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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Buffalo's Banner Day

For one cold Friday in December of 2008, the city of Buffalo, NY became the sports mecca of the United States.

First, former Buffalo Bills running back and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Orenthal James Simpson received a minimum of 9 years in the Nevada State Penitentiary. Ironically, the Associated Press notes that "he was convicted of an armed robbery that happened on Sept. 13 and was found guilty on the 13th anniversary of his Los Angeles murder acquittal. The Las Vegas jury deliberated for 13 hours after a 13-day trial." Good riddance.

Second, Husker legend Turner Gill took the Buffalo Bulls from the depths of Division 1 football all the way to MAC Champions. In fact, before Gill's arrival at Buffalo just 3 years ago, Buffalo was a staggering 10-69 in just 7 seasons as a member of the FBS. Gill has a 15-22 overall record and now has a conference championship to add to his improbable run as head coach.

Said Buffalo Athletic Director Warde Manuel about Gill,
"So many people told us we couldn't do it, told us not to come [to Buffalo], told [coach] Turner [Gill] not to come and just the belief of the kids and the community and the university and to be where we are today is just overwhelming," Manuel said. "I thought it would take a little bit longer, but Turner is the best person, the best coach, the best motivator, the best leader, one of the best I've ever been around. What he's done with these kids, we were told we couldn't do it here."

Hello Syracuse?