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THANKYOU SPORTS AND LEISURE FOR A DREAM COME TRUE By John Williams I wasn't always a Buffalo Bills' fan. The Dallas Cowboys were initially my team. My interest in the National Football League can be traced back 50 years to Sunday January 17, 1971. It was late afternoon and I decided to pay my friend Tim Robinson a visit. He lived across the street from me. Tim was watching Super Bowl V between the Cowboys and Baltimore Colts all by himself. Boy, have times ever changed.
HOW I BECAME A TIGER CAT FAN By John Williams Don't get me wrong - I love the NFL. In particular, the Buffalo Bills. I've been a Bills' fan since their heyday of the early 1990s. I firmly believe those days are returning with the play of QB Josh Allen. But my love for football can be traced back to the fall of 1970 when I became a CFL fan. Yes, that much maligned league that has existed like a third cousin in the shadow of the NFL for over 60 years. It was November 21st and my dad and I had obtained tickets for the second game of the CFL Eastern final.
MICHAEL VS. LEBRON - WHO'S BETTER By John Williams It's an ongoing debate that will last a lifetime (no disrespect to Russell or Chamberlain.) Who was better Michael Jordan or LeBron James? It's a no brainer - Michael Jordan! One needs to look no further than the blatantly obvious - Jordan won six NBA titles with one team while James has triumphed four times with three different franchises.
CAN JOSH ALLEN DELIVER SUPER BOWL IN 2020 By John Williams Josh Allen is in his third year as the Buffalo Bills starting quarterback. He's all of 24 years old. Jim Kelly was 28 when he led the Bills in his third campaign. He turned 31 right after leading Buffalo to their first of four consecutive Super Bowl appearances. The Bills haven't graced the NFL's grandest stage since. They haven't won a playoff game since 1995 - Kelly's second last season.
PRELUDE TO A SPORTSWRITING CAREER By John Williams I didn't become a sportswriter until I was 32. But my humble beginnings in 1988 can be rooted in the late 1970s. It was June of 1979. I was working as a correctional officer at the Guelph Correctional Center - a minimum security, provincial institution in Southern Ontario.
No Need For Disappointment In Otter Land By John Williams Hey Otter fan!!!!! Don’t be ashamed that the Niagara Ice Dogs have done in one season what your predecessor the Niagara Falls Thunder failed to do in eight – and that is successfully market an OHL team in the Niagara region. There’s still solace to be had despite your team’s dismal .389 regular season winning percentage over the last six seasons – en route to four playoff misses – including three consecutive playoff misses – one overall last place finish in league play
CATS STILL MOST REDEEMED CUP CHAMPION OF LAST 30 SEASONS BY JOHN WILLIAMS Congratulations to the Montreal Alouettes for winning their second Grey Cup in seven tries during the past decade. But the class of the CFL over the last 10 seasons certainly had Lady Luck on their side thanks to the Riders’ extra man on the Als’ first game-winning field goal attempt. But if justice was served based on regular season accomplishment, the 15-3 Als earned their just reward despite nearly falling for the sixth time in seven attempts in the New Millennium.
By JOHN WILLIAMS The Buffalo Bills bring cap in hand tonight looking for a handout in Toronto for the second straight year. And all this as part of a five-year experiment to boost revenue while determining the feasibility of an NFL team in Toronto on a full-time or occasional basis. A gauge to determine if the 20,000 or so fans from Southern Ontario who frequent the Ralph represent an even more rabid fan base in the GTA. But based on fan indifference last year against Miami - which was spawned by smug marketing and outrageous ticket prices

Triple-A Baseball and MLB Advanced Media, LP (MLBAM) announced today that online voting is now under way for the 28th annual Triple-A All-Star Game in Omaha, Neb. The online fan balloting, in its 10th consecutive year of a partnership between Triple-A Baseball and MLBAM, continues through Friday, June 26.

This year's All-Star Game will take place at Werner Park, home of the Omaha Storm Chasers, on Wednesday, July 15, at 7:05 p.m. CST.

The Sabres announced the signing of former Stanley Cup winning Coach Dan Bylsma to a multi year contract. Bylsma, 44, joins the Sabres after spending six seasons in Pittsburgh where he led the Penguins to the 2009 Stanley Cup and an impressive regular season record of 252-117-32.

The Toronto Blue Jays have announced that SS Jose Reyes will join the Buffalo Bisons on an MLB injury rehabilitation assignment. Reyes is scheduled to be with the club on Thursday, May 21, and play for the Bisons in their game against the Toledo Mud Hens at 6:30 p.m.

The Blue Jays placed Reyes on the disabled list with a left rib fracture following their game on April 27. The four-time All-Star hit .250 (15-60) with three doubles, seven RBI and three stolen bases in 16 games with the Blue Jays before being injured.

For the third consecutive year, the Buffalo Bisons will host “Blue Jays Weekend” July 11-12 at Coca-Cola Field as the Herd hosts the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
 
The games on Saturday, July 11 (7:05 p.m.) and Sunday, July 12 (1:05 p.m.) will be highlighted by visits and autograph sessions by former Blue Jays Cecil Fielder and Mookie Wilson! The Bisons will once again wear a specially designed affiliation throwback jersey and cap, a Bisons uniform stylized from the Toronto home jersey from the 1980s.

