On Bobby Hurley: You probably wouldn’t stay, either

On Bobby Hurley: You probably wouldn’t stay, either

Oddly enough, I wore my UB “March Madness” tee shirt today for the first time since game day in Columbus, when my wife and I headed to Ohio to watch our beloved alma mater take on West Virginia in the NCAA tourney (We brought our kid and stopped at Grandpa’s Cheesebarn, UB got off to a really slow start and lost, but it was fun).

It’s odd because, by now you’ve heard, UB men’s basketball coach Bobby Hurley has accepted the same gig at Arizona State. I don’t blame him, even after he dropped the, “My heart is in Buffalo” line last week. He’s gotta keep recruits, he liked his job, and fellow Duke alum Jeff Capel was being tabbed for the ASU job, anyway.

No, among the only things that bother me about this whole idea is the folks acting like Hurley’s betrayed them. For hardline UB honks, I’ll pardon them a little bit on account of passion, but in looking into the Hurley to ASU rumors this morning, this Tweet popped up that perfectly encapsulated why he should leave (Besides the obvious “going to a place that lured James Harden”):

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Yep, that’s a guy or gal begging Hurley to stay at UB… with a Syracuse logo as his icon. I think about Bobby Hurley reading that, and laughing. If he sees this Tweet down the road, with ASU and Buffalo replaced by UCLA and Tempe, it won’t be by a fan with a Northern Arizona Lumberjacks avatar.

For a long, long while people have asked me why I don’t take so much offense at our area’s love for Syracuse football and basketball. I’ve usually joked that it has to do with my many friends in local journalism who went to Cuse, but it’s almost always been bigger than that.

When I was in sixth grade, my lucky “under the hockey jersey” sweatshirt was Syracuse, and I wanted to play for Red Berenson at Michigan. I discovered the latter school watching Bowl Day games with the flu as a youngster, and the former when my cousin handed me down the shirt. I can never claim I was a Syracuse fan, so to speak, but I didn’t have a problem with them until I realized our area’s big support of them rings so counterproductive to growing this flagship institution at UB (let alone your choices of D-1 programs at Canisius, Niagara and St. Bonaventure). That same cousin from above took me to a UB football game during its first D-1 season, and I was like, “Cool, this will be my awful team now.”

I understand that you can be a fan of multiple schools. I root for this entire area in college hockey, soccer and basketball (unless our Bulls are involved as the opposition). I don’t take any actual offense from the unnamed gentleman’s above Tweet, but I also don’t support it. It’s going to take a special coach to keep turning down better jobs because he’s rooted with UB. And they fired one of them to hire Hurley. So let’s not act wronged when we got we paid for (and part of that was a first tourney berth).

Also, as an afterthought, UB is going to be fine. For every thought you have about Coach X wasting Justin Moss, remember that Reggie Witherspoon fans had the same fears about Hurley and Javon McCrea. And those were only founded in the sense that it took Hurley another year and a different forward.

Now bring on Cherokee Parks and let’s start a punk rock era at Alumni Arena.

Other (real) names I’ve heard are worth considering: Jeff Boals, Turner Battle, Jamion Christian, Will Brown.

Darkness on the Edge of Tank

Darkness on the Edge of Tank

That, my friends, was weird. It’s also the word Coyotes’ defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson used to describe a large number of Sabres fans cheering Arizona goals. Others’ choice of adjectives ranged from awesome to pathetic, and I have to say it’s a little of both. I wrote earlier this year that I thought it’d be very… Continue Reading

Remembering Montador

Remembering Montador

I’m torn up right now. Not at the loss of a friend, but at the loss of a role model. An everyday, human being sort of role model. That’s the type of guy Steve Montador was, at least in the public eye. Worked his butt off. Supported his teammates. Always accountable to those like me… Continue Reading

Immediate Reactions: Buffalo Bills 17, New England Patriots 9

I really wanted to write a lengthy diatribe on the end of the Bills season, and how Buffalo showed us what could’ve been, blahblahblahBillsyblah. But this game didn’t deserve it. This offense didn’t deserve it. This defense deserves a ton of credit, but whatever. I’m just letting you know that if you’re looking for IR’s… Continue Reading

Immediate Reactions: Oakland Raiders 26, Buffalo Bills 24

Look, I don’t have a ton to say here. I’m all tapped out. Watching this “offensive” head coach, his quarterbacks and several offensive linemen completely waste an incredible season of defensive football has me devoid of emotion. Cold, numb, callous: pick a word to describe what nearly a decade and a half of futility has… Continue Reading

2014 Let’s Go Bills Rap, Wk 16 vs. Oakland Raiders

  Been fighting throat issues for the past couple months, but gave it the ol’ college try for this final postseason push. Sorry for any tailgating inconvenience.  Follow @NicholasMendola… Continue Reading

Immediate Reactions: Buffalo Bills 21, Green Bay Packers 13

ALLLLLL THE FIELD GOALS This was my lead for paragraph for most of the game: “Perhaps the next time your favorite football team brings an average-at-best quarterback out of retirement with a legit chance that he could end up starting for your football team, you’ll consider taking up another hobby for a few months.” Fortunately… Continue Reading

Immediate Reactions: Denver Broncos 24, Buffalo Bills 17

Kyle Orton against the Jets — 34/59, 468 yds, 6 TD, 0 INT, 5 times sacked Kyle Orton against everyone else — terrible But really Orton against everyone else – 191/299, 1887 yds, 8 TD, 7 INT, 21 times sacked This isn’t being dramatic: With the exception of two games, the Bills starting quarterback has not… Continue Reading

Immediate Reactions: Buffalo Bills 26, Cleveland Browns 10

Immediate Reactions: Buffalo Bills 26, Cleveland Browns 10

Two touchdowns in 10 seconds helped Bills fans get over a horrible, horrible first half, as Buffalo’s defense and a timely fourth-down conversion sprung the Bills to their seventh win of the seasons, an absolutely necessary ‘W’ for anyone harboring playoff hopes. – I have to wonder if Kyle Orton’s toe injury is affecting his… Continue Reading


At the risk of sounding preachy, I need to get this off my chest and don’t have a radio show because #goldenoldies and #BillyOceanBSides. There are good and bad people in our world. All of them make mistakes. This group of “people” includes garbage men, football players, senators, ministers, judges, sports writers, doctors, zookeepers, jazz… Continue Reading