Archive for the ‘Buffalo Bills’ Category

Bill’s Ticket Move Boost For Baseball

April 12, 2012 Leave a comment

phil ranallo     

WHAT’S NEW, HARRY? November 29,1980

(Preamble by Chris Wendel)  Several things happened to me today that led to the reprint of this 1980 Phil Ranallo column. First was reading a Facebook post discussing the concept of an outdoor stadium in downtown Buffalo. Next was a friend (who grew up in LA) asking me why Buffalo never had a major league baseball team. The last was seeing this column in a pile of papers in my office. This column has a little of everything: The questioning of Ralph Wilson’s motives, discussion of a stadium that could breathe life into an ailing downtown, and the prospect of major league baseball in Buffalo. Enjoy this work from “Courier Express” sportswriter Phil Ranallo:

RALPH WILSON’S sale of those 35,000 tickets to Pennsylvanians for last Sun­day’s Bills-Steelers game may one day may one day be labeled a godsend by advocates of major league baseball for Buffalo.

Last weekend’s happening — the influx of out-of-towners and their two-fisted spending — served as a fine example of what a big league baseball franchise could do for our town.

Revelation that the invasion of all those Steeler faithful may have had as much as a $l-million economic impact
on the community had to open a lot of eyes.

I’m talking about the eyes of all — the city and county fathers’— as well as the residents of the area, many of whom have long opposed construction of a stadium suitable for major league baseball.

WHAT TRANSPIRED last weekend —-the business the visitors brought to our hotels, motels, restaurants, taverns, etc.—could be the greatest possible advertisement for construction of a baseball stadium in downtown Buffalo.

It should provide the Erie County Sports Board with, ammunition in its fight for such a facility.

Perhaps Ralph Wilson had all this in mind when he made the decision to hus­tle tickets in Pennsylvania for the Bills-Steelers game.

It’s my guess that Wilson would do anything in his power to help Buffalo build a downtown stadium and land a big league ball club.

I’m sure Ralph isn’t averse to a big league baseball team being located here and competing for the Buffalo sports en­tertainment dollar.

LAST WEEKEND’S goings-on were unique for a regular season pro football game. Almost all the fans, generally speaking, hail from the area represented by the home team.

Not so, though, in, baseball.

A baseball team with its long home stands, does something that neither a pro football team nor a hockey team does. A baseball team attracts fans from hundreds of miles.

Many of these fans spend theirvaca­tion  time or weekends in the baseball town. They stay in your hotels and mo­tels, dine in your restaurants, shop in your department stores, patronize your theaters, etc.

Why, a big league baseball club per­forming in a beautiful stadium at the Crossroads would even lure people from suburban Buffalo to the central city.

PERSONALLY, I feel that construc­tion of a new downtown stadium — to accommodate a, major league baseball team would ‘be the most progressive step this community could take.

It would be good for some of the things that are ailing Buffalo — terrific for the city is economic growth and the attrac­tiveness of the downtown area.

With major-league baseball as part of our Buffalo life, sports fans would have somewhere to go during this communi­ty’s current sports-dry months — from May to September.

They’d have a baseball club to root for — something that would put a little fun in their lives.

And at reasonable prices, since base­ball — unlike pro football and hockey does not turn the pockets of its customers inside-out

THE SAD PART of all this is, it could have happened here in Buffalo long ago. Your newspaper the Courier Express thumped the tubs for a downtown stadium in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

And it definitely would have happened, had it not been for those certain people in certain quarters.

Our head-in-the-sand leaders, men with lack of foresight, acquiesced to the dictates of those selfish certain people!

They built Wilson his 80,000-seat football-only stadium in Orchard Park and thereby slammed the major-league baseball door on Buffalo —and for that baseball fans in Montreal and Toronto will be forever grateful.

Those Canadian cities landed big league baseball franchises, either of which could have been Buffalo’s — if we had the proper leadership.

THE COMMUNITY’S current leaders may get the chance to correct the colos­sal blunders of their predecessors.

The economic impact the visitors from Pennsylvania had on this area last week should enable our leaders to provide the state with a strong argument for state funding of a new stadium in downtown Buffalo.


Eulogy for the Buffalo Braves, What have we Learned?

October 24, 2011 Leave a comment

NFL President Roger Goodell paid a visit to Buffalo last week, mentioning that improvements to Ralph Wilson Stadium (to the tune of $100 million) would enhance the chances of Western New York keeping the Bills. Setting up a showdown between taxpayers, ownership, and the NFL, the scenario is somewhat reminiscent of the Buffalo Braves departure in 1978, captured in this vintage column written by legendary “Courier Express” writer Phil Ranallo.

