Will Bush Use the No-Huddle?

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the February 7, 1991 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259The following might have been more apparent if the Buffalo Bills would have won the Superbowl, but the concept holds nonetheless.

In the week prior to each of the three playoff games in which the Buffalo Bills participated, sports reporters from across the nation asked Head Coach Marv Levy if he intended to use his quick scoring no-huddle offense from the outset. With a poker face, Levy regularly answered, Continue Reading “Will Bush Use the No-Huddle?”

Throwback Bills Fans – What’s it Mean?

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A funny thing happened on the way to the Bills game this past weekend. Actually two funny things, which, in of itself, was a funny thing. Not once, but twice, while Bills_Win_2010.10.14_300ambling on down the New York State Thruway, we saw a car pull over and a well-padded passenger disembark to visit some nearby woodlands, soon to be wetlands.

I hadn’t seen this scene in quite some time. At first, I wondered what would cause an obviously well working auto to suddenly yank itself to the shoulder of the road. After another slug of my Snapple, a thought popped into my head.

How far had these “relievers” been traveling? How much did they have to drink? Was there any doubt they were going to the game?

Once we got to the game – and despite the repeatedly failed attempts by the Bills to Continue Reading “Throwback Bills Fans – What’s it Mean?”

Misleading Headline? Baseless Buffalo Bills Bashing? Or Both?

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With friends like these, who needs enemies? It’s bad enough we find our region at the butt end of many late night comics’ monologues, but why does the local 1244775_46838866_glass_half_empty_300media have to gratuitously chime in, too?

Did you see the article “Buffalo Bills struggle to make dent on national TV map” in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle in Sunday, September 19th? Placed on the cover of the sports section, it featured a map of the continental United States. The country, bathed in red, was speckled with smaller splotches of various other colors. A beautiful graphic, you would think the D&C would have been proud to have included it in the on-line version of the article. Alas, they didn’t and the article suffers.

But this isn’t about vivid art in a hometown newspaper. This is about the reckless Continue Reading “Misleading Headline? Baseless Buffalo Bills Bashing? Or Both?”

Surprise! Buffalo Bills Score in Nielsen’s New NFL Ratings

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When you look for smart business reporting, you look to the Wall Street Journal. Likely to have been Sergeant Friday’s (“just the facts, ma’am”) favorite 100_3118_Bills_vs_Bengals_300newspaper, the WSJ sets aside all numbers and focuses squarely on cold, hard numbers. So, when this truly national paper of record offers a story (“Dallas Cowboys Are NFL’s Most Popular Team,” Wall Street Journal, September 9, 2010) spelling out how all 32 NFL teams rank in terms of popularity, you can be sure of one thing – no one gets extra points for rabid enthusiasm. It’s all about the bottom-line. And, unlike Forbes, this bottom-line is more than just money, it’s eyeballs. For the first time ever, Neilsen – of the famous TV ratings – ranks the NFL teams by incorporating both TV coverage and internet buzz.

So, where do you figure the Buffalo Bills – perhaps currently the worst team in the NFL – fall in this survey? It shouldn’t shock you Ralph Wilson’s team doesn’t find itself in the Continue Reading “Surprise! Buffalo Bills Score in Nielsen’s New NFL Ratings”

Has the NFL Provided the Answer to Promoting the Greater Western New York Region?

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I had lunch with a marketing and advertising professional in Buffalo the other day. When I told him about my crazy idea to promote the greater Western New York 3387853924_7f3e7c9a36_cattle_branding_flickr_no_known_copyright_restrictions_300region, he told me it was crazy. I expected that. What he told me next I didn’t expect. Yet, I can see why it happened.

A couple of decades or so ago, some members of the Buffalo-Niagara community decided to join forces to promote their two communities. They initial suggested to do so under the banner “Western New York” since the local media commonly used that term to describe the area of Erie and Niagara counties (and sometimes even Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties). The grand poobahs of marketing gathered together and rejected the notion. “Everyone knows Continue Reading “Has the NFL Provided the Answer to Promoting the Greater Western New York Region?”

D&C Writer Disses Western New Yorkers

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Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. — Teddy Roosevelt


A few weeks ago, a columnist from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle wrote a piece titled “Winter as Metaphor for Community’s Woes.” If you’ve read the column and you’re a true-blue Western New Yorker, you’ll immediately see the column itself as a metaphor for our community’s woes.

