACH HAMILL Everett (WHL)

Colorado RYAN McDONAGH Cretin-Derham (HS-MN)

Edmonton MIKAEL BACKLUND Vasteras (SWE)

Anaheim DAVID PERRON Lewiston (QMJHL)

New York Rangers THOMAS HICKEY Seattle (WHL)

Calgary COLTON GILLIES Saskatoon (WHL)

Minnesota LOGAN COUTURE Ottawa (OHL)

Pittsburgh BILL SWEATT Colorado College (NCAA)

21. Phoenix BRETT MacLEAN Oshawa (OHL)



Saint Louis TOMMY CROSS Westminster (HS-CT)

Vancouver MAX PACIORETTY Sioux City (USHL)

Saint Louis BRENDAN SMITH St. Michael's (OPJHL)

Detroit JONATHAN BLUM Vancouver (WHL)

Washington OSCAR MOLLER Chilliwack (WHL)

Ottawa ALEX PLANTE Calgary (WHL)

Edmonton AKIM ALIU London (OHL)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The year of the No Hitter

by Steve

No its not just you, I've noticed too, there have been a lot of no hitters or close to no hitters already this year and its June 20th. Well maybe getting to the 7th or 8th inning giving up no hits to you isn't that big of a deal but it seems to be occurring with regularity in the season that is 2007.

April 11th, 2007
"King" Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners starts a trend throwing 7 no hit innings before a cheap 8th inning single by J.D. Drew. The king completed the game allowing that single hit for the victory.

April 18th, 2007

Mark Buehrle of the the Chicago White Sox no hits the Texas Rangers in a 6-0 romping in US Cellular Field. Buehrle faced the minimum batters walking one but picking him off during the next at bat.

May 5th, 2007
Chien-Ming Wang of the beloved New York Yankees loses a no hit bid in the 8th with one out. Ben Broussard of Seattle Mariners broke up the no-no with a dinger. This followed only 3 days earlier by phenom Phil Hughes who had a no hitter in the 7th before leaving with an injury.

June 7th, 2007
Curt Schilling of the Boston Red Sox loses his bid for a no hitter with 8 and 2/3rds already in the works. The potential no hitter, on the road, facing the Oakland Athletics in a day game with the sun shining would have been Schilling's first of his career. God damn Shannon Stewart.

June 12th, 2007
Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers throws a no hitter in interleague action facing the Milwaukee Brewers. It was the first no hitter in Detroit since 1952. Verlander reached triple digits in the 9th inning. On that night, he could have thrown a day/night double header and no one was getting a hit.

June 17th
Carlos Zamrano of the Chicago Cubs loses a no hitter in the 8th to the San Diego Padres. The hit came with one out, but didn't leave the infield. It wasn't meant to be any way, big Z gave up a dinger in the 9th and lost the game giving up only two hits.

There were a few more that lasted into the 7th but I decided to stick to the 8th inning and beyond. Of the two no hitters thus far this year both came from American League teams although one was against a National League opponent. Both were at home and both pitchers enjoyed 4+ run leads.

This "outbreak" of no hitters is a bit perplexing considering:
  • Anibal Sanchez was the only pitcher to accomplish the feat of a no-no in 2006 and that didn't occur until September.
  • Prior to Sanchez there was a break of 2 years and 4 months since the last no hitter in May of 2004 which was actually a perfect game, by Randy Johnson.
  • Before Beuhrle in April, the last no-no in the American League was Derek Lowe in April of 2003.
  • The last season two American league pitchers threw no hitters occurred in the same season was in 1999, Eric Milton, and David Cone.
Perhaps the drought of the past 7 seasons is over, and the "juiced ball" era died with it. Who knows, maybe all the steroid talk and love affair with the home run that followed and then the subsequent fall out influenced baseball's brass to de-juice the baseballs. I predict this trend of near no-no's and pitching dominance continues this season and at least one more no hitter will be thrown in 2007. All we need now is a perfect game and we'll be set.

mlb no hitter article
no hitters

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Drive to Stay Alive

By Andy

“Wide Right”, the signal waved by the referee during the final seconds of the Buffalo Bills’ first of four consecutive Super Bowl losses. During the early 1990’s the Buffalo Bills lost four Super Bowls in a row, a feet that haunts Buffalo sports fans to this day. It is amazing to think of all of the hard times and troubles Buffalo sports fans have gone through, including a goal that was kicked in during the 1999 national hockey championship game that again shattered Buffalo sports fans dreams of a championship. With all of disappointments suffered by the organizations and fan historians still wonder: why is Buffalo still viewed as a sports town? The city of Buffalo only harbors two out of the four major professional sports teams (football and hockey) and both teams have been sub par teams, averaging more losses than win, their entire existence, with glimmerings of glory every now and then.

