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My Last BSD Post

Posted on October 2, 2014 by Patrick Moran

Mix 96Folks, it’s been a lot of fun.

Let me begin with the short version.  After five years and 5,074 posts via this blog, I’m pulling the plug for what I anticipate being better things. I’ve accepted an opportunity to produce sports content online for Mix 96 Buffalo, the radio station formerly known as WJYE. I’ll be mostly doing the same thing I have here—just on a significantly larger platform. It’s my goal, along with others already in place to renovate Mix 96 Buffalo into a renowned online presence for local sports.

I embark on this new journey next week.

I launched Buffalo Sports Daily in September of 2009 with a series of goals in mind. Some of those were achieved, and frankly some weren’t.

I’ve broken stories here and there, offered analysis the best I could and was fortunate to interview many current and past sports stars, with Darryl Talley, Eric Moulds and Nick Barnett standing out as personal favorites. A public spat with Donte Whitner (who for the record I legitimately do not like) on the heels of a column I wrote concluded with him desiring to get me in a boxing ring, which unpredictably fetched myself plenty of fan support.  Overall I’d like to think I provided my fair share of entertaining and informative reads.

Of course, a major part of my run as well as my reputation got colossally tainted immediately following my Shawne Merriman story in 2011. To be fair, I never ducked out the back door and took the much-deserved chastising like a man.  Still, it doesn’t amend the fact my haste to break an “exclusive” resulted in poor presentation, gross misrepresentation of facts and therefore, an unforgettable amateur hack-job and trust me, no matter what I do I’m frequently reminded of it. It’s literally my lone regret in five years of doing this.

While I’ll never completely exonerate myself for that debacle, I learned a lot from it. As an aside to you aspiring journalist/bloggers out there ambitious to be trustworthy, forever evoke the time-proven motto I disregarded that day, “It’s better to be right than first.”

And listen, I’m not that naïve– there’s a heap of sports fans that may stumble on this and ask themselves “Who in the bloody blue hell is this clown Patrick Moran?”

But I digress…

There’s a select few I’m indebted for and must send out special thanks.  First and foremost is Tim Graham. When I first began this blog and was raring to get my name out it was Tim, who at the time covered the AFC East for ESPN.com that delivered my first real break, linking articles of mine to ESPN that garnered attention and brought me a gathering of new followers on social media.  Many fans on Twitter view Graham as argumentative and I suppose to some extent he is, but what you may not know is Tim’s one of the nicest, most unpretentious dudes you’ll ever meet in sports. For me this dates back to the early 2000′s era before blogs were popular, when I was scribing for a small local rag. I’ll never forget covering my first Buffalo Sabres game as a “professional”, sitting in the press box subjugated by so many media members I grew up wanting to emulate.  To make a long story short, turns out plenty of those folk were incredibly snobbish, with noses high in the sky towards small-timers like myself, but Graham struck up a conversation with me the same way he would any of his fare more established colleagues, and as that season went on (probably unbeknownst to him) showed me the ropes and helped me get comfortable covering a professional sports team.

In the many years that have passed, he’s always been at my beckon call for pointers and advice, and I significantly respect him for that. Thank you, Tim.

I’d also like to tender a big thank you to both Sal Capaccio and the Buffalo Rumblings website.

When I began Buffalo Sports Daily, Sal was the first person willing to work with me on a project. Together we collaborated on a series of Buffalo Bills video game previews Sal skillfully pieced together that helped garner BSD early credibility. He also gave me immeasurable plugs on his popular weekly internet show, which contrary to popular belief weren’t filmed in his mother’s basement. Sal’s obviously moved on to land his dream job at WGR and as the Buffalo Bills radio sideline reporter, and I’m delighted for him.  We don’t chat much anymore, but to this day I’m grateful for the help and canny advice he provided.  Thanks again, Sal.

Not only is Buffalo Rumblings my undisputed favorite Bills website both then and now, it was instrumental in helping get my blog out to the masses. In the early days before SB Nation blew up, Brian Galliford allowed me to share some of his amazing work on the BSD pages, which generated a lot of new readers. Matt Warren, who still does an incredible job at Rumblings, linked many of my articles to their pages.  I hold you both in high regards.

Naturally, It’d be foolish not to conclude by thanking each and every person who’s ever taken the time to visit.  Whether the feedback was good or bad, merited or not, I honestly valued it all.

I hope you continue to follow my work on Mix 96 Buffalo. I’m motivated and ready to produce engaging content.  See you there soon.

Bandits Re-Sign Four

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Buffalo Bandits Press Release

Buffalo-BanditsBuffalo Bandits General Manager Steve Dietrich today announced the team has agreed to terms on one-year contracts with transition players Kevin Brownell and Mitch Wilde, as well as defensemen Glen Bryan and Marty Hill.