What’s New, Harry   July 11, 1978

SINCE IT’S HIGHLY DEBATABLE whether a city really needs a professional basketball team – or any pro sports club, for that matter – it can hardly be argued that Buffalo is about to be swept down the drain now that the basketball Braves are gone.

Nevertheless, it’s safe to say that the loss of the Braves – from Buffalo– is a giant step backward.

Personally, I find myself in deep mourning. The death of the Braves has depressed me. It’s as if I’ve lost a close friend. No kidding. I’m tempted to affix a black band to my right coat sleeve.

The Braves were dear to me because I have long been hooked on the sport of pro basketball. I enjoyed watching the Braves play – lose or win.

They were also dear to me for a selfish reason. I enjoyed writing about them, and their presence in Buffalo made my job easier, since Randy Smith and Co. afforded me with material with which I managed to pound out 50-to-75 columns a year.

During the club’s eight years in existence in Buffalo, I grew to regard the Braves as one of our community’s symbolic institutions. On my list, the Braves ranked right up there – a couple of spots ahead of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

I FELT THAT the departure of the Braves could possibly do economic damage to the city. I felt that their loss might even have an extremely harmful psychological impact on our town.

Now, though, I’m not so sure – about the psychological impact, I mean

Four days have passed the day of infamy – since the NBA club-owners stripped Buffalo of its franchise and rewarded John Y. Brown for his ruinous ownership of the Braves by giving him the votes to move the team and, in effect, the right to thumb his nose at Buffalo.

Four days have passed since the NBA owners, by a 21-1 vote, deemed Buffalo unworthy of a major-league basketball team after eight years of membership in the NBA.

Yet, in Buffalo, from my vantage point, not too many folks seem to care.

There has been little weeping at the death of the Braves – and almost no gnashing of teeth.

THE REACTION OF Buffalonians boggles the mind. Save for diehards who didn’t seem to be stronger in number than a corporal’s guard, the reaction to the death of the Braves has been a giant yawn – or a two-word comments, “Good riddance.”

I got the feeling that if they ran a referendum asking the townspeople if they wanted the NBA bosses to change their minds and keep the Braves in Buffalo, half would say, “Tell me what the Braves are and I’ll tell you if I want to keep them here.”

Included among those whose reaction was a big yawn are the leaders of this town – the politicians who operated out of city hall.


The city’s leaders told us, a while back, that they were ready to take John Y. Brown and the NBA to court – if the league decided to strip Buffalo of the basketball team.

Well, now that the stripping has been done, they’ve changed their minds.

THE CITY’S LEADERS have decided that it’s best not to fight – that it’s better to roll over and play dead, better not to make a peep. They feel that a long, drawn-out court battle would be too expensive for the taxpayers.

They also decided not to go to court – and get this – because they felt that such an action would discourage any future investor from considering Buffalo as the site of a new NBA franchise.

In my view, Buffalo’s refusal to put up its dukes and fight Brown and the NBA will have the opposite effect on future NBA investors when they’re shopping for cities.

I mean, forget Buffalo as a future NBA town – at least in this century.

After all, would you pick for your new NBA club a city that once had a team, but failed show enough interest to fight to keep it?

The city leaders also decided not to fight, it has been reported, because of the about-face the local investors did when head-counting time came.

DURING THE THREE-MONTH period in which John Brown hedge hopped the nation, in search of a new city for the Braves, the city leaders reported time and again that there were several local investors ready to come forward and make a pitch to buy the Braves – if Brown was in a selling mood.

Although no names were mentioned, some of the city leaders – with their constant talk of numerous investors – had me believing there were more Buffalo people trying to buy the Braves than went to games last season.

But when show-time came – when the zero-hour arrived and it became time for the local investors to stand up and be counted – all of the investors remained seated.

The reaction of the guys and gals in this town to the loss of the Braves – as well as the reaction of the city leaders – has got to lead a man to conclude that John Y. Brown is one of the sharpest cookies in the sports world.

JOHN BROWN’S GAME plan was a perfect one. For three months, he drove everybody batty, with his courting of city after city – to the point where everybody had him and Braves up to here.

Then he pulled off his stupendous deal.

And nobody as much as hollered, “Foul.”

Nobody cared where he went as long as he went and they got him out of their hair.