Many scholars have researched and written about the Buffalo Bills and also the city of Buffalo, looking at the effects of sports on the citizen population. Craig Coenen, the author of From Sandlots to the Super Bowl looked particularly at the beginnings of professional football leagues. In one section of his work, he writes specifically about cities and the relationships of fans and their support. He shows in detail using charts and graphs the contributions of fans and booster clubs and how they popularized the sport of football in each city. Sal Maiorana, a Buffalo native, has written many books specifically on the American Football League and the Buffalo Bills. His book, If You Can’t Join ‘Em, Beat ‘Em, outlines the destruction of the All-American Football Conference (AAFC) in 1949 to the emergence of the American Football League. This book also describes the Bills as a defensive minded team, joined an offensive minded league and still succeeded.

This paper will discuss the effects of sports boosters and city support, comparing the similarities and differences between large metropolitan cities and smaller cities. Some of the larger ideas and questions that will be addressed in this research paper are how a small city like Buffalo rallied around its city’s population and fans to successfully stay afloat in professional football. The paper will also take an in-depth look at the city of Green Bay, a small city like Buffalo, and how their city representatives kept a professional football team running and succeeding.

It is interesting to say that Buffalo still hosts and supports a National Football League (NFL) team. In 1946 the Buffalo Bisons played their first game as a professional football team against the city of Cleveland’s team. Following the 1946 season, in an effort to create more fan interest and differentiate the football team from the city's minor league baseball and hockey teams, which also bore the name "Bisons," the team ran a contest to select a new name. Over 4,000 entries were submitted by fans and citizens, and the Bills won over other names such as Bullets, Nickels and Blue Devils. After playing in three more seasons in the All-American Football Conference, the league crumbled because of a lack of interest from fans and the emergence and popularity of the National Football League[1]. The new league which took the name National-American Football League (NAF) would keep the ten original teams in the NFL and field three teams from the All-American Football Conference. The Buffalo Bills were not one of those three teams because the team did not do very well in its first four years (1946-1949) and due to a lose of revenue they were not selected as one of the teams. Instead the Bills were slated to merge with the Cleveland Browns and become one team located in Cleveland.[2]

This new plan did not sit well for Buffalo fans in the summer of 1949 and Bills’ president James Breuil. While attending the All-American Football Conference championship game Breuil found out that if Buffalo wanted to have any hope of their own team, the fans and team must raise $250,000 to show the new league owners that Buffalo was worthy of a team. The two previous attempts raise money to support the team while playing in the AAFC both failed, leaving Breuil skeptical about the journey ahead. Immediately calls began to come in from members of the Quarterback Club of Buffalo and the Buffalo Bills Booster Club. These two organizations that had supported the Bills during the team’s local stand were the primary movers. One caller from the Booster Club declared that it was be a “cinch to raise ten dollars each from the 20,000 rabid, dyed-in-the wool fans who have formed the core of Buffalo’s fine attendance record during the last season.”[3]

The main reason Buffalo was not granted a team by the NFL in the first place was because of scheduling difficulties. League commissioner Albert Bell said that he would welcome Buffalo’s application, but did not see how a new team could make it into the schedule. The lineup of thirteen teams alone was already awkward, and the addition of another team would make it almost impossible to do. Bell told Breuil that if the league expanded to sixteen teams, such as major league baseball, the Bills would definitely be one of those teams accepted into the league. When questioned about the acceptance of Green Bay, Bell said that although attendance was low, the money revenue was too high to let go. Dan Sherby, an official of the Cleveland Browns was quoted as saying that “although we have 13 teams in the new setup, there is a possibility that other teams will be admitted when we have our meeting in January.”[4] This recent news led to a popular demand for a fund raising group to be created immediately.

