Tim Murray's first red flag, the quarterback picture, and cakes over pies

Jeremy White
November 29, 2017 - 3:25 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

Today, I asked the Twitter-verse for some questions that I could answer. Here they are in two segments.

Five Sports Questions to start - Warning there’s lots of talk about tanking and draft picks in here because that’s what I get asked about. I’m not mad about that though, as smart sports decisions are always a good topic.


Ryan (@RyanEG1981) - Do you feel that Tim Murray's brief tenure as Sabres GM was/is more detrimental to this team than the bankruptcy and Regier/Golisano tight budget years?

Comparing the two is tough, but I’m ready to say a few things about Murray. If I write here all the things that Tim Murray did wrong, people might accuse me of rolling out some revisionist history. Those people might be right, but I came across a piece this week that reminded me of Murray’s very first red flag.

We went through the tank and did the “Draft Drill” every single day on the show. We were prepared to lose the lottery, but apparently he wasn’t. If he was really shocked or hurt by losing the lottery, that’s a major red flag. The Sabres did everything they could to control the outcome, becoming the only team in the league to successfully do that. Losing that lottery was LIKELY and for a real-life general manager to have been so bitter about it and openly angry about it… was troublesome.

Looking back, the reason I believed in Murray is because he DID tank. That’s the smart play for bad teams (or was at the time) and that first move was love at first sight for me. It was all roses up until draft day for the Sabres. They took Eichel, traded for O’Reilly, and acquired Lehner all in the same day. I was with friends at the Draft that year and the Lehner trade took a bit of the buzz off the day. We kept asking… “Why?” The second red flag reared. The following year things continue to go south and ultimately Murray pays for it with his job. Murray did a terrible job building a post-tank team for the Sabres, and I guess I looked past that because the very first thing he did, building a huge stable of picks and going to the top, was the best thing he did. We’ll always have the beginning, I guess.


50missioncap (@50missioncap) - @JeremyWGR I know the 49ers got mocked for asking but - how important is it that your team wins when you go to the game? Sure losing a heartbreaker can ruin a day, but if you had a great time, how much does that make up for losing? You don't buy tix bc you want to see a win in person.

I’m a bit funny with this one. Lately, I can’t really cheer for a team if I don’t believe in them. Maybe it’s because I feel like I’m a professional fan? Occasionally, I can get sucked into a singular game or week, but I’m endlessly looking at the big picture. If my team starts 5-2 but I don’t feel like they’re a legit threat to win the division, conference, league… my rooting interests are tempered. The last time I was giddy about the Bills? 5-1 with Trent. Almost nothing since then… maybe 3-0 and the win over the Pats. Last time I was really into the Sabres WINNING… the last playoff year.  

I have to believe that what I’m seeing is building something or pushing a direction. Sometimes wins just show up and I feel like it’s an independent event not related to the big picture. If it’s that… I struggle to get into it.

If I’m a 49ers fan, I’d be very mad about any wins in the next few weeks. Wins here DO NOT MATTER as much as their draft position and what they might be able to get if they’re thinking of taking a package of picks to move down.


Don H (@Sno317) - Do you think the Bills will lose out on one of the top QBS in the draft because of where they will be drafting?

Yes. I think you’ll see 3-4 go in the top-10. Last year when we talked about this as something the Bills were shooting for, I shouted “Lose a bunch of games!!!” Combine question 1 and 2 here and that’s where I am. They didn’t WANT that, so I don’t think they’ll get one of those guys without a trade up. With each win, I feel the likelihood of a trade is less and less likely.

For now… we’re in the 2017 season and I’m riding that ride. The whole year feels like an independent event.


David Kramer (@DavidKramer93) - With some vets probably available (Eli, Alex Smith maybe)...and knowing it's going to be a mid to high pick, do they go after a vet at qb to bridge a mid to late first rd qb next year?

Maybe… No to Eli and no to Alex Smith. I honestly can’t quite figure what the Bills are going to do here. They could have quite easily made their plan for a future quarterback while playing Tyrod Taylor in an offense that’s more suited to him. They could have easily kept the relationship amicable and planned for Tyrod being that veteran stop-gap until he’s replaced. Ultimately they don’t seem to think he’s good enough for that.


Mark Liversedge (@liversedge) - Takeaways were a big part of the success in the first half of the season, what changed?

Luck? You just can’t count on turnovers. Actually, I take that back a bit. You know what kind of turnovers you CAN count on? Punts. If you have a good defense, you force punts, and that can be somewhat predictable and reliable. Get the defense that forces the most punts, and bail on the idea of living and dying with the big fumble or interception. That’s how you build a sustainable formula.


5 Random topics:

joe gudelsky (@joegud) - My holiday season won’t be complete without a Buddy Nix Quiz. Any chance?

YES. My mom asks me about once a week if I can put one together. I have to do one for her for Christmas.


Adam (@sharpndpensel) - Did you ever get your ball to sit on, and if so, has it been stolen?

I have the stability ball that I sometimes sit on in the studio. Amazingly it has not been stolen.  


Alex (@sleepingtoads) - Cake or pie?

I’m going to assume that you mean I can only eat one of these for the rest of my life? Ok… let’s lay it out:

  • Pies - Lots of appearances on holidays. Lots of different options.
  • Cakes - Appearances at celebrations. Do I get to include cupcakes here? I think so.  

Cakes win. If I’m only eating one for the rest of my life I’m going with cakes. I’ve got just as many variations as I do with pie, but I also have frosting and birthdays and barbecues and weddings too. Cupcakes are cake. Cake wins.*

*Unless pizza falls in with all pies, and then all bets are off


Jack (@JackNLE312) - Who is your go to Mortal Kombat character

I was more of a Street Fighter II guy and Guile was my go-to. Had a buddy show me this a few weeks ago….

Guile Theme performed by a High School Band 

Mortal Kombat I used Scorpion the most I suppose. I’m a little ashamed to say that cause he was such an easy guy to use. Sub-Zero for a time and maybe some Johnny Cage too. One thing you can do to have a ton of fun some night is pop on YouTube and watch ALL of the Mortal Kombat fatalities back-to-back-to-back-to-back.

Do it.


@essbeeay - whats changed in Buffalo the past 10ish years, what can I expect when I get back

The hockey team is worse.

The football team is… the same?

The food is still great.

Downtown is a real place.

Think that about covers it?


Thanks for reading!


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