COMMENTARY: Ten Things you didn't know about Buffalo

Friday, March 19, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 12:01 p.m. CDT, Sunday, March 21, 2010
There are no buffaloes in Buffalo, N.Y., only in Africa and Asia. “Buffalo Bill” Cody wasn’t a buffalo-hunter. He was a bison-hunter. But there aren’t any bison in Buffalo, either.

 Many readers have condemned the following article, and for good reason: It
takes cheap shots at the city and people of Buffalo, NY. Regardless of its
intent, the article was in poor taste and came across as more mean-spirited
than humorous. I apologize to readers, regardless of whether they took
Tom Warhover  
Executive edito


Friday’s NCAA Tournament game

No. 10 seed Missouri (22-10, 10-6) vs. No. 7 seed Clemson (21-9, 9-7)
WHEN: 1:35 p.m.
WHERE: HSBC Arena, Buffalo, N.Y.
TV: CBS - KRCG/Channel 13 (Gus Johnson play-by-play; Len Elmore analyst)
RADIO: KFRU/1400 AM, KBXR/102.3 FM
ONLINE: Uninterupted viewing at
SERIES: Tied 1-1. Clemson won 47-45 Nov. 30, 1996 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
MISSOURI KEY: Limit 3-point shots: Missouri doesn’t need to limit Clemson's 3-point shooting, its needs to limit its own. In Missouri’s past three losses, it averaged 20 3-point shots a game. When it doesn’t settle for 3-point shots, its offense is more balanced and effective.
Coach: Oliver Purnell, 7th season
Last Season: 23-9 (9-7 in ACC)
THE SKINNY: Clemson has stumbled into the tournament much like Missouri. Clemson lost its first game of the ACC Tournament and has gone 6-6 to end the season. Led by athletic forward Trevor Booker, Purnell is looking for his first NCAA Tournament victory.
CLEMSON KEY: Use Booker: With the injury of forward Justin Safford, Missouri lacks frontcourt depth. Clemson needs to put the ball in the hands of its best player and get Missouri in foul trouble to win.
WATCH FOR: Trevor Booker: The 6-7 senior averages 15.3 points a game and is the anchor for Clemson’s fast break offense. He has the ability to take over games both offensively and defensively, averaging 1.4 blocks a game.

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BUFFALO, N.Y. – Known as one of America’s most depressing cities, Buffalo isn’t completely worthless. The city on the unattractive shore of Lake Erie did give us Buffalo wings. And windshield wipers. And Millard Fillmore, our 13th president. He succeeded Zachary Taylor, who died from a stomach and intestine inflammation possibly caused by his consumption of cherries. Come the next election, Fillmore couldn’t even win his own party’s nomination.

Depressed yet?

Here are 10 things you didn't know about Buffalo. And remember, everything's going to be all right.

10. According to one unconvincing account, the origin of the name “Buffalo” is a distortion of the French phrase "beau fleuve," meaning beautiful river. It’s said that French explorers shouted these words when they first saw the Niagara River.

That’s an image.

Picture a handful of Frenchmen skipping toward the majestic river shore, throwing their arms up in the air and yelling “beau fleuve!” Buffalo!

9. There are no buffaloes in Buffalo. Only in Africa and Asia.

“Buffalo Bill” Cody wasn’t a buffalo-hunter. He was a bison-hunter.

But there aren’t any bison in Buffalo, either.

The Buffalo Bills football team still has the nerve to put an outline of a buffalo on its helmet. And what looks like more of a bison – distinguished by a large hump – on its throwback helmet.

They’re confused too.

8. Buffalo is home of the windshield wiper. The idea was born on a rainy night in 1917, when a bicyclist collided with a National Roadster car driven by Buffalo Theatre owner J.R. Oishei. Oishei was so shaken by the accident he formed the Tri-Continental Corporation, which created the first windshield wiper. Trico, now one of the world’s leading windshield wiper manufacturers, has since moved to Michigan. But its original plant in Buffalo is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Buffalonians must be so proud.

7. Buffalo is more proudly home of the Buffalo wing. But Buffalo residents, strangely, call them chicken wings, not Buffalo wings.

The wings debuted in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in downtown Buffalo. Dominic Bellissimo was bartending late one night when a group of his friends came in begging for food. He asked his mom, Teresa, to make something. She scrounged up pieces of a chicken normally used for scraps, and Buffalo wings were born.

People started to flock to Anchor Bar, which uses a secret sauce recipe, to experience the new “taste sensation.”

Who needs pretty girls in tank tops and short orange shorts?

6. Buffalo does have Miss Buffalo Wing.

She’s crowned each Labor Day weekend at the National Buffalo Wing Festival. Miss Buffalo Wing wins a paid trip to participate in the Miss New York pageant. Wonder if they give an award to the sauciest contestant.

If you laughed, you're alone.

Another event at the festival is Bobbing for Wings, which we heard is preceded by a stampede to Sam’s Club to stock up on paper towels.

Then there’s the .5K Running of the Chickens, a race open to all ages and the same distance as four city blocks. Finishing times are apparently highly unpredictable, from “several minutes to three-quarters of an hour,” according to the festival’s Web site,

5. Buffalo is so used to snow that mayors from mid-Atlantic cities called Buffalo mayor Byron Brown this February looking for advice on how to clear snow. The city averages more than 100 inches of snow per year. The famous Blizzard of '77 made snowmobiles the only method of getting around in some areas, and 11 Buffalonians died as a result of the blizzard.

4. One of Buffalo's nicknames is the Nickel City. Not a reflection of the city's severely low median household income, the name comes from the picture of a bison that appeared on one side of the Indian head nickels that were produced during the early 1900s. In 1937, coins featuring a three-legged buffalo were mistakenly produced.

3. Buffalo's bar owners might be the city's most influential crew. Aside from Buffalo wings, they can claim the "beef on weck" sandwich, which stuffs roast beef in a German kummelweck roll. Covered with kosher salt and caraway seeds, the roll is the key to the sandwich's taste. The "beef on weck" is said to have been created by a Buffalo bar owner who thought the salty rolls would make his patrons drink more.

Maybe it should be the Nickle-and-Dime City.

2. Buffalo has the largest collection of grain elevators in the world, one of which sits next to the HSBC Arena, the site of Friday's game. Most of these breathtaking structures are abandoned today, but they once symbolized Buffalo's stature as the largest supplier of grain in the world.

Those were the days.

1. The Buffalo Bills are the only team to play in four straight Super Bowls.

They lost all four.

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ERNO ROSSI March 19, 2010 | 10:42 a.m.

Good luck with basketball in Buffalo N.Y. I'm a survivor of the Blizzard of '77 which buried Buffalo and Western New York as well as parts of neighboring Canada. I spoke about communications within a disaster and blizzard at a state sponsored conference in Missouri and admired your beautiful state while staying there---after 9/11.
Learn how radio stations reacted during this major blizzard disaster by going to my website and click on the free video or view my classic snow disaster pics. You may then appreciate Missouri even more than now. Beware of snowflakes! ERNO ROSSI

(Report Comment)
Peggy Marion March 19, 2010 | 7:43 p.m.

