Saturday, September 19, 2009

Delinquent behavior in Billsland

The story of those juvenile delinquents vandalizing Leodis McKelvin's lawn with spray paint after the Bills cornerback committed that crucial fumble Monday night brought back memories of another Buffalo player who was victimized by overzealous teenages.

Early, during the 1966 season, Bills kicker Booth Lusteg missed a 23-yard field goal attempt in the waning moments of a game and Buffalo had to settle for a 17-17 tie with the San Diego Chargers. While walking from War Memorial Stadium to his apartment following the game, Lusteg was beaten up by several teenagers who had snuck up on him. The kicker refused to press charges, and through the years the story has taken on a lighter, more humorous tone. Asked why he didn't want the kids arrested, Lusteg supposedly replied: "Because I deserved the beating after the way I've performed.''


My "talking-Bills-fans-off-the-ledge'' column after that heartbreaking 25-24 loss to the Patriots in New England the other night elicited scores of responses on Facebook, Twitter and my e-mail box. My feeble attempt at psychiatry apparently worked for some, but not for all. Here is an interesting stream of responses I received that kind of sum things up:

Well said, if we play as well as we did last night, every game, I will be happy I invested in season tickets. Go Bills.
-Laura O'Brien

Yeah, but I still felt like I was watching the ball roll through Buckner's legs again... High "maybe this time" hopes followed by the witch doctor once again pulling your heart from your chest as you watch its final beats as hope expires... but I'm not bitter :(
-Jeff Chafitz

True but this wasn't the 1986 World Series, it was game 1 of the season. Yes, I believe we share a similar but incomparable curse as a team.. Or city for that matter. The Buffalo Sabres have been known to break hearts.- Laura O'Brien

Good stuff (as always), Scott. - Lori Chase

As a Patriots fan (born in Buffalo by the way) I am happy for the outcome of Monday night's game. Yet I will say that the Bills impressed me with the way they played. They would have won that game had that fumble not occured.
- Mark Giardina

In perspective, the Bills did so much better than I expected and I'm pleased. But after so many "wide right" moments, it would be nice to find some balance in my sport fan life.
- David Lewis

Yes...the glass is half full Scribe! I have them going undefeated the rest of the way. (It was a 64 oz. glass and it was filled to the top with Wodka...before I chugged half of it.) Still think they're goin'...ALL...THE...WAY!

- Max Robertson

That explains your logic!
- Brad Cupples

(EDITOR'S NOTE: My predictions probably could use a little vodka - or wodka - as Max wrote.)

And this separaItalicte e-mail from Gary Wagner another long-suffering Bills fan (By the way is there any other kind?):

I, too, am encouraged. My prediction for Monday's game was 42-0, and that N. E. would score on their first possession. The final result made it a lot less painful for me. Like my heart was only broken, not ripped out of my chest.


In an effort to cheer up Bills fans, let me say this: At least you don't root for the Pittsburgh Pirates. You think you have it rough, well, how about those poor Pirate fans. They just set a record for most consecutive losing seasons by a North American sports team (17). Pirate fans, though, do have a few sporting championship distractions going for them that Bills fans don't - the Steelers are coming off a record-setting 5th Super Bowl victory and the Pittsburgh Penguins won last season's Stanley Cup.


As this oldtimer prepares to head down to the Genesee Country Village and Museum to play 19th century base ball on this beautiful autumnal afternoon, it's time for a few predictions:

Syracuse, after decent performances vs. Minnesota and Penn State, will break into the win column tonight against Northwestern (if receiver Mike Williams holds onto the ball). Call it, Cuse 27-20.

And the Bills will break into the win column Sunday in their home opener vs. Tampa Bay by a 27-17 score as T.O. catches his first TD pass for Buffalo.

You read it hear first. And please check out this cyeberspace tomorrow for a post-game column on the Bills game. I've also been doing some work as a correspondent for Bills Insider, so feel free to check that stuff out, too.


Congratulations to former Olympians Iris and Felicia Zimmermann on their purchase and re-opening of the Rochester Fencing Center. I couldn't think of two better or more qualified people to run the place. I wish them nothing but success. And belated congrats to Terri and Herb Ross on their 55th wedding anniversary. Fantastic people.


One final note: Instead of posting your comments on Facebook and Twitter, please press on the blue word "comment'' just beneath this offering. I'll be glad to respond, and, hopefully, so will others. Thanks for reading and come back often.

1 comment:

MattRichWarren said...

Hey Scott,

I have enjoyed reading your blogs for a while now and link to them often on I wanted to let you know about a program we are spearheading behind one of our members in the aftermath of the Leodis McKelvin incident. Please visit and check out what Tim Petrella has set up. In honor of Leo we have raised over $3650 to donate to his favorite Buffalo charity, Kids Escaping Drugs. We want to prove to McKelvin, the Bills, media, fans, and everyone listening that not all Bills fans are stupid teenagers who will beat up a kicker or vandalize someone's property. Thanks for helping to spread the word.