The five best ways to lose: Buffalo edition
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
There are three words that I often say to that special someone. It’s difficult for me, I get embarrassed, it makes me sick and I can’t sleep.
I don’t want her to know, because that will give her the upper hand. However, I just can’t find it in my heart to hide these three words...
“Let’s Go Buffalo!”
For years, I have rooted for teams that have reeled me in with high hopes. But they have done nothing but rip my heart out of my chest and stomp all over it.
If you were to take one good look at me, you would you see a nice, pleasantly plump Italian man. But pain is behind my beautiful hazel eyes.
Pain from the inescapable mantra that is the City of Buffalo and its affiliated sports teams.
To celebrate the “Best of Buffalo” issue, I’d like to highlight the misfortunes that have led analysts and outsiders to believe Buffalo sports are the laughing stock of the sports world.
5. Bills vs. Patriots, Sept. 14, 2009 –The Bills were on the brink of pulling off a huge upset. They had finally convinced the rest of the world they were the real deal on Monday Night Football – until Leodis McKelvin fumbled a kick off late in the game. I was speechless. At that point, I knew we were the same old Bills. Only that could and would happen to us.
4. Buffalo vs. Ohio basketball, March 12, 2005 – Turner Battle, who had been an offensive stud the whole 2005 season, hit a go-ahead shot with 11 seconds remaining against the Ohio Bobcats in the Mid-American Conference Championship game. The Bulls had hopes of securing their first berth in the NCAA Tournament in school history.
But it seemed as if uncertainty and bad luck were floating through the air, and the Bulls were susceptible to catching this epidemic as easily as the common cold.
In the last seconds of the game, Ohio’s Jeremy Fears took a jump shot that clanked off the rim. But teammate Leon Williams swooped in and tipped the ball in at the buzzer for his 29th point, and the Bulls yet again missed out on a chance at national recognition. Ohio 80, Buffalo 79.
3. Sabres vs. Stars, June 19, 1999 –“NO GOAL!” is the only thing that I can take away from this, as I’m sure every fan agrees. Having your skate inside the crease was forbidden. If there was any suspicion you had your foot in the crease, it was reviewed. And if there was clear evidence that a skate was in the crease, the goal would be waived. Leave it until the Stanley Cup Finals involving the Sabres for that rule to be null and void. The ticking time bomb of bad luck exploded, leaving fans like me to sit with our head between our legs in disbelief.
2. Titans vs. Bills, Jan. 8, 2000– I should have known – as a fan who watched the Sabres fall to the Stars six months earlier in the Stanley Cup Finals –this was the year of Buffalo sports’ downward spiral into a deep, deep depression. Few things in life are more embarrassing than the “Music City Miracle.” In a game against a Houston Oilers team under its new nickname, the Tennessee Titans, fans watched Frank Wycheck throw a lateral to Kevin Dyson from sideline to sideline. Dyson scampered 75 yards for a game-winning touchdown as time expired. The Bills haven’t been to the playoffs since, making the 13-year drought a dismal 21st century for Buffalo fans.
1. Bills vs. Giants, Jan. 27, 1990 –The Bills were favored by seven to win Super Bowl XXV. Crazy, right? The Bills used to be a powerhouse in the AFC east – even crazier. Down 20-19, Scott Norwood came on to attempt a 47-yard field goal. Of course, he missed.
The Bills went on to lose three more Super Bowls in consecutive years.
So there you have it. What better way to remember the “Best of Buffalo” than taking you through the five most traumatizing memories of your Buffalo fanhood?