Yes, sir, Brown’s game plan worked to perfection.

Uptick in Fitzpatrick’s performance mutes urgency for quarterback draft

November 23, 2010 Leave a comment

The Bills won another game Sunday and now have competition for the first pick in next April’s NFL draft. And Ryan Fitzpatrick looked like a Pro-Bowl quarterback in the game’s second half against the Cincinnati, the team that he once played for.

In two short weeks the Bills have gone from a potential 0-16 doormat to a team that is within two games of nine other teams for the league’s worst record (Carolina presently has a 1-9 record).

More impressive turnaround is the recent play of the Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick; whose quarterback rating of 88.1 places him ahead of recent first-round quarterback picks Sam Bradford, Alex Smith, Jay Cutler, and Mark Sanchez. By the way, Fitzpatrick was a 7th round pick in 2005.

All this begs the question: Do the Bills have to draft a quarterback with their first round pick next spring, or continue to build around Fitzpatrick? Stay tuned.

40 years to the day, Braves legacy lives on

October 14, 2010 Leave a comment

By Chris Wendel

40 years ago today the Buffalo Braves played their first regular season basketball game, a 107-92 win over the Cavaliers before 7,129 fans in the pre-expanded Buffalo Memorial Auditorium. Today, watching the Buffalo Sabres celebrate their 40th anniversary with much fanfare, it makes sense (and stings some too) to revisit why the Braves were the first of many “what could have been(s)” for Buffalo sports fans.

Randy Smith receiving the NBA All-Star MVP trophy in 1978

While many of us ponder with angst the future of the Buffalo Bills, the thought of replacing NFL football with another NBA franchise has been bantered about.  In a town that can’t figure out a practical development strategy for the old Aud site, it’s almost impossible to grasp a scenario where the NBA and a local ownership group would see value in investing in another NBA basketball franchise.

With all of this in mind, and on the 40th anniversary of the start of NBA basketball in Western New York, it is appropriate to revisit the legacy left behind by the Buffalo Braves:

  1. High scoring offense: After two lousy seasons that were typical of a new franchise, the Braves followed with a sudden meteoric rise utilizing a fast paced offense that was the precursor to today’s modern transition game. To get an idea, take a look at this archive video of a 1976 NBA Eastern Conference Semi-finals between the Braves and the Washington Bullets.
  2. Some solid draft choices : The Braves had three NBA Rookies of the Year in eight seasons with Bob McAdoo, Ernie DiGregorio, and Adrian Dantley. Dantley became the first Rookie of the Year in any major sport to be traded from his team before the start of his second season (more on that kind of catatonic management style in a minute). There were ill-fated draft picks as well including John Hummer and Tom McMillen.
  3. Bob McAdoo: The amazing emergence of Bob McAdoo, who followed up his Rookie of the Year season with three straight NBA scoring titles and NBA MVP honors for the 1974-75 season. Basketball Reference recently described McAdoo as “strangely absent from the NBA Top 50” selections.
  4. The unlikely path of Randy Smith: Drafted in the 7th round of the 1971 NBA draft (a courtesy pick by GM Eddie Donovan for not drafting Niagara standout Calvin Murphy in 1970). Smith’s raw talent and determination won out over time as he attained the NBA ironman record for most games played (since surpassed by A.C. Green) and became the MVP of the NBA All-Star game in 1978. Many of Smith’s franchise records (Braves/Clippers) remain intact almost 30 years after his retirement.
  5. Two Hall of Fame coaches, Dolph Schayes and Jack Ramsay: Ramsay left the Braves after the 1975-76 season and coached the Portland Trailblazers to the NBA title the following season. Schayes was fired one game into the team’s second season after failiing to produce a miracle with a team of older veterans and journeymen.
  6. Unhinged ownership: The Braves ownership was unstable from the start. Paul Snyder purchased the team shortly before the Braves first season and may not have known what he was getting into. Snyder’s management style accounted for the team’s rather quick improvement through player acquisition, but his impatience led to knee jerk coaching and personnel changes that short circuited any long-term stability. Snyder’s controlling behavior eventually drove away Jack Ramsay. In 1975 Snyder wanted out because of the Sabres’ control of decent playing dates (a valid point) selling the team to Kentucky Fried chicken mogul John Y. Brown. The bonehead moves made by the Braves during both the Snyder and Brown regimes are staggering to recount years later. Perhaps the biggest “what if” of them all were the transactions that obtained and traded Moses Malone (for money) after only two games and six minutes of playing time with the Braves. If Malone had stuck in Buffalo the Braves’ front line would have included Malone, McAdoo, and Dantley (all NBA Hall of Fame honorees). All three were traded within a year and the team was destined for somewhere other than Buffalo.
  7.  Positive fan support: The Braves fans generally supported its team and were never given a stable product in return. Meanwhile the Knox brothers quickly built the Sabres into contenders by understanding the concept of fan loyalty, keeping key players in Buffalo for most of their careers (not trading them like commodities). The Braves averaged close to 12,000 fans a game when they had winning seasons. Attendance predictably waned as the team traded its good players, the ownership whined about the lack of city and fan support, and the Sabres continued to build their team and fan goodwill.

