The Buffalo Bills Front Office is Just as Dumb Its Fans

The Buffalo Bills is quite possibly the world’s worst sports franchise and its continued existence is shocking. I write this after a 20-13 loss to the Houston Texans, a game the team was not favored to win but should’ve won nonetheless. The real reason I feel the need to talk about the Buffalo Bills is because of its steadfast commitment to the absolute worst quarterback in the entire league: Nathan Peterman.

This man is just not good. He came into the game in Houston after the Bills starter got injured with a one touchdown lead. Peterman wasted little time throwing a pick-six, letting the Texans take the lead and win the game. In the 2018 season, Peterman has just 30 passing attempts yet also has an astounding four interceptions. It is a shock that Peterman continues to get any minutes considering he might be the least effective quarterback ever under pressure, and he’s rushed a lot because his team isn’t the best at blocking, making a bad situation horrible.

I genuinely don’t comprehend how the Buffalo Bills, a team coming off their first playoff season in 18 years, didn’t see this coming. This organization traded Tyrod Taylor, a capable quarterback, to allow Peterman to start. Why?

I don’t understand trading the quarterback who brought the team to the playoffs, and I further fail to see why the Bills decided to replace him with Peterman, who played a game in 2017 (after a very suspicious benching of Taylor) and threw five interceptions IN ONE HALF, forcing the Bills to put Taylor back in. That’s just one example of Peterman’s skill. It is almost like the Bills want to wait another few decades before making the playoffs again.

But here’s where it gets more baffling. After throwing two late-game interceptions to cost his team the game against Houston, the Bills still might start Peterman in their next game against the Indianapolis Colts instead of ANYONE ELSE. If Peterman starts again, the Buffalo Bills should be promptly kicked out of the league.

The Buffalo Bills organization continues to amaze me and it’s a wonder everyone involved hasn’t been fired yet. Or maybe the owners just don’t care. The only logical conclusion is that Bills fans themselves have taken over the franchise, and the #BILLSMAFIA sure isn’t the brightest.

Just how bad are the Bills? Look at this Google search:Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 5.51.15 PM.png

football sucks

If you’ve been watching the NFL for the first couple weeks of this season, I am sorry. I’m sure many of you who bother to read this have, in fact, been keeping up with the action and I assure you, you aren’t alone in being confused. This might be the most difficult to understand season of professional football I have ever seen with a severe lack of good teams combining with a disconnect between players and owners leading to a mess of a sport.

One of my biggest gripes with the NFL in its fifty-third season is the remarkably dull play. Over the past couple of years, football fans have been gifted with some of the most memorable seasons in the history of the game featuring dramatic playoffs and leading to spectacular Super Bowls with exciting regular season storylines sprinkled in. For instance, last year fans around the country rejoiced as the Buffalo Bills made the playoffs for the first time in seventeen years. The postseason brought massive amounts of drama leading to some of the best games in history including the Minnesota Miracle (which made yours truly a fair amount of money), and one of the most memorable finales in recent history (which lost yours truly an awful lot of money).

This year feels different. This year feels uninspired. It feels like football accidentally neutered itself, much like the mascot in the video below. I can’t quite figure out why – it certainly might be because my team is badly losing games in the regular season, something I’ve never quite seen – but I think it’s because the league lacks good teams. Many would consider that a non-issue, which makes sense. More evenly matched teams leads to more competitive games and thus better football. But it’s not working that way because while all teams are at the same level, that level is terrible. It seems like one team randomly beats up on another or two bad teams just find creative ways to avoid winning.

Another reason football appears to be in a comatose is actually just the same as the first. With no good teams, there aren’t any underdogs, which has always made for some of the most exciting storylines. Take the Cleveland Browns for instance. It really is, and I mean it, fun to watch this team play, despite my hatred for Baker Mayfield (who just shows such poise when on the field). It would be a hell of a lot more fun to watch if they were actual underdogs instead of a team that looks set to make the playoffs and is favored to win games. I am very happy Cleveland has suddenly turned it around, but it feels as if they took a small step forward and everyone else took a big step back.

