Doug Marrone, it was good to know you!

It was a trying time in Buffalo Bills land between Christmas and New Years as in that same week our starting quarterback retired unexpectantly, then our head coach resigned due to a buyout clause in his contract. So after a promising 9-7 record, with a strong chance to finally make the playoffs in 2015, we lose our QB and coach right after the season ended.

But if there was ever a time to use the term “It was all a blessing in disguise”, this is the time.

Kyle Orton, was a career backup who wasn’t going to bring any team to the promise land riding his QB coattails. So whatever. My opinion all along was to give EJ Manuel some more time in the starting gig. I believe that the Bills would have gone 8-8 if Manuel started all the games this season, plus he would have garnered tons more experience. Instead, we gave most of our reps to a guy who was set to retire at seasons end. If there was ever a wasted season….but perhaps all of this needed to happen to set up our future.

Doug Marrone wanted a winning record on his resume this season because I feel with all my instincts that he was set to leave Buffalo as soon as the team was sold to the Pegula family and he could exercise his opt-out clause. A winning record in Buffalo, his agent told him, would set him up for another head coaching job of his choice. So when Marrone resigned, I’m certain he and his agent thought they would have gotten one of the opening jobs in Atlanta, Chicago, Oakland, or the NY Jets. They probably even had some inside sources on the matter too.

But, much to the happiness to many Bills fans, Marrone didn’t get a head coaching job and in fact wasn’t really in the running for any of them. Now he’s the Offensive Line coach for the worst team in the league in the Jacksonville Jaguers. So despite Marrone’s “positive outlook” on the events that occured, there is no way he’s a happy person. For some reason that makes me smile. Good on him for disrespecting our team.

And now Rex Ryan is our coach. And I guarantee that 90% of Bills fans are happier with Ryan in the head coaches seat than Marrone.

2014 was a year of bad things that occurred in my life that turned into great things in hindsight. Sometimes we just need to have patience and let things proceed as we keep moving forward. Marrone is the key example. See you later coach. I guarantee we’ll never see you again. Have fun with your extreme demotion.

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Matthew Toffolo

Filmmaker of over 20 short films and TV episodes, Matthew Toffolo is the current CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival. He had worked for the organization since its inception in 2007 serving as the Short Film Festival’s moderator during the Audience Feedback sessions.

Go to and submit your film, script, or story to the festival.

Go to and watch recent and past winning writing festival readings.

Why I’m jealous of the Pittsburgh Steelers

If only this could be the team that I follow. Even in years when they don’t make the playoffs, you know that they will be back because there is always a game-plan in place. Consistency of winning – that’s all we ask in our favorite sports teams and that’s what the Steelers have been for over 40 years.

Since 1972, they have made the playoffs an amazing 25 times, have been to the Super Bowl 8 times, and have won 6 times – the most Super Bowls over any other franchise.

Why do I have to be a Buffalo Bills fan? It is something that I can not stop doing. Changing your favorite sports team is like someone asking you to change your father – it just can’t happen. I’m stuck with my Bills until the day I die and hopefully, just hopefully they can pull out at least one Super Bowl win before I move on to another world or I am just dead forever.

Growing up as a kid, the Bills were the top team in the league year in, year out. Yes, they lost 4 straight Super Bowls, but so what, we were a winning team. It’s now been 15 years since we’ve made the playoffs. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

Last night, Ben Roethlisberger threw 6 touchdown passes for the 2nd week in a row. I am reminded of the 2004 NFL Draft when the Buffalo Bills HAD to draft a quarterback. They could have traded up in the draft to get Big Ben, and relinquish the first round pick for next year, but they didn’t and they drafted J.P. Losman. They guy had LOSS in his name for pete-sakes!! I don’t have to tell you how that turned out. Nothing against J.P as he seemed like a nice guy, but if only we moved up and drafted Ben.

Everytime I watch Roethlisberger play, I am astonished and saddened at the same time. I love how he plays quarterback. But why isn’t he playing for the Bills?

The 1000th Blog Post this week about Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning

As I prepare to watch this weekend’s NFL games, let’s talk about the whole Manning vs Brady debate – because I’m jumping on the blog bandwagon. This is officially the 1000th column/blog post about this debate. From Peter King, to Bill Simmons, to guy in parents basement, to me. Let the debate continue because that’s what we do.

In my lifetime, these are the two greatest quarterbacks and NFL players of all-time. And most of the debate centers on Peyton’s better overall numbers (TD passes, yards etc..) compared to Tom’s 3 Super Bowl rings to Manning’s 1.

The best way to break this down is what player do you want on your team? I’ll pick Peyton because he’s just so damn consistent. I’m not saying Tom isn’t, but I think his coaches have had the ability to get the best out of him, as Peyton seems to be great whomever his coaches would be.

With Peyton, you know what you’re going to get every single week and you still can’t stop him. Like Lombardi’s Packers of the 1960s, a system is in place and they are going to run the same plays with the same players over and over again because they practice them over and over again. It’s a master structure, like a great business. They have a product that’s good and they keep selling that product. As the cliche goes, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. If you get to the playoffs every year, then you’re doing something right.

With Tom, you have zero idea what the gameplan will be on any given week. I’m a Buffalo Bills fan and I watch the Patriots play my team twice a year, and every single time they play them, they have a new wrinkle in their system and a whole new way to beat us. Tom executes and seems to have that inner instinct to win. He gets it done. They work in the business structure of great marketing savvy. They are successful because they figure out how to beat the other team.

So there you have it. Tom has 3 Super Bowl rings, but you can argue that was a long time ago and in a different league. The Patriots figured out how to use the new salary cap era far sooner than the rest of the league and they piled up 3 Super Bowls by the time the rest of the league caught up. Since 2004, the Patriots you can argue have choked a bit in the big games.

Peyton only has 1, in a year (2006) that his defense really carried his team to the big win. Re-watch the Wildcard Game vs the Chief, the divisional game vs the Ravens, and the Super Bowl vs the Bears that year. Peyton is average at best and his defense really stepped up.

The argument is that Peyton is a great regular season QB, but chokes in the playoffs. That is true because his Colts team really underperformed in many playoff years. His 2005 team was just a brilliant team, but his coach’s son committed suicide a week before the playoffs started and they were a shell of themselves when they lost a heart breaker to the eventual champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

So who wins? If Peyton gets one more Super Bowl ring and Tom retires at 3, then Peyton will be known at the greatest Quarterback of all-time. But he needs to get that 2nd ring.