With a more devoted ownership that stuck to any type of strategic plan, the Braves may have survived long-term in Buffalo. Regardless of the outcome, the Braves remain one of the NBA’s interesting historic footnotes. I know well versed NBA fans that are now in their 50’s who recall little about the Braves, yet history shows that for a brief shining moment professional basketball was significant and successful in Western New York.

To find out more about the history of the Buffalo Braves, look for the book “Buffalo, Home of the Braves”, available on and through its publisher SunBear Press.

Rod Keaton’s latest, 0-5

October 14, 2010 Leave a comment
0 – 5
bills 26 – jagwires 36
…so catch this….
…it’s the worst start for the bills in 25 years …. they were 0-5 in 1985..when Bruce Mathison was QB…and Eason Ransom was the TE…(but that team also had Bruce Smith, Andre Reed,Joe Cribbs ,  Fred Smerlas, Joe D,Jim Richter,  Jim Haslett, Darryl Talley and other decent talent…so there was hope…)
 …and we didn’t even get to watch the History -tying debacle  here in B-Lo….the remarkable-under-the-circumstances  three year sellout streak came to an abrupt end with the appearance of the lowly and uninteresting  jagwires……and so the game was blacked out….at least it was beautiful, sunny , Fall day … I went for a long bike ride along the Tonawanda Creek bikepath………saw a lot of brilliantly colored trees…….most of the boats are out of the water………….not much rant material in that though…..
…so….to paraphrase Edwin Starr and  War ……Blackouts …what are they good for??…absolutely nothing!…. since there is no argument that bigtime sports , and the NFL in particular , is ALL about money,  I cannot figure out WHY there is still a Blackout Rule…..???….really…….it makes no Business Sense…
…so …does the NFL keep the Blackout  to “protect” the  Owners??……the Blackout Rule – in theory –  is designed to help the Owners  enhance game day revenues…..”Come to the game or miss out  on seeing your team!“……..but The Reality is that in all but about 6 or 8 NFL markets the Blackout Rule is not even an issue…..the sport  is so freakin’ popular that most NFL teams’ home games are sold out well  in advance  and have long waiting lists…. ……so, is it just the “small market teams ” that get screwed by this horrible rule ??….not always…Sandy Ego – which is about the 6th largest city in the country doesn’t sell out….atlanta  and phoenix when they  had bad teams didn’t sell out…….the Det-riot area is still huge …and they don’t sell out because…well , you know why…..because it’s the forever-rebuilding, Division II lyin’s ……….
………The Reality is that the Blackout Rule Appears To Protect Bad Owners….   that’s it.          …..and the operative word is “Appears
…the Blackout allows a few Bad Owners  like Ralph Wilson , and the Fords in Det-riot, bidwell in AZ , crazy al davis in choakland…… who consistently put out a bad product….to hold their vulnerable fan base hostage…
…but….the NFL as a business entity  does not  benefit by not showing their product to  several million fans every week just because a few  perennially inferior teams “only” sell 62,000 of its 71,000 seats………using the  Blackout  “belt” to punish and alienate fans ,who buy all that NFL-licensed  logo apparel and tune in faithfully to watch their team,  ain’t a good business move….
….the TV Networks – who are the REALLY BIG money suppliers to the NFL don’t win when a whole geographical area is blacked out….they lose advertising  fees…and the the local tv stations lose likewise…..bars and restaurants lose too ……I don’t get WHY the tv Networks Dogs  continue to let the NFL tail do this ..??…when the Networks   clearly call the shots on almost everything else football related … ( ie –  access to players/coaches for interviews ….ubiquitous pre-game shows…. Monday Night Football…Thursday Night Football…Sat Night Football…Sunday Afternoon Football….Sunday Night Football…..telecast-friendly starting times of 8:36 ….6:39….etc…ability to “flex” the start of “high interest” games  from afternoon to night  if they choose… games running until after midnight East Coast Time so that the west coast can see them.)
The Reality is  that ALL non-sellouts are the TEAM OWNERS fault…. if you have even a remotely decent team in the NFL – regardless of market size – your team’s game will sell out……….(see B-lo, cleveburg, sin city, kansas shitty, new orleans, phx…etc….) ……ok Sandy Ego and the three  former LA teams are an exception to The Reality….  because it’s Southern California….and everyone knows they’re weird people…. hey dude, like it is just not a pro football market despite it’s massive size ….so like chill….
