Back at Buffalo
I have ended my longest time away from Buffalo Wild Wings since I started going regularly a little more than two years ago. Until I went to Salina today, I had gone 57 days without setting foot inside a B-Dubs, and I had not played Buzztime trivia in that long, either.
I have not been to Kansas City since the disastrous time around my birthday in October. It was horrendous becuase I had my iPod stolen from my car, and I left early on my birthday because it got a little crowded for me. I’m going to go back to Zona Rosa eventually, because there are too many people there I want to see, but I had no desire after what happened in mid-October.
I am very glad I came to the B-Dubs in Salina tonight. My favorite server, Kendall, is working, and it’s the first time I’ve seen her in exactly ten months. The last time I saw her was after the Russell-Sacred Heart basketball game I covered that night. I’m surprised she remembered me. It’s good to have a familiar face. She’s not in Liz/Lisa territory yet, but she’ll get there if I come here enough.
The NFL game tonight is Minnesota at Arizona. If the Cardinals win, they will clinch a playoff berth for the second consecutive season. That might not sound like a big deal, but the Cards have been wretched for most of their existence. They have NEVER made the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, and they have only made the playoffs in back-to-back years three times: 1947-48, 1974-75 and 2008-09. Think about this–the Steelers have as many Super Bowl victories as the Cards have all-time playoff victories, 6. OUCH.
Most NFL teams are kicking themselves for not hiring Bruce Arians sooner. All Arians has done is turn the professional football franchise with the most losses all-time into a 10-game winner in three consecutive seasons. Only Don Coryell has prodcued three consecutive double-digit win seasons with the Cards, doing so from 1974-76. Gene Stallings, Joe Bugel, Buddy Ryan, Vince Tobin, Dave McGinnis and Dennis Green combined for ONE winning season between 1986 and 2006.
I knew of Arians a quarter of a century ago as the coach at Temple, where he had to live in the sizable shadow cast by men’s basketball coach John Chaney while at the same time pilot a program which, until very recently, was always on the short list of one of major college football’s worst.
I followed Arians through his career as an NFL assistant, and I knew he was one of the best offensive coordinators out there. Now he’s showing 31 other NFL teams what they missed out on.
I would love to see an Arizona-New England Super Bowl just to see Arians and Bill Belichick match wits. That would be something to see.
Kickoff in Glendale is now two hours away. At least this Thursday night game is worth the time.