Monday, December 10, 2012

Opining on the bungling Bills, Syracuse sensation Michael Carter-Williams and Yuk to the Yanks

The harsh reality of the yet another underachieving Bills season is this: Had safety George Wilson held onto a sure interception in a one-point loss to Tennessee two months ago and one of two balls he got his hands on during yesterday's ugly 15-12 loss to St. Louis, Buffalo would be 7-6 instead of 5-8 and in good shape to end its franchise-record and NFL-long streak of 12 seasons without a playoff appearance.

I feel badly for Wilson, one of the classier guys on the Bills roster. But when things have been going south for as long as they have for this cursed franchise, even the good guys start making bad plays. Losing definitely is contagious.

Adding to the pain of Wilson wearing the goat horns is the fact he came up as a wide receiver who was converted to defensive back. So you would expect he wouldn't, like many DBs, have hands of stone.


I don't understand the rationale among some Bills observers who argue against coaching, general manager and quarterback changes because the franchise has endured a revolving-door's worth of change this past decade. What makes people think that Chan Gailey is going to suddenly morph into a good head coach or that Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to become a playoff quarterback or that Buddy Nix's masterplan is working?

Hey, I, too, am dizzy from watching the revolving door spin at break-neck speed. But the body of work shows that things aren't much different from the Dick Jauron, Mike Mularkey, Greg Williams, Rob Johnson, J.P. Losman, Trent Edwards, Tom Donahoe eras. (You can read more about my take on the Bills fortunes at


Enjoy the Michael Carter-Williams assist-fest at the Carrier Dome while you can because the Syracuse sophomore guard is going to be making his passes in NBA arenas next winter.

After spending most of last season as a spectator behind Dion Waiters, Scoop Jardine and Brandon Triche, MCW is now running the show as the Orange point guard. And he's doing so in spectacular fashion. He's leading the nation in assists, with 10.4 per game, but there's much more to this gangly, 6-foot-6 guard's game than just distribution.

He's also a great driver, and can score when needed, as evidenced by his 12.4 points per game. With a wing-span reaching nearly 7 feet, he has established himself as a dogged defender, ranking among the nation's leaders in steals (3.8 spg.). Additionally, he's a superior rebounding guard (5.6 pg) and is averaging one block per contest.

The only weakness in his game is his outside shooting - he's hit just 22 percent of his 3-pointers.

But he has everything else that NBA coaches look for in a point guard, and should flourish in the pros.

MCW has been rapidly climbing in the 2013 mock drafts, going as high as 9th in one of the projections I perused. And if he continues dishing the way he has so far, his stock will only continue the soar the way Waiters did a year ago.


I just don't understand why the Yankees would throw a one-year $12-million contract at the steadily declining Kevin Youkilis. Here's a guy who will be 34 on Opening Day and is coming off two seasons in which he's hit .235 and .258, respectively. I understand there is a void left by A-Rod's absence, but I'd rather take my chances on a young, untested player. The Yankees profess they want to drastically cut payroll, but this looks like a poor investment to me. This team needs to get younger, not more decrepit.


Josh Hamilton taking aim at Yankee Stadium's short porch is a scary proposition. He might hit 60, assuming he adjusted to the pressures of playing in New York and didn't succumb to addiction problems again.

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