Buffalo Bills legends Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed and Steve Tasker will be the featured guests at the 65th annual Rochester Press-Radio Club’s Day of Champions Children’s Charity Dinner on June 9 at the Riverside Convention Center.


The trio will receive the Coca-Cola Sports Personality of the Year Award.


Remember when Muhammad Ali saved the PR-Club Dinner with a surprise visit after featured guest New York Yankees pitcher David Wells – to his eternal shame – bailed out shortly before the event?


Only one thing could approach the excitement and joy the sellout audience enjoyed that special evening --  Jim Kelly appearing at the head table to share the award with his three former teammates.


God willing, it could happen.




With the NHL regular season about to end, several teams are vying for the Presidents’ Trophy. It goes to the team with the most points in the standings during the regular season. The tie-breaker is the team with the most wins.


The Presidents’ Trophy is a testimony to and fitting recognition for a team’s prowess over the course of a grueling regular season. But it hasn’t meant much in terms of winning the Stanley Cup.


Since the Presidents’ Cup began in the 1985-86 season, it has been awarded 2 7 times to 15 different teams (including the 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres). Those 27 Presidents’ Trophy winners went on to win the Stanley Cup only 8 times (including the Chicago Blackhawks last season).


Detroit has won the Presidents’ Trophy a record six times. Those Red Wings teams won the Stanley Cup only twice.


For the record, the 2006-07 Sabres lost in the Conference Finals.




Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones made news twice this week. I think he batted .500.


Jones blasted two fans for running onto the field during a game at Yankees Stadium. He said there should be much harsher penalties for such showboating idiots.


I completely agree. Fans who run onto the field or court during games should be heavily fined and perhaps even spend a night in jail for trespassing.


Athletes should not be exposed to such rude and potentially dangerous invasions of their workspace.


Jones should have stopped while he was ahead.


The next night, after facing expensive Yankees import Masahiro Tanaka, Jones described him as “just another pitcher.” In his second start in Major League Baseball, Tanaka’s pitching line looked pretty good to most of us: 7 innings, 7 hits allowed, 3 runs, 3 earned runs, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts (including Jones twice).


Will it surprise you if Tanaka leads the Yankees in pitching victories (at least 15) and earns AL Rookie of the Year?




LeBron James this week all but proclaimed that this season’s NBA Most Valuable Player is Kevin Durant. The numbers agree with King James.


Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder has a better record (57-21) than Miami (53-23).


Both stars carried their teams when their complementary superstar was injured. Miami’s Dwyane Wade has played in 51 games and Oklahoma State’s Russell Westbrook has played in 43 games.


Here are the performance lines for Durant and James entering Friday night:


Durant – 77 games; 32.0 points per game (1st in NBA); .505 field-goal percentage (803-for-1590); .401 three-point percentage (186-for-464; .875 free-throw percentage (669-for-765; 7.5 rebounds per game; 5.5 assists per game.


James – 75 games; 27.0 points per game (3rd in NBA); .569 field-goal percentage (746-for-1311); .376 three-point field goal percentage (111-for-295); .750 free-throw percentage (423-for-564); 6.9 rebounds per game; 6.4 assists per game.


Durant is underrated defensively. James is one of the NBA’s best defenders when he wants to be, and that’s almost every game.


James has won four league MVP titles and figures to win a few more. This would be Durant’s first league MVP award.  The voters likely to take that into consideration.


My vote would be Durant, James, Blake Griffin.




Manny Pacquiao is favored ($230 to win $100) over Timothy Bradley ($100 to win $180) in their WBO welterweight title fight Saturday night in Las Vegas…The over under is 9 ½ rounds (bet $325 to win $100 over; bet $100 to win $215 under)…Fight will go the distance, bet $250 to win $100 yes; bet $100 to win $195 no…Odds courtesy of Bovada.


Rochester native Jon “Bones” Jones is a big favorite (bet $600 to win $100) to successfully defend his light heavyweight title against Grover Teixeira (bet $100 to win $400) at UFC 172, Saturday, April 26, in Baltimore, Md.


I wonder how long Rochester would’ve lasted if it had managed to land a Major League Soccer franchise 15 or so years ago. According to a survey by ESPN, the average compensation for the 555 players listed at the start of this season is $207,831 and the average base salary is $186,258. The minimum salary is $36,500. The team with the highest “guaranteed compensation” is Toronto FRC at $16,648,858. The Lowest is Chivas USA at $3,292,674.


Since Major League Baseball began interleague play in 1997, in the 17 seasons through 2013, the American League defeated the National League 13 times – including the last 10.


All things considered, the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs missing the Stanley Cups for the eighth time in the last nine seasons is far more embarrassing than the Buffalo Bills 0-for-24.


E$PN’s Todd McShay’s Mock Draft 4.0 this week has the Buffalo Bills picking tight end Eric Ebron (North Carolina) No. 9 overall and offensive tackle Ja’Waun James (Tennessee) No. 41…On Ebron: “There aren’t many glaring holes on this team, opening things up for the Bills to take the best available player. Also, EJ Manuel would really benefit from having an elite downfield threat with seam-stretching speed like Ebron at the tight end position, giving him another weapon with wide receivers Stevie Johnson, Robert Woods and Mike Williams, and steady TE Scott Chandler.”


Encouraging numbers from the defensive-minded Rochester Knighthawks: They had 66 goals (13+ per game) in their last 5 games, the second-highest rate in the National Lacrosse League over that span. Stephen Keogh has 11 goals and 17 assists in the 5 games. Cody Jamieson has 89 points, second most in the NLL. The last Knighthawks to top 90 points was Shawn Williams (93 in 2009).


The Minnesota Twins are a very bad team right now and their fans obviously have noticed. The 6-1 loss to Oakland Thursday afternoon was the team’s ninth straight loss to the A’s and it was witnessed by the smallest crowd in the history of Target Field – 20, 650.


The 2014 Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack live thoroughbred racing opens Friday, April 18, with a 12:35 p.m., post time. The season runs through Dec. 5.