So the people from Buffalo don’t seem to like my latest SI.com column. I’ve probably received, oh, 50 e-mails, then throw in another 17 posts on this blog. It’s been, I believe, slammed on various Bills message boards.

To which I say: C’mon.

Seriously, c’mon. It’s just a column. About a city. It was written tongue-in-cheek. But, if we’re going to be honest, who the hell would be happy about moving from San Diego to Buffalo? I’ve been to Buffalo four or five times. It’s a nice, good place to live with some solid restaurants, a very enjoyable zoo and, of course, the breathtaking Falls right down the block. The people (with the possible exception of some of the e-mail writers 🙂 ) are extremely friendly. But Buffalo is to San Diego what Jerry Golsteyn is to Joe Montana. San Diego’s downtown is wonderful. Buffalo’s is dreary. San Diego is warm and sunny all year. Buffalo has as depressing a winter as many will ever know (unless you’re one who digs long winters. I am not one who digs long winters). San Diego is orange and yellow. Buffalo is gray and brown.

Some of the posters noted that I come from Mahopac—and (ha-ha) that probably sucks, too. Well, yes, it does suck. It’s boring and lame and nothing goes on there. I’m content to admit such.

I don’t blame Buffalo folk for having pride in their home turf. And, again, it’s a fine place. But let’s be real here.

San Diego is bliss.

PS: As for the many who called the idea for the column “unoriginal.” I 100 percent disagree. The idea was some guy, in this case Shawne Merriman, having to go from one of the most gorgeous cities in America to one of the most drab; to go from a franchise that (generally) wins to one that loses. Did I execute it well? Apparently not. But the idea, in and of itself (Write about the transition; find someone who actually made it), is not a bad one.

PPS: Best e-mail I received:

Grading Pearlman’s article;
0 = originality
0 = interesting
0 = satire
0 = “common council”…WTF?
0 = SI.com’s editorial staff!
0 = Mathison as a resource? You’re stretching it to make your point.
0 = score on Pearlman’s essay

Looks like Pearlman and the Bills have something in common….they’re both LOSERS!!

25 thoughts on “Buffalo”

  1. I wonder if you would have wrote about Boston’s, Philly, Chicago, Minnesota, NY’s or even DC’s weather with the same self satisfying zeal? I doubt it.

    Your cliches are ripped right from the Tonigh Show. . . with Johnny Carson.

  2. Merriman was claimed so he had no choice.

    how bout the basketball coach Jan Van Breda Kolff, who quit Pepperdine a few years ago to take the St Bonaventure job?

    so he essentially went from MALIBU TO BUFFALO…. and willingly!

  3. You guy’s in Buffalo think you’ve got it so bad, we lost four superbowls before you had an inch of soot on most buildings in town. Here, this guy explains it best:

  4. Wow, people in Buffalo need to lighten up. As an unbiased observer, I found absolutely nothing in that piece to get worked up about.

  5. Living on the Left coast, and having traveled extensively through California, Arizona, Oregon, and elsewhere, I have met many people that have lived in San Diego and hated it.
    Personally I think it would be a pretty neat town, though the closest I got was Carlsbad.
    Thing is, different strokes for different people.

    Considering how you like to brag about your acceptance of diverse cultures I would think you would get that.

  6. I killed several brain cells reading what a second string writer wrote about what a third string Quarterback had to say. Only in La La land does anyone care what a nobody thinks.

    Seriously Fish Tacos? ? ?

    You people on the left coast are so full of yourself its no wonder everyone else in the country hates you.

    Buffalo is no were near as cold as some other NFL cities, are you writings about them so full of disdain?

  7. Steven
    I’m the guy from the Left coast that said lighten up on Buffalo.
    Jeff wrote the Fish Taco land, he is very much East Coast.

    Let your brain cells heal, then look again.

  8. Let’s face reality. If you were on a game show and the prize was a choice between a trip to Buffalo and a trip to San Diego, a sane person would choose San Diego every time. If I’m a professional athlete who likes the party scene, I’m not going to see Buffalo in the same light as San Diego. Plus, Buffalo doesn’t have In-N-Out burger.

  9. I live in Wisconsin and know exactly what Jeff is talking about. He is dead on and I thought the article was great. It is alright to defend your hometown, but be real – call a spade a spade. Nice work Jeff.

  10. With respect, you spend a lot of time ripping people/places/things, often while admitting that you don’t know much about them. What purpose does that serve?

  11. Sean – don’t read it then. He’s a writer that you clearly follow. Have you never ripped people/places/things that you don’t know much/anything about? Not trying to be a jerk, but you have a choice to read and comment.

  12. Just a quick sports lesson for a so called “sports writer”. One of the greatest sports legends in the history of Buffalo sports, played quaterback for the Buffalo Bills. Is in the Hall Of Fame. And guess what?!? Came from the San Diego Chargers! His name was Jack Kemp and he never left the region, even after he retired. Google it! It’s true!

  13. There’s no excuse for the profanity and personal attacks you’ve no doubt received, but to repeat what I said the other day … c’mon now. We KNOW it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, not mean-spirited. (Although I have my doubts about Mathison’s “people, culture …” quote.)

    Just like the majority of the thousands of other versions we’ve read over the years, from seemingly every out-of-town media outlet that’s ever been forced to trudge to upstate New York to cover a Bills or Sabres home game.

