All posts by Matt Kabel

Ashamed of One Bills Drive, Jets Tailgate

Hello all 2,000+ NYC Bills Fans,

I’m embarrassed. Santa surprised my 7-year-old son with tickets to the Bills/Jets game in NJ this weekend, so we’ll be heading out to MetLife on New Year’s Day to watch…well…a meaningless game. I’m embarrassed to take William, not due to the winning records of the team, but how the front office at One Bills Drive has handled the Rex Ryan situation over the last few weeks. By now, you’ve likely heard that Rex Ryan has been fired. You can’t take a top 5 defense and run it into the ground, especially when you’re a defensive “guru”, not to mention the other comedy of errors this season. I don’t disagree with the move.

What I’m ashamed of is how the team has handled the situation, that this is the organization that I’m urging my son to root for. First, you had the leaks ORIGINATING FROM THE TEAM saying Rex would likely be fired WHILE WE WERE STILL IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT. When Ralph Wilson owned the team, there were minimal leaks, however the last three years that pipe has burst. A leaky organization is a poorly managed organization, which speaks volumes of the leadership of President Russ Brandon and GM Doug Whaley. Anybody that has been a member of NYCBBB knows my distaste for Russ Brandon, who somehow has managed to get promotion after promotion despite leading a continuously losing franchise. Many will point to ticket sales and say he’s just a marketing guy. BS. Don’t kid yourself, he is heavily involved in football decisions and has been for years despite the team saying otherwise. I’ve said for years the franchise will not win while he is leading it, and sadly have continued to be right in that prediction. He’s a salesman and has no place being involved in football operations, especially being a failed former GM of the team.

Then you have Doug Whaley, who reportedly is the one who pushed to have Rex fired as the two had a falling out, his second such issue with a head coach here. Not only did he fire Rex, but made the decision (with the Pegulas and Brandon) to bench Tyrod Taylor (which I get why) after his finest game as a Bill with no coaching input. Then send out his interim head coach, Anthony Lynn, to explain that decision (which he had no part in) to an already (rightfully) annoyed press. Predictably, the hung out to dry coach stumbled through the interview. How can Whaley, Brandon or the Pegulas NOT face the press after firing your coach and send in the guy who had no role in it to explain it? This is the worst decision made (other than trading two #1s for a WR in the draft when you didn’t have a QB) since Tom Donahoe had fan signs confiscated at the games.

Leaks, hanging the team out to dry, lack of accountability and a predictably lame marketing spin has created a clear toxic swamp in Orchard Park. The national media is laughing at Buffalo. Its bush league and pathetic, and the guys responsible for it, primarily Whaley/Brandon, keep getting a pass. Names like Coughlin are being tossed out as coaching candidates…pff…no way. What respective coach will want to be a part of this mess? They’d have to deal with:

1) A power hungry GM who has already kicked two coaches out the door, who would have full control over personnel, yet has no success to justify it

2) A glorified salesman as President who has no problem throwing coaches under the bus to the press and has input into player contracts and personnel

No good football coach wants a part of that, and who could blame them? There’s only one clear thing that should happen. Remove Russ Brandon and Doug Whaley and bring in an experienced football guru to rebuild the organization. Just because it didn’t work out with Donahoe doesn’t mean it won’t ever work. There are too many lifers at OBD who have created a losing culture within the franchise. Nothing will change while they are still in power.

Sadly, Brandon/Whaley have the Pegulas’ ears, and know bringing in a real football guru would mean the end of their power (and likely jobs) so are doing everything possible from allowing that to happen (see Bill Polian last year). As long as that continues, this franchise will greatly surpass the 17 years of losing. My only hope is that the Pegulas themselves are out of the loop on much of this, and not responsible for it themselves. It’s not fair to the fans, nor the players.

BILLS/JETS TAILGATE
For those heading to the game on New Year’s Day, we’ll be meeting up again in LOT 26, POLE A. We always have a great turnout, Kenny (Pinto Ron) will be there too. Here’s a link with details, it’s from last year so some of the things are outdated (McFadden’s won’t be supplying beer).
http://nycbbb.com/notes/bills-jets-tailgate-info-2/

Hope to see you there, and look forward to hearing your thoughts on my thoughts above.

Go Bills!

