Category Archives: sports

Well, well, well Buddy Nix has been reading my letters

Buddy Nix finally crawled out from hiding yesterday and issued some statements. They are OBVIOUSLY in reply to my postings. 🙂

First, I’m finally happy to learn he’s not blind. He admitted that the team is an utter disaster.

He asked the fans be patient, that the rebuilding will take time.

See that’s what I still have an issue with. Buddy Nix was with the organization since January 2009. While it’s great that he’s finally doing SOMETHING in week 4 of 2010, more should have been done before the season started. A lot more.

His reasoning is that they wanted to evaluate things for themselves. Man o man. Did the man watch any game film whatsoever? I used to subscribe to the notion that “if fans were so smart, then why aren’t they GM?” Well this is one rare case where fans (and media alike) showed that they knew a lot more about the team than the “experts.”

So while we’re busy being patient while the team implodes, Buddy Nix is only now learning what he should have known long long ago.

He also addressed the Kelsay resigning. While he said that “no one is safe” on the roster, he defended his resigning of Kelsay to keep some veteran leadership. He went on to say that they realize that there is a culture of losing on the team and in the locker room, and they aim to fix it. He also alluded to knowing that Kelsay wasn’t any good!!!! Sooooooooooo. If you say no one is safe, you say you want to kill the losing culture, and you allude to the fact that Kelsay isn’t good, THEN WHY DO YOU RESIGN HIM? That action right there is what’s maintaining the losing culture.

I have a mix of emotions right now:

  • Should I be happy Buddy Nix finally “gets it”?
  • Should I be mad that it took Buddy Nix this long to get it?
  • Should I have faith that Buddy Nix will make the right moves? He oversaw the Maybin draft pick and extended Kelsay afterall.

Well, no I’m not happy and I have no faith in Nix. I still don’t think he realizes how terrible the team really is and he doesn’t have the skill to fix it.

Marshawn Lynch Trade

I though I’d weigh in on this since I’ve been chronicling all of the Buffalo Bills blunders.

I don’t dislike the trade. It’s too late though. The trade should have happened in the off-season, not 4 games into the season. But it’s better than nothing I guess.

I have a bigger problem with the perceived value of draft picks. This isn’t a problem for only the Bills.

So the Bills give up a well above average running back for a 4th round draft pick. Ok.

I’d like to know what percentage of 4th round draft picks end up being better than average. I’d be willing to guess it’s a small percentage. I don’t see why the value of a proven talent isn’t more than the gamble of a draft pick. Same with the Randy Moss trade. I think it’s a product of the monkey see, monkey do, behavior that’s rampant in the NFL.

Dear Buddy Nix

Dear Buddy,

Well, well, well. What did you think of the team’s performance yesterday? Are you surprised? I’m not. You did nothing at all to improve the team for 2 straight years. Yes two. Although you were GM for one, you were with the team for 2, correct? You and the rest of the imbeciles in the front office. Do you have any say in personnel matters, or is it all Ralph?

Funny thing happened this week. You gave a contract extension to Chris Kelsay. Granted he’s a super nice guy from everything I’ve read about him, but on the football field he is a liability. Don’t you see that? Don’t you watch the games? Doesn’t it bother you to see him futility try to cover rookie tight ends? Doesn’t it bother you to see running backs run right by him over and over again?

This tells me you have no clue. You are in over your head. You took two straight years off. You set the team back even further. With you in charge, I doubt we’ve even seen “rock-bottom.” Do yourself and Bills fans a favor and quit. Unless you enjoy being the laughing stock of professional sports.

Mad Bills Fan,

Matt Soreco

MMA Paradox

I haven’t posted anything about MMA yet. Over the last few years, I’ve gotten into the sport more and more. I remember being introduced to the sport not long after it started 17-18 years ago. I was perusing a section of videos at Blockbuster Video when I came across a UFC 1 tape. Intrigued, I rented it and was hooked. I remember renting and re-renting the first few (probably 5-6 of them) over and over.

