ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — A year later, once again, we have Patriots, Bills, Red Sox, Orioles, and Yankees.Much like the content of this column. The casual Boston sports fan already knows what's going on with the Patriots and Red Sox; Shank simply restates the obvious in order to fill up column inches. He devotes three thin paragraphs on the subject he's allegedly in Buffalo to talk about:
We have Ralph Wilson Stadium, Camden Yards, and Yankee Stadium.
We have a football coach hoping to make it to the Super Bowl, and a baseball manager scheduled for a firing squad at the end of the week.
It is the last weekend of September, and our local teams are playing the same opponents in the same places where they played at this time last year. Everything is the same . . . and everything is different.
The view is a little different now. The 2012 Patriots arrive in Buffalo with a two-game losing streak. They are in last place in the AFC East, trailing both the Bills and the hated Jets by a full game.At least we are updated on the important things, like "Where do New England area sportswriters go after a football game?"
Once again, we have questions about the young New England defense. The Patriots couldn’t stop Joe Flacco in the fourth quarter last week at Baltimore, just as they couldn’t stop Harvard’s Ryan Fitzpatrick when they played in Buffalo last year.
We are no longer talking about the Patriots as a 16-0 team. We are no longer certain that they will finish first in the AFC East. The Patriots have lost three of their last four games. They are suddenly vulnerable.
A few hours after the football game, members of the New England media gathered at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo. It’s the birthplace of Buffalo wings. When you cover sports for a living and travel to Buffalo, you are required to close the Anchor Bar.Bars in Buffalo close at 4:00 AM. I know Mike will be shocked, SHOCKED at Shank's revelation. Any bets that Shank wrote this column on the back of a napkin while he was waiting on his order of chicken and beer?
We did the job.