Matt “Not Talkin’ Proud about our organization right now” Kabel

49ers at Bills, PUNT Fundraiser This Weekend

Hello all 2,000+ NYC Bills Fans!

Last time I wrote, we Bills fans were out for the count. We were 0-2 and wondering if Rex would survive the season. Now here we are with a winning record about to take on two teams who are up against the ropes. Hopefully with Colin Kaepernick set to make the start this weekend will result in a nice media distraction for the 49ers, where the Bills can quietly take advantage.

I’ve read posts saying Whaley/Rex should be considered for some end of year awards, and odds being good that the Bills will make the playoffs. Please, let’s settle down, we’ve been in this position before. Tyrod still hasn’t proven he can be the man yet, and that LA game was dangerously close to turning against us. This team still has a lot to prove, but have to admit it’s more fun to watch a team that’s competing. Just settle down and enjoy the ride, one game at a time.

The Bills take on the 49ers at 1pm this Sunday, be sure to head to 42nd & 2nd and join your fellow NYC Backers at McFadden’s and Calico Jack’s.

PUNT FOUNDATION
For the third year in a row, we’re partnering with the PUNT Foundation to raise money for families in Buffalo battling childhood cancer. They will be at the bars this Sunday to raffle off several items, including:

  • 1 autographed Tyrod Taylor Jersey
  • 1 Red Jerry Hughes Jersey
  • 1 White LeSean McCoy Jersey

As most of you know, I’ve personally been affected by childhood cancer, my daughter Sally having battled Infant Leukemia. I can vouch that the PUNT Foundation, founded by Brian and Amber Moorman, is a worthy one who does incredible work with childhood cancer families in Western NY. Please be sure to contribute to this incredible organization.

NY TIMES ARTICLE
Check it out, Buffalo cuisine was featured in the NY Times yesterday: https://goo.gl/4w1zBI

3-2, who would have thunk? Now we just need Jack Eichel to get better in a hurry!

Matt “Talkin’ Proud and always Buffalove” Kabel

Bills vs. Cardinals

Hello all 2,259 NYC Bills Fans!

I was watching the 30 for 30 on the Super Bowl Bills (produced by our buddy Michelle) the other night, reliving those glory days, thinking “man that was fun!”

I yearn for those days, when we fans were confident in our team and knew every game was winnable. Nowadays, you sit back and wonder what new ways the Bills can invent to lose. I’ve stopped blaming the players and coaches for some time now, no matter who has been on the field for the last 16 years, the culture of losing is prevalent at One Bills Drive. I’ve said it before, and will say it again, until the Pegulas clean house in the Front Office this team is never going to shed their losing ways. There are too many lifers with their hands on the team. For example why was Russ Brandon, who is supposed to have no football involvement, interviewing players last week? Why are there constant leaks to the press (to the NY Post of all papers!) Why does nobody in the Front Office appear to be on the same page? The team is a mess, just as it was when Marrone quit two years ago.

When the Pegulas took over, we all were more than ready to hit the reset button and look forward. They promoted consistency by retaining much of the old guard. OK. We’re almost two years in, and consistency in the Front Office has led to consistent losing on the field. Terry and Kim Pegula appear to be smart and caring owners, I have to believe they know it’s time to blow it up and rebuild. Bring in a football general who has complete control of the football operations, cut bait with the lifers who have too much involvement on the football side.

I’ll still continue to root on the team, because they are OUR team and always will be. I’ll still wear my Bills shirts and hat with pride. The tide has to turn sometime. Be sure to join NYCBBB this Sunday as we take on the Cardinals. Rex knows his job is on the line, and the players are rallying for him, so we just may upset these guys based on emotion. A couple of announcements:

TIPPING
Going forward there will be a minimum 18% tip for waitresses if seated at the table. A couple folks have been running out the door without leaving a tip. That’s not cool, and embarrassing to hear. We’ve never been fans of the policy, but this has been a reoccurring problem over the years and have no choice.

HAPPY HOUR
McFadden’s will be throwing a Happy Hour for Bills fans tonight from 6-10pm, offering half price top shelf cocktails, drafts (including Labatt), wine and chicken wings. Labatt donated an awesome Kan Jam set to give away to the Bills fan that’s brings out the most coworkers and friends.

Just found out that Kan Jam was invented in Buffalo…is anybody else not surprised?