I don’t remember which one, but there was to be a UFC event held on pay per view, which I was all set to order and watch. I’ve always been a causal fan of boxing, and have never ever paid money to watch a fight, which should tell you how excited I was to watch this. If I remember correctly, a law in NY State was enacted days (if not the exact day) before the event which prevented it to air in NY—even on PPV.

I’ve seen and heard other people refer to this time as the dark years. They surely were for me. It took a good 10+ years for me to even realize the sport/UFC promotion was still around. Remember this is in the early days of the internet too, so I couldn’t catch up on sites like YouTube, on blogs, etc. That tells you something about the times too.

Like many other “new” MMA fans, the introduction (or re-introduction) came when Spike aired their Ultimate Fighter (TUF) challenge, which was a competition for up-and-comers to earn a contract with the UFC. More so than TUF though, what really got me reengaged is Spike’s replays of former fights and events. It let me catch up to what I had missed.

The sport changed quite a bit since the beginnings. First, although there were impressive feats by pioneer Royce Gracie over much bigger opponents in the beginning, the sheer athletic prowess of a lot of the early competitors wasn’t like it is today. Second, a lot more rules were put in place to make it more of a sport, and less of a brawl.

The sport has grown tremendously since the first TUF aired on Spike. And with the growth, it’s recently seen some growing pains based on fan feedback. There seems to be a paradox (or several).

First, there are fans who want to see an “all out war” and other fans that see it more as a sport with the objective to win any way (even by judges’ decision). The dilemma comes in because the blood-thirsty fans are probably among the longest, most loyal, and most passionate fans. As far as growth is concerned, to appeal to a wider audience, and make it more of a “sport,” the UFC has to disappoint their base a little. A win is a win in any sport.

For me, and even most hardcore fans agree, I want to see the best of the best display a mix of skills. It’s “mixed martial arts” for a reason. Here’s where I seem to differ from most other fans. I do not want to see two guys “bang” for three rounds no matter how hard or bloody it gets. If I want to see highly skilled striking, I’ll watch boxing, muay thai, or kickboxing. Same for wrestling, grappling, jujitsu, etc. There are plenty of fights and fighters who mix it up, and that’s what I want to see. I think the continued growth of the sport depends on the mix.

Second, The striking vs. grappling debate gets muddied. Sure, no one wants a long “lay and pray” fight. I think though that is a symptom, not the problem with some fights. I think the real problem, which creates some boring fights, is strategy.

I don’t want to imply one bit that I’m an expert by any means. These are just my observations. I see 3 types of fight strategies:
1) Aggressive offense – which can come in any form (striking, takedown, ground and pound, submission)
2) Countering – waiting for the opponent to make a mistake or leave themselves open to a counter of any form (again, striking, takedown, ground and pound, submission)
3) Safe (or point fighting) – take no real chances throughout the fight, but keep busy in order to win a decision.

For the most part, not every fighter sticks to only one of those categories in all fights or even throughout one single fight.

I think the matchup of fighters employing the strategies above make or break a fight. I think #3 is responsible for most boring fights. But even #2 can create some snooze fests. But even both can create some exciting fights too.

Thinking back to boxing, two of my favorite fighters were Pernell Whitaker and Oscar De La Hoya. When they fought, the fight was boring. Both employed a mix of 2&3.

If you have two fighters, and both wait to counter each other, and neither gives up an opening, you have a boring fight.

I don’t mind the wrestling. Like most others, I do want to see aggressive fights. I just think the argument gets too wrapped up in fighting styles, and not enough in overall fighting strategies. A wrestler who plays it safe will be boring. There are plenty of guys with wrestling backgrounds who are very aggressive. So to blame boring fights solely on wrestling itself if misguided.

In the end, I don’t think there is anything they can do to change the rules to make fights more exciting. Some will be bores, we just have to deal with it.

Bills Cut Edwards, Strange but ok

The Bills management seems to finally have had it with low quality play. First, they benched Trent Edwards in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick last week. Then Fitzpatrick started against the Patriots, and performed much better than we’ve seen from Edwards.

