Niagara Gazette


November 22, 2007

TIM SCHMITT: What I'm thankful for this year

Sure the Sabres have slipped and the Bills are still battling with mediocrity. But once again there’s plenty to be thankful for this year in the sports world, even if last Sunday left us smarting.

Set the remote on your ample belly for a second and join me in what may have to become an annual tradition — a nod to the sports gods for what they’ve bestowed upon us:

• DONTE WHITNER: Nobody means more to the Bills than the former first-rounder from Ohio State. He’s tough, smart and never quits.

Whitner was still fighting even when the Bills were getting walloped by the Pats on Sunday. He was knocking guys out of bounds with the same verve he’d display in a playoff game.

It’s hard to say that it bothers him when the Bills lose as much as that buddy of yours from Newfane with the shrine in his basement, but he gets it. Losing is contagious. The Bills have had the bug for ages.

And Whitner just wants to get well again.

• TYRONE LEWIS: If you can’t have fun watching this Niagara University sophomore, you don’t like basketball.

Lewis has personality, both on and off the court. He’s smart, smooth and funny.

During Tuesday’s walloping of UB, Lewis scored 18 points and had four steals, but my favorite moment came after a close call in the second half. While a teammate shot freethrows, Lewis smiled wide and joked with one official before the first free throw.

Then he sauntered over to the other and cracked a joke with him. Working the whole room.

Then better yet, he made a point in the post-game press conference of asking why he only got one question.

Lewis loves to talk, and his play does plenty of it.

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