Brownell returns for his third season with the Bandits this year. The former third-round pick amassed seven points (3+4) last season in 12 games played for Buffalo. He’s played in 19 games for the Bandits over the past two seasons and has recorded 15 points (5+10) while recovering 63 loose balls.

“Kevin had an up-and-down season last year but is coming off a terrific summer having been nominated as his team’s defensive player of the year,” Dietrich said. “We look forward to Kevin continuing his development this year with the Bandits.”

Entering his third year with the Bandits, Bryan recorded career-highs with seven points (1+6) and 72 loose balls last season. In 30 games over two seasons with the Bandits, he has 11 points (4+7) and has collected 139 loose balls.

Wilde is coming off a rookie season that saw him score 11 points (4+7) and collect 32 loose balls over 10 games. A second-round pick (15th overall) in 2013, Wilde led the Bandits in rookie scoring last year.

Continue reading ‘Bandits Re-Sign Four’

Spiller Wins NFL Weekly Honors

Posted on September 17, 2014 by NFL Press Release

SpillerThe National Football League today announced that RB/KR CJ Spiller has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

This is Spiller’s second special teams player of the week award – he last won the award in Week 3 of the 2010 season.

Spiller is the second consecutive Bills player to be named Special Teams Player of the Week this season (Dan Carpenter won in Week 1). This is the second time in Bills history that two Buffalo players have won this award in consecutive weeks. The last time this occurred was in 1994 when P Chris Mohr won in Week 2 and K Steve Christie won in Week 3.

Below is a summary of Spiller’s performance against the Miami Dolphins last week.

Continue reading ‘Spiller Wins NFL Weekly Honors’

Bills Place Meeks On IR, Sign Dean

Posted on September 16, 2014 by Patrick Moran

2011-Buffalo-Bills-Authentic-HelmetThe second season for Buffalo Bills safety Jonathan Meeks is over before it really started.  The Bills fifth-round pick in the 2013 draft was placed on Injured Reserve Tuesday.  Meeks suffered a neck injury at practice on August 6 and has been limited ever since, spending the first two games of the regular season on the inactive list.

Taking his place on the active roster is linebacker Larry Dean, who the team signed today.  Undrafted out of Valdosta State in 2011, Dean made the Minnesota Vikings and appeared in all 48 Vikings games over his three seasons there.  Primarily a special teams contributor, Dean finished second on Minnesota last year with 18 special team tackles.

The club announced Dean will wear No. 54.

The move leaves the Bills with only three active safeties on the 53-man roster.  They do, however have two safeties currently residing on the practice squad– Deon Broomfield and Kenny Ladler.

10 Observations: Bills Squish The Fish

Posted on September 16, 2014 by Patrick Moran

SpillerI like to take at least 24 hours following a Buffalo Bills game and watch the playback at least twice before forming strong enough opinions to share with a video offense.  Perhaps it makes me better informed, or maybe waiting longer than most demonstrates a fear of looking stupid.  Regardless, here are the 10 biggest observations in my arsenal following Buffalo’s 29-10 drubbing of Miami in moving to 2-0 on the season.

As an added bonus, not one of these bullets includes a breakdown of E.J. Manuel. We’ll save that for another time.

♦ Don’t just glance at the stat sheet when determining the worth of a player.  Had you done such, you’d easily miss the boat on veterans Brandon Spikes and Mike Williams and dismiss them as non-factors Sunday.  With the Bills primarily in a nickel scheme Spikes saw but 15 defensive snaps yet still contributed in a big way by throwing a key block on C.J. Spiller’s 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.  Williams had just one catch for three yards, but his downfield block was crucial in a Spiller 47-yard run down the right sideline.  These are cases of strong veteran leaders finding ways to help their team win, whether the contributions jump off the page or not.  Early indications look like Doug Whaley scored big with signing these two during the offseason.

♦ Before even probing his statistics, Sammy Watkins has rapidly evolved into one of the most magnetic players on the Bills. It’s apparent to anyone with a functioning set of his eyes how much his ribs are bothering him, not to mention a sore leg, yet he conquered Miami for his first breakout game.  Watkins caught eight passes on 11 targets for 117 yards and the team’s lone offensive touchdown and had the congregate of Bills fans jubilant for much the afternoon.  I can guarantee he won a mass of reverence in the locker room after playing so effectively through the soreness he’s enduring. By the way, he’s currently leading all NFL rookies in both receptions (11) and yards (148).

Continue reading ’10 Observations: Bills Squish The Fish’

Could Buffalo be Considered as a World Cup of Hockey Host?

Posted on September 15, 2014 by Chris Ostrander

SabresThe World Cup of Hockey will be returning. After a ten-year absence, the tournament will officially return in 2016. Per Pierre LeBrun’s report, it’s simply a matter of ironing out the final details of the agreement before making a formal announcement.