Two separate groups were formed to take concrete action on a plan to raise the money needed for the Bills’ to stay in Buffalo. The first group to materialize was the Quarterback Club, containing twelve to fourteen businesses and banking leaders. The second group that formed

was headed by Arthur Rich, a local industrialist. It was called the Citizens Committee, and it met to discuss ways to raise the capital needed to make a bid for a franchise. The city government came forward with offers to take any necessary action in promoting the campaign. To the surprise of the government and the newly formed groups, the most powerful group to emerge was the ordinary citizens, calling in and telegraphing bids to the Courier Express, the donations ranging from five dollars to five hundred dollars. The highest individual bid came from a local citizen, pledging to put down one hundred dollars to save the Bills. Several small groups also called in ready to wage as much as five hundred dollars.[5] These wages and pledges were just a small portion of what would become one of the city’s greatest rallies and fund raisers.

On December 13th the citizens of Buffalo settled down to the business of purchasing the Buffalo Bills back to a professional football league by holding its first major fund raiser in the basement of the Memorial Auditorium. The Memorial Auditorium, located in downtown Buffalo, was used as a convention center, concert hall and arena for political events, ice shows and sporting events. The fund raiser lasted only five hours and included 20,000 people streaming through the door with pledges. First in line to buy stock was mayor-elect Joseph Mruk, who purchased twenty shares of stock and was quoted as saying that “it would be a shame to lose the advantage we have gained in four years of building up a winning team and public support.”[6] At the end of the night the city raised $74,770 on top of the $125,000 that had been written by the Bills to start the campaign. The total was $199,770, four fifths of the amount needed to keep the team alive.

Citizens of all kinds brought in money and support. One local business man from Tonawanda donated 50 cars for free transportation to and from the Auditorium. Many sports booster clubs from Buffalo’s suburbs such as Hamburg, Lancaster, and Depew, came in with money to donate, Men came with their wives, many with young children in their arms. One man who made his way down from Ebenezer was in a wheel chair.[7] One young teen who claimed to be the “biggest” fan from Alden donated his life savings, or around $500 in assorted bills.[8] And it was not just white men donating; there were people of all races, classes, and creeds there. All of these people were gathering for the sole purpose of keeping the Bills in Buffalo. The top donation of the day came from William J. Conners III, vice president of the Courier-Express, with a sum of $10,000. Also making donations and pledges were members of Bills team in 1949 who still resided in Buffalo. Player Jim Lukens gave a $25 check and a telegram from other players in support of the drive.[9]

To keep the drive alive local banks such as Marine Trust, M&T, and Liberty Banks opened special receiving stations to handle the sale of stock subscriptions at every branch office in Western New York. Within the first three hours bank representatives estimated that about $20,000 had been raised, mostly from five and ten dollar pledges from local citizens. On the following day, new organizations came forward, volunteering as receiving stations while banks were closed. The list of organizations included Adam, Meldrum & Anderson, Hens & Kelly, Kleinhans, Sattlers, Kobackers, and three Sears and Roebuck stores.

The enthusiasm behind the drive extended beyond the borders of Western New York. Art Rich, the secretary-treasurer of the Citizens Committee, said that they had received pledges towards the purchasing of stocks from St. Louis and Chicago. Stocks could only be purchased by citizens of New York State, but this did not stop the pledges from donating money instead. The citizens and fans of Ontario donated $5,000, and verbally pledged to purchase season tickets if the team stayed in Buffalo.