    Add up forty or fifty years’ worth of snark — here’s a memorable piece from the pages of SI, circa 1969: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1082018/1/index.htm — throw in a few jokes about losing Super Bowls, and is it a wonder that many Buffalonians have developed onion-thin skin on the topic?
    (And from the time I got blasted for sticking up for you on SJ.com, I know we both know about thin skin.)

    Re-read your column from their point of view: oh look, another national writer piling on, going for a cheap laugh against an easy target.

    Hey, whatever brings the pageviews.

  14. Jeff, I debated including the kicker, figuring that might be your response. Bad call on my part, because it obscured the larger point I was trying to make. So it goes.

    Was it unfair? Perhaps. I honestly don’t think you set out to write the piece with the expectation that Buffalofan would rise up against it, spinning up the hit count by passing the link on through their social networks. “Hey, did you see what this wrote about Buffalo?”, etc.

    Could’ve told you that’s what would happen, though. As soon as I read it, I knew there would be a thread about it on my old Bills fanboard. There was, of course, and I cringed when I saw your e-mail address posted there because I knew what was coming your way.

    But now I find myself “piling on” as much as I’ve accused you of doing, so I’ll wish you well and move on.

  15. Anthony – I do enjoy reading Jeff’s columns. But if he’s going to make a living provoking people and then complaining when it draws a response — he deserves to be called on it. This isn’t the first time we’ve been through this cycle on the blog.

  16. I realize I’m a little late to the party, but I do wonder about the a couple of the questions asked above.

    Would you have written a similar article if Merriman had been picked up by the any other cold weather team? After all, winters are far colder in Minnesota, and Green Bay.

    Is the average of about a 5 degree difference between Buffalo and Boston really so much? What about Cleveland and Pittsburg, more like 2-3 degrees warmer, or Chicago where it colder for the winter months?

    Are any of these other cold weather cities any less “gray and brown” than Buffalo at the same time of year? Yet where are the articles talking about how horrible a transition these players are about to face when going to those cities?

    I think one of the things Buffalonians find so annoying about articles like this is that it continues to perpetuate myths about a town, that are generally inaccurate. Yes we get snow, yes it does get a little cold here in the winter, but no more so than most other cold weather cities.

    We just don’t see these comparisons being made to other cold weather cities or small markets. That’s why we get so angry about it.

    There are actually a lot of people that like it here, don’t mind the winter, actually enjoy the spring and fall. I’m sorry you don’t, but when you write an article based almost entirely on how bad you (or the single former player that responded to your calls) perceive a place to be, and make wholly inaccurate statements like “a-freezier-inside-a-freezer-inside-Yellowknife, Canada cold”, it should come as no surprise when people who disagree, or at least know the facts call you out on it.

  17. …and furthermore, it’s a little hypocritical to repeatedly write entries lambasting the lack of civility (including a great piece called “Empathy” a few weeks ago), and then churn out a piece every week that’s making fun of somebody. Jeff wrote “But many people find it OK to treat others—the ones they deem as ‘lessers’—like rolled-up balls of shit.”

    That’s a sentiment I agree with. And I wish he did too.

  18. Jeff, I didn’t think the Buffalo/San Diego piece was offensive… just that you shouldn’t be surprised to see folks from Buffalo take offense at being the butt of the joke. So what if Buffalo < San Diego.

    I guess most of your negative stuff has been about politics,
    but in the past month or so you've also ripped "artsy" kids, Ike Davis, the WNBA, and noisy schoolgirls at Starbucks. And I think you ripped John Oates. too.

    I just think there's s difference between skewering athletes with overinflated egos or a sense of entitlement, and taking easy shots at folks for not being more talented.

  19. You know first I was pissed now its just amusing. An alleged inteligent journalist insults an entire community then fiegns shock that said community is outraged, “Civic Pride, OH MY GOD, Whodathunk it?”

    But after looking at the other blog entries that look like something the Real Housewives of Orange County would want to read not a sports fan, its easy to see whats going on here.

    Its pretty obvious Pearlman was grabbing for some low hanging fruit for attention and that is after all what some so called journalist do, in the same vain that some so called attorneys are ambulance chasers.

    I see several remarks challenging him to fess up as to why his disdainful remarks are not used for other sports Towns with colder weather but he chooses to ignore those.

    He will probably continue to ignore them.

    In a way it worked, look at all the attention he got. What a great “sports” writer he must think himself.

    1. Steven:

      I’m here! I’m here! Chill.

      First, as I’ve written 20 different ways, the Buffalo remarks were made tongue in cheek. I obviously did not pull it off well. But that was the intent. I actually like Buffalo. But to go there from San Diego—no way.

      Would I write that way about Green Bay? Yes, if the Packers were 0-7 and somebody was going there from San Diego. I definitely would. Furthermore, I hate the ol’ “he’s just writing for attention” argument. So limited in scope. Yes, nothing draws readers more than insulting a tiny market and focussing on a shitty QB from 25 years ago. That’s a guaranteed ratings pull.

      I don’t write for attention, I write because I love it. Do the columns always work out? No. This one clearly fell flat, and lacked the tone I was grabbing for. If I offended you, Steve, not my intent. I apologize …


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