Uncle Mike Vick’s Cabin 

I recently saw a shirt that says : 

We march, y’all mad, We sit down, y’all mad, We speak up, y’all mad, We die, y’all silent.

Let those words sink in for a bit before you pass judgement on what they are saying.  

I’m not going to wade into the political world but this shirt reminded me of Colin Kaepernick and what he’s been going through with NFL free agency.  Whether you agree with him or not his actions have caused people to talk, something that is necessary in this country.

Unfortunately there are people like Mike Vick who went on FS1’s “Speak For Yourself,” and said that the reason why Kaepernick doesn’t have a job is because he is still sporting an afro.  Really Mike?  Vick went on to say it’s really not about his hair but about his last two years of play.  If he cuts his hair and goes back to the NFL with hat on hand and keeps on line, Vick thinks all will be forgiven.  Much like after he was forgiven for his dog fighting charges.  Vick reminded us all “it’s not about selling out.”

I’m not sure I buy that.  While it may not be that Kaepernick is getting black balled from getting a job in the NFL because of his beliefs, he’s causing questions to be asked of the culture and mentality of those that are in charge of signing players.  He’s reaffirmed my opinion that football is about money and the image of what is on the field.  Look at some of the white players who have long hair and long beards, why is that okay?  Is what Vick saying that Kaepernick’s hair cut reminds fans of the 70s and Black Power activists?  Mike Vick reminds me of a dog killer.  There are players in the NFL with weapons charges.  There are players in the NFL who have beat and abused domestic partners.  There have been players in the NFL that have killed others and still been able to come back.  You are going to tell me someone should cut their hair Mike?  Give me a break.  All Kaepernick did these past two years is express his right to protest.  He didn’t break a law and he didn’t break an NFL rule.  He can grow an afro and he can kneel for the anthem.  However you can’t kill or beat a human much less defenseless animals.

I have a real problems with the fact that it’s okay with guys like Rex Ryan to attend and even announce guys like Donald Trump at political rallies without their teams saying a word.  Meanwhile Kaepernick doesn’t say a word on the field but keeps to himself.  Each man expressed his right to protest or display his view only one of them has been chastised for it – I wonder why?

The Day The Rex Ship Ran Aground

*Thanks to the New York Daily News for the image and for making it.

This whole Rex Ryan thing is completely out of hand.

I’m convinced that the Buffalo Bills have lost control.  They don’t even know what to do with him anymore.

Stay with me, I know, you’re rolling your eyes – it’s starting to get old. Rex Ryan is my go to whipping boy for days when I want someone to beat up on.  But this time my Buffalo Bills fan club card is truly at the bottom of the sea with Sebastian and Ariel.

Rex has decided that he is going to “introduce” Donald Trump at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo when the Presidential Candidate stumps for Republican voters in his visit to the Bills home city.  I’m not wading into the politics on this one, that’s not my point here.  I have different bones to pick.

I wanted to look at what Rex and the Bills have to say about it because this is after all the same Trump that tried to buy the Bills after Ralph Wilson’s death.  Thankfully Terry Pegula was able to buy the team and keep it from Trump – and Jon Bon Jovi who wanted to move it to Toronto for the sake of making money.  If I ever make a billion dollars I have ideas for you Jon!

But I digress and I move on to Rex.

“I’m not going to say who my endorsement is and all that stuff,” Rex is quoted as saying according to Syracuse.com. “I’ll say this, Chris Christie was my guy 100-percent because we were the lap-banded brothers. We both had that lap band and we really are pretty close.”

Great, so you aren’t endorsing him so to speak but by going out on stage you are playing your hand anyway.  That’s like me saying that I’m wearing this Bills stuff but I’m not going to tell you what team I cheer for.  Just because I’m wearing Bills stuff doesn’t mean I want anything to do with the Bills.  Well, that’s back when I was wearing the Bills stuff anyway.  Stay with me.

The Bills are all cool with it.  Not cool with me.  I don’t know what they think of me.  I know when I was in Buffalo and tried to get a tour of the Ralph they didn’t have one.  Who doesn’t have a stadium tour these days?  Lame!

“It is a personal decision by Rex to introduce Donald Trump at this evening’s rally,” the Bills explained in a statement released by Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. “The Bills organization does not endorse political candidates and so he is not representing the organization at tonight’s event.”

Who releases a statement like that?  I mean, sure they are going to distance themselves from the coach.  Okay I get that.  But they can’t come out and release a broad public statement?  There’s nothing on their website about it.  Do they not think that everything this man does gets traction?  “Nah, this won’t go anywhere we’ll just release it through a reporter.”  Come on, put it on your website.

I believe if I’m not mistaken this is the same Bills organization that Trump said he would buy in 2014 and make money on.  He wished current Bills owner Terry Pegula better luck with the Bills than with Sabres.

Meanwhile their head coach and “face” of the franchise is introducing the guy who talked trash and bad mouthed the current owner of the club.  But that’s okay?  Not in my book.  Not if I owned the club.  I’d be snipping that one down in a heartbeat.

Also in the same day, word came out that Rex admitted to is stealing slogans from college coaches.  Rex borrowed “All in” from Clemson’s Dabo Swinney as a means to promote unity among the players.  Can’t a guy come up with ideas on his own?

These two things on one day?  Isn’t that enough to get someone fired?