Other examples include the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars. I am genuinely disappointed in both teams after strong starts to their seasons, which would make for an exciting storyline as they entered the playoffs. Strangely, both teams completely fell flat on their face in the third week. Jacksonville seemed to be playing like blind men after a dominant victory against the New England Patriots, only putting six points up on the board against the Tennessee Titans. Minnesota’s loss can’t even be explained. The entire team was playing hot potato on Sunday while what was assumed to be the worst team in the league, the Buffalo Bulls, ran them into the ground.

Last week many experts around the NFL called Week 3 “Upset Sunday,” but it wasn’t, there were only a few genuine upsets, just a lack of strong favorites. On paper, it seemed like there were more, but watching the games didn’t invoke any sort of Cinderella-type magic because it seemed like the better teams a) weren’t better and b) didn’t actually care. It felt more like an extended preseason.

By my count, there is only one good team, the Los Angeles Rams, and the fans don’t even care about them. They really don’t, making it sad that the Rams are the stand-out franchise this season. Ask anyone from the area, as soon as Lakers basketball starts, the Rams could go undefeated and no one could care because they will be preoccupied with LeBron James, rightfully so.

It has also been revealed that basically every owner in the NFL is a horrible, horrible person with nearly all of them openly coming out in support of Trump with the worst of the bunch being exposed for sexual harassment (Richardson) and believing the players are prisoners (McNair). While there is a much longer article to be written about how a majority white ownership treats the majority black players like disposable chess pieces, at a basic level it isn’t fun to support a league where the majority of the funds go into the pockets of these obviously terrible people and it makes the sport, rightfully so, much less appealing.

The way this season is headed, I can only assume nothing memorable will come of it and the fans will be stuck watching a repeat of Super Bowl 48, which I am sure most of my readers will have to look up, my point exactly.

Super Bowl Prediction – New England Patriots over Los Angeles Rams?

Photo courtesy of the Associated Press

Wild Card Betting

Hey, yes you, want to bet on some football, I know I do! Here are the picks from the benspn offices for how to bet this week’s action.

(cover the spread means the team not favored to win will either win or lose by less than expected)

(beating the spread means the team favored to win will win by more than the amount expected)

Oakland Radiers at Houston Raiders

Line:  Houston -4 (that means Houston is favored to win by four points or more) » take Houston to beat the spread

Over/Under: 38  (that means that the two teams are projected to score 38 points combined) » take the under

Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks

Line: Seattle -9 » trust the Lions to cover the spread (benspn guarantee)

Over/Under 44 » take the under

Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers

Line: Pittsburgh -11 » expect the Steelers to beat the spread

Over/Under 46 » take the under (benspn guarentee)

New York Giants at Green Bay Packers

Line: Green Bay -6 » expect the Giants to cover the spread

Over/Under 45 » take the over

 

 

the Road to the Super Bowl

Wild Card Round

AFC

6 – Miami Dolphins v. 3 – Pittsburg Steelers

This game should be won easily by the Steelers who will have the luxury of playing at home against a team lacking offense. With Tannehill, the Miami starting quarterback, missing another game due to two sprained ligaments in his left leg the Miami offense will yet again be helpless, as it has been in most games lacking their leader. The Steelers have a dynamic offense led by stars like Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown and should knock out Miami’s dreams of a ring.

Final Score — Pittsburg 27 – Miami 10

  • I hate the Steelers

5 – Oakland Raiders v. 4 – Houston Texans

While Oakland did look like an unstoppable force this season, without their starting quarterback, not even their unstoppable offensive line can generate offense. They have looked lost since they lost Carr to injury and don’t have an established, playoff ready run game to fall back on. The underwhelming should win this game due to still having their key pieces intact, for the most part (they are still missing some of their biggest game changers like JJ Watt). Both teams in this game are severely lacking offense, but the winner of the worst division in football will prevail.