– Matt “Talkin’ proud and ready for some fresh football blood” Kabel

Draft Party and 15 Years!

Hello all 2,270 NYC Bills Fans!

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like that winter just flew by. Next week is the NFL Draft, and as always NYCBBB will be throwing our annual draft party. This will be our FIFTEENTH party, we’ve been doing this since before the draft was moved to prime time and considered “cool”. Everybody knows we pack the bars on Sundays with Bills fans for the games, but the fun part about our draft party is that it’s the one time we can bring our non-Bills fans to our Sunday home during the season. It’s crazy to think it’s been a decade and a half since we first met up at a place called Bar Coastal on the Upper East Side. Even harder to believe we haven’t been to the playoffs in that time (cough).

Anyways, back to the Draft. On Thursday night, the charity American Football Without Barriers will be on hand to promote their cause and will likely have some NFL players there. When we know more we’ll be sure and let you know!

We’ll offer these two options both Thursday 4/28 and Friday 4/29 from 7-11PM:

1) Free wristband good for $3 domestic AND import drafts, including Labatt Blue (we have a bunch of new imports and micro-brews–we actually added 5 draft lines) AND half priced mixed drinks (top shelf)

2) Pay $15 at the door, good for unlimited chicken wings (by the order) and also receive the same drink special above ($3 all drafts, half priced top shelf mixed drinks)

For Saturday, 4/30: @ 12pm. Our regular drink special:
http://nycbbb.com/features/drink-specials-times/

Looking forward to seeing you on Thursday!

Buffalo Restaurant in NYC
Did you hear that a restaurant featuring Buffalo foods is opening in Brooklyn?! Again, we know what’s cool before the rest of the city does:
http://buffalo.com/2016/04/18/news/food-drink/taste-western-new-york-open-brooklyn/

Social Media Be sure to follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/nycbbb/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/nycbbb) for the latest updates! Let’s Go Buffalo!!!

Matt “Talkin’ proud and are clearly Buffalo’s original hipsters” Kabel www.nycbbb.com

2015 Season Wrap-up

Hello all 2,268 NYC Bills fans!

Wasn’t it great to watch the Bills knock the Jets out of the playoffs on Sunday? I can now enjoy an entire offseason where I don’t have to be totally ridiculed by Jets fans. My in-laws, all Jets fans, asked if I was smiling after the win. The truth is, no, I wasn’t. I’m actually less excited about next season as I’ve ever been since I became a fan. In some ways even depressed about the team. Why?

I knew this season we wouldn’t improve on our record, although I thought it’d be a result of poor quarterback play. Seeing our stout defense fall apart was surprising, but overall the team just didn’t have any new spark despite the hiring of Rex Ryan. Frankly, they looked like the same old Bills, the ones we’ve seen miss the playoffs for 16 straight years. The teams we’ve watched at McFadden’s and Calico Jack’s. Even with new ownership, nothing on the field changed. One thing did change is something nobody is talking about, and that’s the behavior of the front office.

When Doug Marrone decided to turn his back on the Bills, a strange thing happened with the organization that I never saw before as a Bills fan. Here in NYC, the NY Daily News published an article (http://goo.gl/Mcxl4n) that was essentially a hit piece on Marrone, a lead candidate for the Jets top coach position. Strong words like “dangerous” and “control freak” were used to describe him. The strange part is those words originated not from an agent as many assumed, but from “sources” within One Bills Drive. The words may be accurate, and to be clear I’m in no way defending Marrone who bailed on his players without so much as a heads up, but for the organization to provide that information and air its dirty laundry for revenge purposes was in my opinion – classless. I couldn’t see that happening with respected organizations like the Giants or Steelers, nor ever with Ralph Wilson still alive. It represented to me a major shift within the organization, and not for the better.

Over the last year since that incident, we’ve seen continuous leaks from within the organization. Infighting between Rex and Doug Whaley, the way Fred Jackson was released and Matt Cassel traded, the Bill Polian leaks. Even yesterday there were leaks about Rex/Whaley being given an ultimatum about being fired if they don’t achieve the playoffs next season only to be followed by a conflicting “source” saying Whaley would be extended.

