Posted on: September 14, 2009 11:09 pm

Buffallo can't reverse it's Karma, but some have

Call it what you will.  Luck.  Fate.  Preparation.  Karma.  Destiny.  A certain feeling that your actions are in some ways altered or influenced by a power that is beyond your control.


I don’t know what the correct term is, but I see its influence all around me.


I was moved to ponder these questions of a collective destiny while I watched the fourth quarter of the Buffalo/New England game.


I wasn’t going to watch either game tonight because, frankly, I felt that both would be very lopsided and dull.  But when I logged onto cbs sportsline and saw that Buffalo was leading the Pats deep into the fourth quarter I felt compelled to watch.


I really wanted to see the Bills pull off a stunner, but deep down I knew they would blow it.  I tuned in to witness the manner in which they would blow it.


They didn’t disappoint.


Down 11 points with 5:25 left in the fourth quarter, Tom Brady started doing what Tom Brady does best, methodically leading his team to a touchdown drive.  When the two point conversion attempt failed I felt a little more hope for the Bills, but with over two minutes left and three Patriot timeouts left I knew that there was just too much time.


On the ensuing kickoff Leodis McKelvin became a full fledged member of the tragedy that is the Bills when he fumbled and gave Brady the ball right back with only 33 yards to go.


You know the rest of the story.


Witnessing this cruel but inevitable twist of irony has led me to ponder the importance of team karma, and how a team that has proven that it was born to fail can change its mindset and shake off the curses.


Buffalo is no stranger to results like this.  They pulled a similar choke job against Dallas in one of their most recent primetime appearances.  Of course these regular season games pale in comparison to their most stunning choke job in the 1991 Super bowl when their kicker shanked a very make able kick wide right to lose the game for them.


Their ineptitude has even inspired the film industry to make a movie about that Super bowl (the great Buffalo 66 starring Vincent Gallo).


This loser karma was also on display on Sunday.  Detroit kept playing its role as NFL doormat.  The Redskins invented new and interesting ways to lose to the Giants But the most blatant example of maintaining a losing tradition has to go to the Bengals.


In a game where Cincinnati outplayed the Denver Broncos for 59 minutes, a freak deflection to a wide open Brandon Stokely proved to be the Bungles’ unlikely but inevitable undoing.


Fans of these teams have it very hard.  They are always waiting for the other shoe to drop.  But sometimes the unthinkable happens: a team actually defies logic and karma and changes its own fate.


Take Arizona for example.  They were the brunt of probably the most memorable choke jobs in Monday Night Football history (honorable mention goes to the Dolphins against the Jets).  How many ring tones and Coors Light commercials have resulted from coach Denny Green’s post game press conference?


But was anyone surprised?  NO.  This was the Cardinal way.


Yet despite these years of manifested negative energy Arizona was somehow able to overcome its collective demons and rally from a fourth quarter choke job to get to the Super bowl.


Another example is the Colts.  I know that they are a great team, but when it came to playing in playoff games against the Patriots Peyton Manning was known to fold like a cheap tent.


Manning and the Colts were in mid fold form in 2006 when the improbable happened.  Manning suddenly caught fire and rallied his team to the most stunning comeback victory in Colts history.  What made it even more stunning was that it came against Tom Brady and the Patriots.


I am pondering these questions to seek an answer to why certain teams become doomed to failure, or blessed with resilient success.  But I am also doing this to talk Buffalo coaches, players, and fans down off the ledge.


No matter how bleak the situation there is always hope.  Every once in a while karma gets tired of relieving itself on a certain team and gets off the pot in search of a new victim.


While tonight’s predestined debacle is proof that karma is still in mid stream, please take heart that even a drunk Patriot fan at Foxboro has to stop peeing sometime.


Keep hope alive.

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 10, 2009 12:22 am

Titans Owe Me 50$, Internal Investigation

My bookie gave me the Titans giving 3 and 1/2.  I was sitting pretty.

The boys in powder blue were all over Buffalo, winning by a convincing 21-9 advantage in the fourth.

Then the Titans put in fourth stringer Mortensen.  This guy doesn't last two plays before he lobs up a lame duck to a wide open Bills cornerback, who procedes to strut his way to the house.

The very next series Ramsey is back in at QB.  Now this is the first preseason game.  This is the time to let young players work through mistakes.  Conventional wisdom says that they stick with Mortensen.  Yet out he comes.

I know why Fisher yanked him.  Old Jeff had more money riding on that game than I did and he wasn't gonna let some young punk (who may or may not have taken a payoff) ruin it for him.

But the Titans played stout defense and intercepted a pass to seal the deal.  Three plays later they were a punt away from paying for my gas this week.

I had my phone in hand ready to press speed dial to see when I could collect my payout.

Then the punter gets the bright idea to run out the clock instead of punting.  OK.  No big deal.  He will run around before kneeling at the five.  Game over.

But what does this prick do?  he runs to the back of the end zone and stands there.  As cameras pan to Jeff Fisher racing down the sideline with veins bulging from his neck mouthing "NO! NO!" out of his beat root red face he calmly steps on the back of the end zone.

Game over.  Bet over.

Now I'm not insinuating that the game was fixed, but I did see several Italian businessman in leisure suits congratulating the punter after the game.  Call me a cynic, but I don't think the were congratulating him for the trick play he pulled off in the first half.

You may say that I have a gambling problem for betting on meaningless pre season games, but I feel that I am shedding light on a growing problem in the NFL today.

If preseason games are being fixed then it creates doubt about the true motives surrounding the officiating of the Steelers/Seahawks Superbowl.  Or the "tuck rule" game.  Or the Eagles/Bengals game last year.  Yeah. Sure McNabb.  I really believe that you are dumb enough to not understand NFL overtime rules.

Please look into this matter.  The integrity of the game of football is at stake.

In addition to my 50 bucks.
Category: NFL
Posted on: August 9, 2009 12:15 am

Telling it like it is........or was

During sportsline's tribute to Bruce Smith upon his Hall of Fame induction there was one sentence that resonated with me.

"What's most impressive is that Smith registered many of his 171 sacks in Buffalo while playing in a 3-4 defense, which should have made it easier for opponents to stop him. It's a feat Smith is quick to point out."

For a fan who is knowledgeable about the game this is the stat that illustrates how truly dominant Smith was.

The D-lineman on a 3-4 are responsible for taking on multiple blockers and keep them occupied.  This lets the linebackers make the majority of big plays.  Bruce Smith wasn't supposed to be the sack king, but he was in spite of his team's defensive philosophy.

As a Redskins fan I think he played one year too many.  He was still a force for three years with the Skins, but by his last year you could see him overpower his man but just not have the speed to round the corner.  Bruce Smith probably had more QB hurries his last season than any other player.  It was like watching a slow motion replay.  He beats his man.  He is coming for the QB.  He is still coming.  He's getting close.  Then a second before impact the QB would unload the ball.  I could see that even though he didn't have it he still was trying his hardest.  And I know that it frustrated him more than any Skin's fan.

The Skins would have been better served to go with someone else that last year.  But in retrospect, I'm glad they didn't.  It was painfully obvious that he wanted that sack record, and the Redskins gave him the opportunity to get it.

The Skins have made many regrettable free agent acquisitions recently, but I don't fault them for getting Bruce Smith.

He should rightfully go into Canton with a Bills helmet.  But there should be a small Redskins sticker at the back of that helmet.  Many greats have played past their prime with other teams.  Bruce Smith can be proud to know that unlike many others, he made a positive contribution to those Redskin teams.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com