Final Score — Houston 14 – Oakland 13

  • If Oakland did have Carr, this game would be a complete rout, showing his dominance as a quarterback and he is emerging as one of the best QBs in the league

NFC

6 -Detroit Lions v. 3 – Seattle Seahawks

This game will be close but I think that in a dramatic upset, the Lions will come close to setting back the Seahawks dreams of a championship but will ultimately fail. Both teams have great offenses but the Seattle defense is still one of the best and will carry their team to victory. Stafford and Tate, in what is his first game back in Seattle since he left in the offseason before the 2014 season, will come up short mainly because of the great secondary defense established by the Seahawks and without a great running game to keep the Seahawks guessing, the Lions will go back to Detroit.

Final Score — Seattle 27 – Detroit 24

  • if the Lions are down by a touchdown or less going into the fourth quarter they will win
  • if the Lions win this game they will make it to the Super Bowl

5 – New York Giants v. 4 – Green Bay Packers

I really, really hope that the Giants lose this game. Sadly, I don’t think they will. The teams are evenly matched (Green Bay is stronger offensively, while the Giants are a bit stronger on the other side of the ball) and it will be a very close game. However, being a superstitious man when picking games, I think that the fact that the Packers haven’t lost in six games will work against them and the Giants will take one step closer to another Super Bowl appearance.

Final Score — New York 20 – Green Bay 17

  • I think Green Bay should win on this game but superstition man

Divisional Round

AFC

3 – Pittsburg Steelers v. 2 – Kansas City Chiefs

The Steelers will win this game as long as Antonio Brown is able to have a noticeable impact. The Chiefs have looked like one of the best teams in football behind a team that has learned game management and have played good football on both sides of the ball but the AFC North winner will overwhelm them now that they have all parts of their offense ready to go. It will be a close one in Arrowhead but ultimately yet another post-season loss for Reid, Smith, and co.

Final Score — Pittsburg 30 – Kansas City 20

  • I hate the Steelers
  • I really hate them

4 – Houston Texans v. 1 – New England Patriots

This game will be a rout and I shouldn’t need to explain why. One of the worst teams to ever make the playoffs will be going into Foxborough, where they lost 27 – 0 with their entire team health against a Patriots team lacking Brady, Gronk, and Ninkovich in Week 3. Now Houston has to come back and play another game, but this time going up against a rested Brady and lacking key parts, it will not be a close game.

Final Score — New England 31 – Houston 7

  • Brady has been playing with a fire in him ever since his Deflategate suspension and expect him to continue along that path, if not play even better in the playoffs

NFC

3 – Seattle Seahawks v. 2 – Atlanta Falcons

I think that Atlanta will overcome their playoff struggles and the Georgia Dome will get an unforgettable in what is likely the last game by a professional sports team that will be played their. The number one offense in the league led by Matt Ryan, the All-Pro and probable MVP, will face a tough task ahead of them facing one of the best defenses in the league but the combination of Devonta Freeman (one of the best running backs in the league), Julio Jones (arguably the best wide receiver in the league), and Ryan will lead the Falcons to victory.

Final Score — Atlanta 24 – Seattle 14

  • Apparently Atlanta deems a stadium “old” after 25 years of use

5 – New York Giants v. 1 – Dallas Cowboys

I am not going to do a write up of this game, all I can say is that Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliot, and the rest of the Cowboys organization will not lose to the Giants three times this season.

Final Score — Dallas 27 – New York 10

  • I don’t think Jerry Jones can live with himself if the Giants were to win this game

Championship Round

AFC

3 – Pittsburg Steelers v. 1 – New England Patriots

This game will be very close, but the Patriots will ultimately win another one in Foxborough. In what will be another showdown between the Brady and Roethlisberger, the game will be close the whole way thru and with two amazing offenses on the field, defense will decide the game, and the Patriots secondary will shut down the Steelers’ passing game, leading to Brady taking another step towards a ring.

