Matthews: Cheers To Josh Allen For His Geography Lesson

CHEERS TO JOSH ALLEN FOR HIS GEOGRAPHY LESSON...

BEST START FOR THE BILLS WAS 9-0 IN 1964

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen was sharp on Sunday – both on the field in a 28-14 victory over the host New York Giants and at the post-game media conference when he was asked about Buffalo being the king of NFL football in New York state.

Josh politely pointed out that the Bills are the only NFL team based in New York and playing home games in New York State. The Jets and Giants play at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. For the record: the Jets and Giants have a combined 0-4 record and Buffalo is 2-0.

Xxxx Bills fans have a reason to be excited about their team’s 2-0 start. In the team’s 60-year history, the Bills won their season-opening game only 25 times.

Here’s how long the Bills were undefeated before they lost a game:

1-0: 8 times

2-0: 7 times (2019 not included because the Bills haven’t played Game 3 yet; they’re favored by 5 ½ points in the home opener against Cincinnati).

3-0: once (they finished 6-10 in 2011).)

4-0: 5 times (including 1992; lost Super Bowl XXVII to Dallas)

5-0 – 2 times (including 1991; lost Super Bowl XXVI to Washington)

9-0 – Once (won the 1964 AFC championship game 20-7 over San Diego; some old-time fans believe Buffalo was the best team in pro football that season).

Xxxx Nine teams are 2-0 so far this NFL season. Here they are and this week’s opponents and the betting line:

New England (-17 ½) hosts the New York Jets

Baltimore (+6 ½) at Kansas City -- both are undefeated

Dallas (-21) hosts Miami

Green Bay (-8) hosts Denver

Buffalo (-5 ½) hosts Cincinnati

New Orleans at Seattle (no line due to Drew Brees’ thumb injury) – both are undefeated

Los Angeles Rams at Cleveland (no line; Cleveland plays Monday night).

LET’S ADD A HALL OF SHAME WING TO COOPERSTOWN

I think I have a solution to the debate about the PED users and gamblers who were Baseball Hall of Fame worthies on the field but have not been elected to Cooperstown because they cheated with performance-enhancing drugs or associated with gamblers: Create a separate room next to the vast space with the plaques of the players, umpires and executives who’ve already been elected.

The players who’ve been shunned so far would be selected in a special election of baseball writers.The ballot would include Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and maybe David Ortiz...and Shoeless Joe Jackson and Pete Rose.

The “bad guys” would not be allowed “to room” with the clean “good guys.” Their plaques would include a line following their lists of credits, “Believed to have used performance-enhancing drugs” or “associated with gamblers.”

Would the living misbehaving players attend their enshrinement ceremonies? Who cares?They’d finally be members of the Hall of Fame – and I’m sure many media and fans would call it The Hall of Shame Section.

Most of all, the history of this great game would be more complete – warts and all.

WE’RE GETTING A GREAT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT...MAYBE

If all goes according to plan, boxing fans will get the heavyweight title fight they’re been hoping for –a rematch -- a rematch between giants Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. It is tentatively set for February 22, 2020, in Las Vegas.

In December 2018, Britain’s undefeated Fury , 6-foot-6, decided to boost his international visibility by venturing to the United States for the first time to fight 6-foot-9 champion Deontay Wilder in Los Angeles. In a classic action fight, Fury was knocked down twice but was the better boxer and the judges ruled a split draw.

Everyone wanted to see a rematch but as often happens in boxing, another build-up was deemed beneficial. Fury would beat a few tomato cans and Wilder was scheduled to easily beat Luis “King Kong” Ortiz. But Ortiz in a huge upset handed Wilder the first loss of his career and their rematch is tentatively scheduled for November 23 in Las Vegas.

Fury barely survived his tune-up fight Saturday night against huge underdog Otto Wallin. Fury suffered a badly cut eyebrow early and there was a chance that the referee would stop the fight. Fury survived the bloodbath to win a unanimous decision 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112. He was guaranteed $12.5 million. Wallin made less than $1 million but earned much respect.

SHORT SHOTS

It didn’t take long watching Saturday evening’s Clemson at Syracuse football team to recognize that the top-ranked Tigers collectively bigger and faster than the overmatched Orange. Much of the 50,000-plus crowd had given up midway through the third quarter and rightly so.

Xxxx Here’s a sign of diminished expectations for Syracuse U. basketball this season: No ESPN Big Monday games. The big home games will be Saturdays: Duke February 1 and North Carolina February February 29.

