SalSpeak: Aug. 12

This is what I'm writing and reading today

Mom knows best: Tremaine Edmunds’ mother was a driving force in offseason

Tremaine Edmunds spoke to reporters via Zoom and he said his offseason away from his teammates was made a little easier because he has two brothers who also play in the NFL, and they were able to work out together as they got ready for the start of training camp, Tremaine with the Bills and Terrell and Trey with the Steelers.

And whenever the threesome didn’t feel like grinding it out, their mother, Felicia, was there to push them out the door. “I had my mom out there and she was just killing us, but it was all for the better,” he said with a smile.

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It took two games for Drew Bledsoe to put his name in the Bills record book

Democrat and Chronicle, Sept. 16, 2002

Jim Kelly played 177 regular season and playoff games in his 11-year Bills career, but he never had as prolific a performance as Drew Bledsoe did on Sept. 15, 2002, in what was just his second game with the Bills.

Bledsoe, who had been acquired in a splashy trade in April of that year, erupted for a career-high and Bills-record 463 yards passing and he capped it off with a touchdown pass to Peerless Price in overtime to give Buffalo a head-spinning 45-39 victory.

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Jim Kelly played 177 regular season and playoff games in his 11-year Bills career, but he never had as prolific a performance as Drew Bledsoe did on Sept. 15, 2002, in what was just his second game with the Bills.

Bledsoe, who had been acquired in a splashy trade in April of that year, erupted for a career-high and Bills-record 463 yards passing and he capped it off with a touchdown pass to Peerless Price in overtime to give Buffalo a head-spinning 45-39 victory.

CLICK HERE FOR THE STORY


I’m very excited to announce that The Junction, a Medium.com site that specializes in fiction, has agreed to publish my historical novel 1968: Amid the Crucible of War, Revolt and Tragedy, Sports Helped Soothe America’s Psyche in serial episode form, one chapter every week in episodic fashion, most likely on Sundays.

I self-published the novel in 2018, the 50th anniversary of what I consider one of the most unforgettable and transformative years in United States history. I love history, especially the 1960s, and I’d always wanted to write about 1968 in particular.

I’ve done some historical fiction in the past and I thought the format would be a fun and creative way to tell the story of 1968, so I created a fictional family to carry the reader through the year with the emphasis on sports.

Not surprisingly, my lead character is a sports writer (hey, write what you know, right?) named Jack McDonald who travels the country covering all the major events including the Super Bowl, the Final Four, the Masters, the Stanley Cup Finals, the Summer and Winter Olympics, and more. His wife Olivia is a political activist, his son Patrick is fighting in Vietnam, and his daughter Kathleen is a student at Columbia University who later takes a summer trip to San Francisco to experience the cultural scene in Haight-Ashbury.

I hope you will read each chapter as they come out because of all the books I’ve written, I think I’m most proud of this one because I stepped outside the bounds of sports, a rarity for me.

The Junction is a top-notch site on the wide-ranging Medium platform that publishes creative writing in all varieties – short story, flash fiction, serial fiction and poetry. Thanks to editor Stephen M. Tomic for seeing the vision in the project and allowing me to post.

If you would rather just read the book now and not wait for each chapter, I am selling individual copies for $13. I will pay for the shipping, and will autograph the book for you or whomever you may want to give it to. Click the button below to go to my PayPal page, and before you send the money, add a note that includes you mailing address, and what name to put on the autograph.

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Aug. 4, 1998: Darryl Strawberry’s last great day on the diamond

As Dynasty: Yankees 1996-2000 rolls on today, the Yankees sweep a doubleheader out in Oakland, and what stood out was the performance of Darryl Strawberry. He homered in both games, including a dramatic, game-tying grand slam in the top of the ninth in the second game which opened the door to a stunning nine-run rally.

“They’re the best team in baseball. Ask anyone on the street and they’ll tell you,” said Oakland closer Billy Taylor. Uh, yeah, he was right about that.

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If you’re a Buffalo sports fan – especially someone who grew up in the 1970s – I think you, or perhaps someone you know, will really enjoy my latest book.

For most of that decade, the city had three major-league teams – the Bills, the Sabres, and the Braves. There were certainly some lean years, but not during the period between the fall of 1973 and the spring of 1976 which is what the book focuses on.

That was a time of great excitement, winning teams, and true superstars – O.J. Simpson, Gilbert Perreault and Bob McAdoo – who called Buffalo home.

The book takes a deep dive into the three seasons for each team and you will get reintroduced to many of the players from that era who you may have forgotten, and you will relive the great games and performances that we bore witness to in what I refer to as the golden age of Buffalo sports.

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