The Bills Go From Taking a Knee to Engaging the Community

By Mary Pesarchick // @HeyMom418

Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander is one of five team captains that make up what Coach Sean McDermott calls his “Leadership Council.” Alexander, along with quarterback Tyrod Taylor, kicker Stephen Hauschka, defensive tackle Kyle Williams, and center Eric Wood, are the players that McDermott says he depends on to be a “sounding board … in terms of what’s going on, how the team’s reacting to things.”

This sounding board was particularly valuable when the team was sorting out its response to the anthem protests going on around the league. Prior to the Bills-Broncos game in Week 3, a long meeting was held in which McDermott, all the Bills players, general manager Brandon Beane, and team owners Kim and Terry Pegula were able to respectfully discuss their viewpoints and work out a mutually agreeable solution. On Game Day, Alexander was one of 12 Bills players who knelt during the anthem, while McDermott and the remaining players linked arms along the sidelines in a display of solidarity.

Alexander commented on his reasons for taking a knee that day. “We have great privileges here but as … a U.S. citizen I [wanted] to call or bring attention to things that need change. With that, today I kneeled but I won’t continue to kneel. [Today] I kneeled to show those guys …that I am with them.”

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Buffalo Is Entering Another Dimension

By Mary Pesarchick  // @HeyMom418

Bills 23 – Falcons 17

“You are about to enter another dimension.

A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. 

A journey into a wondrous land of imagination…”  

It began after the final second elapsed on the Bills 23-17 win over the (formerly) undefeated Atlanta Falcons. All around Western New York, a low murmur of voices were expressing wonderment. Disbelief. Excitement. Almost every caller to the local radio post-game shows began their comments with, “I know there’s a lot of the season left, but do you think…?”  Or, “I know I shouldn’t be getting my hopes up yet, but…” Or, “The team wasn’t supposed to be any good this year. How do you explain…?”

It does feel as if we’ve entered the Twilight Zone. Staring at the AFC East standings, seeing the Buffalo Bills, 3-1, all alone at the top of the heap, is nothing if not surreal. The previous week’s win over the Denver Broncos was a terrific accomplishment for coach Sean McDermott’s team. But getting a win on the road, against last year’s NFC Champions is something else altogether.

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Buffalo Bills and Trusting the Process

By Mary Pesarchick // @HeyMom418

Since taking over the leadership of the Bills, General Manager Brandon Beane and Head Coach Sean McDermott have begged both players and the fan base to “Trust the process.” Trust them during the NFL draft, when they swapped their No. 10 spot with Kansas City and dropped 16 places in exchange for the Chief’s 2018 first-round pick. Trust them when they traded starting cornerback Ronald Darby to the Eagles for wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third-round pick. Trust them when they absolutely stunned both the fans and even the Bills players by trading wide receiver Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams for cornerback E. J. Gaines and a 2018 second-round draft pick.

Beane assured Bills fans that their plan was to do everything necessary to get to the playoffs this year. But, at the same time, they traded away established players for future draft picks. Confused? Just trust us, they say.

The first two games of the 2017 season were a shaky win over a “tanking” Jets team, and an abysmal offensive showing in a loss to Carolina.  These did little to inspire confidence in the new regime. Fans were quickly resigned to the idea that the 17-year playoff drought would eventually turn 18.

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QUICK 5 WITH MARY PESARCHICK, BILLS OR

Come chat Bills with me // @HeyMom418

NF: Where did you learn about football – When? and from Who?

MP: Like so many, I have my dad to thank for making me the sports junkie that I am today. I’ve always enjoyed competition and, when you add that to a “tomboy” personality, a love of sports grew naturally in me. It was something Dad and I had in common, and, since I didn’t have any brothers, we spent a lot of time watching and talking about it together.

Actually, the first sport I fell in love with was not football but baseball. I learned the game from watching it on TV, and by listening to the radio broadcasts of the Detroit Tigers, my dad’s favorite team. My passion for football grew slowly, and not really from watching the NFL—after all, the Buffalo Bills teams of the 70s were not exactly inspiring! It was from watching college football with Dad, specifically Notre Dame football, that I was bitten by the bug.

NF: Priorities of Life – What are your top 3?

MP: I’d have to say my faith in God would be the first priority as I honestly don’t know where I’d be without that. Next would be my family. I am so grateful for my wonderful husband, my three sons and my “special” girl. I hate to think how empty life would be without them. Finally, as a confirmed introvert, I make a point of finding some peace and quiet in each day to enjoy a cup of tea, dark chocolate, and a good book or crossword puzzle. It reminds me to appreciate the simple things in life.

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