I hope Mizzou stays in Buffalo long enough for you to meet some of the people. They are a good lot.

Yes, the city is a shell of its former self. Yes, being a Bills fan is a karmic curse. The words "wide right" still carry a bitter ring to anybody who has grown up with the team.

But your heavy sarcasm and dim extrapolations are shallow. You have simply parroted decades of tired clichés without an ounce of originality.

Welcome to reporting, newbie. Hopefully practice and maturity will make you better at your craft.

The inability to see beyond stereotypes is crippling and can lead to missed opportunities.

A case in point: Once upon a time my Buffalo grandparents told me they would not pay my college tuition because I was determined to go to a "dumb Southern school." I made one of the best independent decisions of my life and enrolled anyway, even though it meant some hardship.

The school in question was the University of Missouri.

(Report Comment)
Andrew Blank March 20, 2010 | 2:09 a.m.

Iron Fist:
1. Looks like the author here is from Chic-awww-go.
2. Missouri may be boring as heck state, but Buffalo is a piece of crap town that made me actually want to go visit Canada. That entire town might as well be a slightly classier version of Detroit.
3. Wide Right.

1. You just admitted Buffalo is now a rusting pile of rubbish.
2. Brett Hull's goal in the 99 Stanley Cup was legit, and Hasek needs to stop whining about it. Frank Reich would have won you a super bowl...just kidding, kinda.
3. Maybe you ought to become a writer seem like you have an awful lot of insight.

(Report Comment)
M McMahon March 20, 2010 | 7:04 a.m.

Maybe Mr. Ruppenthal would have written a column that wasn't full of tired cliches and lame jokes if he went to a better journalism school like Syracuse University. If you actually went to Buffalo and talked to people there like a real reporter, you might discover the positives and good people in the city of Buffalo. If your paper can't afford to send you, at least talk to the Missourians who were there, and ask them how they were treated in the city of good neighbors.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 20, 2010 | 7:48 a.m.

Regrettably, I am unfamiliar with the customs practiced by university and college students in Buffalo, New York.

Do they have the strange and exotic custom of dropping cotton balls on campuses during the wee hours of the night?

"Southern school"? University of Missouri didn't admit black students until after World War II. I believe the specific year was 1949. Sounds a lot like a "Southern school" to some of us. Please name one truly "Midwestern" state university that waited so long before integration.

George Washington Carver, considered to be one of Missouri's greatest sons, found it necessary to go out of state to obtain a satisfactory higher education: MU wouldn't allow his entrance.

As for "dumb," no one at the UMKC, UMSL or Missouri S&T campuses of University of Missouri System is dumb, and that's 55% of the students in University of Missouri System.

(Report Comment)
Peggy Marion March 20, 2010 | 9:44 a.m.

Mr. Blank: Dominik Hašek is dead to me. :)

Mr. Smith: You and I both know that there are some brilliant people at Mizzou. My education there enriched me for life in many ways. Believe me, that was not the perception way back when I fought to go there. I made a point about stereotypes...

To the student: Buffalo has many kick-ass resident musicians. Its bars are open late. Get your butt out of the press room. Go out and hear some great music, drink some good Canadian beer, eat hearty and enjoy the hospitality of some of the friendiest, most down-to-earth people in the country.

(Report Comment)
Jess Wheeler March 20, 2010 | 11:11 a.m.

Alex, who did you interview when you wrote this article? It feels as though you did not interview anyone because most Buffalonians love this city. In 2007, Elmwood Village was voted one of the ten greatest places in America. You didn't even talk about the Taste of Buffalo which is the largest two-day food festival in the country. You also didn't mention the Sabres or the culture surrounding Hockey. The music scene is rich, the people are nice, the food is hearty. As for snow, Buffalo isn't even on the 10 Snowiest Cities list, or the 10 Coldest Cities. We actually don't call them chicken wings, most of us call them wings. Why would we call them Buffalo wings when we live in Buffalo?

(Report Comment)
joe smith March 20, 2010 | 11:13 a.m.

Does Mizzou teach evolution yet? Or are you yokels still trying to wrap your minds around the concept of a round earth?

Inbred hick scum.

(Report Comment)
Kansas Wiley Stafford March 20, 2010 | 12:33 p.m.

Wow. Alex Ruppenthal, way to trash Mizzou's (very gracious) tournament hosts. Would love an explanation for it.

On behalf of Mizzou supporters, your offensive attitude does not represent us. We are enjoying the show in Buffalo and you bring us down.

Go Tigers!

(Report Comment)
nick cummings March 20, 2010 | 12:55 p.m.

Did you forget you're from Missouri? Good effort, but when your the fattest kid in school, it makes no sense to tease the other fat kids.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 20, 2010 | 1:09 p.m.

Yes, there are undoubtedly "some brilliant people at Mizzou." Certainly none more brilliant than those geniuses who planted those cotton balls. They were your students, weren't they? They definitely weren't ours.

There are also brilliant people at University of West Virginia, at University of Kansas, At Truman State University, and at the Kansas City, Rolla and St. Louis campuses of our "university system." The quotes are there because we aren't convinced there is a system. It's more a cheap rendition of "The Three Little Pigs & The Big Bad Wolf," except the wolf is delusional and thinks it's a tiger.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin March 20, 2010 | 1:11 p.m.

Amazed that an article about Buffalo would draw such yelps in Columbia, I read it.

The reporter errs with all the opining. Had he made this a straight report on little-known things about Buffalo, without the put-downs, the story would have been fine.

(Report Comment)
jose schmose March 20, 2010 | 1:36 p.m.

Wow...the author actually got paid for writing this? "it snows in buffalo, they have chicken wings, and lost 4 super bowls." I can do it too! Where's my money?

What does Columbia, MO have that's so awesome? Besides Quin Snyder's hair? A first night celebration with fireworks! Wow am I excited!!! How about a BBQ festival?? Neato!!! I hope ya'll had fun at the Missouri Bow Hunters convention, March 19-20!!

Oh yeah, it took me 2 minutes to google Columbia, MO. I'm sure half the time spent on this authors research on Buffalo.

College has treated you well! Get your money back.

(Report Comment)
Peggy Marion March 20, 2010 | 2:15 p.m.

Mr. Stafford: Very cool.

Mr. Cummings: They are both beautiful fat kids, but Columbia is the privileged fat kid. Can't speak for St. Louis, KC, Rolla or any other place I haven't experienced first-hand.

Mr. Martin: You are correct about how the article would have improved with a scalpel. Also, I suspect most of the people on this thread don't live in Columbia.

Mr. Smith: What cotton balls? Was that before or after my time at Mizzou? Sounds...interesting.

Mr. Schmose: If you knew how much the author got paid it would sicken you.

(Report Comment)
J S March 20, 2010 | 2:19 p.m.

Sad. Though I understand this article was written by a U of M student, the author certainly doesn't exactly represent his University very well.

As a transplanted former Buffalo resident who has also been to Columbia, a few things have been omitted from his article.

Metropolitan area - Buffalo has roughly 7 times the metro area of Columbia, which is relegated to little brother status(very little brother) to St. Louis and Kansas City, both contemporaries of Buffalo. If you remove the U of M, the metro area disparity is increased by a factor of 3-5.

Geography - Buffalo is located on the largest basin of fresh water in the world, (the Great Lakes). Columbia wasn't smart enough to build closer to the Big Mizzou. It does have a few muddy streams flowing through it.

Ethnic Heritage - Buffalo's ethnic heritage is extremely rich and diverse, with many, many distinct ethnic groups from Europe calling it home. Columbia is dominated by prairie people.

Cuisine - Buffalo's ethnic heritage promotes a diverse cuisine. Columbia isn't even famous for its most notable regional cuisine, barbeque. Again, it must defer to its big brothers, Kansas City and St. Louis.

Architecture - the Buffalo area is known for buildings designed by H.H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, parks and parkways designed by Olmsted, as well as areas such as Elmwood and Delaware Avenue's "Mansion Row". Columbia is dominated by a 10 story hotel with a TIGER sign placed on top. (though Jessie Hall is a pretty building).

Arts - Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery is well known for its modern art collection, with examples from Picasso, Matisse, Gauguin and Van Gogh. Columbia is best known for a Beetle Bailey statue.

Night life - Please. There aren't many cities in the midwest that match the nightlife of Buffalo, and Columbia certainly isn't one of them.

This could go on, but you get the picture. Pity, the author had an opportunity to learn a few things on his field trip. Maybe next time.

(Report Comment)
Lew Blevins March 20, 2010 | 2:20 p.m.


Your 18 years on this earth have obviously been well spent(not!)

based on all available on-line information regarding yourself, you accomplishments are simply amazing. Let me list them ok?

1) Alex Ruppenthal is a 18-year-old student at the University of Missouri studying Newspaper Journalism
2)He covered primarily woman's gymnastics and soccer
3) He is currently the beat reporter for the Missouri mens basketball team.
4)His favorite Missourian memory is being "asked" by his editor to participate in a polar bear plunge (which involves jumping into a freezing lake) and write a story about the experience
5)In high school, Alex tried out for football and baseball, but could not get past the physicals due to "lackofsacitis and eventually went with his true love Womens synchronized checkers.
6)Alex spent his entire life(17 years) in Illinois but left for college to get away from the cold weather and enemies he has made sue to his obvious lack of experience and character.

Just out of curiosity Alex, how much time have you personally spent in Buffalo and the Western New York area?

I can bet you the pride, character and patriotism the fine people of Buffalo and WNY are on a par with the finest examples you will ever find in our wonderful country.

One of Buffalo's finest and most respected sons, the late Tim Russert, would have loved to teach you what true journalism and HONOR are all about.

But why would such a worldly "man" such as yourself need that, right?

(Report Comment)
steve fort March 20, 2010 | 2:44 p.m.

You are from Missouri and you have the cojones to make fun of Buffalo? You must be joking. I couldn't leave Missouri fast enough... Billboards, strip malls, Bass Pro Shops/Walmarts, white trash rednecks and schlock. Not to mention the most horrific place on earth... Branson.

(Report Comment)
Jeff Pijanowski March 20, 2010 | 4:07 p.m.

I've been a newspaper editor for 20 years, and have taught news writing for about a decade. I can honestly say I've never seen such an awful piece of copy, even on a high school level. The point of this commentary was exactly what?

People who spend time putting down other people or towns are usually insecure about themselves or their own life situations. Had one of my own students filed copy such as this I would have spiked it and spent the time discussing the difference between commentary and being a poor man's version of David Letterman. The University of Missouri has a lot of work on its hands with this kid.

Did the reporter even talk to anyone, either from Missouri or Buffalo? The whole pice could have been sourced from Google in the airport.

(Report Comment)
Greg Bowers March 20, 2010 | 4:41 p.m.

To the good people of Buffalo,

The commentary “10 things you didn’t know about Buffalo” was intended to introduce our readers to things they might not know about Buffalo and tell some jokes while we did it. You can find earlier installments of the series by searching “10 things” on our website.

In short, these were jokes.

Now, were the jokes funny? Reasonable people can disagree.

But I’m pretty sure that letting this degrade into personal attacks (We’ve removed the obscene ones, per our policy) by people, many writing under assumed names (again, against our policy) does not move the discussion forward.

My suggestion? Starting now, let’s turn this positive and start listing the best things that Buffalo has to offer – though I’d still argue that Buffalo wings are a real positive thing.

I’ll even begin. I spoke to Alex on the phone this afternoon and he told me that the people he’s met have been very friendly.

Your turn.

Greg Bowers
Sports Editor/Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Lew Blevins March 20, 2010 | 5:04 p.m.

Well it was insulting.

Your writer is just a child with obviously no real world experience.

(Report Comment)
joe smith March 20, 2010 | 5:04 p.m.

Thanks Greg.

Topic # 1; When will the Missourian stop hiring petulant children to write for them? Discuss.

(Report Comment)
M McMahon March 20, 2010 | 5:14 p.m.

Fair enough. Let me apologize for the sarcastic swipe at Mizzou's journalism school. Everyone knows it's one of the best in the country.

Here's a few cool things about Buffalo:
* Architecture. Visitors can tour two restored Frank Lloyd Wright houses and see buildings by Louis Sullivan, H.H. Richardson, Stanford White, Richard Upjohn, Eliel and Eero Saarinen and Daniel Burnham. There is the Botanical Gardens in Frederick Law Olmsted's South Park. It's not just old grain elevators.
*Art. The Albright-Knox Gallery has one of the best collections of contemporary art in the world. That windshield wiper factory that the columnist referred to is now the home of the Buffalo Arts Studio. Potters, painters and photographers all call the Studio home.
*Performing arts. Buffalo is home to 14 professional theatres including Kleinhans Music Hall and Shea's Performing Arts Center.
*Local attractions: Niagara Falls State Park. The Buffalo Zoo. The Buffalo Museum of Science. Aquarium of Niagara. Buffalo Niagara River Exotours. Freedom Crossing, the Regional Underground Railroad Interpretive Center, on the campus of Niagara University.
*Higher Ed. In addition to Niagara, other schools include the State University of NY at Buffalo, Buffalo State, Canisius College, D'Youville College, and Daemen College
*OK college kids -- here's a fun one -- the bars don't close til 4 am.
*Dining: It's not just buffalo wings at Anchor Bar. There are plenty of top rate restaurants and ethnic dining options to choose from. And don't knock a Beef on Weck sandwich until you've tried one.
*Weather: Yes, there's alot of lake effect snow in the winter, but the spring and summer are not oppressively hot and humid like other parts of the US.

(Report Comment)
Evan Lips March 20, 2010 | 5:15 p.m.

The comments that suggest all this student did was Google search "Buffalo" are spot on.

This reporter basically combined the city's Wikipedia entry with about thirteen lazy cliches and used the kicker space at the end of his story to make fun of the Bills.

Wow, really?

(Report Comment)
David Gadzo March 20, 2010 | 5:17 p.m.


