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Snow Shoves Bills Into Prime Time, Ready Or Not

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At least you won’t have to stay up late.

Buffalo’s rescheduled, relocated game against the New York Jets is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m., live from climate-controlled Ford Field in Detroit, so the final gun should go off in time to allow viewers to catch the late news or the Bette Midler episode of Seinfeld and still get to bed at an hour appropriate for a school night.

Or, for fans who work non-traditional hours, the under-employed or those in need of a sporting-palate cleansing after being exposed to the Bills and Jets slopping it up for three-plus hours, there’s always the second half of Baltimore and New Orleans over on the originally scheduled Monday Night Football.

The Bills and Jets will be seen on CBS only by viewers in the metropolitan New York City market and upstate, along with Sunday Ticket subscribers across the country. Given the state of the competitors, this might seem like a mercy blackout by the NFL, but the limited broadcast results from the league’s obligations to the various networks carrying its games.

You can’t help but think, though, that CBS would have been willing to bump its block of laugh-track sit-coms and police-procedurals-with-a-twist, or that ESPN would have fought for the rights, if the Week 12 game displaced by a snow assault had been, say, New England-Detroit or Denver-Miami.

The Bills and Jets, though, were probably not going to stage an aesthetic triumph regardless of the date, time and location of their second annual meeting. Their first get-together somehow managed to be both high-scoring and dull, with long stretches of offensive ineptitude broken up by enough defensive breakdowns to get the final score to an unnatural-sounding 43-23, Buffalo.

Factor in the scheduling shift, additional travel required of both teams, and the Bills’ snow-induced layoff on the week following their Thursday-night dud in Miami, and you shouldn’t expect a taut thriller. Trying to predict how either of these teams will perform under the most favorable of circumstances has proven to be a game for suckers, so all the variables make it feel pretty silly to even try.

The knowables about tonight’s contest haven’t really changed since this preview, written after the first lake-effect blast, when it still seemed like Sunday in Orchard Park still seemed tenable. The second dose off Lake Erie took care of that possibility.

It also created the unique dynamic of elected officials telling the NFL to not even think about it, rather than meekly bowing to the will of The Shield, as well as the new Bills ownership facing their first real backlash over an ill-advised Tweet seeking people willing tohelp shovel out Ralph Wilson Stadium at a time when most of us were trying to figure out how to get to the end of our driveways.

Instead, the game wound up pushed back by a day and moved to Detroit, where Kyle Orton led a last-minute comeback in his first start for the Bills. With the exception of the aforementioned fluky blowout in New Jersey, Orton has gotten worse the more he’s become accustomed to Buffalo’s offense, so maybe the truncated, transplanted week of practice will actually help there.

Buffalo needs something to go right tonight in order to keep their dwindling playoff hopes from reaching the tortured-mathematics stage. A loss to the Jets would not only require the Bills to run an imposing table which includes dates with Denver, Green Bay and New England, the three clear-cut favorites to win Super Bowl XLIX heading into the weekend, according to the oddsmakers.

The Patriots did nothing to dissuade such thinking on Sunday, shredding Detroit’s top-ranked defense on the way to a 34-9 win. The Broncos and Packers weren’t quite as impressive, but wound up a field goal better than the Dolphins and Vikings, respectively.

Buffalo will need plenty of help to reach the postseason, and got a fair amount on Thursday and Sunday. Besides the Miami loss, Kansas City became Oakland’s first victim of the season and Houston fell to Cincinnati, moving the Bills ahead of the Texans in the wild-card race. If New Orleans beats Baltimore and Buffalo comes out ahead of the Jets, the Bills will remain within one game of the wild-card leaders with five to play.

They would be in better shape but for Billy Cundiff’s 37-yard walk-off field goal to get the Browns, who may or may not visit the region next Sunday, past Atlanta and a goal-line interception by St. Louis quarterback Austin Davis, which allowed San Diego to escape with a 27-24 win.

For any of that to matter, though, Buffalo has to overcome the Jets and everything else the last week has wrought.

YAK Car Pic of the Day

67 dodge conv red calendar

Don’t usually do something like this, but this 1967 Dodge Polara convertible is the car-of-the-month on my office wall calendar. You just don’t see many of these on the road anywhere anymore. It’s from what I call the full-sized Dodge’s “wacky styling period,” which seems to have run from around 1960 to the last 1980 St. Regis sedan. Not sure just what was in the water there in the Mopar studios, but I doubt if it was legal. My calendar came courtesy of Larock’s Restoration in Niagara Falls.