On December 17 a very important step was made in the right direction, when the Buffalo Bills Football Club Inc. was created. Finally a board of directors was created to head the cause and fund raiser, giving the fans more hope. The group consisted of 33 men, representing a wide range of local business men, banking elites, industrial presidents, and labor groups. All future activities of the Citizens Committee for the Bills would be handled by the group, from the selection of a delegation to meet with the League Commissioner in January, to the actual operations of the team if selected into the league.[10]

With less than a month left before the meetings with the new league commissioner and current team owners, Art Rich made a statement that big businesses in Western New York needed to step up and start making donations. “Up to the present time, the little fellow, the man on the street, has financed the drive to save the Bills. Big businesses much come through with sizeable donations if we are to realize our goal of $500,000.”[11] The members and delegates of the Buffalo Bills Football Club Inc. understood that businesses were waiting to donate until a formation of some kind of board of trustees was created, but now that the Buffalo Bills Football Club had assumed that function, they must come through. The original amount of $250,000 would soon be reached, but Mr. Rich assured the public that they would not set up a meeting with Albert Bell, commissioner of the new league, until they had doubled that amount into $500,000. On December 18 a week after the drive started, the total was $230,135 with thousands coming in each day from local subscription banks and branches.[12] This left one month to reach their final goal.

At the start of the second week the fund raiser raised $116,385 in cash and with $125,000 pledged to start the campaign the grand total was $241,385. The city was half way there and had almost a month left to raise the other half. To the board of directors and citizens’ dismay, however, league commissioner Albert Bell had begun working to complete a schedule for a 13-team league, leaving Buffalo out and perhaps ending professional football in Buffalo. Art Rich and the Football Club knew that they had to set up a meeting with Bell before the schedule for the 1950 season was finalized. The Club wanted to show Bell that with the substantial amount of money they had raised, he should hold off making the schedule until after the meetings and votes in January.[13]

A day after meeting with Albert Bell in New York City gathering information on techniques to use to keep the dream of the Bills’ alive, the Buffalo Bills Football Club showed new life upon return. One result of the meeting was the formation of a new plan of operation within the next few weeks to meet their goal of $500,000 and to be ready for the meetings in January. Solid advance season ticket sales, along with a second financial backing were the main concerns of the owners of the new league, according to Bell. The members explained to Bell that the financial backing was already in place with the use of the fund raiser. The season ticket sales, however, were one problem that had to be addressed by Rich and his committee immediately. Bell told the delegates that the sale of season tickets would be their biggest selling point to the team owners when the meetings would be held. Bell also stated that Buffalo would be “welcomed with open arms” if the thirteen owners now holding teams were assured of substantial sales for every home game played in Buffalo. Bell told Rich a definite figure of $40,000 in advance and $240,000 for six home games would surely impress the league’s committee in Buffalo’s favor. To obtain those types of funds, Rich and his delegates figured that 12,000 to 15,000 season tickets must be sold. The problem with those figures was that the highest amount of season tickets ever sold in Buffalo was 5,300 in 1948. Bell also urged the committee to consider the election of an executive or general manager who would have total control, contrary to the 33 member group the Buffalo Bills currently used.[14] Rich told the Courier Express that throughout the entire meeting Mr. Bell did not once bring up the difficulties of scheduling fourteen teams, which left Rich and the other delegates who attended the meeting with high hopes.[15]

With raised hopes and a brighter outlook for the city of Buffalo, the Buffalo Football Club Inc.. announced on December 22 that a new plan for the advance sale of season tickets would soon be in place. A spokesman for the Club stated that they wanted to have a plan to show evidence of a sound season ticket sale to the league committee, “a plan to show evidence of a sound season ticket sale will be announced shortly by the committee.”[16] The plan was put on delay, however, because the Citizens Committee wanted to make sure the city was granted a team before collecting money for the tickets.

Taking Mr. Bell’s suggestion a step further, the Buffalo Bills Football Club elected Albert O’Neill as the sole president of the Buffalo Bills Football Club Inc.. O’Neill, who was also the president of Buffalo Niagara Electric Corporation, did not welcome the job at first. He said that when the meetings were over and a decision was made that he owed it to himself and his business to step down as president of the Bills and return full time to his office at the electric company. In a statement he made after the election, O’Neill said that there were two important steps to take one was a plan to accept pledges for advance season ticket sales and the second was to name “one strong man” to meet with the NAF committee to request a franchise. He also reiterated the ideas and plans of season ticket sales in a statement saying “I do not believe it plausible to sell season tickets until we have been granted the franchise. However a plan to accept pledges will be announced shortly.” At the end of his news conference he was quoted saying “I believe that the reaction of the citizens of Buffalo and Western New York to the demand for a professional football franchise in this city merits continued whole hearted civic support.”[17] Within the next few weeks, O’Neill and his committee worked day in and day out to keep the drive alive.