You think Missouri sports fans don't know about the Buffalo Bills 4 straight Super Bowl losses? The whole article was trashing a city he had never been to before. What is worse, that an editor of a schools newspaper would actually have the nerve to consider this garbage a good read is laughable. There might not be any Buffalo in Buffalo, NY, but there are no Tigers in Missouri either.

I spent all of my high school years in a small down called Dixon. It is near Rolla and the ARMY base. Many people living in the area are transplant Buffalo natives, mainly because of the ARMY base, and the two Air Force Bases near by. For a child from Illinois to come on here, represent Columbia, MO and call Buffalo, NY "Not completely worthless, unattractive, and depressing" is laughable. Considering Columbia is shadowed by Jeff City, 30 minutes south of it, and after that is woods and farmland. The only claim to fame Columbia has is it holds the MSHSAA basketball state championships. After that, nobody goes there. Being the founders of BBQ, it's funny how Kansas City is more known for it.

Maybe you should find more competent, less ignorant, and more important, less lazy writers for your paper. This article is simply amazing how terrible the writer is, and how ignorant the editor is for saying it's a great idea, and posting it on the website/paper...

A1C David Gadzo

(Report Comment)
Nick Harris March 20, 2010 | 5:23 p.m.

One positive that Buffalo has is when our home is insulted for no other reason than to be funny we will not just take it. You, the "author" and your paper should be embarresed by this. One more thing are there any tigers in Missouri? I think they are in Asia? That sounds farmilar. I must have read it somewhere.

(Report Comment)
Howard Ruben March 20, 2010 | 5:34 p.m.

Hey Alex -

I could have told you the fine people of Buffalo are very proud of their city and would react this way to the column you thought would be so cute and funny. Let me start by saying, Johnny Carson you're not. From someone who proudly grew up in Buffalo (and, yes, Lake Erie actually is quite lovely whether it's 80 degrees in the summer or 10 degrees in the winter) and proudly graduated from the best journalism school in America (Missouri, 1976), let me explain something: Buffalo breeds character. It makes you strong and it gives you the opportunity to dream. Much like the late great Tim Russert, I was surrounded by an extraordinarily supportive family who encouraged me to pursue my passions. Those included attending the University of Missouri's J-School which turned out to be the hardest, most rewarding learning experience of my life. I learned the hard way that a good journalist does not cut corners, does not rely on hearsay and old, worn out cliches. A good journalist is someone who digs and then digs deeper. I think your intention was to write a "funny" column? If it wasn't so trite and boring and tired, it might have had a chance. Alex, you're actually a decent writer. You have potential. I would suggest you think it out before you take on an entire region of the country. Buffalo natives are a proud bunch - with a good sense of humor. Your column just wasn't funny - plain and simple. GO TIGERS!!!

(Report Comment)
Will Q March 20, 2010 | 5:39 p.m.

Is it customary to insult your host in Mizzou? When your neighbor invites you to dinner, do you point out his wife's stretchmarks? Perhaps a knee slapper about his daughter's buck teeth? Buffalo is a long way from perfect, however, thousands of Buffalonians have worked countless hours to see that fans and students of your university, and others, enjoy themselves. And then you actually published this.

You Stay Classy Missouri.

(Report Comment)
Michael Schrantz March 20, 2010 | 5:42 p.m.

This was accurate until Howard and Will felt the need to chime in. Thanks a lot guys. In case you care, I would put Howard in the positive category and Will in the content criticism.

(Report Comment)
Lori Chase March 20, 2010 | 5:51 p.m.

Mr. Bowers,

I took you up on the offer to peruse previous somewhat-witty editions of "Ten Things," most of which appear to refer to an upcoming Mizzou opponent and its hometown. Therefore, wouldn't it have made more sense to focus on Clemson, S.C. for this version? Instead, your writer apparently decided, "Hey, Buffalo's too easy to pass up. Snow joke, wings reference, Bills joke, done!"

But those are things everyone already knows about Buffalo -- or thinks they do, anyway. If your columnist had really wanted to learn something new, perhaps he could have skipped Wikipedia in favor of making a phone call or two. I'm sure Buffalo News lead sports columnist (and proud Missourian alumnus) Jerry Sullivan or WGRZ-TV sports director Ed Kilgore (UM-C '69) would have been happy to talk to him, since both decided years ago to make the city their permanent home.

Not me. Although I have family there, I've never lived in Buffalo, or anywhere else in New York, for that matter ... and yet, I found this piece's lede annoying enough to register here solely to comment on it.

One presumes this column won't be included in next year's APSE submission.

(Report Comment)
Peggy Marion March 20, 2010 | 5:54 p.m.

Mr. Bowers,

There are some deeper issues here, and as Mr. Pijanowski points out, they involve editorial judgment.

While this student was writing the article, he was twittering and asking for restaurant recommendations in Buffalo. His editors let this kid gratuitously insult a city he obviously didn't know and probably had never visited. That is bad commentary and bad journalism.

I also take issue with the fairness of writing such a column about a city that is going out of its way to graciously host your students.

Look at the pragmatic elements here, too: If this story goes viral, as seems to be the case, then you just made West Virginia the home team.

(Report Comment)
Jess Wheeler March 20, 2010 | 6:15 p.m.

I commend Alex! I went to school for journalism and upon graduation couldn't find a job. Yet, this kid is STILL in school and is a beat reporter?! Oh sir, you are the best of the best. Tim Russert has nothing on you!

(Report Comment)
Kansas Wiley Stafford March 20, 2010 | 6:33 p.m.

Quote "I also take issue with the fairness of writing such a column about a city that is going out of its way to graciously host your students."

This. I think the Missourian should quit defending this crap and issue an apology. And this is from a Columbia resident and Mizzou fan.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 20, 2010 | 6:40 p.m.

Ms. Marion: It has often been said that a thin line exists between being privileged and being spoiled rotten.

Assuming that such a line exists, it seems to get crossed frequently at University of Missouri System.

(Report Comment)
Andrew Browne March 20, 2010 | 7:22 p.m.

A couple of other things about Buffalo you missed:

Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as President in Buffalo, NY.

Grover Cleveland was mayor of Buffalo before becoming president.

Buffalo was first city in America to have electric street lights throughout the city. They debuted at the Pan American exposition in the early 20th century, causing Buffalo to be nicknamed the "City of Light."

It is spelled Kimmelwick, not Kummelwick. It was Polish bakers and not German who made this popular.

Frank Lloyd Wright built the Larkin Building and the Darwin Martin House in Buffalo.

Buffalo is the most charitable city per capita in the nation.

Telsa invented AC current in nearby Niagara Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It is less than 20 minutes away.

University of Buffalo refused to attend the Peach Bowl in the 1950's because Black players were not allowed to play.

Buffalo is the end of the underground railroad and there are several places in town registered as landmarks.

Frederick Law Olmsted designed the park system in Buffalo, he is the man who designed Central Park in New York City.

Snow and our government selling the working man out has left this city a shell of itself, but that is no reason to insult it. It is a shame that folks are constantly doing this across the country.

(Report Comment)
Tommy D. March 20, 2010 | 7:43 p.m.

