Bills, Sabres Getting Ready but Sun Still Shining

 

 

Well, the Buffalo Bills have opened camp to prepare for their second season under head coach Rex Ryan.  Could this be the year the Bills end the longest playoff drought in major sports?

Of course we won’t really know the answer to that question for some time, probably not until the dead of winter when cold and snow blanket Western New York and frigid fans are hoping they have something to cheer about, if not the Bills then maybe the Sabres.

Unfortunately, reality intrudes more often than not when it comes to local sports teams, and the chances of either the Bills or the Sabres making a serious playoff run appear more hope than reality.

The Bills need to plug some gaping holes on defense, find a second or third receiver to complement the oft-injured Sammy Watkins, and let Tyrod Taylor try to win with his arm, not his legs, and lead the team to the playoffs, something that would be treated like a Super Bowl given the 16 years of failure.

 

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Buffalo Bills Coach Rex Ryan

As for the Sabres, it looks like they could improve slightly over last season, but frankly I don’t see enough firepower on that team unless Jack Eichel or somebody else can score 30 or more goals and be a force to be reckoned with, a go-to guy who can make a difference.  You know, a star-type player like, dare I say it, Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks.

And speaking of go-to guys, that’s what the Bills need, especially with their worst nightmare, Tom Brady, sidelined for the first four games of the season.  If Taylor is going to be that go-to guy, he needs to start strong and let his teammates know he’s got what it takes.   Maybe he does and he certainly deserves a chance with that decent first year under his belt.  But in the NFL these days, it is the passing game that wins, and the Bills must block for Taylor, avoid penalties, and have a receiving corps that stays healthy and makes big plays.  And he must be able to make the over-the-middle throws and make the adjustments at the line to be mentioned with the likes of Brady.

As things stand now, I’m happy we’re still enjoying these wonderful summmer days and football and hockey can wait their turn.  Give me sunshine and fresh air, and I don’t need the Bills or the Sabres to enjoy life.  I have learned to turn off most of the pre-season hype geared to the diehards who no matter how many times they have been disappointed keep coming back for more.

I like to say that I’ll get interested in the teams if they show something on field when it counts.  Exhibition games and pre-season hockey games are for the birds.  I wouldn’t pay a dime to watch either.  But there are fans who will, and  I guess that’s a good thing for the franchises and the millionaire players who play the game.  Now I know both sports are tough on mind and body, but watching losing teams is no picnic, and sadly that’s what we’ve had for so long it is hard to remember anything else.

Of course like all of us who call Western New York home, I’m hoping we win the big one sometime soon but it’s nothing I can control and win or lose, life goes on as we all know.  Sure, I’m hoping for the best but meanwhile I’m enjoying these wonderful days of summer and wish they would never end.  I love our four seasons, but winter is definitely too long and summer much too short.  As for the Bills and Sabres, I hope I’m wrong and both teams have great seasons.  That will help in the cold, dark days ahead.

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