First, I want it clear -- crystal clear -- that I have never had the
misfortune of being a Buffalo Bills fan, so I have no horns in this
Not that I have anything against Bills fans, mind you. I quite like the little I know of them, actually.
They seem like a prideful, hearty lot, who carry themselves with a chip on their shoulder no doubt borne in part from growing up on the shores of Lake Erie and the residual hardships of braving something called lake-effect snow.
Bills fans stayed with their team through four Super Bowl losses, and still talk reverently of the coach of those defeats, Marv Levy, as if he were a poor man's Vince Lombardi. They are a loyal lot.
Buffalo loyalists also turn out and support their team no matter how bad it is playing (which is pretty much all the time these days) or how hard it is snowing, which is a lot more than I can say about so many fans (we're looking at you, Jacksonville).
So you see, I am here to mostly praise you, not bury you.
Actually, this morning I am here to tell you that I am feeling rather sorry for you, and wondering how, and why, it is you just got screwed -- again.
For some reason I locked on to a small portion of the press conference Tuesday in which your GM, Foghorn Leghorn, announced that Chan Gailey was about to become the next interim head coach of your suffering franchise.
Immediately, I wondered if I wasn't watching some taped deal from 10 years ago or something. Chan Gailey?! Really?!
Satisfied that this was actually a live event, I hung in longer with the press conference hoping Leghorn, who goes by the alias, Buddy Nix, would explain how it was he ended up so far north of the Mason-Dixon Line without getting carded.
I never got that information, but thought it rather humorous when he took a shot at an Oakland Raiders franchise that has won three Super Bowls over the years. Well-played, Leghorn.
Leghorn went on and on about the 300 or so candidates they had for the job, and how they were tickled pink to strike gold with a journeyman that's never won much of anything anywhere he's been, and certainly not in the NFL.
Chan Gailey is best described as a 'nice' coach with a Broadway dancer's name.
had the misfortune of coaching the Cowboys in the late-'90s along about
the time Jerry Jones was beginning his run of Jimmy Johnson re-dos.
Apparently, his record was 18-14 during his stint, and he lost both his
I heard this morning on one of the 33 SportsCenter shows that run non-stop throughout the day (please bring back Australian Rules Football) that Jones now says he might have let Gailey go too early. Sure, Jerry.
This does at least explain why he is overcompensating with Wade Phillips these days, though.
But back to Gailey...
After his stint with the Cowboys, and a short run as D-coordinator with the Dolphins, Gailey went on to coach at college powerhouse, Georgia Tech.
In the land of Foghorn Leghorn, he put together a 44-32 record, never beat rival Georgia, never won a league title, never coached in a BCS game, never won nine games, and never finished in the top 25.
He was successfully fired after the 2007 season, though.
For some reason Gailey was hired to become the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator in 2009, but was demoted after only three preseason games by coaching legend Todd Haley.
It was clear Buffalo targeted former Steelers' coach Bill Cowher early and often for its open head-coaching position, but when Cowher said he would accept the job only if and when Lake Erie was drained, it started to look a little doubtful.
Truth is, Cowher was never going to go freeze his you-know-what off in Buffalo -- certainly not after he had his PR agent, Jerome Bettis, make it clear he was stalking the N.Y. Giants head job in 2011.
If you believe most of what you read, and hopefully little of what you hear, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was looking a lot like the hot coaching candidate of the moment. A lot of smart guys were talking him up, including the classy Tony Dungy.
After the job Frazier's defense did against Jones' Dallas team Sunday, his hiring would have made some sense.
At least you would have had a hardworking, up-and-comer with something to prove stalking the sidelines up there.
Instead, you got some old, recycled, broken-down, 58-year-old coach in a division with two up-and-coming lead men, Tony Sporano (Miami) and Rex Ryan (N.Y.), to go along with the ever-unpopular legend, Bill Belichick in New England.
If this were some kind of fight, they'd need to stop it. The guy is clearly over-matched.
I'm not sure what you did to deserve all this, Buffalo fans, I'm really not. If nothing else, I hope spring comes early for you this year, because next fall is going to be another long, cold one.