Crankypants Rod Watson won't let Bills fans enjoy their week

As you undoubtedly know by now, the Buffalo Bills are a playoff team for the first time since I reached puberty. Doug Flutie still won't be their quarterback for their showdown in Jacksonville, but another quarterback who's a slightly undersized dual threat will be under center so it's all okay.

Since the last time the Bills played beyond Week 17, we've lived through eight Fast and Furious movies, four presidencies, the deaths of Robin Williams, short airport waits, AIM, and Osama bin laden, the entirety of Arnold Schwarzenegger's political career, and the releases of 25 different variations of Pepsi. The fact that no Bills playoff games occurred in the same span that featured two separate TV shows starring Kevin James and Leah Remini is something to marvel at.

But Buffalo News columnist Rod Watson is not amazed. Or amused. Or even apathetic. In fact, he's downright angry.

At the inevitable watch parties, we should use halftime for mass therapy sessions to reaffir…

The IOC did better (this time)

This afternoon, IOC President Thomas Bach announced that the Russian Olympic Committee would be banned from competing in PyeongChang, South Korea when the XXIII Winter Olympic Games get underway in February. The Russians have been under intense scrutiny following widespread doping allegations throughout the organization surrounding the 2014 Games the country hosted in Sochi. Some athletes will still be allowed to participate, provided they can pass a rigorous and thorough examination.

The "Olympic Athletes from Russia" who are admitted will compete under the Olympic flag  will certainly draw plenty of attention, but it'll be the athletes missing from the games who will be the primary talking points in the lead-up to and throughout the Olympics. Among the highest-profile sports hit by the verdict will be ice hockey.
The NHL announced several months ago that it would not release its players and put a three-week hiatus in the middle of its season, and now the KHL will follow …

Rob Gronkowski is not a Buffalo guy

The second half of yesterday's Bills-Patriots game was only the second ugliest thing viewers witnessed on Sunday.

In the late stages of the game with Buffalo down by three scores and New England well on their way to yet another win, Tre'Davious White was locked onto Rob Gronkowski well beyond what the rules allow. His holding went uncalled, and allowed him to pick off Tom Brady's attempted pass to Gronkowski. White made the catch and went out of bounds, stopping the play. After getting up from his fall, however, Gronkowski took exception to the tugging and jostling by dropping all 265 pounds of himself onto White's head, sending him to the locker room early and into concussion protocol:

There were multiple penalties called during the ensuing fray, with Gronkowski earning an offsetting unnecessary roughness penalty but no ejection, while Buffalo's Jerry Hughes got 15 yards for yelling at an official after the cheap shot. However, the Bills still maintained possession,…

Predicting the 2018 World Cup

Earlier this morning, the draw was held to determine the groups for the 2018 World Cup. Obviously the United States won't be participating, so instead of focusing on how they would have done, let's take a look at the tournament as a whole.

 --- Group stage ---

The lack of a true group of death means Cinderellas will be less likely and big time, big money favorites will go deep, ensuring FIFA's pockets get deeper.

Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

I dunno if we’re talking Human Rights Group A is the Group of Death tbqh — Ryan Keefer (@reefa_k) December 1, 2017
Somehow not even a top-three contender for the most controversial host of this millenium, the Russians drew a fairly easy group to contend with. I'm sure that sits well with Russian football authorities who will be hoping the national team can advance to the knockout stage for the first time since the breakup of the Soviet Union. 

Arguably the strongest contender in the group is Egypt. Riding a wave of moment…

Jake’s Takes: Dealing Kane offers plenty of upside

By Jake Dehlinger

The Buffalo Sabres must trade Evander Kane.
I said it. It might not be what you want to hear, but I’ll offer some perspective.
Too many fans believe that he should be re-signed. In reality, we need to look at the team as a whole. There is no denying that Kane is essentially 25 percent of the team’s offense this season. Unfortunately for us Sabres fans, this is a problem. Too many variables play into why the Sabres must deal Kane before the deadline. Ultimately, it is up to general manager Jason Botterill with what he wants to do. Realistically, I think we will see Kane gone from a Buffalo uniform.
Goal scoring is at an absolute premium in the NHL. If you can finish off of playmakers, teams want you. Teams who are looking to make deep postseason runs are definitely going to take a run at players like that.
Enter Evander Kane.
Kane’s stat line currently reads 12 goals and 23 points through 25 games played. That is incredible. He has scored the most even-strength goals dating…

Old Team Tuesday to undergo changes

As some of you more faithful readers may have noticed, last week went by without an Old Team Tuesday entry. This week will be more of the same.


I have decided to push the (usually) weekly feature until later on in the week. Starting next week, Old Team Tuesday will become Defunct Franchise Friday.

It will still hold the same content, standards, and informative value with just a few extra days of preparation to ensure the articles are timely, organized, and well-edited.

In the mean time, I'd like to hear from you as to what the first Defunct Franchise Friday should be. Cast your vote in the poll below:

What team should next week's post discuss? — Matt Birt (@BirtMC) November 28, 2017