Following the respectable play from Fitzpatrick, the Bills went ahead and cut Edwards. This is a strange move in my opinion. Why not just keep him as a backup?

If the Bills are trying to send a message that sub-average play is not acceptable, then great. But now they need to slice and dice some more. McCargo needs to go first. The man is inactive game after game. Why keep him around? Surely they can’t just go and cut EVERYONE who has underperformed or else there would not be too many players left. Hopefully the message is loud and clear enough for some of the other underperformers to hear and understand. That means Donte Whitner and Aaron Maybin too, whose mouths (or twitter tweets) don’t match their horrendous play.

The Barfalo Bills

Who could have guessed that the Bills would stink again this year? Well me. Also hundreds of fans I chat with on  message boards, twitter, and in person. I seems even the diehard optimists are starting to throw in the towel.

Now, I don’t mean throw in the towel on being a fan. Rather just losing hope that this team will ever be good with the leadership they have in place.

I’ve written about this many times before.

What disturbs me most is the anger and how it’s channeled. I’ve listened to two straight days of Buffalo radio. I’ve read the message boards. I’ve scoured twitter. Fans are getting on the QB (who has since been benched) and the coaching (who seems to “get it”).

Personally I thought the team would stink again, only be slightly better coached. The first part is right, the second is up for debate.

Fans, heed this message! The garbage you are seeing is the product of an inept front office and ownership. No coaches or single player at this point will make a difference. What you are seeing is years of personnel mistakes magnified by two years of complete disregard of upgrading any talent through free agency.

Fellow fans, please. Buddy Nix, not Trent Edwards is to blame. Ralph Wilson is to blame, not Chan Gailey. Tom Modrak is to blame, not draft busts like Aaron Maybin and Paul Posluszny.

The clowns in the front office have the plan to “build through the draft.” That’s a pipe-dream. No other team today does it without the luxury of having a solid foundation to begin with. The team is filled with no better than average to below average talent. There is no foundation.

If you plan to “build through the draft” you can’t wiff on picks like Aaron Maybin. Or else it’ll set you back a few years, like we’re seeing now.

“Re-building” is another excuse you’ll hear out of One Bills Drive. So, how’s the decade worth of rebuilding coming along? Seems to be getting worse and worse, no?

Unless there is a complete overhaul on this ill-conceived strategy and the front office makes a serious commitment to bring in quality proven talent, the decade of fail will start entering the century of fail realm.

Judging how this front office has performed and how they’ve squandered recent trade opportunities, I don’t see this team improving anytime soon.

Dear Buddy Nix

Dear Buddy;

Did you read my last letter to you? Apparently not.

Listen, the Buffalo Bills are terrible, and you are to blame. Yes YOU! You did virtually nothing this off-season to make the team better (which marks the second straight year of doing nothing to improve the team). What did you expect to happen? Besides your promotion, the front office staff has stayed the same, right? The same staff that’s responsible for a decade of sub-mediocrity. What exactly are you doing there?

By the looks of it, the Bills can use at least 2 linebackers, 2 wide receivers, 3 offensive linemen, and a defensive end who can rush the passer. Oh, and a QB. Granted a gem of a QB is hard to find, but why ignore the other positions? Some of these guys would not even make the roster on most other teams.

The team is a joke.

I’m watching you Buddy Nix. Get your act together. You might be seeing a billboard calling for your firing before you know it. Surely based on what you’ve done so far (nothing), you deserve it.

Yours Truly,

Disgruntled Bills Fan Matt Soreco

Follow up letter to Chan Gailey

Ok, so these aren’t “real” letters to Chan, but please just play along.

Dear Chan,

Last I wrote you I demanded that you get your act together and treat pre-season seriously. Something your predecessor failed miserably at (among other things he failed miserably at, including showing candor at press conferences, but I digress).

I’m glad you took my demand advice seriously. I like you as head coach. I think you’ll make a difference this year.

Perhaps I’ll write a follow up letter to Buddy Nix too. Perhaps he isn’t savvy with the world wide interwebs. I don’t think he read my last letter to him. Or maybe he did, but it was too late to change anything so late in the off-season. Or perhaps, since you obviously read my blog thoroughly, you can pass this on to him.

