A Potpourri Today

Earlier this week, a friend sent me an e-mail with this suggestion:

“You like to pick out strange and outstanding stats.  So, go look up Gayle Sayres’ rookie year stats.”

Pro-football-referemce.com made my search simple indeed.  Sayres came into the NFL in 1965; the NFL season back then was only 14 games long so realize that these numbers are slightly capped as compared to the 17-game season in effect now:

  • Sayres scored 22 TDs in 14 games.  He ran for 14 TDs; he scored 6 times receiving; he returned a punt for a TD, and he returned a kickoff for a TD.
  • Oh, by the way, he also passed for another TD.
  • He averaged 5.2 yards per carry for the season.
  • Not surprisingly, he was the Rookie of the Year in 1965.
  • He was selected as a first team All-Pro and a member of the Pro bowl team.

Sayres was a halfback; today the NFL has more than a handful of running backs who are insulted by teams putting the franchise tag on them; accepting that offer would guarantee today’s running backs with a one-year salary of about $10M.  Here is the contract that Gayle Sayres signed with the Chicago Bears after he was drafted by the Bears in 1965:

  • The   duration was 4 years.
  • Signing Bonus was $50K.
  • Salary in each of the 4 years in the deal was $25K.

Oh, how times have changed…

Next  up …  The Buffalo Bills got a lot of NY State money to defray part of the costs for a new stadium for the Bills.  They broke ground for the undertaking about 3-4 months ago and according to a report by the Associated Press the project is already in an overrun status.  The AP pegs the overrun at about $300M which is stunning because the cost estimate upon which the funding deal was struck was $1.4B.  That represents the “discovery” of a 22% overrun in the first 3 months of construction.

But wait there’s more …  The Athletic has a report that the overrun might be as much as $500M or 36% of the total cost anticipated.  The Bills recently fired their COO; when I read about that, I just figured this was an office-politics outcome, but the details of the stadium funding deal reported by the AP could lead one to believe that firing was for cause.

  • As negotiated, public funds contributed = $850M
  • The Bills were to toss in the rest of the funds = $550M
  • Here’s the kicker:  The Bills are on the hook for any overruns!

The new COO for the Bills offered a chilling statement about all this.  He said that it is too early in the construction to know what the final cost might be.  The Bills were supposed to pay $550M for construction costs according to the deal that looks as if its costs were estimated on the back of a postage stamp.  If the overrun is indeed $500M. that means the Bills will pay $1.05B instead of $550M.

This is pure speculation on my part, but I would not be surprised if this minor funding error was part of the basis for getting a new COO for the Bills …

Moving on …  Last weekend Dallas Cowboys’ DE, Sam Williams, was arrested and charged with:

  • Possession of a controlled substance – – and – –
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm.

Last December, Williams was also arrested when he was involved in a two-car smash-up that landed him and the other driver in the hospital.  Police determined that Williams was driving at 98 miles per hour.  In the incident last weekend, Williams was clocked at 66 miles per hour.  That data led Cowboys’ owner, Jerry Jones to make a stunning pronouncement:

  • According to Jones, Sam Williams shows maturation because he was driving 34 miles per hour slower than he did last December.  [Aside:  Yes, Jones’ arithmetic is off by 2 miles per hour but that is hardly the point here.]

Switching gears …  In the 2021 NFL Draft, the Niners traded 3 first round draft picks to move up to the #3 post in the Draft where they selected Trey Lance.  Injuries have kept Lance out of all but 8 games in his first two seasons.  Now, it appears as if the Niners might be moving on from Lance.  Coach Kyle Shanahan named Brock urdy as the starting QB for the Niners this year; and yesterday, he named Sam Darnold as the Niners’ #2 QB.  Darnold has shown nothing but mediocrity during his time in the league, but Shanahan thinks he is ahead of Lance right now.

NFL teams often make humongous drafting errors when they swing and miss on the talent level of the guy they pick near the top of the draft.  In the case of the Niners and Lance, that humongous error is compounded by the fact that the Niners spent three first-round picks to make that error.

Finally, let me close today with these words from P.J. O’Rourke:

“Marijuana is … self-punishing.  It makes you acutely sensitive and in this world, what worse punishment could there be.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “A Potpourri Today”

  1. Given this article, I expect Sports Curmudgeon to write a joke that begins: A quarterback, halfback, and defensive end walk into a bar….

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