Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Buffalo Bill also killed

Buffalo, with a few exceptions (Kohat, Pakistan; Detroit, Michigan; possibly Pyongyang, North Korea), is one of the saddest places I've ever been to. There are no jobs, the teams suck, the stadium has the amenities of a Roman coliseum, and the people are unmitigated hicks. On the whole, the city peaked somewhere around 1900, when it was the 8th-largest city in America and President William McKinley was assassinated there. I observe America through Buffalo, since the American TV channels I get are all Buffalo affiliates. On Sunday nights, there is a half-hour show dedicated to the day's football game.

Dedicating 30 minutes to a 60-minute football game, not to mention its snowbound, windy location on the other side of the Great Lakes, are the two saving graces of Buffalo. They would be the case normally, if not for the exposition of incompetence they've been putting on at Ralph Wilson Stadium dating back to the time that they pulled Doug Flutie and put in Rob Johnson because the latter was tall, good-looking and young.

Yesterday, unless you somehow contrived to spend all afternoon viewing the Bills constantly one-up the Browns in trying to lose the game, the Bills lost 6-3 thanks to a fumbled punt late in the fourth quarter. The story of the day is that Browns' quarterback Derek Anderson went 2-17 for 23 yards and one interception and Buffalo still found a way to lose. The people of Buffalo may look stupid and they probably are, but they know a lot about footall. The loud, merciless boos that greeted witless, hapless coach Dick Jauron as he left the field are evidence to this.

Elsewhere in the league, you could have also seen the Broncos beat the Patriots, which is the single most significant development at Mile High Stadium since John Elway ran out the clock with one last deep pass in winning the 1998 AFC championship game. Personally I'm still convinced that the 2-2 Chargers will find a way to win the division over the 5-0 Broncos, but I'm probably in the minority here.

The Colts, Vikings and Giants are also 5-0, all three beating up on NCAA Division I-AA-type teams in the Titans, Giants and Rams. The pushover play of the week probably came from the Vikings' Kevin Wiliams, part of their Great Wall of Williams, who scared Rams quarterback Kyle Boller so much that Boller just dropped the ball. This led to a touchdown. Don't look now, but the Rams have lost 15 straight games going back to last season, with only a fraction of the attention that the Lions got for their 19. If they go 0-16 this year, they will tie the record of 26 straight losses.

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