Chicago Sun-Times

More on Bills "home game" in Toronto

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I know Neil posted something already. But, I had to pass this along.

Buffalo Bills safety Donte Whitner had this to say about playing at the Rogers Centre instead of at Ralph Wilson Stadium: "I believe if we were in Buffalo, with our real natural fans that really love the Bills, it could have made a difference.

"That's part of football," he said. "That's why you have home games, have home-field advantage, because of the fans, because of the 12th man."

I actually tend to agree with Whitner. The Bears had a six first half penalties, including four false starts. That's alarming since it was basically quiet when the Bears offense had the ball. The fans here were decidedly in the Bears' favor (I would guess 60-40). So it wouldn't be absurd to think that, in Buffalo, the Bills' fans could have created a more hostile environment for the Bears. In fact, since I've been there, I'd say there was a high probability of that, because it gets pretty raucous in there.

Bears safety Chris Harris called it a "semi-home game," and linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa cracked a joke about it.

"I don't know if we were giving out Bears jerseys or what, but it was awesome to see all the Bears fans," he said.

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17 Comments

Just got home from the game, I would say more like 75/25 Bears fans. In my section alone, there were just two Bills Jerseys, that's a tie with the two guys wearing Packer gear for some reason. There was way more noise when the Bills were trying to run their offense, so if not for all the prompting from announcers to get loud or cheer on the Bills, it would have been easy to forget that it was a "home game" for the Bills.

Sean, how many passionate fans do you think would have shown up to support an 0-7 team? Even if it was in Buffalo, there probably still would have been more Bears fans in attendance.

There was good effort from both sides but the Bears pulled it out in the end. The safety is just mad that they lost. Donte Whitner should change his name to Donte Whiner.

**Anyone see Chris Williams get launched onto his a$$ on that final third and one that would have put the game away? I swear, Garrett Wolfe would have at least put in the effort if he was playing left guard.

Just came back from the game as well. It's not right that Toronto steals the home game away from Buffalo. Toronto fans in general are not that enthusiastic. I'm from Montreal, It was nice to see all of those Bears fans there, but the stadium was never rocking. Toronto fans will never feel attached to the Bills, it's just not their team. All in all though, it was nice to see the Bears play in my home country, especially such a short drive away.

Izzy said it felt like a home game as well. Hey but that's not the Bears fault or the leagues fault. That's the stupidity of Buffalo ownership who is trying to extend the fan base. I feel sorry for the Bills that their owner is that stupid but unless your the Giant's, Pats, Steelers or Jets up their your not going to travel as well as a team like the Bears.

Thought the Bears would of played a lot better considering, but oh well. The pack just put on a clinic, that's nice. Well after the Vikings game this week it's gonna get real tough for the Bears. Love Kyle Williams, he is the Buffalo defense, dude was crushing the pocket on triple teams.

Buffalo should call it quits and move to California, 3 teams in NY is to much. Buffalo Bills out west seems like a natural fit anyway. The league is over extended with teams as it is, teams like the Jags and Panthers should vanish from the face of the earth, they have no fan base and the league should return to 3 divisions per confrence and bring back the central.

Now are the Bears ready for the second half of the season? Me thinks not yet.

The Vikings next week with Favre (pic boy)I don't know what it is with Favre but he sure likes those pics and he has thrown a lot in his career as well.

The defense was not exciting and the defensive pass rush is really not very good, some pressure but not a lot. When is the D line going to really start getting to the QB? What the Bears don't have on the line that Green Bay does is speed rushers, it seems like it takes 5 minutes for these guys to get to the QB.

Is Peppers really earning his big money contract yet? I don't know about the rest of you but I was expecting some big numbers coming out of Peppers, which have not yet happened although I also know that he is double teamed often. The great pass rushers in NFL history somehow found ways to beat double teams. Will Peppers have the numbers to make the Hall of Fame after his career? Most likely he is a borderline prospect at present and will not make it. Peppers was completely dominant 5 years ago but now he is more pedestrian than he is unstoppable.

Defense needs more aggression, they played mediocre. But then again the Bears have been a mediocre team for the last three years on all sides of the ball except special teams.

Offense was OK, running game against the Bills hapless run defense was stymied. I was impressed with Cutler however, he seemed to be consciously making good decisions and managing the game more effectively.

Special teams, the blocked extra point was huge at that point in the game.

Bears win but did they make a statement with this win? Did the Packers make a statement last night against Dallas?

