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Today's Best

by Eric Adelson, 11/25/14
The talk of expanding to eight teams has come along at the same time as the news that former South Carolina star running back Marcus Lattimore retired from professional football, unable to fully rehab from knee injuries suffered in college. Georgia's Todd Gurley, similarly talented, tore his ACL this month and may see his draft status suffer because of it. Everyone is upset by these developments, but that worry doesn't seem to carry over to the playoff discussion.

by Joe Sheehan, 11/25/14
No plan survives contact with the basement.


Home Grown

by Vic Carucci, Buffalo News 11/25/14
They recognized that the greatest achievement from their 38-3 pounding of the New York Jets was that for a few hours, they allowed a whole lot of people to briefly forget all of that snow, all of that frustration, all of that fear, all of that sadness that turned an entire community upside down for several days. That was why, in the Bills’ triumphant locker room, coach Doug Marrone presented the first game ball to the emergency responders of Erie County, who faced a 24-7 challenge of a lifetime.

by Chris Cannazzaro, New York Post 11/21/14
Doug Marrone said since the storm hit he had been updating his players by phone, with help from his assistant coaches, at 8 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. every day. The players have had the game plan and game tapes sent electronically to their iPads so they can prepare mentally without actually practicing physically. There also have been conference calls between the position coaches and players.


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Our Contribution

Mr. Hockey's Last Shift

by Bill Pucko, 11/17/14

He hailed from an era when everyone who was anyone in hockey had a great nickname. There was "Rocket" Richard, the "Golden Jet," and "Boom Boom" Geoffrion. Gordie Howe carried the moniker "Mr. Hockey." Simply stated. Right to the point.

The 86 year old Howe is fighting for his life this week. The family says his health is failing fast following a stroke.

But what a career he had. Howe first hit National Hockey League ice with the Detroit Red Wings as an 18 year old in 1946. Three years later he had the first of what would be a 22 year run of scoring 20 or more goals. He won four Stanley Cups in Detroit in the 50s. He was the NHL MVP Hart Trophy winner six times, and the league's leading scorer six seasons.

Gordie was tough too. Scoring a goal and an assist and getting into a fight in a game, became known as the Gordie Howe Hat Trick, even though he only had two such games in his long career.

Despite posting unprecedented numbers for his era, it was Howe's longevity that really separated him. Gordie played in the NHL in five different decades, from the 40s to the 80s. His best season scoring came as a 40 year old, when he had 44 goals and 103 points for the Wings.

Howe's first professional career ended in 1971. But he was lured back into the game two years later when the upstart World Hockey Association provided him the opportunity to play with his two sons, Mark and Marty in Houston. It wasn't just a publicity stunt. Howe was the MVP that first year. Mark was rookie of the year. Dad averaged 100 points his first three seasons in the WHA and together, the Howes won two league championships.

In 1978 at the age of 50, Gordie's playing career crossed paths with a 17 year old Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky, Gordie and Mark Howe played on a line together in the last WHA All Star game.

That league folded and Howe stayed on with the Hartford Whalers, who'd been admitted to the NHL along with Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers. Gordie played in all 80 games for Harford in 1979-80 as a 52 year old. He scored 15 goals. Gretzky scored 51, on his way to breaking most of Howe's scoring records.

The "Great One" as he came to be known, didn't take everything from Gordie Howe. There's still only one "Mr. Hockey."


from 5/21/14

Tyler Ennis' game likely would have benefited from another season or two in college, but as a possible lottery pick, he probably made the right decision from a financial standpoint.

from 5/20/14
Both Toronto and Minnesota jumped five places this week, with the Blue Jays continuing an impressive rise up the rankings. Toronto is the only team in the AL East with a positive run differential, thanks in large part to the division's best offense -- the Blue Jays have scored the third-most runs in the AL and lead the league in home runs.



by Jamie Eisenberg, 11/25/14
Matthew Stafford closes the season with a great schedule vs. CHI, vs. TB, vs. MIN, at CHI and at GB. Except for the Packers game in Week 17, these are all amazing matchups. We expect Stafford to close the season playing at a high level, so don't give up on him just yet. The best is yet to come.

by Dave Richard 11/21/14
Kyle Orton has turned into, well, Kyle Orton over the last two weeks, completing 58.6 percent of his passes for an average of 226.0 yards per game with one total touchdown. The opponent may have mattered as the Chiefs and Dolphins were the ones to contain him and they're both good against the pass. The matchup against the Jets is a cake walk by comparison.