(Check back. Will update occasionally before the 4:05 pm EST kickoff….)
TORONTO — News, notes and observations as we await kickoff at the Rogers Centre between the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks:
– Three months ago, we all expected Buffalo winter weather outside for this day. Instead, it’s more like a Seattle summer — cold (40sF / 5-6C) and hard rain. Hell, even the grass is still green around here. In my weekly Sunday morning touch football game among friends, one guy picked a dandelion out of the turf. In Central Ontario. In December … Love it.
– Among the early warmup handshakes between players and coaches of rival teams, Bills defensive end Kyle Moore hugged up with his coach at USC, Pete Carroll — now the head man with the Seahawks. And Bills QBs coach David Lee gave props to Russell Wilson, the standout rookie QB of the Seahawks.
– The Rogers Centre (nee SkyDome) is as I remember it for football — or baseball, or circuses, or conventions, or anything else for that matter. To quote a classic line of a former Toronto Sun colleague, Craig Daniels: “It’s the place where atmosphere goes to die.”
– The Rogers Centre’s capacity this year for its NFL capacity is 45,300. I’ve been assured for months that there will be no ‘papering’ of the place this year. Just legit ticket sales. As of Wednesday morning, about 5,000 remained unsold. The walkup crowd was likely imperiled by the horrible weather here early this afternoon — torrential cold rain. Yes, the lid is closed inside.
– Bills PK Rian Lindell makes 52-yarder in warmups. Almost assuredly the last time he gets asked to do that today.
– All the NFL film crews on the Seahawks during team stretching like
white on snow wet on rain. Bills? Not so much as yet.
– No Donald Jones today for the Bills. I saw him Friday night here in Toronto, and he didn’t appear too optimistic he’d be able to play. We compared old blown-up calf stories. This means rookie T.J. Graham is going to have to be BALLIN’ today for the Bills, in players vernacular. If all the Seahawks corners were able to play, that’d spell extremely bad news for Buffalo. As it is, only really bad news.