10 things you didn't know about Columbia, Missouri...

1. ???
2. ???
3. :tumbleweeds:
4. ???
5. Don't you mean "Columbia, Maryland"?
6. ???
7. :<
8. :(
9. :)
10. :crickets:

(Report Comment)
Amanda Farnham March 20, 2010 | 8:24 p.m.

By the way... it was a beautiful sunny 53 in Buffalo, NY today.

How was your weather there?

(Report Comment)
Tommy D. March 20, 2010 | 8:35 p.m.

Lookie here, dey dunn say dat dere wuzz some snow in dat dere Mizzourah... canceled the local collegiate stickball game.

(Report Comment)
Peter Farrell March 20, 2010 | 9:06 p.m.

Two more long time residents of Buffalo who you may not know about that are well known in the Buffalo area.

Jerry Sullivan - senior sportswriter, Buffalo News

Ed Kilgore - sports director, WGRZ Channel 2(NBC affiliate in Buffalo).

Why are they relevant? Both are alumni of the University of Missouri. Sullivan a journalism school alum. Gotta wonder what they'd think of this column....

(Report Comment)
Christopher Mach March 20, 2010 | 9:23 p.m.

Congratulations. You just turned the Buffalo crowd into West Virginia fans.

(Report Comment)
ronald martucci March 20, 2010 | 9:48 p.m.

To alex ruppenthal.your comment that we gave you buffalo wings is hillarious.Only someone from the show me state would even think that buffaloes had wings. stay in mizzou they need you.

(Report Comment)
erik carrubba March 20, 2010 | 9:49 p.m.

I'm from buffalo and I know who i'll be rooting for tomorrow. Go west virginia!

(Report Comment)
John McCall March 20, 2010 | 9:49 p.m.

Dude, we made Dan Marino apologize on HBO for saying stupid things about our're navel lint comparatively.

Calling them chicken wings or Buffalo like calling in a Philadelphia cheese steak. They're just wings. You can pick on it all you want, but why does everything come in a Buffalo flavor?

Seriously...I mean aside from almost getting swayed by those lovely Branson, MO tourism commercials where it seems the only things to do in Branson is eat, shop, listen to music and take part in some outdoor activities...seems a lot like Buffalo with warmer weather.

I mean really, Branson...that's on America's top 100 list of tourist destinations. Well maybe if you're over 65 an own an RV.

A guy from Missouri picking on Buffalo is like a guy from Tucson picking on a guy from Flagstaff that his weather is too hot....they're both in the f'n desert.

I don't get the writer's knock on 11 people dying in a blizzard.

I don't understand the writer's knock on inventing a part that standard on every automobile and many other types of vehicles. Id he gonna make fun of the place that invented other automotive safety devices?

I guess only Buffalo bar owners try to find ways to increase their patronage.

Making fun of the lost industry in Buffalo by a guy living in the south where right to work shops pushed down wages, worker's rights and benefits...bravo. I guess you're okay with people making $10 and hour instead of what they should be getting paid.

(Report Comment)
John McCall March 20, 2010 | 10:16 p.m.

I posted this guy's bio from the Missourian's webpage at the end of this short rant.

1. This writer's favorite memory in Missouri is a polar bear plunge? I mean of all the things that Missouri supposedly has to offer ... he chooses something that commonly done in the city of Buffalo...a city that he attempts to poke fun at in this article?

2. Since when does real journalism use the words like coolest? I mean totally far out man. Totally tubular to the max, dude.

3. If this is the best you got to offer, kid ... and you just didn't crank out this article in 5 minutes to meet a deadline...think about changing your major as this isn't even good smack talk article. In Buffalo we hear it all.

If you did a little more research maybe you'd stumble on some better fodder ... because believe me, it's out there.

This is the guy's profile listed on the paper's website.

Alex Ruppenthal's Profile

Alex Ruppenthal is originally from Naperville, Ill, and is a junior at MU studying Print and Digital Journalism and German. He is currently the beat reporter for the Missouri men's basketball team. He has worked on the sports beat throughout his time at the Missourian and has covered a variety of MU and local high school teams. His favorite Missourian memory is being "asked" by his editor to participate in a polar bear plunge (which involves jumping into a freezing lake) and write a story about the experience. He ended up loving the plunge and is doing it again in 2010.

Alex's passion for sports writing began in earnest when he realized in sixth grade that his athletic skills likely wouldn't lead to a career as a professional athlete, and he decided writing and telling stories about them was the next coolest thing.

(Report Comment)
Heather Bermingham March 20, 2010 | 10:35 p.m.

Ever driven through a rainstorm without your windshield wipers on? No? Then yes, I am pretty proud they were invented in Buffalo. This would have been much funnier if this column hadn't been written a million times already.

(Report Comment)
Kevin Pritchard March 20, 2010 | 10:52 p.m.

"Buffalo is more proudly home of the Buffalo wing. But Buffalo residents, strangely, call them chicken wings, not Buffalo wings."

Grammar aside, this has to be one of the most ignorant things I have ever read. They are called chicken wings because they are the wings...of chickens. People outside of Buffalo call them "Buffalo wings" because Buffalo has turned them into a national treat. Think "Philly Cheesesteak" or "Chicago Pizza". Nobody thinks the pizza is made from "Chicagos" and nobody should think wings are made from "Buffalos," unless you are Jessica Simpson.

In the end Alex, you are a young man just entering J-School. Missouri is one of the finest you can attend, and you will learn your craft there. One of the things you may find as you look back is that you wrote things that were not up to your standards when you graduated, or when you got a job, or when you became a 20-year veteran reporter.

I suspect this will be one of those times.

All that being said, I will still cheer for Mizzou tomorrow thanks to the close friendship I have with a Missouri J-school grad living and working here in Buffalo. You know Buffalo, right? The city that is currently hosting your team, students and alums?

(Report Comment)
John McCall March 20, 2010 | 10:57 p.m.

I find Mr. Bower's comments even more insulting that the tool of a poor journalism student they hired for this article.

1. These aren't jokes as you call them. They are insults and poorly written an executed. Now does insult comedy have a long tradition starting well before Don Rickles and endure past current "Queen of Mean", Lisa Lampeanelli? It surely does...but these and other insult comics have a life history of examples to draw from giving their jokes some form of credence. Your chosen author is a college junior with more life experience. To have such a person purposely demean the City of Buffalo for some laughs as you state is wrong.

2. This kid's whole article is an unjustified baseless personal attack which took little time researching. The fact that you would allow such a poorly written and researched article be run show a serious lack of professionalism. So when people respond in life fashion, you place the onus on them? Well, if you're gonna start a pi**ing contest, don't be upset when your opponent brings a bigger gun.

3. Things they might not know? Missourian's don't know about wings and the Bills loosing 4 Superbowls? The comments about how we celebrate our "prized" food sound like we're the only place in the country that celebrates a food item in such a fashion. From this article I presume that all readers of the Missourian know many of the positive things about Buffalo, but are not informed of the few things that the author spent 5 minutes on Google looking up as those are the things he felt were amusing to focus on. Can I assume from this that your readers don't know how to complete a Google or Wikipedia search?

