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Mayoral Survivor Contest: The BEAST Wants You to Run for Mayor!

Truth is Overrated: Why Does My TV Think Bush Won the Debate? - Al Uthman

Political Snickering: M&M/Mars' Campaign of Terror - Matt Taibbi

Big Brother Knows Best: Blockbuster Rents Bogus Fahrenheit 9/11 DVDs - Paco Alameda

Scary Little Man: Bush's Belligerence -William Rivers Pitt

Kneeling Before George: President Bush is a Serious Stud - Merry Dunce, the Beast's "Fresh Voice"

American Indian Museum Opens in DC, Promptly Stolen by American History Museum -Jake Novak

Reading the Blitz: Election Hacks Score Touchdown in Overtime Frenzy - Matt Taibbi

Freedumb: Zell Miller Echoes Militaristic Fallacy - Mark Golden


Buffalo in Briefs


Notes from the Big House

The Straight Dope w/ Dr Rotten

Brush with Greatness: I met Gretzky - Seamus Gallivan

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters



Kino Korner


Album Reviews: Tom Waits, De La Soul


Misfits Roadie's Haunted House -Ken Barnes



High Quality Losers: Numbers Game Pays little for Bills -Ronnie Roscoe


Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob The Angry Flower - Stephen Notley

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Archives--Old BEASTs






2004 The Beast

There is an old saying in sports that statistics are for losers. The premise is simple; your team continually loses, so you point to statistics to show how they are actually better than their record, but just keep losing for some strange reason. Usually, the fan blames a key turnover or a bad call by the ref (but never the team itself) as the cause for the losses. The Buffalo Bills and their defense have exemplified this phrase. For the past two seasons, the Bills propaganda has referred to the defense as "playoff caliber." Sorry folks, the defense is decent-it certainly is much better than the offense-but it is far from being playoff caliber.

In some sort of statistical mirage, the Bills claim their defense was the second best in 2003. Call me crazy, but I don't think they were better than Baltimore, Miami, New England, or about 10 other teams that won more games than they lost last year. This ranking is strictly based on the amount of yards teams gained against the Bills. I agree that this is a fairly decent barometer to use when analyzing defenses, but the numbers can be skewed to make the team look better. For example, how many games were the Bills losing so badly that teams were strictly "running out the clock" in the fourth quarter, rather than attempting to score? They didn't need to drive 90 yards to tie or beat the Bills, they needed to kill 4 minutes, so they got one first down then took the kneel down play. In some games when the Bills were flat out getting destroyed, teams could just pack it in, run three plays and punt, knowing there was no way Bledsoe and company would mount any kind of comeback. They didn't even attempt passes because there was no reason. Therefore there weren't many yards gained. In one game the Bills opponent, Houston, actually ran backwards some twenty yards to take a safety, just to finish out the clock. That certainly looked good on the stat sheet, but once again the Bills were losers.

The Bills defense follows a trend of allowing teams to drive down the field make a key first down or a game-winning score during the closing moments of virtually every game. This is not a good trend if you wish to consider yourself one of the top defenses in the league. It happened several times last year, and it is happening again this year. Last season, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Miami, Tennessee-can I stop now?-all scored late in games when the Bills needed a stop. If the Bills actually scored 20 points, then the other team would just have to go down the field and score 21. This year might actually be worse. It is getting ridiculous; every game in the fourth quarter teams just button up the chinstrap and say, "Okay, let's put this bitch away." There was Jacksonville's late touchdown in week one. Oakland kicked a field goal to go up by 10 instead of 7, so when the Bills actually scored late, they still lost. New England gets stopped for a field goal, but the Bills jump offside, then allow them to score a game-winning touchdown. And of course, this past week, the Jets methodically worked their way down the field and made the field goal to win. You'd think by a fluke someone should fumble, throw an interception, kick one wide right, or maybe just trip and fall. Guess we corner the market on that also.

The coaching staff doesn't help either. The thought was that by getting rid of Gregg Williams, the Bills would have to be better prepared and better coached. Through four games that certainly is not the case. Mike Malarkey is feeling his way through and it isn't very pretty. The play calling has been erratic, and now even the owner is getting upset. I'm not sure if this is an old saying, but it should be--If the owner is telling the media things need to change, then you better make changes.

But all is not lost, Bills fans. The next four opponents are Miami, Baltimore, Arizona and the Jets again. Only Baltimore is on the road, so realistically winning two, three or even four of those games would not be a shock. Miami comes to Orchard Park this week, and The Bills will actually be favored to chalk up their first win and believe it or not, they should be. Miami is even worse than the Bills. All you need to do is look at the stats: Buffalo is 0-4 while the Dolphins are 0-5!


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ATTENTION BEAST READERS! The BEAST needs you to be the next Mayor of our dear city. That's right! We want you, a lowly loyal BEAST reader, to be the next Mayor of the city of Buffalo. WE ARE TOTALLY SERIOUS! We are launching a search for 16 contestants willing to run for the position of Mayor in 2005...

Truth is Overrated Al Uthman

It's been almost a week since the second Presidential debate, and I'm still baffled at the post-debate coverage.

Well, no, that's not really true. I remember turning to a fellow viewer as we watched Bush go to pieces and saying, "watch; they're gonna come on and call it for Bush."

Political Snicker-ing Matt Taibbi

The good folks at M&M/Mars and BBDO New York have combined recently to give the world one of the more uplifting cinema experiences of the year: a series of commercials in which hapless, ambitionless zeroes with terrible haircuts make improbable journeys from their couches to the throne of mankind after eating Snickers bars.

Big Brother Knows Best Paco Alameda

True story: After eagerly awaiting the DVD release of Fahrenheit 9/11, I take a bus to The Hamburg, NY Blockbuster and ask the first friendly clerk I see to point me toward the new releases. He walks me over to the Fahrenheit 9/11 display and being a very helpful chap, takes a DVD, hands it to me and says "Is this what you were looking for?"

Scary Little Man William Rivers Pitt

George W. Bush, still smarting from his embarrassing performance in the Florida debate, decided on Friday night in St. Louis that volume was a good substitute for strength, that yelling would be mistaken for gravitas. The result was an ugly, disturbing, genuinely frightening show.

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