…and The Reality is  the fans also lose out  because of this stupid Rule ….The Reality is that with the current costs of attending a game…$65-$400/ticket….$25-$100 to park …..$8 beers….$6 hot dogs…..$500 fines for DWI……a guy taking two offspring to a game will probably drop $200-$400 just to watch from the end zone…….a lot of  fans have literally been priced out the market in terms of actually attending games….yet they still love to watch and support  “their” team…..and tv broadcasts build team support…which translates to merchandising $$$
…also….an important point……I’m gonna guess that EVERY team in the NFL receives some kind of “public assistance” from the taxpayers in its community….mostly via lucrative stadium deals…the “pay back ” for accepting  this generous community handout  should be NO Blackouts ( hey Congress – wake up!) …..
…so ….if the fans don’t show up on Sunday( or Mon, or Thurs, or Sat) ….and game day revenue goes down ….too-effin-bad…… it’s The Owner’s fault! ….give HIM the incentive/penalty  to market a decent team by taking away the rusty axe he now holds over the fans’ collective  heads….EVERYONE will benefit…….gggrrrr…..
…ok…back to the blacked out game I didn’t see…..when you have a 3-0 advantage  in take-aways most teams probably win…..but..( play trump card) …..when the other team can go the WHOLE game without even ONE punt…your team  probably loses…
….when you get the ball inside the 3 yard line ..first and goalon two drives  in the first quarter…most teams  should probably get two TDs  and build up an intimidating 21-3 lead…..but ( play second trump card)….when you have sub-NFL quality offensive linemen who jump regularly offsides and hold on first down….your team  probably only gets two FGs….and only has a flimsy 13-3 lead….which they blow by halftime….
…..despite not forcing any punts…and giving up over 200 yards rushing….there may be one bright spot on defense…..they only gave up 36 points this week!!…down from the past two weeks when they gave up 38…..#11 pick in last year’s NFL draft ….alleged LB  aaron maybe ….played TWO downs in the game!!!…..depite starting only 10 games in college at $tate Penn…..he was given a $25 million contract to be an “impact player”…….and cannot even get on the field for  a team that gave up 36 points over 200 yards rushing…to the lowly jagwires ….???..
….what can I say?….this is a weak  team with flaws everywhere….and few real bright spots…….tyne daley and co have not shown us anything in terms of coaching improvement over last year’s  inept, and boring , cadaveresque crew…….
…but  I hate that everyone around here seems to be “going French ” and already running up the white flag so soon….and  resigned / hoping of getting the #1 pick in next April’s draft….be careful what you wish for……I would NOT want the bills to get the  first pick…unless there was a Peyton Manning -type player avaialble…which there isn’t ….( more likely to get a jamarcus russell or alex smith )….
….The Turk came one day early this week( not Tuesday??) …former 2008 third round pick /alleged LB Chris Ellis got waived for non-pass rushing and non-tackling….( on the team , this is called  “aaron maybe disease” ) ….. and  yeah I barely heard of him too… .
 …fortunately the bills have a BYE next week….cooter &Co can step back and figure out why their guys can’t tackle…or block…or throw…or catch….or not commit penalties….and then they can tweek things……and in two weeks come out with a vengeance against the crows in bal-more…………… ( is $tanford QB  Andrew Luck going to be in the draft this year??)
..moving the chains…
Endangered Species Dept : three more QBs got wrecked on Sunday….gradkowski ( choakland) …..Rodgers( Green Boys)…and Wallace ( Cleveburg) …. but who’s counting??….
….I was listening to Colin Cowherd’s  radio show the other day …IMO he is the most entertaining /informative sports common-‘tater in the media …..he was discussing the paradoxical weekend strategy  known as the  “Victory Tax“….whereby, you as a fan, would be well -advised to bet a small amount of money AGAINST  your favorite team EVERY week....the reasoning being that IF your team wins you are happy.. ..because they are your favs….and IF your team loses you are happybecause now you have won some extra money to go out  partying away the blues caused by your team’s loss…….interesting….you are happy no matter what!!…..and who doesn’t want to be happy in America??