Final Score — New England 24 – Pittsburg 20

  • The running core of LeGarrette Blount, Dion Lewis, and James White will be the key players for New England and they will control the tempo with the combination of short passing and quick runs

NFC

2 – Atlanta Falcons v. 1 – Dallas Cowboys

The Falcons will prove that they are the best team in the NFC with a convincing win over the Cowboys in Dallas. The Falcons will come out swinging and head into Houston with a big win locking the Cowboys rookie duo out of the promised land.

Final Score — Atlanta 31 – Dallas 17

  • The playoffs require experience to advance and survive, and while the Cowboys have many players with experience, their two best players lack it and it’ll stop them this year, but they will be back

Super Bowl

New England Patriots v. Atlanta Falcons

benspn’s Super Bowl Prediction this year goes to the New England Patriots, as Tom Brady will show America why he is one of the best football players of all time on the biggest stage there is. Again.

Final Score — Patriots 34 – Atlanta 20

  • Brady will win Super Bowl MVP

another LA franchise

benspn is back and as decent as we’ve ever been! To all the loyal fans out there, I know, and you know, that the one thing that you’ve been missing in your life is a benspn article so we’ve decided to give you one.

As many of you may know, the St. Louis Rams moved to Los Angeles for the start of the current season and played their games in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, to a 4-11 record, one might add. (What’s worUnknown.jpegse, their most recent loss jeopardized benspn’s chances of repeating as winner of their knockout pool.) But the team will move into its massive new stadium in Inglewood, named (wishfully) the City of Champions Stadium, in 2019. The building’s estimated cost is $2.66 billion. The Rams’ move marked the return of pro football to LA after 21 years. The Raiders left the city to return to Oakland in 1995, a year after the Rams themselves took off, first for Anaheim and then St. Louis.
And there may be more moves: The Chargers and Raiders are both in the midst of discussions of also moving to the City of Angels, and now let me explain to you why either of those teams moving, whether to LA or anywhere else, is a horrible idea.

Twenty years ago, LA obviously struggled to support two NFL teams so when the Rams returned, that should have been the discussion should’ve been over. Teams moving players around is risky business, and teams changing cities is completely detrimental to their fan bases. Both the Raiders and Chargers have developed devoted fan bases in their cities (which are already in California). Moving would leave these fans without a team to support, even as it’s possible that adding more competition to LA would cause over saturation in the city.

The plan that would move the Chargers to LA is still up in the air, but seems likely. Chargers owner Dean Spanos is most likely going to exercise his option to move to LA for the upcoming season before his deadline of January 15. But his plan for actually getting his team a place to play in LA has not been solidified after his first two plans were rejected by the public. Spanos’s original plan was to have a joint, $1.7 billion stadium with the Raiders in the LA area, but the plan was rejected because it called for a 4% hike on LA’s hotel tax and the use of approximately $1.15 billion of taxpayer funds.

This is one of the major problems with teams switching moving cities: Owners want taxpayers to pay for large parts of their new stadium with very little in return. The money taxpayers spend on a new stadium could be used for nearly anything else that to definitively benefit the city. More than a billion dollars can go a long way towards helping the public. Even after the owners would receive the money they would do very little to pay the city back when they are finished building. There would be no revenue sharing between the team and the city and profits from everything from parking to ticket sales wouldn’t be used to payback the city, leaving the city much, much poorer.

The other options for the Chargers involve using other stadiums while they explore further options to build a new home in the city. The team could attempt to share the Rams’ new stadium when it opens in 2019, which would still require them to find a temporary home until then. Venues such as the StubHub Center, a soccer stadium which seats 30,000 could be used but the Chargers would still be forced to build temporary practice space until moving into the Rams’ building.

The Raiders, have more options: The team is also willing to move to Las Vegas and management has declared that if Vegas gives them a stadium they will move there instead. This move makes even less sense than the Chargers’ plan. The Raiders would be moving out of the country’s sixth-biggest media market (the Bay Area) to the much smaller Vegas region. It would be nearly impossible for the Raiders’ large Oakland fan base to get to games in Las Vegas, almost completely alienating their original base (again). This plan also calls for infamous casino mogul Sheldon Adelson to put $650 million toward the $1.9 billion project in exchange for part ownership of the team, which seems pretty unfavorable for Mark Davis, the current owner. The Vegas offer may be lucrative but it could isolate the team and doom it to failure.