Re-instituting the World Cup could mean any number of things with some wondering if it means the league is bracing for a divorce from Olympic participation. Further, the timing of the tournament itself will likely fall prior to the regular season, which should ensure full participation of the world’s best players.

One advantage this tournament gives the league is greater control over the product being produced. Hand-picked venues avoid the time zone constraints created by many Olympic host cities (a primary concern regarding the next two Winter Games). The 2004 event saw games played in Toronto, Montreal, St. Paul, Helsinki, Stockholm, Cologne and Prague. Most of those venues also served the 1996 World Cup.

The 2016 event offers the league and the event’s organizers an chance to showcase another group of cities around the world and I have to wonder if Buffalo earns consideration as a host city.

It’s no secret that Terry Pegula, Ted Black and company have taken many steps to become the league’s darlings. They’ve already earned the adoration of USA Hockey and have likely cemented their place as the favorite for any future US bid for the World Junior Championships. HARBORCENTER will host the next two NHL Draft Combines and I wouldn’t be surprised if First Niagara Center winds up with the 2016 Draft as well. Ownership of the Bills could potentially lead to availability at The Ralph (or a shiny new football stadium) for an outdoor game and future developments for the betterment of the game in Western New York shouldn’t be ruled out.

Continue reading ‘Could Buffalo be Considered as a World Cup of Hockey Host?’

UB Falls To Canisius In Soccer

Posted on September 11, 2014 by University at Buffalo Press Release

UBThe University at Buffalo men’s soccer team (1-4-0, 0-0-0 MAC) was shutout for the third time this season on the road at Big Four rival Canisius on Sunday night, falling 1-0. Canisius scored the game-winning goal in the 38th minute of the contest.

“I thought this was one of our best overall games of the season,” said head coach Stu Riddle. “We did everything well except score a goal. We had a 10 minute window where we did not play very well which ended up costing us this victory.”

The two teams went back-and-forth early on in the contest as the Bulls best chance to score came in the 14thminute off the foot of Russell Cicerone. Cicerone was awarded a free kick after a solid effort by Abdulla Al-Kalisyforced the call. The Bloomfield Hills, MI native took the free kick from 20 yards out but his right-footed strike sailed over the cross bar.

Following a fantastic diving stop by Waleed Cassis in the 37th minute, the Golden Griffins broke through with the first goal of the match. Asani Samuels got free in the box and headed the ball past Cassis after a perfect crossing pass from Lucian Preis.

Continue reading ‘UB Falls To Canisius In Soccer’

Bona’s Vis Named A-10 Rookie Of The Week

Posted on September 9, 2014 by St. Bonaventure Press Release

BonaSt. Bonaventure freshman forward Danielle Vis has been named the Atlantic 10 Conference women’s soccer Rookie of the Week. This is Vis’ second Rookie of the Week award as she won it the week of September 2nd.

Vis earned her second Rookie of the Week award this season after scoring in a 2-0 win over VMI. The freshman from Milton, Ontario, scored her third goal of the year in the 74th minute of the match. The score also marked her third game-winner, which is second best in the A-10. Vis was named Big Red Shootout all-tournament team, which was held at Cornell.

Vis, who has started all eight games for the Brown and White this season, leads the squad with three goals and 10 shots on net. She now ranks second in the A-10 in game-winning goals with three.

Vis and the St. Bonaventure women’s soccer team will play the first game under the lights at McGraw-Jennings Field on September 19 against the Binghamton Bearcats. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m.

Bills 2014 Season Preview: Painful

Posted on September 5, 2014 by Patrick Moran

Doug MarroneRather than wait for the closing stages of this post for a Buffalo Bills 2014 season prediction, let’s instantly knock that out of the way. This will be one of the most tumultuous, wearisome campaigns for the organization and its fans in many years. My forecast is 5-11, at best.

I tweeted more than a week ago I wouldn’t be surprised to see Doug Marrone not last through this season, with defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz eventually taking over. I stand by what I wrote. I think it’s going to be that bad.

You can believe what you want to read, but this is a team mired in turmoil internally and in my opinion, will have an effect on the field.

Local media were on the story first regarding growing tension between the head coach and members of the team’s front office.  That was brought to the forefront Friday morning by CBS’ Jason LaCanfora, who cited problems via multiple sources confrontations between Marrone and director of player personnel Jim Monos and team president Russ Brandon over roster and depth chart decisions. He’s also gotten into spats with several players and according to a source of LaCanfora, referenced himself as “Saint Doug” multiple times.

To be more precise, LaCanfora wrote that according to sources, “Marrone has referred to himself as Saint Doug at times, referencing the fact that it takes two miracles to be canonized as a saint, and that he already pulled off one miracle by winning at Syracuse and alluding to the fact it would take another miracle to win in Buffalo.”