Let Buddy Nix know that even though I’m confident you’ll make a difference this year, the difference will be minimal. That’s no disrespect to you, it’s because you don’t have much talent to work with. Tell Buddy to wake the heck up and get some quality real free agents into Buffalo!!!

Look at the WR position. I like Roscoe, always did. Too bad Jauron “Jauroned” him. See whenever something fails, I call it “Jauroned.” Get it? Roscoe is no #2 WR though. I mean how can Buddy think by losing TO and Josh Reed, whoever was left over would pick up the slack?

Hey, that Spiller was an awesome draft pick, but how about the offensive line? What was good ole’ Buddy thinking when he basically did nothing to improve this already weak unit?

I know the problem is that the Bills have so many weaknesses that it’s hard to know where to begin. But the solution to that can’t be to hope every draft pick turns out to be a superstar. The draft is a gamble (see Aaron Maybin, the bust, for example). Therefore you really have to pick up some quality free agents.

I know in the priority of weaknesses, linebacker is not the top, but you have to be worried about Poz and Mitchell. I hope you are, because they’ve looked terrible, not just this pre-season, but previous seasons too.

So despite Buddy not getting you upgrades of at least 1 WR (can argue 2), 3 OLs, and 1 more LB, I see your coaching getting the Bills to a 7-9 season. Personally I’d consider an 8-8 season a monumental achievement given what you have to work with. Please don’t settle for 8-8 though. Please have a man t0 man talk with Buddy Nix. Souther style if you must. Tell him the front office has been pitiful the last decade, and he needs to fix it.

Thank you,

Matt Soreco

P.S.
You need to fix kick off coverage badly.

Open Letter to Buddy Nix

Dear Buddy,

I’m sure you saw that pathetic excuse for a team get romped on Friday. Didn’t you? Sure I know it’s just preseason, but doesn’t it worry you a bit?

I’ve seen the seen the same thing year in and year out over the last decade. Decade. Yes the Bills haven’t reached the playoffs in a decade. You know that, right? Are you doing everything you can to change that? Are you!?

Listen. I know your predecessors were arrogant enough to think they could sit on their hands all offseason and magically get more production out of the below average players on the team already. You don’t think that too, do you? If the first preseason game is any indication, it looks like you do.

Are you listening? Good. How in the world could you think that the WR position was ok after losing both TO and Josh Reed. Last years #1 WR and #3 WR. Only to have them replaced by one or two from a group of neverwillbes.

Look around the league. Half of the backups on other teams are better than the 3 scrubs you have competing for the starting QB role this year. Don’t you think something’s wrong with that picture? Hopefully Levi Brown can rise above the rest of them.

The offense, if at all possible, is LESS TALENTED than last season. What were you thinking!!!

Last I checked, the Bills were one of the top teams in teams with cap space. Why not spend some of that money and bring in some quality free agents? What the heck are you saving that money for?

Hopefully you’ll learn real soon. Hopefully you’ll change your approach to next offseason, which I’m sad to say I’m already thinking about (IN AUGUST!!!).

Open Letter to Chan Gailey

Dear Coach Gailey,

As you are well aware, the Bills haven’t made the playoffs in a decade. As you are aware too, you predecessor was soft. So soft that he’d adhere to the monkey see monkey do rules of preseason football that less innovative teams have all adopted. This meant having to watch the first team offense fail to gain a first down during most pre-season games, only to have them substituted for the 2nd string. This also meant having to watch the same futile offense take the field during the regular season, and watch helplessly as they continued their meager ways.

This letter is simple. It’s to ask, or better yet DEMAND, that if the first team offense or defense fails to produce anything of quality during the pre-season, DO NOT rest them. Make them stay on the field until they show some semblance of success.

Thank you,

Matt Soreco

PS. If you are a Bills fan, and you reference the super bowl Bills (of 18 years ago!!) as evidence that the “pre-season doesn’t matter”, well then WAKE UP!