The International League today named Buffalo Bisons 1B Chris Colabello the IL’s “Batter-of-the-Week” for the week of April 20-26.

Colabello hit .467 (14-30) over the past week, leading the circuit in hits (14) and RBI (10). The veteran also hit two doubles and three home runs, helping the Bisons win five of seven games on their roadtrip and take over the best record in the International League at 12-5.

 It was a fun-filled atmosphere on April 9 as the Buffalo Bisons kicked off the 2015 season in downtown Buffalo. Festivities included a ceremonial first pitch by new Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan. Follow the Bisons all season at Bisons.com!

 The Buffalo Bisons will hold a Meet the Team Night at (716) Food and Sport from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 7. Fans will have a chance to meet Bisons players and get ready for the start of the season. There is no ticket required to attend the event.

The AHL Amerks is the breeding ground for future Buffalo Sabres players and now more than ever is it important for them to hone the skills of their young players. Rochester (9-11-1) is currently third in the North Division of the Western Conference, 11 points out of first place. The idea was to have the young Sabre prospects gain some available experience in the AHL and hopefully grow in a playoff run. They need to improve in some areas to get in playoff position.

With the Sabres playing poor hockey, the Rochester Americans were a welcome diversion at First Niagara Center Wednesday night. The Amerks in fact had as many shots on goal in the first period (10) as the Sabres had in the whole game the night before in Toronto but there was no scoring after the first 20 minutes of play.

Goaltender Andrey Makarov stopped the first 17 shots on goal from the Hamilton Bulldogs before the visitors scored on their next two shots on odd man rushes to take a 2-0 lead. Makarov made some great stops in net and looks to be the goalie of the future for the Sabres. The Amerks got one back on a nifty pass from Joel Armia to Mikail Grigorenko who scored on a nice shot from the slot. Armia then scored right off an offensive zone faceoff won by Grigorenko to tie the game. Luke Adam fired a wicked wrist shot less than a minute later that gave the home team the lead giving the Amerks three goals in three minutes and thirty two seconds. Rochester lead after the second period 3-2 that also featured a fight between Nick Petrecki and Joe Finley making for an exciting 20 minutes of play.

There was no scoring in the third but plenty of entertaining moments. Grigorenko and Armia playing on the same line, Tim Schaller the big scoring center throwing his weight around, Mike Pysyk and Chad Ruhwedel puck moving scoring threats from the point all lead to signs of hope in the Sabres future.

The journey for John Axford to the Major Leagues started in Ontario, Canada, continued through Notre Dame, and came back to WNY when he enrolled at Canisius College in Buffalo. The right-handed relief pitcher made it to the majors in 2009, and has been there ever since. He debuted with Milwaukee, and eventually supplanted soon-to-be Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman as their closer. John's 46 saves led the NL in 2011; that and his 1.95 ERA earned him the NL Rolaids Relief Award. His home address has changed a few times in the last two years. The Brewers traded Axford to St.

The third annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects game which brings the top 40 American-born prospects eligible for the NHL draft was held at First Niagara Center on September 25th. This is the second time Buffalo has hosted the game since the inaugural event in 2012 also held at First Niagara. The first two years of play a total of eight players who participated were selected in the first round of the NHL draft. The highest Buffalo Sabre draftee to play in the game was J.T. Compher in 2012 who was selected 35th overall. The most recognizable player from the games is Seth Jones who was selected 4th overall by Nashville in 2012. The player to watch in this game was Jack Eichel of N. Chelmsford, Mass. who is expected to be drafted number one or number two in the 2015 NHL entry draft. Eichel was voted Most Valuable Player of the game and the award was presented by Buffalo Sabre Drew Stafford. The lone local player in the game was Joseph Cecconi of Youngstown, NY who played for Team Olczyk (coached by Ed Olczyk). Cecconi, a 6’2 207 lb defenseman played for the Niagara University Jr. Eagles, Wheatfield Blades, Buffalo Regals and the Buffalo Jr. Sabres. The 17-year old is committed to play at the University of Michigan in 2015. Cecconi played solid defense throughout and was not on the ice for any of the opponent’s six goals. The game started a little slow as both teams seemed to make the safe play which lead to a scoreless first period. Things opened up in the second as Team Grier (coached by Mike Grier) opened the scoring at 5:35. That goal brought life into both teams as they opened up and a total of five goals were scored in the period. Team Grier took over in the third period and won the game by a 6-3 score. Jeremy Bracco and Connor Moynihan had two goals apiece while Jack Eichel had a goal and an assist for the winners. Coming as no surprise to the hockey world, attendance was a record for a prospect’s game with an announced crowd of 7,310.

The 5th annual Ballpark BrewBash is set for 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20 at Coca-Cola Field in downtown Buffalo. The premier craft beer showcase, this year’s event will feature more than 150 craft beers from 60 breweries for fans to sample at various stations throughout the ballpark, giving them a unique experience.

There will also be numerous local food items on-site, including Lloyd’s Taco Truck, Hot Off the Press Panini Truck, Greek on the Street, Macarollin and The Whole Hog.

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