All of the leaks appear to have an agenda targeting and undermining others within the organization. That, my fellow fans, shows an office in disarray and a clear lack of leadership within the organization, which we’ve seen has even filtered all the way down to the players who admitted there is no leadership within the team. My gut tells me the organization is a mess behind closed doors. Who leads the organization? The Pegulas may own the team and have final say, but the guy running the day to day at OBD is Managing Partner Russ Brandon.

Those that have read my emails for the last decade know I am not a fan of Mr. Brandon, who is a glorified salesman who should be restricted to the Sales and Marketing office, not head of the organization. The fact that he was our General Manager for a stint without any of the right qualifications (and continued to have a say in football decisions) still infuriates me to this day, and if you think he’s not involved in football decisions anymore you’re mistaken. In Monday’s press conference Whaley named Brandon as one of the key people who would have a final say in the Tyrod Taylor extension, he’s hired coaches and you’ve seen him in the draft room. The guy still has his hand in the cookie jar.

It’s baffling how somebody who has been tied to almost all 16 years of our playoff drought, who has been directly responsible for securing head coaches (including Marrone who turned his back on the team), players (he signed Terrell Owens and had him spout the “North America’s Team” BS at his presser) and front office staff in that time is not only still here, but keeps gaining more power! He’s essentially the Pegulas’ eyes and ears within the organization, their lead advisor. Let’s not even discuss his involvement with the Sabres. You have to wonder who is resisting a set of outside consulting eyes taking a fresh look at the team.

Sorry Bills fans, but as long as Brandon is still at the top of this organization, I’d be shocked if anything changes with our playoff drought any time soon. An organization takes on the personality of its leader, which is why for the last decade every Bills team fielded has been nothing but hype to sell tickets. It’s why they’re consistently underachievers. It’s easy to blame coaches, but after several coaches have failed, isn’t it time to look to the man who has hand a direct hand in hiring those men?

For that reason, I’m not excited about this offseason. We’re going to hear the “consistency” line over and over again. Brandon is going to have to whip out his hype playbook yet again as this is his first offseason where Bills fans won’t purchase fear-driven tickets knowing the team’s place in Buffalo is now safe, and no anticipated big personnel changes. We’ll see how good he really is at filling seats, and not with fans who are so bored with this organization that they’d rather dive through flaming tables.

Maybe the team will surprise us, but after watching the phenomenal 30 For 30 on the 1990s Bills, you sense that this organization doesn’t have the same drive that those teams had. At this point in my life the Bills have taken a back seat to more important things, like raising a family. My 6 year old son William is totally into them, luckily the Jets/Giants haven’t been blowing things up so he isn’t tempted to be pulled to the dark side by his Brooklyn classmates. But it is a struggle to explain to him why he should root for such a losing team.

On a brighter note I was finally able to bring my daughter Sally, who finished treatment for infant leukemia at the start of the season, to her first game at McFadden’s. When you hit a milestone like that, you remember that at the end of the day, football is just a game. And then I smile again. See you at the Draft Party!

Matt “Talkin’ proud and really hope to watch a playoff game at McFadden’s one day” Kabel

www.nycbbb.com

Jets at Bills Moved To Monday

Hello all 2,229 NYC Bills fans!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (which I have been) you’re aware that Buffalo got hit with several feet of snow this week. As a result, Ralph Wilson Stadium is buried under white stuff and the focus is on digging the community out, and rightly so. The game has been moved to 7pm on Monday and will be played in Ralph Wilson’s home of Detroit. You almost have to think the old man had a hand in this from upstairs.

McFadden’s and Calico’s will air the game and offer specials, once details are finalized we’ll be in touch with more details, so sit tight.

Seeing the pictures from Buffalo on my Facebook page has been pretty incredible, I have to admit part of me is jealous to not be there to experience, although know the challenges it has created for some.

A friend took this amazing shot of the snow wall from atop City Hall. It’s one of those iconic photos that will last generations, you can view and/or buy a print at this link: http://proofs.dedario.com/event/1020474

As most know I have a little two year old girl, Sally, battling Infant Leukemia at Memorial Sloan Kettering, which is why you never hear from me anymore. I still catch most of the games, but quality time with Sally and our family takes priority. Of course I still check updates on Twitter when I can’t watch :).