The writer, while acknowledging the obvious diminution in our region’s stature, meekly states “The decline we’ve seen is not a character flaw; it’s the result of economic forces beyond our control.”

Actually, the statement reflects the major character flaw many die-hard residents of the western frontier of New York State see in our neighborhood – too many people, especially those floating merrily in the ether of high profile, fail by wallowing in self-pity rather than seizing the reins of self-improvement.

Continue Reading “D&C Writer Disses Western New Yorkers”

Western New York Media Market: Whole Greater than Sum?

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A decade ago, before the financial crisis that opened the first decade of the new millennium, Adelphia Communications, in addition to a cable channel called the Empire Sports Network, owned a radio station with the call letters WNSA. The two worked in tandem and, at least until the falling stock market exposed the Regis family, this modest media juggernaut gained a respectful audience.

Western_New_York_Microphone_300On the cusp of a content driven era, the small cable company had, together with the Buffalo Bills, successfully begun to build connections within a broader Western New York Region. This bigger footprint would include not only Buffalo and Niagara Falls, but also Rochester, Jamestown and several other cities within the roughly seventeen western-most counties of New York State. With a growing national market, Adelphia offered the allure of becoming the new century’s CNN (or at least ESPN). And with its intention to build an impressive headquarters in the state’s Queen City, Buffalo finally had a new hope – one that might bring it to rival Atlanta in cable communications.

But, as it seems to have happened to our region ever since Canada left us no choice but to build the Saint Lawrence Seaway, fate once again dealt a bad hand. Continue Reading “Western New York Media Market: Whole Greater than Sum?”

The Snow Monster Returns: Buffalo Bills, Undefeated for the Decade!

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Bills_Game_Close_Up_300Should I stay home or should I go?

With red letter snow warnings, ominous travel advisories and a plethora of church service cancellations, the question wavered annoyingly in my own mind and unspoken on my worried wife’s barely wakened lips.

Should I stay or should I go?

The last game of the season. A meaningless game. Against a team that expects to bench most of its starting players. The beleaguered Buffalo Bills, banished for the past decade to the Siberia of no-playoffs, have done little to earn back the loyalty of staunch fans since the heresy of hiring Tom Donahoe. Why should any humble fan place their body in harm’s way, especially when the kind Gods of Time-Warner decided to sell-out the game (the only way they could then broadcast it to local viewers).

Should I stay or should I go?

Continue Reading “The Snow Monster Returns: Buffalo Bills, Undefeated for the Decade!”

It’s a Wonderful Western New York Life

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It's_a_Wonderful_Life_250For the umpteenth time I find myself watching Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. Yet, in all the years those reels have run through my retinal receptors, for the first time I really see the poignant – if unintended – metaphor.

We – Western New York – are Bedford Falls.

I don’t mean in the literal sense like Seneca Falls. I don’t mean in the physical-proximity sense because the movie mentions Buffalo and Rochester. And I don’t mean in the meteorological sense because those are definitely lake-effect snowflakes in the film. Rather, I speak of a much more mysterious philosophical aura that borders on the eerie similarities of tragic prognostication laced with a fringe of hope.

Continue Reading “It’s a Wonderful Western New York Life”

Day 18 – December 1, 2009 (Tue): Start Putting Your Tweets Together

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 108 Followers: 94 Listed: 5

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 17 – November 30, 2009 (Mon): Post an Action Tweet

twitter_power_joel_comm_150This Twitter Churn and Burn Hypothesis seems to have some legs. It makes me think a lot of folks waste a lot of time on Twitter. Why else would they follow and unfollow in less than 24 hours? I can almost understand the marketers doing this with all their fancy machines. But regular folks? And, especially, non-profits? @BPOrchestra, out of the blue, followed me. Since I feel I belong in their target market, I followed back. Then they unfollowed me. Go figure. So I asked them why with an “@” question. They haven’t updated their tweets in a while so I might not hear from them until tomorrow. But, instead of worrying about my followers – or unfollowers as the case may be – on this day I learn I should worry about my own motives.

Continue Reading “Day 18 – December 1, 2009 (Tue): Start Putting Your Tweets Together”