This Page

has been moved to new address

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: September 2006

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

T.O. fumbles attempt

For Terrell Owens and the rest of the sports talk/sports talk fan listening nation, Sept. 27, 2006 will live on as a day of infamy.
It may never be forgotten.
It was the day that the sports world woke up (for a lot of sports fans) to learn that T.O. had tried to off himself.
Was it for real? Was it a publicity stunt? Is he clinically depressed? Is Bill Parcells being too tough on him? Or is T.O. just full of shit?
After filling the airwaves with everything from sports fans sympathetic to the wideout, psychiatrists calling with information about the level of suicide attempts and fans wishing he once again, didn’t drop the ball.
The day reached its crescendo in the afternoon where Owens took to the microphone at the Dallas Cowboys training facility after playing catch on the sidelines, testing his broken finger.
Now does a person overdose on pain killers, get his stomach pumped at the local hospital, then show up for some light practice and then hold a press conference.
Well, if your T.O.
His story, which is as bad as the truth, or the first police report.
He was tired and sore, he took some pain pills. He needed more, so he took more with his “supplements.” The entire time we have more information about the painkiller than we do the supplements, but that’s for another press conference.
Apparently T.O. received some treatment for his broken finger from his doctor and may have fallen asleep on his training table. Last time I heard, rehab or poking and twisting of anything broken or pulled is sore.
But he fell asleep and his MD left.
His publicist, Kim Etheredge spoke with him across the table and he just “wasn’t acting himself,” so she did the proper thing and called 911.
Lights, sirens, redacted police reports later and at the press conference, it was all Kim Etheredge’s fault.
She over-reacted. T.O. says he hid the extra pain killer pills. Must be some new thief in town, searching through underwear draws for pain killers!
The publicist, Etheredge says the police report is inaccurate. Are we surprised that the publicist disagrees with an official document?
Sorry folks, press conference over..Oh, and by the way I think I’ll play on Sunday.
Is that good for T.O.? A shout-out to the Vegas bookies? Or just T.O. being T.O.?
The day got better as after T.O. left the podium, ESPN switched to another master of the English language, Michael Irvin. Not only can he mumble through his own explanation of a conversation with T.O. he also knows a little about dealing with the authorities.
Oh, how the day got brighter and brighter.
Let’s look at the potential outcome..T.O. gets more undeserved publicity, Kim Etheredge finds a new line of work, Parcells doesn’t really care and to top it off, the fans of Philadelphia make a run at the Dollar Store to buy up the chain’s supply of Pez Candy to throw at him in two weeks.
Ohh, if Terrell only hadn’t dropped the ball…

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Steve Tasker's "Tales" a Special Teams hit

Steve Tasker’s Tales from the Buffalo Bills
By Steve Tasker with Scott Pitoniak
171 pages
Sports Publishing L.L.C.

Former Buffalo Bills special teams players extraordinaire Steve Tasker has moved from the playing field and the broadcast booth into the role of author in Sports Publishing L.L.C.’s latest Western New York entry, “Steve Tasker’s Tales from the Buffalo Bills.”
The work is written in the first person with Rochester Democrat and Chronicle columnist Scott Pitoniak. Like the special teams phenom Tasker was on the field, at times, his tales book is also all over the place.
Instead of running full-tilt towards ball carriers or on coverage teams, Tasker appears to have taken a list of rosters from his Buffalo Bills days and played word association with Pitoniak.
While it sounds confusing, it works, as Tasker doesn’t leave a stone unturned as he reminisces about famous Buffalo Bills players, hall of famers as well as those who made a difference in the Buffalo organization.
Tasker was one of the first players signed by Buffalo coach Marv Levy, his signing was first a practical joke, before it became a reality.
Once relocated from Houston, to Buffalo, Tasker found a home with the former special teams coach in Levy along with the brutes and backs in red and blue.
Tasker begins his 171-page tribute to his former teammates with glowing and humorous comments about Levy, owner Ralph Wilson and general manager Bill Polian.
Tasker moves on to his teammates, beginning with stars Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, Andre Reed, Kent Hull, Don Bebee, Darryl Talley and a host of others.
The author doesn’t mince words about his former teammates, but does stay on their good side with primarily positive comments. He doesn’t shy away from addressing the “Bickering Bills” moments during the 1990’s and skirmishes between Kelly and Thomas. Tasker even points out that the public statements issued by Kelly and Thomas after the running back’s “quarterback was a position that needed upgrading,” comment, was staged by management for the media only. The two did make their piece shortly afterward.
Despite competing on special teams, Tasker, has tremendous insight into the Bills offense and defense, giving credit to Kelly for changing plays at the line of scrimmage from a pass to a run, looking for the best way to win. The author also gives credit to Kent Hull for assisting Kelly from under center on those line of scrimmage calls.
Tasker writes of the evolution of the no-huddle offense in Buffalo and Kelly’s desire to convince Levy and Ted Marchibroda after its late-season success versus the Cleveland Browns.
After the “K-Gun” was formed, not named after Kelly, but after tight end Keith McKeller, the Bills started the runs at AFC titles and eventually legendary four consecutive Super Bowl appearances.
Before launching into a re-hash of the four Super Bowl losses, Tasker takes time to write about the greatest comeback in NFL history, orchestrated by Bills back-up Frank Reich.
The biggest disappointment in Bills history starts with a missed 47-yard field goal by Scott Norwood against the New York Giants. Tasker supports his teammate and his efforts as well as crediting Giants’ kicker Matt Bahr with two game-saving tackles and propelled his team into the playoffs with three field goals in the NFC Championship game.
The Bills suffered three more consecutive losses in the final game of the NFL season, but Tasker makes no excuses for the losses and takes pride in the Super Bowl appearances.
The author shares humorous stories about boyhood pranks played on teammates, pleasant team gatherings as well as Jim Kelly’s charity proficiency.
For fans of the “only” New York State football team, defeating the Miami Dolphins was always a goal for the blue and red football squad. Tasker relates how locker room attendant Art Hauret earned himself a game ball after discovering a Dolphins play book left behind after an earlier meeting at Rich Stadium. In their next meeting, Buffalo owned Miami and Hauret earned himself a game ball.
Taker underwent knee surgery where the muscle from a cadaver is stapled to the top and bottom of the athletes MCL, it re-invigorated his career, including seven Pro Bowl appearances as well as being the only special teams player to receive the Pro Bowl MVP in the 1993 contest.
Like all players, there is a time to call it a career and Tasker relates how Jim Kelly prodded him into making his announcement prior to the Buffalo Bills final contest in 1997. It was moment he will always remember, just as his final NFL game was too.
Tasker’s final NFL contest lasted three minutes after he ran up to the referee to argue a call about a punt return hitting another Bills player. Tasker was ejected from the contest for making contact with the referee as he rushed over to plead his case.
It is a moment the special team pro bowler regrets, but made him a hero in his own locker room.
“Steve Tasker’s Tales from the Buffalo Bills” is a quick read (171 pages) and an ideal gift for the Buffalo Bill fan in your life. The pro bowl special teamer includes all the names that your fan will fondly remember as well as prod some smiles from those they are reminded of.
Before the 2006 season gets underway, make “Steve Tasker’s Tales from the Buffalo Bills” the playbook for your red and blue fan.
Four Hudy Heads out of Five