I’m serious when I say this, but I try and not be a smart ass when it comes to sports in Buffalo. But sometimes, it is just too easy.

It might have been a email or Twitter alert, but WGR sent out a message from Howard Simon that this was a HUGE week for Buffalo sports. What was it? Announcing that Ralph Wilson sold the team to Joe Banner?  The Sabres would fire Lindy Ruff?

None of those.

Instead, it was Mandatory OTAs and the Sabres draft.

Um, what?

I can somewhat understand the Sabres draft because Darcy could make trades during it. Of course, I still don’t understand how Sabres fans can get excited about a draft pick who won’t help them until 2014, if they are even lucky….But OTAs?

When the hell did these things matter?

I can’t stand OTAs.

They are worse than preseason games. They are nothing more than an indictment on the 24/7 sports cycle we are living in and coaches trying to be perfectionists. Just ways for the press to fill up the sports page or airwaves. Do a feature on Pete Metzelaars. Do a piece on OTA battles. How about highlights? Yes, I have a few sports guys telling me highlights of Donald Jones not making plays (but not looking bad) and Leodis McKelvin dominating. Isn’t this the time of year when sports guys go on vacations because, you know, it is the off season? These are players in shorts, right?

Why the hell do we care at this point?

OTAs have become nothing but hype/PR. Are there ever any negative stories that come out of them? Everyone is in the best shape of their lives. The playbook is so much easier than last year. They get the system…finally. Now that Brad Smith is participating in OTAs, he’s going to be awesome sauce in the wildcat.

Blah, blah, blah.

We live through it every year where stories come out with little to no substance and we make them out to be team altering because we miss football season. 

“OMG! Chan Gailey said he feels Shawne Merriman will be BACK! Stop the presses.”
Yes, tell me something I didn’t hear last year about the guy.  

Leodis McKelvin is starting with the 1st teamers and is having a great camp.”
Ah, yes. Crappy players having great camps. I remember when Rob Johnson used to own these stupid things. Memories of the west coast offense being inserted for RJ was greeted with thunderous applause from Gregg Williams and outlets. Yes..how did that work?

“Donald Jones looks great!”
If I got a dollar for every time someone mentioned how well someone like Donald Jones looked in OTAs, I’d be able to buy a legit #2 option.

Um, we are talking OTAs here. I think the Bills would experiment with Vince Young as a placekicker because these are just lame boring practices.

I’m old school with these OTAs.

I remember back in the day Marv Levy used to have like one spring practice at the stadium in May for 3 days, which was open to public, and they’d run some drills while Thurman and Bruce were “Nursing” key injuries. After that, you didn’t see the Bills until Training camp (July). Now you get the whole “This guy needs OTAs” rhetoric. When did that happen? Those 90’s Bills squads did alright without having micromanaging coaches conduct these practices. You know how many training camps Thurman and Bruce held out because they wanted more money or they just didn’t care? Tons. My goodness, if they only had OTAs during the 90’s maybe Thurman would have had 2,000 yards rushing during the 1991 season?

I miss the old offseason. I miss the offseason days when you wouldn’t hear about your football team except for the draft and free agency. Now OTAs are the new training camps. Preseason games are the new regular season games. Regular season games are the new playoff games. Playoff games are the new Super Bowls. And the Super Bowl is when the world ends. When the heck did this happen? Is it really all of ESPN’s fault?

Nowadays, there’s a bunch of these OTAs and the press corp. and fans feed into it. The press corp. feeds into it because they are trying to make their work sound super important when we all know the players are just going through motions. The fans? Well, ESPN has poisoned our minds to believe in 24/7 sports coverage. Complain all you want about LeBron James being on ESPN and Collin Cowherd’s show, but I’d rather hear about that than the overkilling of OTAs for the Bills.

Oh, here are my random OTA thoughts in case you were wondering:

—Don’t get hurt!

—RIP Wildcat.

—Percy Harvin wants a trade? Give up a 2nd rounder for him.


—Go outside.

—Mario Williams has a sick house.

—Chan Gailey looks scary with his gray and reddish beard.