Football excitement is back

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year!

Even the Bills’ loss to New England on Saturday can’t take away the luster of a very good football season in Buffalo. It’s been quite a ride, with one game to go against the New York Jets.

Ten and five with one to play in this year’s NFL is a pretty good mark. Only seven teams have a better record.  Nine teams have had middling results, within one game of playing just .500 football.

The nice thing about the 2019 Bills is that they are still a work in progress. Josh Allen is a good quarterback who continues to get better in just his second year.  The offensive line is coming together.  Devin Singletary is going to be a great runner, and the team now has some very good receivers in John Brown and Cole Beasley.

But as they say in those late night infomercials, “wait, there’s more.” The Buffalo defense is practically in a league by themselves.  They are third-ranked overall, but second in points allowed.  If the other team doesn’t score (much), you have a better chance of winning.  You can look that up.

Tre’Davious White is a superstar, playing on a unit that is loaded with talent. Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier has them operating like a well-oiled machine.

The only question marks that may need correcting in the off-season are with punter Corey Bojorquez, who has improved as the season progressed, and kicker Stephen Hauschka, who seems to be past his sell-buy date.

When you look back at the season so far, you can’t help wondering: what if Hauschka made those field goals in the Cleveland game; what if New England didn’t run back a punt for a touchdown in the game in Buffalo; what if Allen’s pass to Brown near the end of the Baltimore game had gone for a touchdown?  The team was in the second New England game right up until the end.  The only blowout loss was against Philadelphia.

So on to the playoffs.

Houston, our most likely opponent (the other being Kansas City), will be a tough team to defeat, but there are better teams not in the playoffs than the Texans. The Bills have the opportunity to make another national statement at that game.

If they move on to the divisional round, it gets much harder. But who knows?

Meanwhile, on the ice, the Buffalo Sabres continue to have problems with consistency, but they are winning more than losing. The jury is still out on where the season is going, but it could very well end with a playoff appearance too.

‘Tis the season

Since Christmas is upon us, it seems appropriate to end this post with some words from a recent editorial in Christianity Today, a publication founded by the late Rev. Billy Graham:

[T]he facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.

The reason many are not shocked about this is that this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration. He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders—is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused…

We believe the impeachment hearings have made it absolutely clear, in a way the Mueller investigation did not, that President Trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath. The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see. This damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country, and damages both the spirit and the future of our people. None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character…

Whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office by the Senate or by popular vote next election—that is a matter of prudential judgment. That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.

To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: Remember who you are and whom you serve. Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. If we don’t reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come? …



Politics and Other Stuff will take a little break.  We’ll be back in your email in-basket after New Year’s.  Thank you for reading this blog.  Thanks to Editor Paul Fisk for all his help.  Enjoy the holidays!

For a heart-warming Christmas story read for the first time or just take another look at Steve Banko’s A soldier’s Christmas story. You can read it here.

2 thoughts on “Football excitement is back

  1. Happy holidays to everyone,
    The Bills, in my opinion are a draft class and free agency away from competing at an elite level. As a guy who moved his family back to Buffalo in the early 90″s partly because of the super bowl runs, it’s about damn time
    Watching MNF, man these announcers suck.
    It didn’t take long for evangelicals to throw Christianity Today under the bus. Could there be anything more hypocritical than religious people coming to the defense of a sleezeball like Donald Trump? Makes me sick.


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