Niagara Gazette

Sports

October 14, 2013

MEILER: Pande-Moorman-ium

Niagara Gazette — ORCHARD PARK — Only with the Buffalo Bills can a punter get a curtain call.

That was the scene late in the second quarter of Sunday’s wacky loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, a wild ride that took Bills fans from mildly depressed to uncontrollably excited and back to somewhere in between.

Brian Moorman served as the Bills’ punter for 179 consecutive games from 2001-12 before he was released for the stronger, younger leg of Shawn Powell three weeks into the 2012 season. While Powell had power, he never mastered control of hang time and was cut after contributing to Travis Benjamin’s monster return day during Buffalo’s loss to Cleveland last week.

In a bit of karmic justice, Moorman was brought back to Buffalo replace his replacement. Sarcastic Bills fans, already jaded by their team’s 2-3 start, celebrated as if Moorman were a disappeared prince returning to claim his rightful thrown.

For almost an entire half, Moorman’s right leg was shackled to the Bills’ bench, awaiting a chance to be unleashed. Jokes were made in the press box about how upset some fans would be if Moorman didn’t get the chance to give a ball the ol’ boot.

With the Bengals leading 17-10, Jim Leonard — Buffalo’s other returning off-the-street veteran — picked off Andy Dalton and returned it 41 yards to the Cincinnati 38. With momentum swinging, the Bills offense managed to lose 10 yards, eliminating the opportunity for a score and setting up Moorman’s moment in the spotlight.

As if written for a script, Moorman booted a beauty that bounced inside the Cincinnati 5 and landed (clearly) out of bounds somewhere between the 1 and the goal line. The stadium erupted, its long-lost son returning home to make good.

But the dastardly referee, dressed in evil black and white, inexplicably missed the call, despite being no more than 5 feet from the play. Fans cried angrily at the official, their contempt growing with each replay. Finally, a booth review forced the lead ref fixed the call.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page