4. An example ... When talking about the invention of the windshield wiper, the author ends his particualt blurb with the overly sarcastic , "Buffalonians must be so proud." Where's the joke? I see the insult...I guess this "reasonable person" fails to see the joke.

I could go on and on about how in poor taste this article and especially your justification for it happens to be, but I think you get the point.

The bottom line is that I demand a formal apology from you, the author of the article, and the editor in charge of this newspaper. The author showed incredibly poor taste. You show incredibly poor judgment in your attempt to justify the article as did the editorial staff that allowed it to run. Past the extra clicks this column received, the individuals in charge of the Missourian showed poor business judgment by now monitoring their enterprise closely enough. I demand that this apology be issued on the front page of the webpage by close of business tomorrow.

Nothing like this ever seems to happen at the Buffalo News. Then again, they hire University of Missouri GRADUATES. (Now see that's an insult where a reasonable person can find the humor contained within it.)

(Report Comment)
Alex Bauer March 20, 2010 | 10:59 p.m.

I like how the link is 5 things to know about buffalo. Way to count.

Let's be honest people. The real issue isn't what some 18 year old freshman with no business being in the world of journalism thinks. It's that The Missourian has standards so low, they actually published it.

(Report Comment)
Melissa Zablotny March 20, 2010 | 11:00 p.m.

wow I learned a lot from this article, like that you know how to use Google and that you can't figure out how to match your url to the name of your article.

Before you bash our city why not spend some time here.

(Report Comment)
Alex Bauer March 20, 2010 | 11:06 p.m.

What is this google you speak of Melissa?

Looks pretty plagiarized from wikipedia to me.

(Report Comment)
Kevin Pritchard March 20, 2010 | 11:11 p.m.

And to Mr. Bowers, the editor, who wrote that the purpose of the article "was intended to introduce our readers to things they might not know about Buffalo and tell some jokes while we did it," I offer the following small bit of advice:

Don't make the subhead and first paragraph so offensive. Lines such as "The city on the unattractive shore of Lake Erie" and "Known as one of America’s most depressing cities," which were both written very early in the article, pretty much show the direction your article is taking. Coming back in comments and suggesting it is otherwise or "In short, these were jokes," is weak at best. It was meant to offend, and is beneath the reputation of your institution.

(Report Comment)
Scott then March 20, 2010 | 11:22 p.m.

What a joke this guy is...

And from a place that boasts....ummm...hmmm... yeah that's what I thought, I can't come up with anything either.

When you go to NYC, do you ask for NY style Pizza? Nope.
When you go to Ireland, do you ask for an Irish Whisky? Nope.
And the last time I was in Philly, I didn't have to ask for a Philly cheese steak to get what I wanted.

So guess I wouldn't call it a Buffalo wing, since no where else have I found them that claims to have initiated the food.

And I guess the NCAA likes it here as well... let's see.. NCAA here 4 times in 10 years, for Basketball, NCAA here at least once for the Frozen Four Hockey, IIHF World Junior Championships, NCAA Track and Field Finals. What have you had in your city?

Come talk to the rest of us dumb, rust belt living, fat food eating, alcoholic hockey fans next time you visit somewhere without checking out the area first.

(Report Comment)
Greg Bowers March 20, 2010 | 11:29 p.m.

Let me be clear. The column was intended to be funny, not insulting.
Clearly, many of you didn’t find it funny and I am sorry about that.
I am also sorry that this discussion has been filled with personal attacks. You didn’t think the column was funny. I get it. It should be as simple as that, no?
One last thing: thank you to MMcmahon and Andrew Browne, two posters who took the time, and the opportunity, to tell me some things that I didn’t know about Buffalo.

Greg Bowers
Sports Editor/Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Alex Bauer March 20, 2010 | 11:31 p.m.

How seriously do you take plagiarism Mr. Bowers since 10, 8, 4, and 3 were almost cut and pasted directly from wikipedia with a few words changed?

(Report Comment)
Peter Farrell March 20, 2010 | 11:52 p.m.

Oh, btw.....U at Buffalo refused to play in the 1958 Tangerine Bowl, not Peach - because the powers that be wouldn't allow blacks to play there....

Saw the other "10 things" colums. Yes, they're humorous but they're directed toward an opponent of Missouri and not the host city. Huge difference, and that alone did a lot to create what this column has wrought.....

(Report Comment)
Michael Belanger March 21, 2010 | 12:08 a.m.

Greg ... can I call you Greg? You can call me Michael. We are trying to be nice and friendly, right? Perhaps even reasonable, as you say, since we certainly disagree about 'jokes' that start with "Known as one of America’s most depressing cities, Buffalo isn’t completely worthless". It might be much easier if you could simply point out which bits of the article you consider to be funny.

Was it the admitted fictional account of the origin of the city's name? Perhaps the mockery of a President born of poor parents in an actual log cabin? Or perhaps the incisively clever observation of how we should be proud of an innovative, successful company which relocated from the area? Very droll, especially during these economic times. Please, do tell me which were your favorites.

Your response is almost as offensive as the original, puerile article. I'm sure your basketball team will be sure to thank you later for publishing such a gratuitously insulting piece maligning their host city. If not, perhaps the Mountaineers will.

(Report Comment)
Alex Bauer March 21, 2010 | 12:35 a.m.

Missouri: The Show Me State, safe haven to exhibitionists everywhere!

Missouri: Less snow, more deadly tornadoes!

Missouri: Not even the best state starting with Miss!

Columbia, Missouri: Where clotheslines are illegal! (What are you supposed to hang yourself with for being stuck in Missouri?)

Missouri: Where oral sex is still illegal! (Yeesh, never going there)

(Report Comment)
Greg Bowers March 21, 2010 | 12:40 a.m.

Calling it a day, but before I do - I have to give credit where it's due. That last post is funny stuff.

Greg Bowers
Sports Editor/Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Keith Chambers March 21, 2010 | 12:41 a.m.

While I don't want to enter a pissing contest, and I certainly don't want to insult an entire region, I joined this website for the sole purpose to express my displeasure and disappointment with this article's writer and editor. I'm not even going to address the subject matter, because it doesn't even merit a discussion. I am going to ask the writer and editor one simple question.

"Do you think you are helping society?"

It's simple. Do you honestly think that you are contributing anything with this article? I've seen your cowering responses and you have yet to address the true issue. This piece offers nothing in terms of information. It offers no real satire. It offers no solutions. It only offers sophomoric barbs that are slightly out paced by the whimsical "Your mama" jokes bandied about in our youth.

I have seen more fluid writers in response to this drivel than anything that this article has postulated. Think for a second, there are fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, elderly and children that call Buffalo home. There are countless vets from Buffalo that have fought in wars that guarantee your freedom that you callously toss around everyday like a used napkin. During these tough times both nationally and internationally, we should be concentrating on positive solutions and establishing good will, not finding more wedges to place between us.

My suggestion, an apology would be in order to start with, but that is up to you. If you are so pride filled that you think you are above that and it is your right to tread on the pride of Buffalo, then do so, but do it at the risk of corroding your own soul. You might in fact try to do something that seems to have gone the way of the Dodo and do some investigative journalism. Try writing an article on the wonderment of the region. You may even surprise yourself.