Go Bears, thank goodness you were able to win a bout against your little brother yesterday (like the CST writer indicated) but pretty soon little Billy might just get up and kick your but unless some improvement occurs and occurs quickly.

Love and hate the Bears, jeez I am starting to sound like a Cubs fan.

I don't know why people thought for a moment that this was going to be like a home game for the Bills when right from the beginning the people attending have always been primarily generic NFL fans with a sprinkling of supporters for each team. If the Blue Jays or Raptors played one game a year in Buffalo, how enthusiastic would the fans there be in attending these games and if they did how responsive would they be? I would suspect not much different.

No matter how you slice it, when you know the team is not "yours" nor part of the community, it is not much more than a curiosity.

You have to feel a bit for the Buffalo Bills. They have been very close to wins the last three games with nothing to show for it.I thou8ght the Bear running game would be better, but at least the balance of attempts was there. Cutler got some protection for a change but still had to run for his life a few times. Let's hope the Garza return turns things around and gels the O-line.

The bigger issue across the board is that the NFL has placed its faith in undersized markets who are not able to weather the economic fluctuations that we are experiencing lately. You look at the markets where the NFL has franchises, and you see issues on a regular basis in many of these cities with selling out games. Jacksonville, Oakland, Buffalo, St. Louis, and even Minnesota have struggled to avoid blackouts in recent years. There are teams that long term cannot afford to stay in these struggling markets, and potential markets like Los Angeles will be trying to pull these smaller market teams out of their current homes into a more attractive situation.

On top of this, you have a small group of teams like the Bears, Steelers, Packers, and maybe 1 or 2 others that always travel well regardless of where the game is, so given the opportunity for a neutral site game, they will show up in spades. This puts the "home" team at a disadvantage, and will continue to do so. Not sure how you fix it. On one hand, you have the NFL's desire to expand the appeal of the game, but on the other hand, those teams basically have one less home game for every neutral site game.

I would not want to be on the committee to review these games...

You have to feel a bit for the Buffalo Bills. They have been very close to wins the last three games with nothing to show for it.I thought the Bear running game would be better, but at least the balance of attempts was there. Cutler got some protection for a change but still had to run for his life a few times. Let's hope the Garza return turns things around and gels the O-line.

It's not in attendance where the Bills struggle. Only one game in the last five years has been blacked out, for a team that has one winning record in the last 11 seasons. And the Bills don't cover up seats in the upper deck to get more "sellouts". Where the trouble comes is in the ticket prices. My seats are in the lower bowl, 35-yard line, 18 rows from the field and carry a price of $80.00 each. That's not even close to the prices in most other markets. So, while the Toronto games are not really "home games", the sponsors of the series pay the Bills $9.7 million for each game played there, which turns a good profit for the organization and keeps them in Buffalo for a little while longer.

To help bolster undersized NFL franchises (like those described in Joe F's post), I say "Tax Jerry Jones and the County that is Masquerading as a Football Stadium."

JJ and the 'Boys are having such a pitiful year, I say, let's heap even more abuse on them. Tax JJ and spread the proceeds among all the struggling franchises (or just give it all to Carolina because the curse of the Irish has followed JC to the Panthers).

If we just limit the tax to anything that is oversized in Texas, we could tax the following items:

JJ's ego
JJ's private box
the TV screen at the Stadium
Ticket prices
the cheerleaders' bra sizes
the yet to be played Super Bowl

And that's just a start. But it could work!

Seedy don't you dear mess with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders you leave their Bra sizes alone.

Truth is the NFL made some really big mistakes, they over expanded to small markets like Jacksonville that could not handle an nfl team and did not have a fan base for it. They ignored obvious targets for expansion like LA. 3 Teams in Florida? Texas has 2.

The obvious targets for NFL teams have been Salt Lake City, Potland Oregon, and LA. How Jacksonville got a franchise before Portland is beyond me, the state already had 2 popular teams.

The Jags, Bills, and Chargers should all be moved. Chargers to Salt Lake, Bills to LA and Jags to Portland. If not for revenue sharing these teams wouldn't even exist.

Someone also needs to beat the hell out Goodell if he thinks London is a good idea. The only thing they want to do with football is called soccer over here. They find THE damn name Football offensive, it's Futbol over their they love it they worship it and they hate most American sports. They would rather play cricket than Baseball, drink tea instead of coffee and there is no chance in hell that a nfl team would last over there. The Comish is a tard who happens to really like London and wants an excuse to be over there.