The validity of LaCanfora’s report comes to question.  Respected Buffalo News reporter Tim Graham cited a source saying Monos was not even present in spat stories, and Marrone’s alleged “fire me” quote to Brandon was completely out of context in contrast to how LaCanfora reported the details.

However, it’s more than what LaCanfora reported, whether all or just parts are true.

I spoke to at least three either current or now former players on the team over the offseason, and each told me a substantial amount of players were flat-out pissed that Marrone fired wide receivers coach Ike Hilliard, who was popular in the locker room and brought in Syracuse’s Rob Moore to take his place.  One player told me Hilliard was fired because “he wasn’t one of Marrone’s guys.”  Hilliard almost immediately was hired by Washington.

One former player took the current state of the locker room further, telling me “I’ve talked to a bunch of guys and they say nothing has changed and they hate it.”

Continue reading ‘Bills 2014 Season Preview: Painful’

Bisons To Install New Seats For 2015

Posted on September 1, 2014 by Buffalo Bisons Press Release

BisonsThe Buffalo Bisons and the City of Buffalo today announced that the best seat for family and sports entertainment each summer in Western New York will continue to be at Buffalo Bisons games at Coca-Cola Field.

Thanks to the continued support from the City of Buffalo and the strong public-private partnership that exists between the Mayor Byron W. Brown and the Buffalo Bisons, the team announced today the INSTALLATION OF NEW SEATS in Coca-Cola Field’s special reserved sections.

The project will include replacing approximately 3,700 original ballparks seats from the lower seating bowl from sections 114 on the first base side to 113 on the third base side. The new seats, designed by American Seating, will be 22″ in size, an increase of three inches from the obsolete seats currently installed at Coca-Cola Field.

Work on the project is scheduled to begin shortly after the conclusion of the Buffalo Bisons 2014 season.

“Mayor Brown and the City of Buffalo have been tremendous partners and their support is vital to the long-term functionality of Coca-Cola Field,” said Jonathan A. Dandes, President of Rich Baseball Operations. “These new seats will not only add to the fan experience at Bisons games for years to come, but also provide a vital update to the now-obsolete original fixtures installed in the ballpark 27 seasons ago.”

Continue reading ‘Bisons To Install New Seats For 2015′

Vine: Watkins Makes Incredible Catch

Posted on July 23, 2014 by Patrick Moran

WGR’s Sal Capaccio had perfecting timing at Buffalo Bills training camp Wednesday morning, positioning himself to capture rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins make a stunning one-handed snag in the end zone after tripping and nearly falling early in his route.

He posted the following on Vine, and it’s immediately blowing up on social media.

Nice work, Sal.

Offense Keeps Buffalo In Win Column

Posted on July 23, 2014 by Buffalo Bisons Release/Website

BisonsThe Herd continued its loud bats from Monday night’s 10th inning.

Using its lately stellar offense, the Bisons took down Lehigh Valley 7-6 on Tuesday. It’s the second straight win for the Herd at Coca-Cola Park.

In a contest where the Bisons totaled 14 hits, Ryan Schimpf really stood out. The Covington, LA native has been the IronPigs’ nightmare the past two games.

The Bisons got its bats going early with four hits in the second to build a 3-0 lead. The Herd put runners at first and second after two consecutive singles form Brad Glenn and Andy LaRoche. Schimpf kept his to his scoring ways when he doubled to right to score Glenn from second and advance LaRoche to third. Cory Aldridge then followed up Schimpf’s hit with a single to right that score both runners to cap off the inning for Buffalo.

Schimpf was back at it in the fourth. Glenn once again singled his way on to start the inning. After LaRoche followed up with a flyout to center, Schimpf launched his fifth homer with the Herd. Schimpf crushed a first-pitch-strike over the heart of the plate and sent it to the bleachers in right to put Buffalo up 5-1.

A Bisons two-run fifth led to Lehigh Valley manager Dave Brundage’s ejection. After Kevin Pillar doubled in Jonathan Diaz from second with no one out, Jared Goedert reached on an error from pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes. It looked as if Reyes tagged Goedert on his way to first, but the home plate umpire called Goedert safe. Brundage stormed out of the dugout in a tirade until he was ejected shortly after. The error led to Glenn’s third hit of the night that scored Pillar from third to grow Buffalo’s lead to six.

Continue reading ‘Offense Keeps Buffalo In Win Column’

Baron Signs Pro Contract In Lithuania

Posted on July 22, 2014 by Canisius College Press Release

Former Canisius guard Billy Baron announced today that he has signed a professional contract with BC Lietuvos Rytas in Lithuania. The 2013-14 Pepsi MAAC Player of the Year recently wrapped up a stint with the Chicago Bulls in the Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas where he averaged 5.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game in five contests.

An Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention selection, just the fourth in Canisius history, Baron finished his senior campaign ranked fourth in the nation in scoring average with 24.1 points per game. He was the only Division I men’s basketball player in the country to average better than 20.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game last season, and he is one of two players in the nation to average more than 20.0 points and 5.0 assists per game. The MAAC’s leader in assists per game at 5.3 per contest, he finished his senior season with 180 assists in 34 games for the Griffs, which ranks fourth in school history for assists in a single season.

Baron scored in double figures 33 times in 2013-14, and he was good for 20-plus points in a game 26 times. He had 30 or more points in nine different games, highlighted by his career-high 40-point effort at Siena Feb. 16. His 821 total points in 2013-14 are the most for a senior in school history and he also set a school record with 107 makes from 3-point range in his senior campaign. He closed out his career at Canisius as just the fourth Griff in the program’s 110-year history to score more than 1,400 career points while dishing out 350-plus career assists. A two-time All-MAAC First Team honoree, Baron ended his career as a Griff ranked 11th in career scoring (1,405 points), fourth in career scoring average (20.7 points per game), fourth in career 3-point field goals (173), first in career free-throw percentage (85.9 percent) and ninth in career assists (351).

The East Greenwich, R.I. native was the school’s first finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, presented annually to the nation’s top point guard, and he received eight different national or regional postseason honors. The 2013-14 Canisius Male Athlete of the Year, he also represented Canisius and the MAAC in the 26th annual State Farm Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championship, which was held in April in Dallas. Baron helped lead the Griffs to a 21-13 overall mark and a 14-6 record in MAAC games in 2013-14, a season which came to an end in the first round of the CIT, the program’s second-straight national postseason appearance. In his two years in a Canisius uniform, the Blue and Gold won a total of 41 games, the second most victories for a MAAC school in that time period, and those 41 wins stands as the program’s best two-year stretch since 1993-95.

Bills Training Camp Report – July 21, 2014

Posted on July 21, 2014 by Michael Thomas

Thad(One of our contributing photographers, Michael Thomas, is a regular at Buffalo Bills training camp and besides snapping pictures, is a big fan of taking a plethora of notes.

Since above all else Michael is a fan, this won’t be the most grammatically correct article you’ve ever read.  Still, his observations are well thought out and unbiased. He’ll be posting his thoughts following practices often through camp and hopefully for you it’s an enjoyable…and informative read.)

IT was the second day of Buffalo Bills training camp and the players continued to spend extra time working on their fundamentals. They worked on several individual drills, 1-on-1 passing drills, 7-on-7 passing drills, 9-on-7 drills and of course the 11-on-11 full team drills. The team also took some time to work on special teams, this time their target was kickoffs and kickoff coverage.

The team went right to work at 2:00 on their individual drills, working with the units on certain things to help them with their game. They did this for about 20 minutes and then the entire team did some stretching out to get ready for all the work. The offense worked on some different passing drills, learning about assignments and things like that and then the quarterbacks spent more time working on their footwork. Following those drills, the quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends jogged over to Growney Stadium to work on more passing. They did this for about 5-10 minutes and then they came back onto the field to practice 1-on-1′s.

During the 1-on-1 drills, the plays are very fast paced. I noted a few things that caught my eye during the 1-on-1′s. Right off the ball, Da’Norris Searcy intercepted EJ Manuel. Thad Lewis had a pair of good plays in the drill. One of then was a nice 30-yard pass to Kevin Elliott. The other one was a beautiful 45-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Goodwin. Jeff Tuel had one play that looked like it was going to get picked off, however, Marcus Easley tipped the ball in the air and caught it for 25-yards. The best play was from EJ Manuel, who hit Sammy Watkins in stride for a 45-yard touchdown while burning Leodis McKelvin.

Continue reading ‘Bills Training Camp Report – July 21, 2014′

Bills Training Camp Report- July 20, 2014

Posted on July 20, 2014 by Michael Thomas

EJ Bills(One of our contributing photographers, Michael Thomas, is a regular at Buffalo Bills training camp and besides snapping pictures, is a big fan of taking a plethora of notes.

Since above all else Michael is a fan, this won’t be the most grammatically correct article you’ve ever read.  Still, his observations are well thought out and unbiased. He’ll be posting his thoughts following practices often through camp and hopefully for you it’s an enjoyable…and informative read.)

AFTER another long offseason, Buffalo Bills 2014 training camp has finally begun. The team started camp off with a Sunday night practice in hopes that it would attract more people – and that’s exactly what it did. The stands were packed and fans were loudly cheering their favorite players on. The weather helped too, it was in the upper 70′s, low 80s with a nice cool breeze. The practice itself lasted about 2 and a half hours.

