The Buffalo Bills are back in the NFL playoffs and will play in the postseason for the first time in 18 years. Our city of Rome has so many passionate Bills fans that I thought they would enjoy to see their name in my sports column this week.
Ed O’Brien: He is known for being a Rome Sports Hall of Fame radio personality but his true love is the Buffalo Bills. He once plastered one of my Nunn’s delivery vans with Bills stickers. I still haven’t forgotten. I did tell him my favorite Buffalo Bill player of all-time: Scott Norwood.
Sox Bouton: He sold candy for a distribution company and he would work on the job with his Buffalo Bills gear. While most salespeople would wear a suit and tie, Sox had his blue and white and red Bills Jacket on. Did you know his son Christopher is the owner of Bouton Physical Therapy and was a very good baseball player for Rome Free Academy and Lee Legion back in 1992?
Kevin Corolla: He was an excellent offensive lineman for Rome Catholic High and Coach Dennis Skibitski back in 1999. He has one of the best Rome sport nicknames: “The Truck.”
Matt Hills: He is a bartender at DeSalvo’s. On Sunday, when the Bills play he has the whole place going crazy. Matt also works at Deployed Resources and is one of Rome’s great guys.
Scott Pitoniak: He was an outstanding baseball player for RFA back in 1973 and graduated from Syracuse University’s school of journalism. He is now a TV analyst for Bills games and has covered them for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle for over 20 years. Did you know he has authored 16 books? My favorite was on Jim Boeheim.
Jay Calandra: He was a former Oriskany baseball star and Rome softball legend. He has been a Bills fan since he was a little boy.
Justin Née: He played baseball for RFA back in 2000. He was a great catcher who went on to study at Ithaca College. He is now a sales director at Otis McAllister in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Geek of the Week: Dabo Swinney, Clemson football coach. During the Alabama game he was unmerciful to his quarterback Kelly Bryant. Coach Swinney had nothing to offer from his offense against Bama and it wasn’t all his quarterback’s fault.
Tom Sestito had surgery last week but is feeling great and should be back on the ice in a few weeks. His team plays in Charlotte and my boys and I are going to watch him play in March. He is Rome, New York’s favorite professional athlete right now and is wearing his world championship Pittsburgh Penguins ring with pride.
Pick of the Week: Alabama 24 Georgia 10. My friend Steve Reed will be the happiest guy in Rome.
Wednesday night I went to a Davidson college basketball game and noticed a man my age wearing a Westmoreland Bulldogs sweatshirt. It was their athletic director, John Sharrino. His son Johnny played sports with my boys back in 1995 and we shared some great memories. We took some photos on our iPhones and sent them to Dennis Skibitski, Rocco Migliori, Glen Masner and my sons.
Happy New Year to everybody in Rome. My e-mail is Joe.firstname.lastname@example.org if you have some sports news for me.