09000d5d80d1e103_gallery_6001Instead of boring my readers with a game analysis of the Buffalo Bills 16-3 loss against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, I’ve decided to take a different approach to this week’s article. Below is a list of quotes from players, fans, and sports writers about the events that took place at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada. If you’re a Bills fan you don’t want to reminisce about the game anyway, and if you’re a Dolphins fan I hate you and don’t want you reading my blog.

So sit back, relax, and prepare to get pissed:

Reactions from the Miami Dolphins

“Obviously we came up here and Toronto was new scenery for us. But we went out and saw the people in aqua and orange and it made a pretty big difference. You don’t feel like you’re playing an away game and you’re excited for the support.” – Ronnie Brown, RB

“I got kind of emotional during the national anthem (when fans began singing). It (O Canada) is a beautiful song and I hadn’t heard it in a while. It wasn’t clear who the home team was and that’s nice for us.” – Ricky Williams, RB

“Hey, people here are tough. They’re hockey fans and they get into it. It was just good to see that kind of support for us.” – Ronnie Brown, RB

“It was crazy because we heard cheering for Buffalo and then we heard a lot of cheering for us. I didn’t really know what the fans were doing. I would definitely play here over Buffalo any day.” – Will Allen, CB

Reactions from the Buffalo Bills

“It was cool, it was fun but Buffalo fans are a lot more rowdy. We could have used that rowdiness today.” – Marcus Stroud, DT

“It’s frustrating even more because we know we have the talent and we have the want to and drive and work ethic. We do everything we’re asked. But for some reason we still have to find a way to win whatever it takes. Guys are at a loss of words because of the outcome” – J.P. Losman, QB

“Obviously, the NFL is about making money. If that is what they are doing, that’s what they are doing.” – Kawika Mitchell, LB

“It felt like we were on the road.” – Jason Peters, OL

“It didn’t feel like home field advantage, it was pretty quiet, it was not a typical Bills game. It wasn’t near the loud-factor that you would like to have, but with that said we didn’t give them much to cheer about anyway. We just didn’t play well enough to get things sparked.  As you can tell we were looking for rhythm and just didn’t have it.” – J.P. Losman, QB

“Embarrassed, disappointed — they’re a couple of words you could use.”  – Marcus Stroud, DT

“Offensively we have no rhythm. We move the ball, but when it comes down to scoring, we don’t have a clue.” – Lee Evans, WR09000d5d80d1da95_gallery_600

“I don’t even know if it was a neutral site. The defense was out there on third down and it was pretty quiet, and we’re out there and it was tough to hear sometimes. I don’t know if it was that they just wanted to see some football and didn’t have an allegiance, but it definitely didn’t feel like a home game.” – Duke Preston, C

“The game was a big letdown. We knew how important it was for us, and we just didn’t perform, and that reflects on me. That’s on my shoulders. It was a very disappointing day for us. Is it unacceptable? Well, how do you not accept it if you’ve done it? We’ve got to live with it. That’s our record, and we’ve got to take it and go on and try to get better and improve.” – Dick Jauron, Head Coach

“I felt different. I felt more comfortable. It was the first time I had gotten a start in awhile, you know so. I was hoping I wouldn’t be rusty and I don’t think I was that rusty.” – J.P. Losman, QB (… was he referring to the three fumbles, the pick, or the zero TD passes?)

“Three points? Listen, the way we’ve been playing, it’s tough to get three points.”- Ralph Wilson, Owner

Reactions from fans and the media

“It’s quite embarrassing that they’re this close to the game and still have these many seats to get rid of. I think their hopes were that it would be a sellout and a very quick sellout but, the problem was they really mismanaged the public’s willingness to spend the kind of money for tickets and it’s really backfired and blown up in their face a little.” – Rob Longley, Toronto Sun

“When they played the Penguins on Monday, the Sabres outscored the Bills on Sunday [4 goals to a field goal].” – caller to WGR550, Buffalo Sports Radio

“Attention, Buffalo. You can have your beloved Bills back. At least your loyal fans would have completely filled your stadium, The Ralph, for a December showdown with the hated Miami Dolphins. Toronto couldn’t. At least you would have cheered enough to make your team think it actually was playing a home game. Toronto couldn’t. And at least you would have booed the (bleep) out of them after the final gun for another pathetic offensive performance, one that netted just three points and 163 net yards. Toronto didn’t. – Mike Zeisberger, Toronto Sun

“[To] Ralph Wilson: I think it’s time you give this team up. You obviously don’t care about winning football games. That’s apparent from you reaction to Buffalo New’s columnist Jerry Sullivan’s question of, ‘Are you embarrassed [about the way the Bills played against Miami?]’ Ralph looked at Jerry, laughed and said, ‘I’m used to it.'”- WGR550.com, Buffalo Sports Radio