Xxxx ESPN’s recent production 150 Greatest All-Time College Football Teams top five were 1971 Nebraska, 2994 USC, 1972 USC (m 2004 USC, 1972 USC, 1995 Nebraska, 2018 Clemson, 1972 USC, 1995 Nebraska, 2019 Clemson. The top-ranked Alabama team was 8th in 1979...The undefeated national champion Syracuse Orange was 39th on the list.

Xxxx I do not expect this to happen, but Giancarlo Stanton might have a chance to be World Series Most Valuable Player after missing most of this season due to injuries.

Xxxx The Rochester Americans are shaping up as one of the great defensive teams in franchise history, But is there enough firepower to challenge for the franchise’s first Calder Cup since 1996?

Xxxx The Buffalo Sabres are 60-to-1 by sportsbook William Hill to win the 2020 Staley Cup. I’d make them 100-to-1 at least. Not enough scoring.

Xxxx The clever headline writers for the New York Post came down hard on the Giants after their 28-14 home loss to Buffalo: D-SPICABLE: Giants can’t slow Bills – and ‘O’ just as bad...WEAK TWO...DUCK FOR COVER: Brutal Giants fall to 0-2 again – and the finger-pointing has begun.

HAPPY SPORTS BIRTHDAYS...

Monday, September 16

Aaron Gordon 24...Robbie Grossman 30...Bobby Korecky 40...Dan Dickau 41...Eric Vail 45...Mark Bruener 47...Chester McGlockton 50...Mark Parent 58...Mickey Tettleton 59...Mel Hall...Tim Raines 60...Orel Hirshiser 61....Albert Montgomery 63...Robin Yount 64...Jerry Pate 66...Rosemary Calas 71...Lucius Allen 72...Elgin Baylor 86. Nick Jonas 27, Teddy Geiger 31, Julian Castro 45, Marc Antony 51, David Copperfield 63 and Mickey Rourke 67 are invited to the birthday party.

Tuesday, September 17

Auston Matthews 22...Patrick Mahomes 24...Zach Granite 27...Marcus Semien 29...Alexander Ovechkin 34...Garth Murray 37...NASCAR Jimmy Johnson 44...Rasheed Wallace 45...Mark Brunell 49..,Ashley Ambrolse 48...Scott Arniel 57...Antony Crater 59...John Franco 59...Scott Simpson 64...Junior Bridgeman 66...Kermit Washington 68...Phil Jackson 74...Orlando Cepeda 82.

ON THIS DATE IN SPORTS...

September 16

1869 (150 years ago),18-year-old Tom Morris Jr., retained his British Open golf title, beating fellow Scot Bon Kirk by 11 strokes.

1922 (97 years ago), Bill Tilden won his third straight U.S. tennis singles title, beating Bill Johnston, 4-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.

1937 (82 years ago), the Washington Redskins, in their first game at Griffith Stadium, beat the Bew York Giants 13-3.

1950 (69 years ago), the former AAFC Cleveland Browns beat Philadelphia 35 -10 in their first NFL game.

1953 (66 years ago), the American League approved the St. Louis Blues move to the Baltimore Orioles.

1973 (46 years ago), O.J. Simpson rushed for a then-record 250 yards in Buffalo’s 31-13 win at New England.

1995 (24 years ago), Greg Maddux of the Braves won his record 17th consecutive road victory.

2000 (19 years ago), Sammy Sosa joined Mark McGuire as the first two players to at least 50 home runs in three consecutive seasons.

2018 (last year), Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes set an NFL record with 10 TD passes in the first two weeks of a season.

September 17

1920 (99 years ago), the American Professional Football Association was formed in Canton, Ohio; 12 teams, including the Rochester Jeffersons, paid $100 each to join. It became the NFL in 1922.

1941 (78 years ago), Stan Musial, just recalled from the Rochester Red Wings, went 2-for-4 in his MLN debut with the St. Louis Cardinals,

1953 (66 years ago), Ernie Banks became the first black player for the Chicago Cubs.

1954 (65 years ago), Rocky Marciano beat Ezzard Charles in 8 to retain his heavyweight boxing title.

1959 (60 years ago), Ja\ck Nicklaus won the 59th U.S. Golf Amateur Championship.

1961 (58 years ago), Minnesota’s Frank Tarkenton came off the bench to become the first NFL quarterback to throw four TD passes in his first game; the Vikings won 37-13 over the Chicago Bears.

1967 (52 years ago), the New Orleans Saints lost their first NFL game 27-13 to the Los Angeles Rams.

1992 (27 years ago), the NFL decided to suspended the World Football League.

2004 (15 years ago), Barry Bonds hit his 700th home run.

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