Just my two Buffalo Nickels.......

(Report Comment)
John McCall March 21, 2010 | 2:02 a.m.

Dear Mr. Bower,

I really think you need to reread the article. If you don't see the lack of humor and taste, then I think you really need need to consider rethinking your career, or at least have someone hired at the "Missourian" who possess better judgment to guide you.

Not only does Mr. Ruppenthal a poor writer, but he apparently has a reading comprehension issue given what he claims as fact as how the City of Buffalo got it's name is a myth. Or the myth of how the beef on weck was created...another myth and this one Mr. Ruppenthal seems to alter to get tot he "Nickel and Dime" comment.

If he was posting this on his own blog, fine, but he's not. Maybe this is what passes for good opinion writing in Missouri, but in the rest of the country it doesn't.

You clearly know that you messed up here and did absolutely no checking on the article given the mistakes in it. I mean, if you read the article, did you think that the "skipping Frenchman" myth was how the city got its name?

The lines, "They're confused too.", "Buffaloians must be so proud.", and the "Nickel and dime city.", serve no purpose other than being derogatory with the last example a terrible attempt at a joke. They're unnecessary and it would seem that an editor worth is salt and caraway seeds would have marked up these statements.

To use the "in good fun" non-justification for not doing your job as a the sports editor of the news just poor.

Bob Saget trying to do family oriented comedy is more amusing than your writer.

(Report Comment)
Christian Shute March 21, 2010 | 2:16 a.m.

Dear Alex,

I have been a follower of your stories since the beginning of your career at the Missourian. While this may not have been your best work, previous articles and successes surpass this hiccup in the road to becoming a professional print journalist.

"When you make a mistake, don't look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power." - Hugh White

Do not be discouraged. Keep writing and keep your head held high.

"Thy high fame shall last..."


(Report Comment)
Thomas Wright March 21, 2010 | 2:25 a.m.

Mr Bowers:

You said, "I am also sorry that this discussion has been filled with personal attacks." Why does this surprise you when the original article, whether intended to be funny or not, was a "personal attack" on the City of Buffalo, and therefore its people?

I'm a little surprised that you couldn't foresee this reaction to the article.

-Thomas Wright

(Report Comment)
Pat Murray March 21, 2010 | 3:09 a.m.

The headline itself is misleading: "Ten Things you didn't know about Buffalo." Do you mean people in Missouri didn't know it snows in Buffalo? Or that Buffalo is where the Anchor Bar developed its recipe for wings? Or that the Bills lost four straight Super Bowls?

If it was supposed to be a humorous piece, it lacked two important elements: humor and originality.

If it was meant to be informational, the author should have tried to do some in-depth research, not rely on Wikipedia. Or is that what passes for research in Missouri?

(Report Comment)
Alex Gunz March 21, 2010 | 3:41 a.m.

Ok Buffalo, as a Canadian I understand being sensitive about people coming at you, slapping their thighs over lame cliches. You've gotten used to people assuming stupid things about you, and it rankles after a while, I get it. OMG snow jokes, LOL!!1

But you guys seriously need to lighten up. If you're going to get all bent out of shape every time some teenager bombs at telling a joke in a college paper then you are at the front of the line for an early grave. He tried to make a funny, he failed, sucks to be him. As the old saying goes, "dying is easy, comedy is hard." Roll your eyes, hold your head up high and get on with enjoying the basketball. Mizzou plays one of the most entertaining games in the NCAA, enjoy it!


"I learned the hard way that a good journalist does not cut corners, does not rely on hearsay and old, worn out cliches."

And yet you are singing the praises of the apparently canonized St. Russert, the king of softball insider beltway gossip? Wow. Just wow.

(Report Comment)
Peggy Marion March 21, 2010 | 8:24 a.m.

Mr. Lenz: Canada does not equal Buffalo. This was a longstanding Pandora's box unwittingly opened by a promising fledgling journalist whose editors should have had the wisdom to redirect him.

To my alma mater: This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for your Buffalo alumni to root for their team in their native city. I disagree with Mr. Bowers and his flippant response to this situation. This particular set of circumstances calls for a gracious act from somebody up high in the Mizzou administration.

To aggrieved Buffalonians: Please join my relatives at HSBC and root for the Tigers. They are an entertaining team, they usually are the underdogs, and they actually have a lot in common with you.


(Report Comment)
Kathi White March 21, 2010 | 8:58 a.m.

Add the author to the ever growing list of those who bash Buffalo, but have never been there. I am from Buffalo and have been to Missouri. This is what I took away from it;

1) They boast Home to the World's Biggest Rocking Chair.

2) There are 1-800 billboards on the highway urging you to call when you see wild boar running down the road.

3) Teenage parents wander aimlessly through Walmart only to return to their make shift RV's where they sleep in the parking lot.

4) Site seeing tip: Go to St. Robert where there's a green painted rock that looks like a frog. They put a Santa hat on it at Christmas. There's a full fledged frog crossing sign on the side of the road of this do not miss tourist attraction.

Yep. That was my trip to Misery.

(Report Comment)
aaron f March 21, 2010 | 9:34 a.m.

This is a really great article, very enlightening. I don't understand why a journalist at the city's largest newspaper would rip on the city that is hosting their college basketball team. I've been to some of the games and walked around downtown Buffalo and I am thankful that the Missourians I have met exhibit much more class than the author, editor and this newspaper. It was a funny piece though, I'll give you that. There's nothing like a snow joke about Buffalo. And 20% of your article dealt with chicken wings, man your good! I'm not sure why anyone would take offense to, "Known as one of America’s most depressing cities, Buffalo isn’t completely worthless".

(Report Comment)
Kate Holzemer March 21, 2010 | 9:44 a.m.

Here's a fun-fact about Buffalo that I bet you guys at the Columbia Missourian have already added to your list:

"Buffalonians have computers, and Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts, and we just LOVE linking to 'funny' articles about our fair city."

Enjoy the constructive criticism! Heh.

(Report Comment)
Sam Indeo March 21, 2010 | 10:20 a.m.

Great career move! Who would ‘boost’ their once promising future by insulting and denigrating an entire community of hard working honest people? This lost college child is spending his weekend isolated in a few square blocks of a vast area and thinks he is smart enough to judge these good people. It is astounding that an institute of higher learning would be represented by such an unqualified hack. Alex, put down the laptop, you do not possess the intelligence or ability to be a journalist.

(Report Comment)
Andrew Blank March 21, 2010 | 10:40 a.m.

How is it that so many of you Buffalo types have gotten hold of this page?

The fact that there are so many people from Buffalo on a Missouri college paper is extremely suspicious...

I suspect some Rock Choke fans around here...

Yup...Kansas folk...Sorry Sharon (pronounced like the girl's name) Collins couldn't beat Northern Iowa...So much for Billy Self being the best coach ever...Maybe you should take UNI's coach before Iowa does, haha

(Report Comment)
erik carrubba March 21, 2010 | 11:21 a.m.