Jim Corbran • YouAutoKnow

YAK Car Pic of the Day

72 impala red slither

Turned on the boob tube the other night right in the middle of the 1973 B-movie Slither, which had some great early 1970s period cars. Was going to turn it off, but became intrigued by the butt-ugly black RVs (below) which kept lurking in the background. I ended up DVRing the thing to find out who was driving them. I really liked this 1972 Chevrolet Impala sport sedan, which was driven by Peter Boyle’s character, along with his wacky wife played by Louise Lasser (you remember her — Mary Hartman!). As if the Impala wasn’t enough, they were pulling a beautiful Aitstream trailer during much of the movie. The RV, even though it looks like something turned out by the prop department, turned out to be an actual RV — a 1971 RecTrans Discoverer 25. Yuck…

Jim Corbran • YouAutoKnow


71 RecTrans Discoverer 25R

YAK Car Pic of the Day

snow bugs2

You just never know what you might come across driving down some of those alleyways off Pine Avenue. Like these two snowbound VW Bugs, one from the 60s and one from the 70s, both looking a little worse for wear and tear. Seen just yesterday in — where else? — Niagara Falls USA!

Jim Corbran • YouAutoKnow

Steam Donkeys / Maniacs Stage Grateful Dead Snowstorm Extravaganza

Local music act and global think tank the Steam Donkeys will perform an opening set for legendary local Grateful Dead purveyors the Maniacs, upstairs at Mr. Goodbar (1110 Elmwood Avenue) at 9pm Saturday night (11/22).

The Steam Donkeys (circa 1967)

The Steam Donkeys (circa 1967)

“While many people are unaware of the Steam Donkeys beyond their global think tank role in shaping world policy, those who do know of our music tend to pigeon hole it as merely ‘honky tonk’ or ‘Americana,'” says Steam Donkeys front man and spokesperson Buck Quigley. “The fact is, the band’s roots are as deeply planted in Nudie suits as they are in tie-dyes. What a long, strange trip Saturday night is promising to be.”


“We’ve been looking forward to this event for months, ever since the Maniacs asked us to play,” Quigley adds. “I haven’t been as excited about a show since that time I let a guy stash a ream of blotter paper in the trunk of my car in the parking lot at the Grateful Dead Hampton gig in ’89. I’d forgotten all about the blotter until weeks later, crossing into Canada. Boy, was I relieved when they ran the test and it turned out the guy was selling blanks. Good times!”

As Buffalo recovers from this awful snowstorm and rushes headlong toward Thanksgiving, Quigley is mindful of one thing: “It’s important that we give thanks, but this time of year it may be even more important that we be Grateful.”



Shovel Off to South Buffalo

Anyone who is able is invited to help dig out south Buffalo tomorrow. A city-approved shovel brigade is being organized and invited to gather at the Old First Ward Community Center, 62 Republic Street at 9am, Saturday (11/22). Food donations for volunteers are also welcome, and commercial buses and vans are needed for volunteer transport.

Those who need help in the affected area of the city are urged to call 311 to share their address.  Visit the effort on facebook here. Volunteers to help with childcare, shovels, snowblowers and food are welcome.

Residents of Lackawanna, West Seneca, Lancaster and other affected areas can use this link so groups can become organized to help.

Volunteer and donation inquiries can also be directed to 716-864-3146.

Photo: Dave Kimball

Photo: Dave Kimball

The 9th Annual Artvoice Battle of Original Music Starts Soon!


Artvoice’s annual Battle of Original Music (B.O.O.M! for short) is back for a 9th annual installment. We have another $5,000 to give away to one talented local act. The contest begins with the December 4th edition of Artvoice – less than two weeks away!

If you’re in a Buffalo area band, you won’t want to miss this chance to gain some valuable exposure in print and on-line, opportunities to play packed local venues, and for one hard working and talented local act a significant prize package. Band sign-up remains open throughout the duration of the contest, but there’s nothing to be gained by waiting! All music acts are welcome, regardless of your genre or even if you’ve participated in BOOM before – we only have two main requirements: that you’re local, and you play original music. (If you’re not in a band – chances are you know somebody who is – pass this on and help us spread the word!)

Visit the BOOM website ( for information on how the contest works. Be sure to glance through the rules (there is some fine print!) and take a look at the registration help for some tips on how to submit the best possible bio for your band.

Fans of local music will find several year’s worth of contest archives on the website as well – it’s a treasure trove of band bios where you can look and listen to well in excess of 100 talented local friends and neighbors who have participated throughout recent years. Good luck to this year’s bands – and be on the lookout for our first contestants on December 4th!

YAK Car Pic of the Day


jc yak ny 65The paint on this 1965 Buick Electra 225 is either one of those suede jobs, or it needs a good rubbing-out. The hubcaps however, are hopeless. Looks like a set of Pep Boys specials. This boat is one of those from the age of l-a-r-g-e two-door hardtops which were still called “sport coupes” by the manufacturers, who then in the next breath describe it thusly: “It’s big, it’s sleek, and it rides like a dream.” Yep, every man’s dream of a sport coupe. Saw this one at least of couple of years ago in the City of Niagara Falls.

Jim Corbran • YouAutoKnow

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