On January 3, 1950 the hope for a team was jolted, and some dreams were crushed. NAF commissioner Bert Bell told Albert O’Neill that he was encountering extreme difficulty in fitting a fourteenth team into the schedule. Bell declared that unless he could solve the problem of scheduling, he would be unable to recommend to the league’s owners the acceptance of the Bills’ into their league. O’Neill told Bell that he had set up a committee that had been working on a fourteen team schedule and it was possible. Bell shot that idea down by saying “it is simple to work out a schedule, but it is another thing to please the teams.” The commissioner continued to say that he was not telling the Bills not to present their case, because he does not vote, but that the thirteen team owners vote and they can vote which ever way they want. Asked of his thoughts of the vote outcome, Mr. Bell answered “I don’t know, I simply don’t know.”[18]

Keeping things on track the Bills’ announced the plan for advance season ticket sales. The price scale would range from $1.80 to $6.00 and a total of 10,000 tickets were being asked to be sold. The head of this committee was Dr. James Ailinger, who was also a member of the Club Inc. O’Neill and Ailinger both believed that if the city could sell out in advance a good part of seats available, that even with the difficulties of a fourteen team schedule, the Bills’ would be allowed into the league. Everyone believed that the future of the Bills in Buffalo rested on this one major plan “The ticket pledge drive is our last and most vital weapon, Ailinger said. “The city’s pro football life hinges on it.”[19] Ailinger stated that there would also be a partial payment plan to pay for the season tickets devised later on if the team was selected. Citizens could send in their pledges to the committee using the forms that were in newspapers, banks, and other local businesses. Ailinger stressed however, the pledges should not be accompanied with money.[20]

On the first day of ticket sales 2,727 pledges were made. With the rapid and major response of the grid iron fans of Buffalo, the drive to “Keep the Bills in Buffalo” looked to be closing in on its goal. Also adding fuel to the hope was a phone call from Mr. Bell to O’Neill stating that he had finished a fourteen team schedule even though it was not a pretty one. Mr. Bell stated that he did not think anyone, even Buffalo would agree to it. “This schedule would lead to financial chaos.”[21] Bell also stated that since winter comes early in Buffalo, the last two home games for the Bills may cause some controversy from the opposing teams.

The three week scramble looked to be slowly falling into place. Of the 2,727 pledges received, 465 had been made in person and overnight 1,464 pledges came in the mail, while the rest were still being held and counted at local businesses. That number represented about $61,279.20 in collectable cash, a number that had to be doubled in the next few days. Breaking down the 2,727 pledges showed that 1,604 or 59% were pledges from persons not owning season tickets during the 1949 season, indicating an optimistic outlook for the committee. Two days before the meeting with Bert Bell, the number of pledges cruised past the half way mark. A total of 5,364 pledges were received and 3,382 of those were from non-season ticket holders the previous year. Dr. Ailinger stated that in order to achieve the goal of 10,000 the city must pledge an average of 2,300 for each of the two remaining days. Previous Bills owner James Breuil helped out with pledging 150 season tickets in the name of his company Frontier Oil Refining Co., making that the largest block of tickets to date for the Bills.[22]

The goal was reached and on January 13 a new ray of hope shined on the city of Buffalo. Washington team owner George Preston Marshall gave his support to the Bills saying that he would not mind having a fourteenth team in the league, as long as it would not interfere with Washington’s traditional games. Marshall even went a step further by constructing his own schedule that included Buffalo and saying that “it is quite apparent that that local drive to gain season ticket pledges is doing more to aid Buffalo’s franchise drive each day.”[23] Also in the good news was the call from Mr. Bell telling the Bills that he had received their letter of application including the report on the efforts of local fans to pledge financial support through the sale of stock and season tickets. The letter also pointed out to Mr. Bell that Buffalo was never ranked worse than third in attendance and total income.
On January 19 in Philadelphia Albert O’Neill presented the case for a franchise team in
Buffalo to the NAFL owners and commissioner. No vote was taken immediately, but Buffalo seemed to be the only team with a real chance of getting into the league. From all that was said about the scheduling difficulties, Bell and owners figured it would take a few days, possibly a week or two, to make a final vote. The Bills needed a unanimous approval, and they believed that they could get it. O’Neill stated that they did not care what division they would be in or who they would play; they just wanted a franchise in Buffalo. Heading into the meetings the committee had gained $177,000 in cash and $86,000 plus in pledges from the fans and citizens of Buffalo. The delegates also had more than 15,000 pledges for season tickets that would prove support for the Bills.