“Based on the crowd reaction, the game could’ve been played in Timbuktu rather than Toronto, because this was as foreign a “home” crowd as the Bills have ever played in front of. The setting was decidedly not blue-collar Buffalo, with Blue Jays and CFL Argonauts banners hanging from the rafters and nearly as many orange and aqua Dan Marino, Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams jerseys among the 52,000 fans.” – news-press.com

31-4707879embeddedprod_affiliate56“If the Bills do bring in a new coach, they’re going to have to warn him that unlike other NFL teams, the Bills play just seven home games because of the Canadian cash grab. Calling the Bills the ‘home’ team at the Rogers Centre was a stretch that Yao Ming couldn’t make. If anything, there were more Dolphins fans than Bills fans in that place.” – Sal Maiorana, Democrat & Chronicle

“Would the Bills have won had the game been played in the icy elements of Ralph Wilson Stadium? Probably not. But this much is certain: The soft-armed Pennington would not have been throwing such pretty spirals in the howling winds of Orchard Park.” – Mike Zeisberger, Toronto Sun

“It reminded me of the old Harry Neale line, edited for football: The Bills can’t score at home. The Bills can’t score on the road. The Bills can’t score outside. The Bills can’t score inside. Their failure as a team is they have to find another place and another way to play. People paid mortgage payments for a pair of tickets to watch J.P. Losman play quarterback. That doesn’t seem fair to anybody. He is Buffalo’s Michael Bishop — and before Saskatchewan let him go, you could watch him for about 25 bucks.” – Steve Simmons, Toronto Sun

“The first-ever regular season NFL game in Canada was an unmitigated disaster if you’re a Bills fan. A worst-case scenario.” – Tim Schmitt, Niagara Gazette

“The Bills were booed when they emerged from the tunnel and were booed again when they returned to their locker room.” – Tim Graham, ESPN

“Undoubtedly, some customers were delighted to witness this kind of over-hyped NFL greatness. Why, these two teams yesterday once went six or seven plays in a row without a false-start penalty.” – Dave Perkins, Toronto Star

09000d5d80d1dc64_gallery_6001“Was there anything at all reminiscent of a game in Orchard Park? Only a single, extremely vigorous fistfight in the end-zone stands, though it’s hard to imagine what there was for anyone to get worked up about.” – Steven Brunt, Toronto Globe and Mail

“The Dolphins were 2-7 in games in Orchard Park after Dec. 1 so it was appalling to hear guys like Marcus Stroud say nobody in the Bills locker was complaining about playing indoors. That should disgust every player that’s ever worn a Buffalo uniform.” – Leo Roth, Democrat & Chronicle

“Interestingly, the announced attendance was 52,134, a generous estimate that was about 2,000 shy of football capacity for the Rogers Centre. Just 72 hours earlier, organizers said the game was sold out. We’re confused. How does that math work? Gouging the public for an average ticket price of $183 didn’t help.” – Mike Zeisberger, Toronto Sun

“For all that money, Toronto got to witness the big-league sight of Buffalo centre Duke Preston snapping a ball to his own buttocks, which would have been fine had quarterback J. P. Losman not been in the shotgun, five yards behind him, rather than under centre. For all that cash, Toronto got to see a second-quarter play in which Losman had the ball knocked out of his hand, recovered it, rolled out and threw a ball to Marshawn Lynch that Lynch bobbled, dropped and kicked out of bounds. You just don’t forget sporting moments like that.” – Bruce Arthur, National Post

The Buffalo logo has vanished from the field now. There’s nothing but a smudge at the 50-yard line. There one minute and gone the next, just like the once lofty hopes in this sad, exasperating Bills season.” – Jerry Sullivan, The Buffalo News

“The so-called sellout featured broad expanses of unoccupied blue seating, many dark private boxes and a conspicuous absence of lucrative signage. Even with a year to promote and sell space, and much of that before the economy went south, the official sponsors of the Bills Toronto Series were shown only on a rolling electronic sign.” – John Kernaghan, Hamilton Spectator

“No matter how the NFL chooses to spin it, this was not a Bills home date. Yes, the organization received $78-million US from Rogers to bring five regular-season and three pre-season games to Toronto over the next five years, but, in the end, the fine people of Buffalo and, to some extent, the players, were screwed.” – Mike Zeisberger, Toronto Sun

“Myself? I was thinking, “Yes! This performance ought to guarantee the Bills remain in Buffalo. Because what Canadian football fan would want to subject himself to such uninspiring efforts eight times a year at $350 a pop? The CFL offers so much more action, so many more thrills, not to mention the rouge, which if utilized by the NFL would have changed Sunday’s final to 17-4 and created the illusion of a tantalizing offensive show.” – Bob DiCesare, The Buffalo News

“Thank God we don’t have Detroit on our schedule.” – caller to WGR550, Buffalo Sports Radio

There you have it! 

Keep in mind that the thought behind the Bills Toronto series is to increase interest in the Buffalo Bills and in the NFL in Canada. After this pathetic output by the Bills and the boring pace of the game, I’d say anyone who was behind this project and stepped onto the field on Sunday has failed in that goal.


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