To start the day off, Head Coach Doug Marrone had the players spend quite a bit of time working on fundamentals. The team was split into their individual units and worked on drills suited for their position. The individual drills went for about an hour with some special teams mixed in. During the individual drills, the Quarterbacks, Running Backs and Wide Receivers went over to the grass field, while the linemen and defense stayed on the field at Growney Stadium. Following the individual drills, the Quarterbacks worked on passing drills with the receivers. I tried to keep up, but the QBs were flying thru the drills and it was very fast paced. I did take a few notes on plays that stood out. Right away, Leodis McKelvin had a nice pass break-up on Robert Woods. Stephen Gilmore displayed good coverage when he was out there – covering the receivers several times. Mike Williams drew the most cheers when outleaped Brandon Smith on a 20 yard pass from Thad Lewis. On the negative side, all 4 quarterbacks overthrew their targets several times and looked a bit off. But EJ Manuel was the best of the bunch.

Following the 1-on-1 drills, the team went to work on some 7-on-7 passing drills. EJ Manuel started it off with a 4-yard pass to Scott Chandler. Jeff Tuel then came in and threw a 17-yard pass to TJ Graham. EJ came back in and overthrew Tony Moeaki who seems a bit slow. Tuel returned and threw a pass to Caleb Holley, but Corey Graham drew a pass interference penalty. On the next play, EJ Manuel threw a screen to Bryce Brown for 5-yards. Thad Lewis then came in and threw a screen to CJ Spiller for 6-yards. EJ Manuel returned and threw a 12-yard pass to Chris Hogan. On the next play, Tuel returned and underthrew Marcus Easley. EJ Manuel came back onto the field and threw a nice pass to Sammy Watkins for 30-yards.

Continue reading ‘Bills Training Camp Report- July 20, 2014′

Former Griffs Earn Gold At 2014 World Lacrosse

Posted on July 19, 2014 by Canisius College Press Release

CanisiusCanisius head men’s lacrosse coach Randy Mearns and five former Golden Griffins helped lead Team Canada to an 8-5 win over Team USA Saturday night in the gold medla game of the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championships in Denver, Colo. The win gives Canada its third gold medal after the team also won the world championship event in 1978 and 2006.

Mearns, who won a gold medal as an assistant coach for Team Canada in 2006, directled his team to a 6-1 record in the event, which featured 38 teams from across the world. Canada controlled the game against the USA by dominating the ground ball count, with Canada recording 35 ground balls against the USA’s 22.

Other former Griffs on the Team Canada roster include Jason Levesque ’04 who served as an assistant coach on Mearns’ Team Canada staff, Dan Coates ’11, Angus Dineley ’07, Adam Jones ’11 and Matt Vinc ’05.

A total of nine former Griffs played in this year’s FIL World Lacrosse Championships. Simon Giourmetakis ’12 helped Germany finish 10th overall in the 38-team field and Travis Hill helped the Iroquois to their best finish ever, as the team took third place. Former Griff Brendan Murphy ’12, who is currently an assistant coach on Mearns’ staff at Canisius, played for the Belguim team.

The Daily Links – July 18, 2014

Posted on July 18, 2014 by BSD Staff Reports

Daily Links LogoJoe Ray from the Buffalo Sabres official website has an in-depth report from the team’s developmental camp on Thursday.

The long term deal given to Tyler Ennis shows that the Sabres think he’ll become a star, according to Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald.

The hits keep coming for Sabres prospect J.T. Compher, Taylor Nigrelli of the Buffalo News reports.

WGRs Joe Buscaglia has been counting down the Bills top talents.  He’s reached the top of the list and to the surprise of a few, but not myself he’s landed on defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.

The Syracuse Post –Standard reports that developer Scott Congell is still interested in buying the Buffalo Bills.

Continue reading ‘The Daily Links – July 18, 2014′

Busy Day For Bisons Ends In 5-2 loss

Posted on July 18, 2014 by Buffalo Bisons Website/Press Release

Sanchez_Aaron_640_pctzni1l_nb1j1fzmIn a day filled with a lot of moving parts, the Bisons fell to the PawSox, 5-2, from McCoy Stadium in the first game after the International League’s All-Star break. Rehabbing Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino had two hits and keyed a sixth-inning rally that gave Pawtucket the victory.

There was plenty of movement on Thursday even before first pitched. Scheduled Bisons starter Deck McGuire was designated for assignment by Toronto as the Blue Jays claimed pitcher Brad Mills of waivers from Oakland. Then, the announcement that top prospect Aaron Sanchez would be moved into the bullpen for his first career relief work at the Triple-A level.

But it was Pawtucket’s addition of Victorino on an MLB injury rehab assignment that had the biggest impact on Thursday’s outcome. The veteran hasn’t played with Boston since May 23 with back and hamstrings injuries, but the ‘Flyin’ Hawaiian’ showed he was ready to return with one play that decided the contest.

After singling off Sanchez to lead off the sixth inning of a 1-1 game, Victorino hustled to third base when Travis Shaw singled through the left side of the infield. Brad Glenn came up throwing, but Victorino beat the play with a head first slide that carried him into the body of third basemen Andy LaRoche. The ball skipped away just far enough to give Victorino enough time to get up and race home for the go-ahead run.

