I'm no fan of the Buffalo News, this is not a secret. Their snide attitude towards UB is one thing that has held the perception of the school back in the mind of Buffalo sports fans. They have had some gems like McKissic and some of the younger guys but the captains of the sports department can't seem to say anything nice about the universities sports teams without following it up with a slap in the face.
Today was no exception
First the disclaimer - We are all UB fans here just like the guys at the Buffalo News who cover the Bills are *probably* fans of Buffalo's NFL franchise and folks who cover the Bison's love to take in a game at Pilot Field (only good name the stadium has ever had).
I am not a professional writer (duh) but Bull Run is more than a fan site, it is a site spawned by the disregard of the Buffalo News and other major outlets to UB at a time when the University was starting to get its footing. We are not sycophants of the department and I am not in any capacity a booster of the department.
Now the article... (Link for the non paywall challenged)
He starts by talking up the Bulls football team. Given this is the end of summer camp that seems like the thing to do, but the News has been on a tear lately so they can't just report about the on the field stuff, nor just the local products. No they have to follow up with something *ANYTHING* to dig at White or UB.
Still, I couldn’t help but notice the goofy logo on the white polo Quinn was wearing and on the blue backdrop he was speaking in front of. And the utterly hideous jerseys the players were wearing for their team picture.
Really Jeff Quinn's Polo? Was he wearing black socks with sneakers? It's before labor day so we don't have to worry about white. Is this the fashion section or the sports page?
Oh and those "utterly hideous" jerseys? Aside from a small patch at the bottom of the neckline they are identical to last seasons.. Lets do a side by side.
This difference makes the uniforms hideous? Only if you have an ax to grind.
See I did not like the uniforms last season. They are OK but nothing distinctive about them, I talked about it before. Where as the News sees this as a grotesque mutilation of apparently acceptable uniforms.
Like I said only if you have an ax to grind, lets get the Ax out..
The athletic department is changing its brand — again. "NEW YORK" is in huge capital letters in the logo while "State University of" and "Buffalo" are in tiny letters above and below the state name. The players are wearing "NEW YORK" on their chests, although the letters are oddly small. No sign of "Buffalo."
This is about the 10th time this summer the news has hard the revelation that White is trying to re-brand and it's *never* been a neutral "objective" piece.
This is new athletics director Danny White’s bold stamp. UB wants to be a big-time university. It already is academically. But now it wants to be big time in athletics too. Fair enough. But it’s one thing to announce it and another thing entirely to do it.
Ok so it's fair enough that White wants UB to be perceived nationally as New Yorks biggest college, which it is, and the only State school with FBS program, which it is. As fair as that may be White should only announce it? Actually doing it, or trying to, is a bad thing?
What I have never seen the news acknowledge is that SUNY ties the hands of its schools and there is not a whole lot of wiggle room for White.
Memo to UB: "New York’s College Team" is the marketing slogan of a certain school two hours East of here that pretty prominently flashes Orange. And they have ads in Times Square, on New York city cabs and in Yankee Stadium. Which is where they won a bowl game last year with some guy named Doug Marrone as the head coach.
Memo to Buffalo News, don't let others define you and don't let a certain *private* school define UB. Syracuse has been trying to win the New York City market, White is aiming at the whole state (You do know that New York is both right). Syracuse can buy all the taxi ads it wants while UB sends thousands of graduates a year back to New York City and they are replaced by thousands of incoming freshman.
Buffalo is New York State's college, it's just that the Athletic department has not caught up.
But I digress. Quinn continued, talking about a movement in place. About how even schools like Wisconsin had starting points and how UB needs to "look at the Boise States and Fresno States."
Point taken. Of course, Boise and Fresno aren’t shunning the very city they represent with some new name either.
Boise and Fresno are in states with flagship universities that already carry the state name, UB is not. That's a small but critical difference.
Not happy grinding one ax Harrington brings up another.
Quinn is 9-27 in three years with only six FBS wins. His team was 1-7 last year before probably saving his job by winning three of the last four games. If White had no problem whacking ultra-popular basketball coach Reggie Witherspoon after he had gone 93-69 in the previous five seasons, was there any way he was keeping a football coach with a three-year winning percentage in the .200 range?
Wait Witherspoon? really?
Look we were not happy Spoon was fired, and we are certainly disappointed that UB seems to be picking at nits when it comes to the ECC AD job and Spoon's exit clause from his contract. But what does that have to do with the price of tea in China or the state of UB football?
The news as a whole savaged White's move and that's fair enough. Reggie had become something of a staple and I too feel that *if* a coach had earned a pink slip at UB it was not Spoon.
The news then goes on to take shots at UB's facilities
Instead of slogans, where is the long-needed practice facility? Why doesn’t anyone have any meaningful discussion about how woeful UB Stadium is as a game facility?
Ok at this point I have to ask what color is the sky in Harrington's world? Maybe it's because I am a lowly fan and not a professional journalist but I have seen more action on facilities in a year of White than in 5 years of Warde. Now Manuel was busy laying a lot of ground work so comparing the two is not fair but neither is asking where is the talk on facilities when stuff like this is out there.
It takes a degree of purposeful obtuseness that I can not muster to look at UB and ask "Where is the talk about facilities." Not only is there talk about them but a road map, sales for the Blue and White club and a bevy of conferences sparsely attended by the Buffalo Media pointing them out.
Were you there when UB opened the Murchie Complex? There were a lot of empty seats where reporters could have, you know, showed up and asked questions. That is what the pros do right? Or do they just use half a piece about UB's football preparations to open up on the department on issues from faculties a new AD inherited to a basketball coach who was fired?
Harrington might see sites like Bull Run as less than professional but at least I wear my bias for the world to see. If I want to run down the firing of a coach I'll do it. If I want to question the extension I don't need a pretense. And if I want to cover the football teams media day and focus on local kids making good I'll stick to that.