For Buffalo Bills Junkies, Even Practice Is Perfect [10:20 AM] Olean Times Herald reports:
"Among the features at this year’s training camp are new sideline seating with bleachers closer to the field, interactive games from the Buffalo Bills’ Experience, a Wegman’s booth with five holes of miniature golf, booths doing face-painting and temporary tattoos, a Jills’ booth with the team’s cheerleaders and a collectors’ corner for purchasing cards and sports memorabilia."
Wade Brews QB Controversy in Buffalo [9:33 AM] New York Daily News reports:
'If the season opened today, Phillips said Flutie would start because that's the way '98 ended. "But we're not playing today," Phillips said. "Doug made the Pro Bowl and he deserved it. And the other guy didn't do anything wrong. I want to give Rob an opportunity to play."'
Bills Rookies In Camp On Time [8:41 AM] D & C reports:
"For a seventh straight year, general manager John Butler got all the team's draft picks signed on time."
Bills' Smith Out To Prove He's 'The No. 1 Man' [8:39 AM] D & C reports:
'"Of course it caused me some concern," Smith said about Buffalo's serious effort to land Phillips. "Maybe it sent a message to me that they aren't as happy with me as they need to be. I just took it upon myself not to worry about it. He's a great athlete, I can't take nothing from him, but I don't consider myself a slouch. Basically, it gave me some incentive to come out here and work hard and show them they don't need anybody else, that I'm the No. 1 man."'
Bills Say Nucleus Is In Place [9:08 AM] D & C reports:
"I know we started 0-3 (last year), but we weren't the same team once we started winning," Phillips said. "If we can regain that . . . with the same players, and hope to get better, if we do that, we'll be awfully strong."
Bills, Reed On Verge Of New Deal [9:06 AM] D & C reports:
"It's believed general manager John Butler and agent Jack Wirth hammered out a one-year extension, tying Reed to the Bills through 2001. A bonus could double Reed's 1999 pay, set at $1.3 million, and the extra year will provide the Bills salary cap room."
Reed A Holdout Unless Bills Pay Him More [6:19 AM] D & C reports:
"On his own team, the 35-year-old Reed has seen teammates with much less time and contributions to the Bills soar past him on the salary chart. This off-season, 36-year-old quarterback Doug Flutie, tackle Jerry Ostroski and cornerback Ken Irvin were given deals averaging $5.5 million, $3.125 million and $2.7 million."
Unnecessary Roughness [1:41 PM] St. Catharines Standard reports:
"If the bars are knowingly breaking the law by bringing in the TV signal by false pretenses, that is a crime. But to use bully tactics to seek penalties of an enormity which could cause these businesses to close up shop is overkill."
Walsh Insists RB Is Matured [7:05 AM] Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reports:
"The Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers were also interested in [Lawrence] Phillips, but he chose the 49ers because, he said, the chances are better to immediately break into the starting lineup."
Best Sports Cities [11:23 AM] The Sporting News reports:
Buffalo - #21 Overall, #5 Hockey, #8 Football
49ers, Phillips Closer [11:15 AM] San Francisco Examiner reports:
"Heading into the weekend, the 49ers were close to signing Phillips, who instructed agent Mitch Frankel to negotiate only with San Francisco as he eliminated Buffalo and Green Bay from consideration."
Big Pressure On Tiny Flutie [10:32 AM] Toronto Sun reports:
"[Buffalo general manager John] Butler, whose lineup remains virtually unchanged from last season, believes the pieces are in place for another run at the Super Bowl."
Hunter's Hope Gives Grants To Researchers [10:08 AM] D & C reports:
"The western New York community and people from around the country have been extremely generous and supportive in helping the Hunter's Hope Foundation," Jill Kelly, the foundation's chief executive officer, said in a statement. "We are so happy we can finally put that money into research so scientists can get to work in finding a cure for this painful, fatal disease."
NFL Throws Taverns For Loss [11:42 AM] St. Catharines Standard reports:
"The Federal Court of Canada in Ottawa ruled last week three local establishments will pay the NFL a total of $440,000 in damages for broadcasting games without permission over the last four seasons. The Palmwood Hotel in Crystal Beach must pay $173,504. Ryan's Nite Club in Fort Erie owes $167,340. Pure Platinum, also in Fort Erie, must pay the league $101,198."