And a Hush Fell Over Camden Yards

Today the Baltimore Orioles played a home game at Camden Yards against the Chicago White Sox in front of an empty stadium, something usually only Russian soccer teams get to do. The game was played under these quiet conditions after some Baltimore citizens’ protests over Freddie Gray’s death in police custody turned violent this week in neighborhoods near Camden Yards. Playing the game with no fans, among other things, allowed the police force to focus its attention elsewhere.

(A game with no paying fans was especially tough on Camden Yards’ food vendors and ushers, especially after the two previous games were postponed, and news that the scheduled upcoming weekend home series against the Rays will be played in St. Petersburg instead. There is, however, at least one crowdfunding effort for them: http://www.gofundme.com/t98z7y8)

The eerily quiet conditions threw many players off at what was believed to be the first game in Major League Baseball history with no fans. Many players compared it  to spring training. Adam Jones said , “This was like a ‘B’ game in spring training, or the Arizona League when I first signed.” Some players still went though their usual fan routines, even with no one to cheer them on. Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph even “signed” “autographs” and gave out ” high fives” to his nonexistent fans. Chris Davis also participated in the antics, occasionally tossing baseballs behind the Orioles dugout to . . . other nonexistent fans.

The game produced some amazing (if spooky) photos, but was an uncomfortable experience for the players. “You could hear a pin drop, and the noise just echoed off the [B&O] warehouse and the entire stadium,” Baltimore closer Zach Britton said. Many players could hear sounds they usually can’t, such as the ring ing of the bullpen phone, or TV play-by-play man Gary Thorne yelling, “Goodbye!” as Chris Davis hit a three – run homer.

In the end, it will count as just another game in the standings, but players expecting the atmosphere of an Orioles home game ended up feeling like they were playing an away game against the Marlins.

2015 Major League Baseball Predictions

A full week into the season, we’ve had a chance to see what everyone’s got, and so here are the benspn baseball predictions for 2015:

Regular Season

American League  (the cooler one)

AL East  (The toughest division in history with the best rivalries and fans in history)

  1. Boston Red Sox – This pick needs no explaining. The Red Sox are the dominant team in the AL East and with a rejuvenated lineup including free-agent acquisitions Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval and the steady Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz, the Red Sox have arguably the best lineup in the league. Along with solid pitching, they are a dangerous opponent and title contender.
  2. Baltimore Orioles – This is a difficult pick because the Rays and Blue Jays could arguably make a run for second in the division, but the Orioles will ultimately prevail due to steady pitching and bating from all of their players and a very dangerous combination of Adam Jones, Chris Davis, and Manny Machado right in the heart of their lineup. The O’s also have a strong but underrated bullpen with Zach Britton, Tommy Hunter, and Darren O’Day, who all know how to close out games if need be.
  3. Toronto Blue Jays
  4. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
  5. New York Yankees

 

AL Central  (Welcome to the home of good teams with no fans)

  1. Kansas City Royals – The Royals are coming off a strong 2014 when they reached the World Seriesand haven’t slowed down. They started the season 7-0 and with largely the same team from last year they are almost a lock for the playoffs and just have to beat out a less powerful but still dangerous Tigers team to make another run at a championship.
  2. Detroit Tigers – If the Royals beat out the Tigers for the division championship, Detroit will still easily secure second place because the AL Central is one of the worst divisions. But ultimately it won’t be enough to reach the wild-card round and they will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
  3. Cleveland Indians
  4. Chicago White Sox
  5. Minnesota Twins

AL West  (the division I, and probably you, could not care less about)