Unable to agree on a fourteen team schedule the NAFL owners on January 20, 1950, denied the Buffalo Bills a slot in their professional football league. Commissioner Bert Bell made the announcement after a closed meeting with the owners, where the vote was not unanimous. Bell said in his announcement that the votes swung away from Buffalo during the morning meeting, and Buffalo’s bid was finally declined in the evening meeting due to a non-satisfactory schedule that was produced, “The owners were unable to agree on a satisfactory 14-team schedule. And they couldn’t agree on a two-divisional setup of the league.”[24] He added that time and the alignment of the schedule figured against Buffalo. Not helping the matter was the dispersion of the Bills’ 32 players to the NAFL player pool, to be used and picked by the 13 teams. This left Buffalo with no franchise or players.

Upon return to Buffalo the big task that remained was for the Buffalo Bills Football Club Inc. to set up a plan to return and refund the $177,000 collected in the public stock sale. The plan was to return the money that was held by the Marine Trust Company to every person who purchased stock in the full amount.[25]

Within two days of rejection from the NAFL, the American Football League sent an invitation to Buffalo to join their league. The invitation was quickly rejected by fans because of the lack of talent in the league. Fans stated that it would be too hard to go from watching a professional football team to watching a minor league team. Albert O’Neill was quoted saying “It’s the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. This league is a bush league and I don’t think Buffalo wants to get into a bush league.”[26] Buffaloanians only wanted to be recognized as a major league city, and that meant an NFL franchise. Another reason for rejection was because the Bills had no players available, they were all thrown into the pool of players for NAFL teams to pick and choose from. All the city would have had would have been a franchise with no players.[27] The rejections from the NAFL led to a 10 year drought of football in Buffalo. It would not be until 1959, when wealthy real estate company president Ralph Wilson would buy the team and join the AFL, that Buffalo would gain a major league franchise.

Similar to the city of Buffalo’s situation, the city of Green Bay was in the same boat. The Green Bay Packers had two choices when joining the AAFC in 1946: either to compete for the best players by paying high prices and lose money that way, or to sign less talented players and suffer a decline in attendance and fan support. Without the sufficient funds the Packers opted for the second choice and saw a dramatic decrease in attendance because of a bad record team. In 1948 the team lost $155,000, which more than eliminated their financial backing.[28]

The team played half of their games in Milwaukee and half in Green Bay, and ironically enough there was a larger fan attendance in Milwaukee. When the Packers looked to the city for money, however, the city felt no reason to donate and support its financial investment. because the team did not belong to the city the stock offering proved to be the only way to go for the Packers. With no money to back the stock offerings, the Packers caught a stroke of luck when their only facility caught fire and they then claimed $50,000 from the insurance company. Packer players believed it was an act of God “I didn’t set the Lodge fire, but I was sure fanning it … said Tony Canadeo. Personally I think it was an act of God.”[29]

A few months into the stock offerings there was great success. Officials approved 5,000 shares selling for $25 a piece. Keeping the team available to everyone equally, officials put a 200 share limit available to one individual. Local ad campaigns used the slogan “Back the Drive with Twenty-Five,” and more than 1,500 people attended a rally at a local high school in Green Bay. The night after the rally more than 1,000 shares were sold and the community responded with more than $25,000 in donations and pledges.

