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JULY 07 - JULY 15, 2015

Sabres, Bills Getting Plenty of Hype From Local Media

By Tony Farina

JULY 7, 2015

Terry Pegula made his fortune from fracking and owns the two Buffalo major league sports teams. Fracking is illegal in Buffalo.
It takes talent to win in professional sports, talent, grit and determination.

Will this be the year the Buffalo Sabres and the Buffalo Bills make the playoffs? 

If you have been following the media hype about the two franchises, including the drafting of budding hockey star Jack Eichel, you would think both teams are on the verge of something big.  Let’s hope so.

I’m going to take and wait-and-see attitude until we’re much farther along than hyping ticket sales for two franchises that have not been winners for a long time.

There will be some action on the ice as early as next week and folks can get a glimpse of the supposed “savior” for the Sabres although realistically, expectations should indeed be tempered given Eichel’s youth and the fact he’s not exactly joining a team with Bobby Orr and Gordie Howe on the roster.  But hey, I hope he proves to be the real deal and the Sabres, along with their new $52 million man, forward Ryan O’Reilly who scored 55 points (17 goals) in 82 games last year for Colorado, can take a giant step forward from the abysmal performances of the last few years.  I question whether O’Reilly’s numbers are worth $52 million, but somebody thinks so.

As for the Buffalo Bills, they are already getting their share of local media hype which is driving ticket sales and sending expectations through the roof for a team with a new coach who, by the way, hasn’t won anything so far, and no proven quarterback on the roster.

Now I’m certainly in the camp of those who believe the Bills have a chance to break their 15-year playoff drought but they’ll need to find somebody who can throw the ball just a little to get to the post season.  I don’t know who that quarterback will be right now and neither does Rex Ryan and the front office.  But there’s hope for some kind of miracle among Bills fans who never really quit until it’s over, which usually happens fairly early.  But I think this year there’s hope for something more than a winning season.

Unfortunately, suspension or not, Tom Brady is still around and so is Rob Gronkowski, and in my mind, that makes New England the team to beat again, followed closely by Green Bay and Seattle.  But maybe the Bills will take the next step and Terry Pegula will finally have something to crow about besides fracking billions from Pennsylvania.

Let’s all stay tuned and hope for the best but I would caution local sports fans to be careful not to fall for the media sales pitch you are currently getting and remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, and while Eichel may be a potential star and Rex Ryan is promising the playoffs, these franchises haven’t won anything yet, and it may take time to reverse the years of decline.  But let’s wait and see and hope for the best! 






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