One thing having a girl with cancer has taught me is that you should enjoy the ride and live in the now. That applies to football too. Chances for the Bills to make the playoffs are slim, but take heart. New ownership dedicated to Buffalo and winning are in charge and you can expect changes to our losing culture after the season. Instead of anger, have hope. We still have our team thanks to the Pegulas and will be able to root them on for years to come. For the rest of the season, enjoy it. Watch the young guys grow and know that better days lie ahead, this season really is the end of an era with an exciting future ahead. Let the pieces begin to fall into place.

One day soon we’ll root the Buffalo Bills on in a playoff game at McFadden’s and Calico’s, the odds are with us, and it will be glorious. Til then, breath, and enjoy the ride.

GO BILLS!

Matt “Talkin’ Proud and Buffalove” Kabel
www.nycbbb.com

Brian Moorman at McFadden’s TONIGHT

Hi all – just a quick reminder that Brian Moorman will be at McFadden’s tonight from 7-10pm. $10 at the door gets you half priced drinks, with that $10 going to his PUNT foundation that assists families dealing with pediatric cancer in Buffalo.  I’m going to attend early on with my son Thomas as Sally is feeling well, and know Matt Soreco hopes to make it in as well.

My daughter doesn’t eat much via mouth, but what DOES she like to eat? Meat marinated in Chiavetta’s. Guess she really is a Buffalo girl!

Matt “Talkin’ Proud” Kabel

Brian Moorman & Eric Wood at McFadden’s!

Hello all 2,194 NYC Bills Fans!

This is your Ghost of Christmas past, it has been so long since I sent an email that I had a hard time remembering the log in info. I want to thank Matt Soreco and Phil Mann for taking the bull by its horns this season while I’ve been focused on my daughter’s battle against Infant Leukemia. I have still been following the games, I actually scared Sally once by screaming at the TV when the Steve Johnson fumble happened (followed by the Chandler fumble), we had literally just walked in the door from spending a week at Sloan Kettering which kept it in perspective. After I screamed and made her cry of course, whoops.

Matt S. has sent some recent emails about a couple current Bills making appearances at McFadden’s this week. First off, Eric Wood will be there tonight from 7-10pm, with beer specials starting at 6:30.

On Saturday, Brian Moorman will be at McFadden’s with his foundation, P.U.N.T from 7-10pm.  I always knew that Brian and his wife ran a foundation for kids, but never really understood what they did. They reached out to us about it a few weeks ago and was going to tell them our members had already done a lot for my daughter and felt bad asking them to support another cause. However, when I looked up the foundation I saw that they assist families in Buffalo battling pediatric cancer.

I can’t tell you how much pediatric cancer sucks, most have an image of smiling bald kids from TV ads, even I thought that was the norm. That image can’t be farther from the truth. Kids are dying daily, those that survive do so after painful outdated treatments and live with side effects that hamper them the rest of their lives. It also takes an extreme toll on the entire family, my sons have had to see their baby sister in extreme pain and sacrifice love and attention from us.

The Moormans’ foundation lends much needed support to families like ours. Whether it be gas or grocery store cards, getting the kids out to local sports game in a suite (the only way those with weakened immune systems can actually attend) or…sadly…granting a last wish of a dying child. This isn’t just some PR thing for the Moormans or the staff of the foundation, made clear in my interactions with them the last few weeks. They are extremely passionate about helping families in Buffalo much like mine here in Brooklyn, some having gone through it themselves.

The event is very simple, $10 donation at the door gets you half priced drinks. That’s it. Brian asked to keep it simple so he could spend time hanging out with fans and have an enjoyable night. Everybody is going out Saturday night, the night before the first ever Super Bowl in NYC. Even if its for a few minutes, why not stop by and not only support this great cause, but thank Brian for all of the years he’s given to our Bills. Seriously, he’s been the best Buffalo Bill over the 12 years we’ve ran NYCBBB, even my wife clearly knew who he was. He’s the only current player she would encourage me to make my way into the city to see, especially since getting out is a challenge for us nowadays.

I’m looking forward to meeting the entire PUNT Team and thanking them for the work they do for the kids in Buffalo fighting cancer. I hope I’ll see a bunch of you there to support not only an amazing player, but an amazing person and group. For those who have sent notes, posted on Sally’s Facebook page or bought a Sally shirt, thank you so much for your continued support, it means the world to Nicole and I.