In three weeks the stock sales passed their goals and brought in over $100,000 well before the meetings of the NFL being held in June 1950. At the meeting, Commissioner Bert Bell declared the “Packers out of the financial woods.” The acceptance of the Packers led the NFL into a new small-city era and owners looked ahead to the attractiveness and success.[30]

With small cities such as Buffalo and Green Bay, it is easy to see how fan support and city backing was important to the success of professional sports teams. Even though the Bills did not receive a team, it set a precedent in ways to keep teams alive in the 1949-1950 effort. Even today in the year 2006, the Buffalo Bills are on the verge of possibly moving to another city because of the players union and team owner collective agreements. Such a small city and small revenue team as Buffalo can not compete and afford the new deal accepted by the rest of the league. In the following weeks we may see a fund raiser developed just like we did in 1949.

[1] 1949 All American Football Conference Teams: Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, N.Y. Yankees, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Dons, Chicago Hornets, Baltimore Colts. 1949 NFL Teams: Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, N.Y. Giants, Washington Redskins, N.Y. Buffdogs, Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Bears, Chicago Cardinals, Detroit Lions, and Green Bay Packers.

[2] “Bills Merged with Browns in New Loop.” Buffalo Courier-Express, December 10, 1949, page 1

[3] “$250,000 Required; Bell Would Welcome Bills in New Loop.” Buffalo Courier-Express, December 11, 1949, page 1

[4] Ibid

[5] “Meeting are Planned by 2 Groups Today.” Buffalo Courier-Express, December 12, 1949, page 1

[6] “Grid Bills’ Drive Nets $199,000 in 24 Hours.” Buffalo Courier-Express, December 14, 1949, page 1

[7] Ebenezer is a town south of Buffalo approximately 15 miles from the Auditorium.

[8] “Drive for Bills Really Rolling, $209,770 Now In.” The Buffalo Evening News, December 15, 1949

[9] Mike Kanaley. “Drive for Bills Hits $217,000.” Buffalo Courier-Express, December 16, 1949, page 18

[10] Mike Kanaley. “Directors Selected for Buffalo Bills.” Buffalo Courier-Express, December 17, 1949, page 17

[11] Mike Kanaley. “Bills’ Drive Faces ‘Big’ Money Need.” Buffalo Courier-Express, December 18, 1949 page 19

[12] Ibid

[13] “Bills’ Fund Now $241,385.” The Buffalo Evening News, December 20, 1949, page 38

[14] Cy Kritzer. “Buffalo Pro Football Drive Recruits Allies in Old NFL.” The Buffalo Evening News, December 21 1949, page 57

[15] Mike Kanaley. “Talk With Bell Aids Bills Grid Committee.” Buffalo Courier-Express, December 21, 1949 page 19

[16] Kanaley, Mike. “Drive to Raise $500,000 Is Still Main Objective.” Buffalo Courier-Express, December 22, 1949 page 18

[17] Both of these quotes are from: “O’Neill Elected Bills’ Prexy; Stiglmeier May Get Key Post.” Buffalo Courier -Express, December 28, 1949 page 14

[18] Both of these quotes are from: “Bills’ Hopes For Pro Grid Life Jolted.” Buffalo Courier-Express, January 3, 1950, page 1

[19] “Drive for Bills’ Ticket Pledges to Start Today.” Buffalo Courier-Express, January 4, 1950, page 1

[20] “Bills’ Ticket Drive Opens.” The Buffalo Evening News, January 4, 1950, page 50

[21] “Bills Included in ’50 NAL Slate, But There’s a Hitch.” Buffalo Courier-Express, January 5, 1950, page 18

[22] “Ticket Pledges for Bills Soar Past Halfway Mark.” Buffalo Courier-Express, January 7, 1950, page 18

[23] Mike Kanaley. “Marshall Throws Support to Bills’ Franchise Bid.” Buffalo Courier-Express, January 13, 1950, page 16

[24] Tony Wurzer. “Pro Football Owners Reject Bills’ Bid.” The Buffalo Evening News, January 20, 1950, page 1

[25] “Bills to Prep Stock Refund Plan Today.” Buffalo Courier-Express, January 23, 1950, page 14

[26]Buffalo Head Calls AFL ‘Bush League’.” The Washington Post, January 24, 1950 page 15

[27] “Bills Invited to Join AFL; Offer Called ‘Ridiculous’.” The Buffalo Evening News, January 23, 1950, page 20

[28] Craig Coenen, From Sandlots to the Super Bowl (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2005), 147

[29] Ibid p. 149

[30] Ibid p. 150