Tonawanda News

December 10, 2009

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: Bills in Toronto fail to impress

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Media on both sides of the border had little positive to say about the Bills’ second jaunt to Toronto to play an NFL regular season game.

In the aftermath of the Bills’ 19-13 loss to the New York Jets, the National Post sarcastically lauded Buffalo’s ability to score a touchdown this season (the Bills scored three points in losing their Toronto game to Miami in 2008), but had no ohter kind words.

“And in year two of the Bills in Toronto experiment, you can see the limitations. Beyond the arrogance of Rogers Communications — personified by the series-introducing cackle of the late Ted Rogers, the pricing, the marketing and the pricing again — there is the product,” the paper said. Why on Earth would any right-minded person become a fan of the Buffalo Bills now? There are plenty of people in Toronto who love the NFL, but Buffalo is just one of 32 teams. And, frankly, not a terribly appealing one.”

Toronto’s Globe and Mail discussed the pregame scene on the streets, upon which tailgating is forbidden in Canada’s largest city.

“Outside, on the streets surrounding the Rogers Centre ... it wasn't wildly atmospheric. A lot of the bells and whistles laid on last year by organizers, the huge hospitality tents and such, were dramatically scaled back, and of course anyone attempting to tailgate on their own had to remain extremely discrete or else deal with local constabulary,” the paper said. “That's how Toronto is different than Orchard Park ... What some regard as the pure experience of this game, which requires hours of pre-kickoff lubrication and bratwurst consumption broken up by tossing a ball around, is never going to be available here.”

While this year’s effort was improved over 2008, Sports Illustrated was quick to point out fans’ dissatisfaction over what proved to be another lackluster offensive effort.

“(The game) was probably not the most boring nationally televised game in NFL history —although we're scrambling to find other candidates. But did anyone catch that one sign held by a Canadian fan inside Toronto's Rogers Centre, saying: Hey, Bills, try punting on thrrd down — the Jets will never see it coming,” the magazine said. “That, in a nutshell, sums up another NFL atrocity in eastern Canada's greatest metropolis, courtesy of the anemic Buffalo offense ... and, in this case too, a slightly less barren Jets offense.”

•••

The Olympic torch will be a quick cross-border jaunt away next weekend as the eternal flame makes its way cross-continent for February’s winter games in Vancouver.

The Brock Press of Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, reported that the flame will pass through the Niagara region next weekend. On Dec. 20, the flame will make its way from Hamilton west to Niagara Falls. The next day will see the flame continue westward through Fort Erie to Brantford.

The Winter Olympics open Feb. 12.