I know the Bills don’t want to get rid of him.  Why would they?  If they wanted to they would have gotten rid of him after he promised the playoffs and didn’t deliver.  Besides every Bills fan who could read the writing on the wall knew they weren’t going to make the playoffs.  Anyone who could see the team for who they were only knew he was going to make it worse.  Look at the Jets trajectory since he left, guess where it is headed?  Straight up.

Rex is the loud mouth that gets the Bills all this free publicity and he keeps the team in first segments of ESPN because there’s always a dumb comment that sportscasters make fun of.  Who cares if the team ever wins, when was the last time the guy won a Super Bowl? When was the last time he overcame his New England demons?

Now he’s just shoving all his insubordination in the boss’ face and calling it a “personal decision.”

A personal decision is choosing to wear a different tie to work.  A personal decision is choosing to wear a different color vest on Sundays.  A personal decision is choosing to donate your pay check to Relay for Life.  This is far from a personal decision.

This is another squirt of gasoline on what has become a massive dumpster fire burning out of control burning by Lake Ontario.  Until they get their “Rex Problem” under control the Bills can go ahead and take my fan card. Leadership, respect and the ability to teach humanity starts at the top and the Bills are showing that they are just letting Rex walk all over them. Tyrod or no Tyrod, it’s over for me.

 

I See Rex In The Mirror

Ever since I can remember I’ve been a Bills fan.  Looking through my dad’s football card collection I came across a Bruce Smith rookie card.  I can still remember exactly what it looked like.  Bruce in one of those long Bills coats.

I’ve been there through the good times, the four Super Bowls in a row times, the once in a lifetime comeback times and all those guys that would become my football heroes for years to come.

I’ve also been there through the lean times.  The losing wildly in the Super Bowl times, the Drew Bledsoe years, the JP Losman years, the years the Bills couldn’t find a win and the Toronto years.

But then the Bills hire some guy out of Syracuse and I start to wonder where it’s all headed. But it feels like things make some sense for a while and they come so close to making the playoffs in so long that hope is finally a real word in Buffalo.  That coach makes for the hills and leaves a great situation for the next coach.  

I ask the Bills upper management in the most polite way, “please don’t hire Rex.”

So here’s the thing.  Rex made his way to the Jets and began announcing as loud and obnoxiously how good he was and how soon he’d win a Super Bowl.  As we all know, that never happened.  In fact on multiple occasions Rex made himself look foolish by saying things or doing things on the sidelines that were moronic. 

He never endured himself to me for sure and by the end of his run in NY, Buffalo had his number and was pushing his team around.  When the rumors circulated that Buffalo was interested I said “no way.”

Then Buffalo gave me the worst birthday present ever and signed him.  It took me months to get over it.im not sure I’m really over it all the way.  When it first happened I thought I’d go burn all my Bills stuff in the yard.  No you don’t understand, it could have been any coach anywhere but him.

In July, on a trip to Toronto I stopped in Orchard Park and went to the Bills store.  The Bills had signed my favorite player Tyrod Taylor.  It’s one of those questions, what do I do?

Because I’m a soccer coach, the games are on Sunday at 1:15.  So I hadn’t gotten to the see the first Bills game of the season but then, then the mouth let loose.

Rex let go on his favorite talking point, the Patriots, and kept telling everyone who would and wouldn’t listen that this time would be different.  Blah blah blah.  Of course just like with the Jets, the medi picks it up and runs with it.  There’s no reason to truly believe that he’s going to beat the Patriots but that doesn’t stop the TV from putting all these sound bites everywhere.  

I hear that the players love him and apparently a lot of the fans and people in Buffalo do too.  But I still see something I don’t like.  It’s like having a favorite restaurant and then they change the chef because they say he’s a better one but yet he screams at the wait staff and does wacky things with the menu.  You want to know why the owners would go there?

I get home during the Patriots game in time to watch part of the 3rd quarter long enough to see Rex absolutely losing it on the sideline and getting a sideline warning.  Five minutes of watching and its long enough to see that the Bills have no answers.  Rex has no answers.

I see Rex freaking out on the sidelines and I think “wow, am I like that?”  I know as a coach I hate to lose.  I can’t stand to lose.  Ever since I was a kid I hated to lose at anything.  They say losing builds character but if that’s true I must have amazing character.  But I wonder when I’m arguing an offside call, am I Rex?  Am I the thing that I hate?  Is that why I can’t stand him so much?  Do I see me in him?  Granted I don’t run around screaming about how my team is going to win every game.  I just wonder, do I see Rex in the mirror?

It’s a hell of a revelation when you realize that maybe your coaching style mirrors the thing that you hate.  My players seem to like me, in fact I’ve been told some of them love to play for me.  Sounds like Rex. But then the ref goes and calls something and it’s just irrational and makes no sense.  I have to tell them that you can’t make that call.  Someone tells me I’m not supposed to be yelling at the refs.  I’m supposed to be better than that.  Huh.  Sounds like what I say to Rex.

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it’s the really high voice Peyton Manning scrambling my brain but I swear I saw it today.  It felt like a punch in the gut.  I don’t know if it will change me, i don’t know if it will change how I feel about Rex.  Then again maybe I’m all wrong and I’m just seeing something that isn’t there.  Me?  Rex?  Nah…