Another Opener for the Bills
|09.14.09 at 1:11 pm ET|
Terrell Owens loves being the center of attention. Whether it is mimicking Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis’ notorious pre-game dance after scoring a touchdown, spitting in the face of cornerback DeAngelo Hall, or tweeting about a day in the life of T.O, Owens has never been one to shy away from the media spotlight.
Now, with the christening of the 2009 Monday Night Football season beginning tonight when the New England Patriots take on the Buffalo Bills at 7 p.m. at Gillette Stadium, T.O. will most likely make his presence known in his Bills debut. Yet, contrary to Owens’ egoism, T.O. will not be the only player on the field that the cameras will be focused on.
No, this is not VH1. “The T.O. Show” does not air on prime-time tonight. (At least, not the way it is portrayed on reality television with T.O. as a low-key, unobtrusive Southern boy misunderstood in the world.)
Aside from quarterback Tom Brady’s much anticipated return and T.O’s hyped-up antics, the Bills open the season with only their third Monday night game on Kickoff Weekend. In their 50th season as a professional football franchise, the Bills have previously hosted the opening Monday night festivities twice before owning a 1-1 record in the contests.
Buffalo’s first ever Monday night kickoff resulted in a close 21-20 victory against Oakland Raiders on Sept. 16 1974. In an exciting thriller, the Bills managed to barrel through Oakland’s defense and stun John Madden’s club in the final two minutes of regulation thanks in part to wide receiver Ahmad Rashad’s two touchdown catches from quarterback Joe Ferguson.
In their second Monday night opener on Sept. 13, 1976 against the Miami Dolphins, the Bills had no choice but to sparingly play running back Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson (who held out all of preseason after demanding a trade to a west coast) in the match-up. Missing Simpson’s rushing potency, the Bills dropped the game 30-21 in front of a packed home crowd of 77,683 at Rich Stadium. Simpson was limited to 5 carries collecting only 28 yards with his longest running merely totaling an 8-yard gain.
During the contest, Bills kicker John Leypoldt missed all three of his field goal attempts- the only attempts he would be given that season since he was released later on- which inevitably made the difference in the game. Buffalo finished the disappointing year with a 2-12 record.
Fast forward to tonight and the Bills return to the Monday night opening limelight determined to turn around their struggles in the past. Since defeating the Patriots on Kickoff Weekend 2003, a victory in which the Bills absolutely crushed New England’s defense (to the joy of former safety Lawyer Milloy) 31-0. Since then, however, the Bills have failed to put a tally in the win column against their AFC East rivals losing 11 straight contests against the Patriots.
The last time the Bills countered the Patriots on Opening Weekend occurred in 2006 when Buffalo suffered a 19-17 loss. Quarterback J.P. Losman completed 15-for-23 passes throwing for 164 yards, yet could not match Brady’s two touchdown performance despite playing without wide receiver Deion Branch, who later was traded to the Seattle Seahawks.
The Bills have seen their share of upsetting Kickoff Weekends in the past. On September 9, 2007 against the Denver Broncos, tight end Kevin Everett suffered a life-threatening, season-ending injury. On a kickoff, Everett attempted to tackle Dominick Hixon, but injured his neck in the process that resulted him being transported off the field with his life in question as to whether he was ever be able to walk. Doctors concluded Everett was hit with a cervical spine injury that ended his football career. Everett, however, did regain movement and despite the initial prognosis has been able to walk again.
Shaken by the incident, the Bill ultimately lost the game 15-14 holding Everett close to their hearts and in their prayers.
Now, with the addition of the boisterous T.O., a no-huddle offense engineered by quarterback Trent Edwards, and Head Coach Dick Jaurons at the realm, the Bills aim to end their win-less Patriot drought and prove they can compete within the talented AFC East. Both teams will wear their traditional throwback jerseys to commemorate the 50th year celebration in the contest tonight.
You know for sure T.O. will have his personal camera ready to go.
- Mike on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- depo on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- Jeter_Cheats on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- Chris on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- Herb on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- the truth on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- shutiggyupdotcom on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- Otis on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- Sicko on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- BillyB on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners