Mark Sarnowski’s last full year hanging one’s hat in Buffalo where he was born and raised, was a time to get the brooms out. Not because of an NHL Buffalo playoff sweep, as that was the previous year that Brad May completed the Sabres sweep eliminating the Boston Bruins with the legendary “May Day” goal in overtime sweeping the Bruins 4 games to zero (The amazing Mogilny 76 goal campaign on LaFontaine’s line who had 95 assists and 148 points). A sweep indeed it was.
The year we reference the Sabres laid bare backup goalie Dominik Hasek possessed a slinky for a spine as got the nod to start when Grant Fuhr was injured and never looked back all the way to the hall of fame. He did stand on his head against rookie Martin Brodeur and the left-wing trap Devils in the playoffs, but injuries caught up to the Sabres and they existed the playoffs in the first round.
The sweep I refer to is the Bills losing the record fourth consecutive Super Bowl in that year Mark was making all his plans to relocate to Corpus Christi, Texas was the initial plan and then re-tailored to his destination of fete, Denver.
Buffalo was some city years away from the resurgence, as more and more younger Buffalonians were forced to relocate for careers as the city was downsizing which really started years before when Bethlehem steel closed its doors and hundreds of other businesses such as the Courier Express Newspaper found that the Queen City could not support the business or in that case two newspapers. My late father worked 49 years at The Buffalo News, so we had the fortunate situation of being on the newspaper that outlasted the other with the ownership changing hands earlier from the Butler family to deep pockets himself, Warren Buffet. The former “The Buffalo Evening News” established in 1880 shortened the name under Buffet to The Buffalo News as it was printing seven days per week and no longer was an evening paper with a Saturday night weekend edition.
Mark struck gold as he chose Denver as his destination relocating around the same time as the Broncos realized a running game with Terrell Davis could help Elway avoid the Bills destiny of further Super Bowl losses that he began earlier in his career. The Broncos won back to back championships in Mark’s new city. In the same span of time the former World Hockey Leagues’ team, the Quebec Nordiques, relocated to Denver with a surplus of talent acquired from being at the bottom resulting in high draft picks. Allow me to point out that one of the picks was Eric Lindros who refused to play in Quebec and was traded to the Rangers and Flyers somehow and the Flyers were awarded the player. In return the Nordiques received a ton of assets and draft picks. So, let’s say the picks they had for being bad together with the picks for the Lindros deal made Patrick Roy’s demand out of Montreal after being left in a blowout game, becomes the final piece of the puzzle leading to Stanley Cup’s in Denver as well as years of incredible playoff runs.
Mark started the “Bills Backers” Denver chapter in 1998. Mark did everything up to management at the actual business. It was just pure passion and pride for his hometown Bills. Mark is a people person, vocal, opinionated, and intelligent guy. Mark is a carpenter decade later, but has remained the “Norm” from Cheers, holding up the walls of Lodos.
So, when the Bills ended the playoff drought, the President of the Bills Backers Denver Chapter, entertained a record crowd of over 800 Bills fans. The only words President Sarnowski’s used to explain that day to me is “crazy”. Having been to Lodos personally, I can not even imagine the fandemonium.
When I spoke to him as he visited Las Vegas and asked him what the Bills were going to do in this years draft he sounded different than the people living back in Buffalo in which most are all in on trading away all the assets they have acquired to get up to #2 to get the QB of the future. Mark explained ”they need to build a line on both sides of the ball instead of paying so much draft capital to get a quarterback who could be another first round bust. Bring in that gamble after you build some support for him as opposed to throwing a kid to the wolves.”
I was waiting for him to render that defense wins championships or run and stop the run. Mark left Buffalo when the NFL was a different league and Marv Levy was filling our heads with old school theories. He also just watched his Denver team win a championship again with an amazing defense and a Peyton Manning who was just asked to manage the game in his last season playing. Mark did say they need to take advantage of the position they are in as far as draft capital goes. To most people living in town that seems like they feel this is the strongest quarterback draft since the 1983 draft which popped out a Dan Marino later in the first round. I personally think the 2004 draft that produced Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning was not too shabby. This comes from me still even though even through attending many J.P. Losman games.
Things We Know About the Buffalo Bills This Week:
- “This one, I really think, has a high probability of happening,” said Todd McShay. “The Giants would get probably two 1s and a 2, or three 1s to move out of this spot. Buffalo has a lot of draft capital.”
And when the Bills are on the clock, Todd McShay believes Josh Allen will be handed the red, white and blue jersey.
Allen has some accuracy problems and his leadership skills are questionable. His talent level is freakish in nature giving him the upside to be the next extremely athletic Brett Favre. He also has the potential of being the next Ryan Leaf or Jamarcus Russell. That being said, it is quite lucid to assume this guy was referencing McShay’s accuracy issues epithetical to his mock drafts corollary.
- Different analysts much like Mel Kipper have had Allen as the number one guy.
- Brandon Beane has said that as the plan for Zay Jones, after his arrest in Los Angeles, is to keep him on the roster. Zay Jones was arrested for felony vandalism in a very odd incident in a downtown L.A. apartment building. Video posted from the website TMZ showed a naked Jones arguing with this brother, then running down the hallway where he eventually kicked through a glass window.
- Not to be left unsaid as deep condolences go out to the family and friends of the Junior Canadian hockey team.