Shaw moved all the way to third on the play and scored two pitches later when Carlos Rivero collected a third hit off Sanchez in the inning. That gave Pawtucket a 3-1 edge they would not lose.

Continue reading ‘Busy Day For Bisons Ends In 5-2 loss’

ESPN 1520: New Radio Home Of UB Athletics

Posted on July 17, 2014 by University at Buffalo Press Release

UBThe University at Buffalo Athletics Department announced on Thursday afternoon a new radio partnership with ESPN 1520 AM to broadcast football and men’s and women’s basketball games as well as other programming surrounding UB Athletics beginning in August, 2014.

ESPN 1520, a 50,000-watt station, has one of the strongest signals in the nation. At night, the station can be heard from New England to South Carolina and through out the entire state of New York. Owned by the Entercom Communications Corporation, ESPN 1520 is home to such popular national radio shows as Mike and Mike in the Morning, The Herd with Colin Cowherd and SVP and Rusillo.

The partnership will also enable a cross promotion of UB athletics across other Entercom-owned stations, including WGR 550, 930 WBEN, Kiss 98.5 and Star 102.5.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with ESPN 1520,” UB Director of Athletics Danny White said. “To have UB Athletics broadcasted over the airwaves of one of the most powerful stations on the East Coast will further help us enhance our brand and reach a very large fan base across the state of New York as well as our extensive alumni base on the Eastern seaboard.”

ESPN 1520 will be the flagship station of the UB Bulls Radio Network. UB games will also air on 1280 WHTK in Rochester as well as select games on 570 WMCA in New York City and 104.5 The Team in Albany. For the first time in school history, UB Athletics will have a radio network that spans across the entire Empire State.

Continue reading ‘ESPN 1520: New Radio Home Of UB Athletics’

#Throwback Thursday – Eric Moulds 2001 Highlights

Posted on July 17, 2014 by Patrick Moran

This week’s Throwback Thursday features former Buffalo Bills wide receiver great Eric Moulds, who happens to be celebrating his 41st birthday today.

In his honor, we found via Youtube a reel of his 2001 highlights.  Mind you, it wasn’t even close to Moulds’ best season, but he still finished that campaign with 67 catches for 905 yards and five touchdowns.  Spoiler Alert—the one handed touchdown catch on a bomb from Alex Van Pelt against Miami at around the four minute mark is pretty sick.

Happy birthday, Eric.

Sabres Sign Ennis For Five Years

Posted on July 17, 2014 by Patrick Moran

SabresThe Buffalo Sabres resumed spending on Wednesday while maintaining what they feel will be their core, signing restricted free agent forward Tyler Ennis to a five-year deal.  While the team didn’t acknowledge terms, various reports state it’s for five years and $23 million—an annual average of about $4.6 million.

As things stand Ennis becomes the second-highest paid forward on the team.  Matt Moulson rejoined the Sabres a few weeks ago for $25 million over five years.

Ennis scored a career-high 21 goals last season and was second on the team with 43 points in 80 games.  He’s consistently been one of the Sabres top scorers, ranking in the top five in each of the past four seasons.

While Ennis has predominately played center during his time in Buffalo, he could be seeing an increase in playing time on the wing over the next few seasons.  The Sabres are building around an influx of young centers that include Sam Reinhart, Zegmus Girgensons and possibly Mikhail Grigorenko.

Luke Adam is now the lone Sabres unsigned restricted free agent.

My Take: At first glance, a five year deal for Ennis seems a lot. Him being among the teams best paid forwards is fairly symbolic of why this team’s on-ice product has been dreary over the past few seasons.  Having said that, this contract doesn’t prohibit Buffalo from anything in future years.  Perhaps playing with a big-time prospect like Sam Reinhart and/or spending considerable time alongside Moulson will elevate Ennis to bigger things.

Plus, his contract isn’t too large to make him untradeable in future years if general manager Tim Murray concludes the cupboard is full at forward and wants to move Ennis for something in return.

The Daily Links – July 17, 2014

Posted on July 17, 2014 by BSD Staff Reports

Daily Links LogoBrian Galliford of Buffalo Rumblings breaks down what could be an interesting battle at tight end for the Buffalo Bills as training camp is almost set to begin.

ESPN.com’s Mike Rodrak thinks that Corey Graham is the most overpaid cornerback on the Bills roster.

#BillsMafia is taking a look at potential Bills sleepers on the roster at training camp. This article focuses on cornerback Ron Brooks.

Chris Brown takes a look at three different ways quarterback E.J. Manual can become a difference maker for the team in 2014.

The lastest on Jim Kelly’s battle with cancer, courtesy of the New York Post.

Buffalo Sabres prospect Hudson Fasching is rapidly developing into top power forward, Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald reports.

