Buffalo BEAST - Buffalo's New Best Fiend
 

Nov 2 - Nov16, 2005
Issue #87

  ..Buffalo's Best Fiend
   
All Day Suckers
Getting fooled again
Allan Uthman

The Undoucheables
Even Fitzgerald can't cleanse media pussies
Paul jones

All Eyes on Greenland
Global Warming continues to warm the globe
Alexander Zaitchik
Scalito's Way
Supreme Court loses its swing
Donnie Dobovich
Nuclear Terror goes Primetime
But who's watching?

Russ Wellen

Why 2K?
Lucky 200th dead soldier wins free autopsy
Jeff Dean

Slaving You More
A brave new world right next to the salsa
N. Sorrenti
An Evening with Malcolm McLaren
We got to hang out with him & you didn't
Paul Fallon

FAUX-TURES
Ask Kim Jong Il
Advice from the world's most colorful super-villain

LOCAL
Judy, Judy, Judy
An interview w/ Judith Einach, Buffalo's best hopeless Mayoral candidate
Vote for Helfer or He'll Kick Your Ass
The Buffalo News' Illogical Endersement

The BEAST Blog
Irresponsible vitriol on a near-daily basis

[sic] - Letters
Wide Right
Bills Football & other sports
Kino Korner: Movies
Michael Gildea
Page 3
Separated at Birth?
Beast-O-Scopes
 
 Cover Page

COMIX:
Idiot Box
Perry Bible Fellowship
Bob the Angry Flower

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Unhappy Endings
Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory
Donnie Dobovich

The inimitable Ronnie Roscoe was unable to enlighten readers with his unique brand of sports wisdom for this issue.

In his stead and our panic, we’re falling back on clichés.  Quite simply, the Bills snatched defeat from the jaws of victory before a national audience on Monday Night Football.  After dominating the lackluster New England Patriots for the entire 1st half and playing solidly for most of the second, the Bills collapsed in horrific fashion.  It was like watching Old Yeller, the Director’s Cut.

Thanks to strong play by the Buffalo defense and a slapdash New England offense, the Patriots touched the ball for less than 8 minutes in the 1st half.  Everything was going the Bills’ way.  In the waning moments of the half, surefooted Adam Vinatieri appeared to have notched the game at 3 apiece when the Patriots were called for a delay of game.  A Bill Belichik team incurring a delay of game at a crucial moment, can you believe it?  Vinatieri—the game’s most clutch kicker, money anywhere inside the fifty and plenty deadly beyond it—shanked the retry badly to the left.

The 2nd half began promisingly enough.  The Bills showed resilience when Kelly Holcomb connected with Eric Moulds for a 55-yard touchdown, retaking the lead at 10-7.  Willis McGahee was a beast, rushing for 136 yards on 31 carries.

Following three strong defensive series and a takeaway with 12:49 left, the Bills took over the ball on the Patriots’ 29-yard line. The O-line surrendered a sack, however, and Rian Lindell had to settle for one of his three field goals.

That was the beginning of the end.  Deion Branch caught a 37-yard Tom Brady pass.  Then Cory Dillon, hampered all season by injuries and a questionable starter for the night’s game, cut Buffalo’s lead to 16-14 at the 7:06 mark, with a 1-yard TD.

On the ensuing drive, Patriots linebacker Roosevelt Colvin blindsided Holcomb and stripped the ball on the Buffalo 23-yard line.  Brady hit Branch again for 22 yards and then Dillon ran the ball in to make it 21-16.  The Patriots scored 14 points in under 2 minutes.

Buffalo, powered by McGahee, pushed the ball to the New England 38.  But, on fourth-and-7, Holcomb inexplicably threw a swing pass to Eric Moulds who was stopped for no gain. It was a dumb mistake.

The Bills still managed to get the ball back and, like true showmen, saved their best for last. On the final play, with 2 seconds left in the game, Buffalo called a play so embarrassing, so poorly conceived and executed that the Buffalo News couldn’t even bear to mention it in their copious coverage of the game and, in fact, I can find no mention of anywhere else. It looked like a poorly executed version of some ancient play which hadn’t been tried since the flying wedge was ruled illegal.

Holcombe made another alarmingly short pass, and then three or so players formed some kind of rotating, lateral-throwing whirligig, except the third lateral was an illegal forward one. In all ways, it was a totally idiotic play. It was like a performance art collaboration between the Teletubbies and the Blue Man Group, as recreated by an auto workers’ theater group—perfectly bad.

There are a lot of reasons the Bills didn’t win—the fact that they had to settle for field goals when they should have been scoring touchdowns is a big one, and they did get screwed on some key penalties. But none of these are as downright shameful as the blatant idiocy of the last few offensive plays called by the Bills, the ones that really, really counted.

Let me try to make this clear: it’s the last play of the game. You have to get 85 yards up the field to score. It’s virtually impossible. What do you do? Think about it. You know what you would do:

“Okay, everybody run like hell downfield and I’m going to throw the ball as far as I can.”

That’s it—Hail Mary, Statue of Liberty, whatever you want to call it. Maybe it falls dead, maybe you get intercepted, but maybe you score. Maybe you get lucky. It’s not likely, but there’s a reason basketball players hurl the ball across the court when they hear the buzzer: every once in a while it works, and you don’t get lucky not trying.

Anybody who ever played the game would have tried a bomb pass on first-and-85 with two seconds left in the game, down by 5 points. Anybody who really cared about winning. Counting the previous botched fourth down, that’s two chances to score, to win, lost due to a total lack of urgency.

Losing to the Patriots is no dishonor. But losing because we just stopped trying is.

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