Gregg Easterbrook is a douche. You and I both know this. However, I was reading the paper today and noticed that his awful Tuesday Morning Quarterback column mentioned something about the league wanting to keep a franchise in Buffalo. For the sake of understanding his special type of crazy, I wanted to see this for myself.
Buffalo: This year’s Miami “at” Buffalo game in Toronto reduces the Bills’ home dates to seven. But unlike the Dolphins and Saints, penalized by losing a home game for “home” appearances in London, developing a Toronto relationship should be good for the Bills.
Um… sure? Convince me. No? Okay.
Now check the favor the league did for Buffalo in this year’s sked — only one Orchard Park game in December, and that against the sinister-but-popular Patriots. The Bills always sell out their pre-Thanksgiving games, but struggle to move December tickets, since locals know snow will have set in by then. For 2008, Buffalo has only one December true home game to sell, which won’t a problem with the Patriots as the opponent.
I guess that’s good from a ticket standpoint, but that’s looking at it pretty coldly. The Dolphins are still the Bills’ main rival, and taking that game and moving it 90 minutes north is a slight to the fans no matter what the weather. The fact that this game does take place in December is only removing the weather advantage the Bills would have against a warm weather team. But yeah, keep going.
The Toronto game is in December; though north of Buffalo, Toronto gets considerably less snow, owing to lake-effect weather patterns. Even though the game will be played indoors at Rogers Centre, it will likely be easier to get around Toronto than Buffalo on Dec. 7. For several seasons now, the NFL has both limited Buffalo’s December home dates, and made sure that December visitors are attractive to ticket buyers. Between scheduling favors and the new revenue-sharing deal, which is favorable to small-market teams, the NFL seems to be signaling it wants the Bills to be successful in Buffalo.
The fact of the matter is that no matter how many home games the Bills had in December, the entire season would have been sold out. The season ticket base has swelled, interest is increasing, and a Miami game on December 7th in Buffalo would have sold out just as quickly as a “Bills in Toronto” series game would have. There is a reason the Bills have pushed this Bills Backer Presale on us; it’s the only real chance for people to get tickets for this year.
The revenue sharing and limiting December home dates is a nice theory, but I don’t think there is much to justify it’s significance. Whatever, let’s get to the part where he talks about Jauron.
Buffalo’s Ivy League coach, Dick Jauron, is a fine man but low-voltage personified; he’s like a car battery that won’t turn the engine on a cold morning. Jauron has just one winning season in seven as a head coach. Losing does not seem to bother him; he’s never animated on the sidelines or upset after a loss, and he wasn’t upset even after the Bills allowed two scores in the final 20 seconds to lose 25-24 to Dallas before a national audience on “Monday Night Football.” Team spirit is high in Buffalo, but the team mindset is all wrong, mirroring the coach. Jauron’s gift is lowering expectations; this is his third season in Buffalo, yet he’s still talking only about “improvement,” not winning. Much of the time, the objective seems to be to lose with dignity. Trailing New England 42-7 in the second half, the Bills kicked a field goal. Trailing New England 56-10 in the fourth quarter, Buffalo punted from midfield. Those were Jauron’s decisions and the message sent was, “Oh well, another loss, right you are chaps, pip pip.” For a once-proud franchise that has not made the postseason in this decade, the Bills need an attitude adjustment.
I love how he made sure to call him an “Ivy League coach”, like being intelligent is a bad thing for a head coach. “Screw that sissy reading, boys, let’s go out there and throw the f$%k out of that ball. Let’s rip someone’s face off!”
Bringing up the New England game as a sign of his demeanor really doesn’t do it for me, either. I’m pretty sure if he was anything like me, he couldn’t make proper facial expressions for a few days after that one. Who really cares if we punted down 46 points? Yeah, we should have gone for it, but what does that really matter?
Listen, you know I’m not one to defend Jauron. I even have a tag called “We got Dick for less…”, but I don’t think having a firecracker of a head coach is any better than a cerebral guy like Jauron. Bill Belechick doesn’t yell and scream and he is considered the best head coach in the league. Just because Dick looks like a withered corpse doesn’t mean he can effectively coach the Bills by speaking in grunts and gentle nudges.
Oh, I see what you did there.