Matt “Talkin’ Proud” Kabel
www.nycbbb.com

Pats at Bills, EJ Starting! Thank You…

Hello all 2,127 NYC Bills Fans!

It’s finally here, the kickoff to the 2013 NFL Season! On Sunday at 1pm the Bills officially launch a new era with a new GM, new coach, and as of this morning – a new starting quarterback! A text from the Bills announced that EJ Manuel will be starting this Sunday for the Bills. Going up against the Pats, not sure if that’s a good thing or bad thing for a first game. I still remember being at Jeff George’s first game years ago and Bruce Smith knocking him out of it. Although I also have flashes to Jim Kelly looking great in his first outing. Guess we will see, but will make Sunday all the more exciting.

Everybody knows the best place to see our new team in action is on 42nd and 2nd at McFadden’s and Calico Jack’s, which promise to be rocking! Specials will start at noon and conclude at the end of the game. Here are the details for the drink/wing specials:
http://nycbbb.com/features/drink-specials-times/

Get the ball to Spiller!

Thank You

I know Matt Soreco has spread the news of my daughter Sally being diagnosed with Leukemia this summer, originally at 9 months. Infant Leukemia is rare, only 200 cases a year in the USA and Memorial Sloan Kettering, one of the finest cancer institutions in the world, only treats ONE case a year. It brings with it many challenges that don’t occur in kids diagnosed later in life, and much tougher odds. If all goes to plan Sally will receive two years of intense chemo, a very long road that is just beginning.

Nicole and I want to thank everybody for the amazing support the Buffalo Sports community has shown. The social media would has blown up with #SupportSally tweets and posts from fans to sportscasters to the Buffalo Sabres even tweeting it out! A bunch of the online sports groups have gotten together to sell shirts benefiting Sally, first described here: http://www.deargodwhyussports.com/blog/supportsally

Shirts are $25 and can only be ordered until THIS Saturday. In addition, if you want to follow Sally’s story you can Like her Facebook pagewww.facebook.com/sweetsallysunshine or check out her blog www.sweetsallysunshine.com. I know Matt, Phil and the McFadden’s team are planning a fundraiser next week during the Panthers game, am sure they’ll be sending details prior.

Many are upset that summer is over. Me? No way, THIS is the best time of the year! Let’s do this Buffalo.

GO BILLS!!!

Matt “Talkin Proud and Can’t Wait To See EJ In Action!” Kabel

BPO in Town Tonight!

Hello all 2,106 NYC Bills fans!

Looks like we have our Franchise QB in EJ Manuel, but like with every draft, its not worth getting excited until we see how they perform on the field. Somebody in the Tribeca area must be excited, a fellow fan is having a little fun with some construction wall sites I’ve noticed commuting to/from work. Check them out, one is right across from the Ghostbuster’s Firehouse:
http://nycbbb.com/notes/post-buffalo-bills/

No, its not me, but I love whoever it is! And if you need another reason to get excited, the Buffalo Philharmonic is in town TONIGHT playing at Carnegie Hall! How awesome is that? They are hands down one of the best philharmonics in the nation, and something all current and former Buffalonians should take pride in. Go support them as tickets are still available, here are the details:

Be there on Wednesday, May 8 2013 at 7:30pm and show your WNY pride. Don’t miss a chance to experience this great event, get your tickets today at: https://www.carnegiehall.org/SiteCode/Purchase/SeatSelectionPerformance.aspx?startWorkflow=true&quickBuy=false&quantity=1&eventId=11869

More from the BPO:
“With New York City as an inspiring backdrop, we have a unique opportunity to shine the spotlight on Western New York and our treasured orchestra with an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall as part of the Spring for Music festival on May 8, 2013.

The Spring For Music festival showcases innovation and creativity in classical music programming, and is designed to make classical music more accessible to modern audiences. The BPO is one of one five orchestras selected from a national field to present a program during the week-long festival.”

Learn more:
https://bpo.org/carnegiehall/

Facebook Invitation:
https://www.facebook.com/events/484019524998915/?fref=ts

Use this link to spread the word:
http://nycbbb.com/notes/buffalo-philharmonic-orchestra-coming-nyc/

GO BILLS!

Matt “Talkin’ Proud and Love the BPO” Kabel