Continue reading ‘The Daily Links – July 17, 2014′

Bisons’ Hendriks Earns All-Star Win, Honors

Posted on July 17, 2014 by Buffalo Bisons Official Site

BisonsThere were a lot of great stars at the 2014 Triple-A All-Star Game in Durham, NC Wednesday night. The best came representing a Bisons uniform.

Herd hurler Liam Hendriks shined the brightest among minor league baseball’s stars, earning the win and MiLB.com ‘Top Star’ honors in the International League’s 7-3 win over the Pacific Coast League.

Hendriks threw two shutout innings and struck out four PCL All-Stars to set the tone for the IL. He allowed just one hit and left the 27th annual event with a 4-0 lead the IL would not relinquish.

The righty is the first Bisons hurler to earn the win in the All-Star Game since Roy Smith tossed a pair of shutout frames in the 1993 event which featured the IL, the PCL and the American Association, in which Buffalo played.

In his usual self, Hendriks threw strikes. He needed just 25 pitches (19 strikes) to get his six outs.

“I don’t know too many of [the PCL hitters], so I was just coming in trying to get ahead, stay ahead and be aggressive. I think that worked out pretty well for me today,” said Hendriks.

Continue reading ‘Bisons’ Hendriks Earns All-Star Win, Honors’

I’m Back – Amidst Horrible ESPN Reporting

Posted on July 11, 2014 by Patrick Moran

CBI haven’t blogged at Buffalo Sports Daily in a long time—-since March to be precise.  To be perfectly honest, a part of me was simply burned out. Part of that is attributed to being dejected with the direction the site was going while also increasingly discouraged that it’s yet to pay off in terms of goals I set personally and professionally since first launching in September 2009.

But I always planned on coming back. My intention was to be back shortly to coincide with the opening of Buffalo Bills training camp and the Buffalo Sabres developmental camp, both slated to begin within the next few weeks. At that time I was to return promising our readers a product that would be bigger and better than ever, with more insightful and unique features—blah blah blah—you get the gist.

If I can remain candor, I’m back still uncertain where BSD will go in the present and future. I certainly want to be a better writer/columnist/reporter than before, but still find myself lacking the artistic ideas and insight to make us stand out and not just be another dime-a-dozen blog, cluttered with second-hand recycled information.  If you’ve yet to take the hint, I’m open for ideas.

I know one thing—the past 24 or so hours has taught me exactly what I don’t want BSD to ever become or remain (depending on your perspective)—internet space for a bunch of rubbish, such as ESPN’s coverage of the Lebron James saga.

Mind you, I have no personal interest in anything Lebron, nor would I be report/reflect on the topic had I not been on hiatus.  I write about Buffalo sports, and the King has nothing to with such.

Continue reading ‘I’m Back – Amidst Horrible ESPN Reporting’

Bulls Stunned In MAC Quarterfinals

Posted on March 13, 2014 by University at Buffalo Press Release

UB LogoA career night from senior guard Josh Freelove would not be enough, as the Buffalo Bulls fell to Eastern Michigan 69-64 in the quarterfinal round of the Mid-American Conference tournament Thursday night. Freelove would hit 8-15 threes and score a career-high 26 points, but the Eagles’ top-ranked field goal defense stifled the UB interior.

The Bulls struggled with the Eastern Michigan zone defense early, but was able get an early boost from threes on three straight possessions to take a 9-5 lead through the first four minutes, one from Will Reagan and the next two from Freelove. The Bulls would hit a slump from that basket at the 16:12 mark, going without another field goal for the next seven minutes while Eastern Michigan would embark on a 15-2 run to take a 20-11 lead before Freelove would strike again from deep.

The Eagles would stymie the interior offense for the Bulls, but Freelove would help bridge the gap with his outside shooting. He hit his fourth three of the first half to help the team to a quick 8-2 run that brought the score to 26-24 at the final media timeout. His masterful opening 20 minutes would close with his fifth three with 25 seconds left that gave the Bulls a 32-29 lead at the break. He would finish 5-9 in the half, and the Bulls would make eight threes on 16 attempts. On the flip side, the interior offense never clicked in the half, making just two of 16 shots from inside. Javon McCrea would go 0-7 and his just two free throws, but made up for it with nine rebounds and three assists in the half.

As the second half got underway, Freelove would not leave his shooting hand in the locker room. The senior hit three of his first four threes before the first media timeout, forcing the Eagles to call time after his third three gave the Bulls a 42-34 lead with 16:56 to play in the game. McCrea would have a memorable half of his own, as his free throw at the 18:14 mark gave the MAC Player of the Year his 2000th career point. The senior forward would not make a shot from the floor until the 14 minute mark of the second half, but his interior defense and rebounding would make an impact.

Continue reading ‘Bulls Stunned In MAC Quarterfinals’







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