..Another Bad Sign Dept : it’s getting harder and harder  find a bar in WNY that has the NFL Ticket….( some sports bars still have it) … costs so much…around $8000/season  I was told ….and it’s not enough to just have all those games on in your bar in WNY …you need to also have some “drink specials” to lure in the frugal fans here in B-Lo….so,  you have to sell an awful lot of $2.50 Blue Lights  just to pay for that $500 / day  tv lineup….can’t really blame the bars….
minnie -soda and the new jersey j-e-s-t are on MNF  now..after a lightning delay ( would it have been ironic if sandy ego chargers  was playing there??) …..and it’s a downpour now…new jersey/nyc ??…nice weather…..WHO could live there??..
bert ..bert..bert….shoulda stayed gone  when you were The King…….j’accuse!!………….yeah ..I know all that crap about “presumed innocence ” blah blah blah…….but even o.j. simpson doesn’t buy bert farve’s  half-hearted denials of the sordid sexting claims by several women that just surfaced.( …uh..don’t want to go..uh..into that…”  ….???…that’s it??…that’s all you got???………and having seen/heard the evidence on the website  I have to say that unless the CIA or Frank Caliendo is out to get bert…he is in a heap o’ trouble….if ben-rot got 4 games suspension for his adolescent sexual transgressions …this has got to be at least that much… ( plus he has got to be  in big trouble back home…yeow)…… judge for yourself….but Warning: it IS very explicit in places…( now you’ll check it out  for sure!) .
…BUT…..on the plus side…I hear that desperate “news” network  CNN  is talking about a new talk show gig for him ….teaming up with fellow uber-stud elliott spitzer…. they’re  gonna call it ” #4 and #9 “ …….
Favorite Player-Name O’ The Week… boy LB …Desmond Bishop “tutu”  ….’s the only time of year I watch baseball…..but it’s a great tv sport in hi def….and there’s  been some really good games……so much strategy….I wish all pitchers worked  as fast as philly’s Cole Hamels….no wasting time ….I also wish the sport-ruining yankee$  to lose…….
Serious Question…(and I know from experience the Rantees usually have the Answers) ….: What’s up with those  rope-like colored necklaces that so many  baseball players wear??….no other sports guys wear those…??…………………………( and …um….where can I get one??….they are much cooler than those black nylon stretch- caps the football players wear…..and wouldn’t it be cool to text a pic of me wear……….nevermind…..)
….UB BULLS HIT …..Bulls coming off a BYE week play a mac game  at Northern Illinois …..that opponent appears to have  only one famous alumni of note…but he’s a pretty good one….Dan Castellaneta (Class of ‘79)….who is the Emmy Award winning voice of Homer Simpson !! ( D’OH!)
…FYI…..Baseball Sneeker strip  attached….
–  Hunter Mahan …..U.S. golfer / choker  that let us all down…..and cost America the beloved Ryder Cup last week …..(  damn …I wish I woulda bet a small amount of money against America…I’d be happy now!)  

Cardinal sins haunt Bills

September 28, 2010 1 comment

by Chris Wendel

After finally deciding  to place this year’s quarterback hopes on the back of Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Buffalo Bills today released Trent Edwards. At the same time the Bills are plenty of showing potential to secure the worst record in the NFL and the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. The departure of Edwards highlights one of many glaring problems for a franchise that is irrelevant in NFL discussions outside of Western New York.

Edwards, a third round pick out of Stanford in the 2007 draft (by the way, a dud of a draft for quarterbacks) never emerged as a leader and the Bills offense languished in ineffectiveness.

Looking ahead it will be interesting to see the Bills have the opportunity to draft Andrew Luck another quarterback from Stanford. Luck will come in the NFL with a lot more hype and talent than Edwards. All of this begs several other questions:

  1. Will the Bills pony up the money for a first overall quarterback, similar to the six year $86 million deal Sam Bradford recently signed with the St. Louis Rams?
  2. How will the impending NFL labor dispute affect the 2011 Bills draft?
  3. Should the Bill take a high first round pick and choose a top notch offensive or defensive lineman instead of a quarterback?

For now the thought of another Stanford quarterback quarterbacking the Bills may be tough to consider.