Can you imagine that home field advantage, 18 hours of flying in a 48 hour period. 2 practice days lost, jet lag up the yin yang, and what division do you put them in? Plus where do you get the talent? You want to expand to europe well the only place you are going to get the talent is the US. You think there are a lot of teams in Europe that play American football? The talent pool is already thin this fool wants to expand to Europe and any major city he can think of. I can see it now the Chicago Bears vs. the London Banggers and Beans and the NY Giants vs. the Tokyo Samurai, can't wait to see those game times. Well the game will be aired in 6 hours in chicago but here is the score, isn't that fun. 12 pm there is 6am here.

The moves you suggest make a degree of sense, Creighton, but I suspect the fans of the Jags, Bills, and Chargers would be loud and vociferous in their ojections. I guess I prefer to let the commissioner and owners wrestle with those kinds of problems. Right now I'm wondering which Favre will show up in the Bear game, the one who keeps throwing interceptions to add to his record there, or the one who burns everybody with come-from-behind 400 plus yard games.Let's hope the former. Two victories against the Vikes would look great, especially if they beat the packers on one of B.F.'s good days .

Yeah but Paul they don;t have any fans, the Jags are already looking to move. The Chargers can't get anyone to come to their games and are also looking for a new stadium, they are not going to get one in SD. If they fans they would not be having these problems.

Paul the Vikings are tough to gage. Mostly because I don't know which Jered Allen is going to show up, the guy started the year looking 20 pounds under play weight and soft. I guess he wants to have a kid or something so he got off the juice. Pat Williams is only good for a few plays as well. If Allen shows up its bad news, if he doesn't it's good news.

Peterson scares me more than Favre. It's a decent test for the Bears, the Vikings are mediocre and the Bears have lost two games at home to mediocre teams. It really depends who shows up but I think the Bears should beat them unless Favre and Allen both show up to play along with Peterson. Then it's going to be a long day. They have the talent they are just not playing well. If they where actually more consistant one way or the other it would be a lot easier to figure them out. They are a wild card team, you don't know how they will be week to week.

The Pack worry me a lot mre than the Vikings, they may be beatup but some of their young players are playing really well, and Detroit is no joke that front 4 they have is nasty, plus they have the best O-Line in the Div and Johnson is just looking really good. While Tillman has not looked good for about 3-4 games.

Yeah but Paul they don;t have any fans, the Jags are already looking to move. The Chargers can't get anyone to come to their games and are also looking for a new stadium, they are not going to get one in SD. If they fans they would not be having these problems.

Paul the Vikings are tough to gage. Mostly because I don't know which Jered Allen is going to show up, the guy started the year looking 20 pounds under play weight and soft. I guess he wants to have a kid or something so he got off the juice. Pat Williams is only good for a few plays as well. If Allen shows up its bad news, if he doesn't it's good news.

Peterson scares me more than Favre. It's a decent test for the Bears, the Vikings are mediocre and the Bears have lost two games at home to mediocre teams. It really depends who shows up but I think the Bears should beat them unless Favre and Allen both show up to play along with Peterson. Then it's going to be a long day. They have the talent they are just not playing well. If they where actually more consistant one way or the other it would be a lot easier to figure them out. They are a wild card team, you don't know how they will be week to week.

The Pack worry me a lot mre than the Vikings, they may be beatup but some of their young players are playing really well, and Detroit is no joke that front 4 they have is nasty, plus they have the best O-Line in the Div and Johnson is just looking really good. While Tillman has not looked good for about 3-4 games.

It's very difficult to argue about your Minnesota points, Creighton.If those three guys all show up,it will indeed be a bad day for the Bears, but really, if all three are in top form, they are a load for any opponent.At least there should be no doubts on the part of the Bears about the importance of this game.I think Peterson and Allen coud have decent games, and the Vikings could still lose if Favre has fumbleitis or throws his almost traditional interceptions at key moments.

The good news is that Peppers usually abuses McKinnie if he sticks to form against an O-Line that has protection issues and gets to Favre you should see some picks. Childress is also a blessing for the Bears. If the Vikings ignore him and do what they want they are a nasty team, if they let Childress run the show they are toast. Nobody likes that guy.

Remember the Bears last game against the Vikings, Childress was calling the shots in the first half. After that Favre took over and put up 30 in a half. I don't think they can put up 30 in half against the Bears defense this year but could put up 30 for the game if they can play up to their ability.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on November 7, 2010 6:41 PM.

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