  1. Oakland Athletics – The Oakland A’s are always in the hunt and this year is no exception. With weakened competition in the AL West, the A’s will probably win the division and certainly make the playoffs.
  2. Houston Astros – The Astros are finally out of their dark ages and their talented prospects could put them in a close race for first in the division. The Astros will end up as the most dangerous wild card because they have the all the tools but not the needed experience. Even if the Astros don’t make the playoffs, this year is the start of a new dynasty rising in Texas. As the saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait.” The Astros have waited long enough and are entering the first year of a baseball renaissance.
  3. Seattle Mariners
  4. Anaheim Angels
  5. Texas Rangers

National League  (the other one)

NL East  (the division where pitching wins, or, at least, it should)

  1. New York Mets – Finally! The Mets will finally make the playoffs with an insanely good pitching staff (Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler), which is too bad because I love teasing their fans. The only thing that could hold back the Mets is their lineup, which needs to step up,  I’m looking at you David Wright, or else all that great pitching may go to waste.
  2. Washington Nationals – I’m not going to talk about this one here. Just open any other baseball preview to read about “just how good” the Nationals are this year.
  3. Miami Marlins
  4. Atlanta Braves
  5. Philadelphia Phillies

NL Central (Welcome to some of the oldest teams in the history of baseball and an expansion team to make it seem fair)

  1. Chicago Cubs – The Cubs are on the rise with the team fully remade by brilliant GM Theo Epstein. The Cubs look dangerous with an offense led by baseball’s newest star prospect, Kris Bryant, and ace John Lester. The Cubs shouldn’t have much trouble winning this division and we should expect to see them in the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
  2. *Team name here* – The second spot is up for grabs for all the other teams in the division (Pirates, Cardinals, Reds, and Brewers). Each has their own strengths and weaknesses but it ultimately won’t matter, as the Central will only send one team to the playoffs.

NL West  (We always have at least one  great team)

  1. Colorado Rockies – The Rockies have one of the best offenses in the league and as long as Cargo and Tulo stay healthy, not even their bad pitching can stop them. Except for their bad pitching. OK, I lied.
  2. San Diego Padres – The Padres can’t afford to miss the playoffs this year after their GIGANTIC offseason. There is just so much to write about here. The Padres now have an amazing pitching staff led by James Shields and Andrew Cashner. The fifth pitcher in their rotation is Brandon Morrow, one of my favorites. The Padres also have a stacked bullpen where Joaquin Benoit, who usually closes, is actually the set-up man for the amazing Craig Kimbrel. Their lineup is also newly stacked with sluggers like Justin Upton and Matt Kemp. The Rockies and Padres are two of the best teams in baseball and it will be fun to watch them play.
  3. Los Angeles Dodgers
  4. San Francisco Giants
  5. Arizona Diamondbacks

Playoffs

Wild Card

AL

Baltimore Orioles (4) over Houston Astros (5) – Baltimore will prevail due to their experience and the Astros’ lack of it.

San Diego Padres (5) over the Washington Nationals (4) – This may be the best wild card game in history but the Padres will ultimately prevail.

Divisional Round 

AL

Boston (1) over Baltimore (4) in 4 – This series will not be close, with the Red Sox demonstrating the experience of a World Series-winning team along with better batting and pitching.

Kansas City (2) over Oakland (3) in 5 – This series is another close call but Kansas City’s run at another World Series appearance will continue.

NL

Colorado (1) over San Diego (5) in 5 – The Padres have both hitting and pitching but nothing will stop the Colorado offense from advancing to the NLCS.

Mets (3) over the Cubs (2) in 3 – The Mets have what might be the best three-man rotation in baseball and they should dominate the Cubs.

League Championship

AL

Boston (1) over Kansas City (2) in 5 – The Red Sox offense will knock around the Royals early and leave no room for a comeback in the series between the past two AL champions.

NL

Colorado (1) over the Mets (3) in 7 – The Mets’ amazing three-man rotation will keep them in the series but their lack of offense and the excess of the Rockies’ offense will be the deciding factor.

World Series

Boston over Colorado in 6 – In a rematch of the 2007 World Series, the result will be the same: The Red Sox have a lineup on par with the Rockies and Colorado’s lack of pitching will do them in.