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by Martin Aickman, SI.com 10/22/14
The way the season is shaking out, somebody with a case for being one of the four best college football teams in the country is going to be left at home (or more accurately, in the Cotton, Orange, Fiesta or Peach Bowl), clapping politely like Leonardo DiCaprio after being passed over for another Oscar.

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by William C. Rhoden, New York Times 10/22/14
Almost seven decades later, the upstart Kansas City Royals have burst into the World Series, in part by using the same formula that made Jackie Robinson, the Kansas City Monarchs and their Negro leagues rivals so compelling: speed and daring. Lots of daring.

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Home Grown
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by Bucky Gleason, Buffalo News 10/22/14
Buffalo is eighth in points per game allowed, 11th in yards allowed per game, fourth against the run, first in sacks, tied for third in interceptions and third-down defense and sixth in fewest plays allowed of 20 yards or longer. The defense enabled them to win three games by a field goal or less.

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from Buffalo News 10/21/14
Much of the $1.4 billion that Terry and Kim Pegula paid for the Bills is being directed to the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, with instructions that the money be spent only in his hometown of Detroit and his adopted home of Buffalo. Thus, the Wilson Foundation will instantly have the clout to make a larger impact in Buffalo than any of this city’s other very generous, but smaller, foundations.

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Returning Home Alone Again

by Bill Pucko, BylineSports.com 10/20/14

My first column for Messenger Post Newspapers appeared on July 31, 2008.  It was called "Returning Home Alone." 
 
I somehow turned it into a sports story by recounting a baseball trip taken with my son Kyle between Rochester and Chicago with stops along the way on I-90, culminating in a visit to Wrigley Field.  But the real point was how difficult the return trip was without him.  Kyle stayed in Chicago for work and I was, as the title implied, returning home alone.
 
Six years, three months and some 300 columns later I find myself in pretty much the same place.  The youngest of my three children leaves for Queens at the end of this month to begin his career as a forester.  Yes, in Queens.
 
Carrie was the 1998 and 1999 Section Five diving champion.  She would bring a Disney coloring book to the major meets and color between dives to keep her mind off the pressure.  She also played a little softball.  Her last play in left field for Webster came in the final inning of a sectional championship against Fairport.  She threw out a runner at the plate.  Sports helped get her into Holy Cross.
 
Kyle was the only member of his senior class on the Webster soccer team to play past high school.  He was third team All-SUNY at Geneseo as a senior on sheer will.  His moment of truth came in a game at St. John Fisher.  He was the victim of a hard foul and a penalty shot was called.  The Knights had a designated shooter but Kyle, as the aggrieved party, insisted on taking it himself.  He missed.  The walk of shame back to the bench couldn't have been any more difficult for him than it was for me in the stands watching that day.
 
Nathan never met a game he didn't love, but it was evident a few years before the actual moment of truth, that he might not have the ability to play either varsity soccer or baseball at Webster Thomas.  That turned out to be the case.  After playing JV in both sports, he was cut trying out for the varsity.  Twice in soccer.  He took the slights in stride.  Even helped me sculpt a column on the pain of being told you weren't good enough.  There were few hard feelings.
 
So now Carrie is in Seattle, Kyle is in Missoula, Montana, and Nathan is on his way downstate.  I couldn't be prouder of their ambition and accomplishments.  Still, it might have been nice had one of them been a little less adventurous and stuck closer to home, so we could play a round of golf, have lunch at Sticky Lips, or take in a Red Wings game at the spur of the moment. 
 
That of course is a totally selfish sentiment.  The point here is, those of you currently buried under the burdens of youth sports, driving to practice and attending games, escaping work to drive forty minutes to see the last five of some contest somewhere, and as often as not, getting lost along the way, are more fortunate than you know. 
 
Appreciate those moments.  They go by in a blink.  And you'll miss them when they're gone.

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from HoopsHype.com 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.


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from SI.com 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.

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Fantasy
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by Jamie Eisenberg, Buffalo News 10/22/14
Bryce Brown should be the No. 1 running back to target this week in all leagues off waivers. Tre Mason of the Rams is a close second – call him running back 1A – but Brown has a higher ceiling. Even when Jackson comes back, Brown could still remain the featured option for the Bills.

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by Michael Beller, SI.com 10/21/14
Denard Robinson got a surprise start in Week 7 after Storm Johnson got the nod in Jacksonville’s first game without Toby Gerhart. After what Robinson did on Sunday, Gerhart may not be the starter when he’s able to return from his foot injury. The former Michigan quarterback rushed 22 times for 127 yards and a touchdown, and the Jaguars picked up their first win of the season, beating the Browns 24-6.

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