The John Review – Week 6


Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)

Wow what a great game!

I turned on the TV Sunday and saw it was exactly what the city of Buffalo needed. Half of the people were without power, spirits were low, and that come from behind victory blowout had everybody feeling good again.

Then the MSG re-broadcast of the previous night’s Sabres game ended and it was time for football.

I hope you will all forgive me because I’m not going to get into a detailed review of this week’s game. I was so upset and disappointed by it (ask the guys in the BBR chatroom) that I’m going to leave the finer points to the rest of the BBR guys. Instead I want to touch on something that needs to be said that nobody else is saying.

I know a lot of the people reading this article are from Buffalo, but for those that aren’t, let me set the scene: Saturday night I drove up there from Rochester for my cousin’s wedding, there were trees down everywhere, not only were half of the residents without power, but half of the street and traffic lights were out. My Grandmother’s 87-year-old cousin had no food, running water or power in her apartment. My uncle had trees smash two of his cars and no power in his house because the downed power line was in his pool.

And the rest of the country could care less.

The interesting thing has been watching how the people of Buffalo reacted to its worst October storm in the history of the weather service. Instead of waiting for George Bush to come in and save them while gangs looted Wal-Marts, they got out whatever supplies they had and started clearing trees out of the road, bringing supplies to the elderly, and helping people get out of their homes.

All while the rest of the world ignored them.

The people of Buffalo (or all of Western NY for that matter) are a special type of people. We get knocked down, beat up and walked over, whether it’s in sports, politics or weather, but we pick ourselves back up, brush ourselves off and keep on pressing. We never wait for others to save us because we learned a long time ago that relying on others would only leave you more disappointed.

All we’ve ever asked for is a team that represents those principles.

They call Buffalo a blue-collar rock pile, and say it like it’s something to be embarrassed about. The truth is, yes Buffalo is a really tough place to live sometimes, but all that means is that Buffalonians are tough people. In fact, I’d even wager some of the elderly from that city could whoop just about anybody from Florida’s ass.

Last week the Bills rolled over completely for the lossless Bears, and this week rolled over again for the winless Lions. That’s not what my people are about. The area I’m from will lose kicking and screaming, come at you hard and no matter how bad it gets, keep coming until the whistle blows.

Like being down 52-17 late in the fourth quarter and still running all out to knock the ball out of Leon Lett’s hand on the one yard line, even though it wouldn’t change the outcome of the game. When Don Beebe did that in Super Bowl XXVII, it was more than a symbol of the determination of that team, it was a true illustration of what it means to be from Western NY.

Last year the Sabres provided another illustration in the Eastern Conference Final, when 6 out of 10 of their defensemen were lost due to injuries. They refused to be intimidated by the Carolina Hurricanes. Guys who spent the entire season in the minor league were starting for the Sabres in game 6 and stepped up and brought the series to a final seventh game. Two periods in to the final game Buffalo was even leading by one goal. Unfortunately fatigue and lack of healthy players caught up to them and they were finally overwhelmed in the final period by the soon to be champion Hurricanes.

So yeah they lost, but man they went down swinging, and that’s the kind of people Western New Yorkers are. So to the Bills: you have found yourselves in a tough spot, too bad. It’s time to join the rest of your city, grab a shovel and dig yourselves out.