Andrew blank we know about this site because this article was posted on sabres and bills message boards and got hundreds of responses.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 21, 2010 | 11:55 a.m.

It's obvious the posts by those at Buffalo were not fabrications by someone from Lawrence, Kansas. If they had been, every other word (when describing MU or the Missourian) would have been "hillbillies."

The Jayhawks do have a problem with Missouri geography: only one of the four University of Missouri System campuses is actually located in the Ozarks. Maybe being a "hillbilly" is more a state of mind.

Angry Naval Academy football fans also had no trouble managing to email the two Columbia newspapers last January.

(Report Comment)
joe korabek March 21, 2010 | 12:00 p.m.

Us buffalo types have been hearing about this terribly written article on several message boards. I believe it it is safe to say you are reading comments from the people of Buffalo, not Kansas!

(Report Comment)
Dan Sonnestine March 21, 2010 | 12:17 p.m.

First off, I think the people here lambasting Alex are dead wrong. He was a young journalist trying to be funny and creative in a story; he clearly wasn't intending to be hurtful to Buffalo or its people. So I think the people attacking him should just stop because he didn't attack any individual so why should you all attack him individually. Second, the main issue here seems to be on the editorial side. Where was the sports editor using editorial discretion? It seems he should have, assuming he actually read the story before publication, spiked the story or made drastic changes. I think that's the main problem here not the young reporter.

(Report Comment)
Tom Warhover March 21, 2010 | 12:24 p.m.

@ Dan Sonnestine: Sports editor Greg Bowers and I take full responsibility for the column. You're right: It should have been spiked or rewritten.

We screwed up. The reasons don't matter.

But please take your anger out on us, not Alex.

Tom Warhover
executive editor

(Report Comment)
David Gadzo March 21, 2010 | 12:48 p.m.

Andrew Blank,

Or maybe because Columbia is near 3 Military bases (one being a Guard base in Jeff City). There are many Buffalo natives living here, and a lot of them are retired in the area (like my father).

(Report Comment)
joe smith March 21, 2010 | 12:52 p.m.


(Report Comment)
Tommy D. March 21, 2010 | 1:03 p.m.

All things being equal... this thread delivered. :thumbsup:

(Report Comment)
Alex Bauer March 21, 2010 | 1:25 p.m.

Why yes, we are proud of our residents.

(Report Comment)
erik carrubba March 21, 2010 | 2:41 p.m.

Great video alex bauer. Here's another great video about buffalo with our beloved buffalonian tim russert and other natives.

(Report Comment)
Alex Bauer March 21, 2010 | 2:55 p.m.

Haha, Erik, awesome. "How great is it that girls do it?"


(Report Comment)
nathan westphal March 21, 2010 | 3:09 p.m.

Here is the thing: the Executive Editor feels that people condemn this article for good reason. If that is truly the case, then why does the article continue to be freely available on the Internet...or anywhere else for that matter?

I suggest that you take the article, if you can call it that, off the Internet right now. Cut your losses before a lot more people find out about it and start judging YOU, because, while the misguided student wrote this crap, YOU are the ones that keep it available to be read. You may as well have written the article yourselves as long as you keep it up, trite disclaimer aside. You are only hurting yourselves and your own reputations along with the student's, who clearly made a mistake by writing what he did.

It's not a popular piece, if you haven't seen that by now. In fact, it's ignorant, offensive, and the writer couldn't have gone further out of his way to put down the city of Buffalo.

What's next, racial slurs or something? It would amount to the same thing in many people's eyes, believe it or not.

Seriously, this kid's name is known. Do him a favor and take this down. Do yourselves a favor by not being connected to this uninformed fluff crap. Your expressed "remorse" about this article is completely empty until you remove it.

It's not a huge deal to me, but some people take it seriously; if people didn't, then a lot of you would be out of a job. Think about that before you consider those that overreact.

I'm from Buffalo, by the way, and I joined this site just to say this. I don't figure on coming back. This piece was just stupid and has not a single redeeming quality. Do yourself a favor and put it where it belongs.

(Report Comment)
Wesley Virginia March 21, 2010 | 8:08 p.m.

I think the obvious was missed by this young writer. Just one more thing to add to his list of unknowns for Buffalo.

#11- That the fans at HSBC Arena would bear witness to the end of Mizzou's season. Better luck next time, thanks for coming.

(Report Comment)
erik carrubba March 21, 2010 | 9:11 p.m.


(Report Comment)
Andrew Blank March 21, 2010 | 10:40 p.m.

Joe Korabek: Could you possibly post the links to said message boards...not saying I don't believe you...I just would like to further discuss the article there

Ellis Smith: I'm sorry to hear about the trashing of such a wonderful institution as the Naval Academy. We should thank all members of the armed forces for their service. But, I am unaware of the articles which you reference. Could you possibly provide them for my perusing?

(Report Comment)
David Gadzo March 22, 2010 | 1:27 a.m.

No problem Andrew Blank....

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 22, 2010 | 6:21 a.m.

@ Andrew Blank

Articles concerning the football bowl game and Naval Academy football fans are available in the archives of both Columbia newspapers: the Columbia Missourian and the Columbia Daily Tribune. You need only search the first two weeks of January. Reader comments should be attached to the articles.

I didn't attend the bowl game, but my daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters were present - as Navy fans. They enjoyed the win, but not what followed it.

The Columbia Missourian newspaper had no part in creating that particular situation. None.

Joe Smith and Wesley Virginia, you're cracking me up. Come visit our campus (6,100 students) sometime and we'll have a barbecue. We love to barbecue: beef, pork, chicken, fish, shrimp, rattlesnake, Truman the Tiger...

As I said above, there's a thin line between being privileged and being spoiled rotten. Razor thin.

(Report Comment)
Krysta Brown March 22, 2010 | 6:39 a.m.

I just have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the article.

I felt it was just as news commentary should be, especially just before a big game: informative, entertaining and refreshingly tongue-in-cheek.

However, one thing appears to be missing from the list of things I didn’t know about Buffalo:

11. The inability of some Buffalonians (& Co.) to take a joke.

Honestly, what a silly thing to get worked up about. Stop taking yourselves so seriously. It’s not like everyone from Missouri (or Arkansas, or Texas or pretty much anywhere in the Midwest, for that matter) hasn’t heard their share of “redneck” and “hillbilly” jokes, but let’s not make a mountain out of a molehill. Get a sense of humor. Sheesh.

-Krysta Brown, MU Journalism student

(Report Comment)
Scott Swan March 22, 2010 | 8:20 a.m.

I was born and raised in a suburb of Buffalo until I was 25 in which I joined the Army and now reside in Tennesse, but will be moving back to the area in the next couple months.

Just caught wind of this article and can't believe how someone from another city who has never even been to Buffalo can critque it the way this article has.

I have friends from all over the world in which I have had the pleasure of bringing with me to our great town. Everyone of them has come out of our city with a great experience and has contacted me in wanting to return again and again.

So for your elementary jouranlistic view on a subjuct that you obviously did not research before writting; know that people not from here do love our city and all it has to offer.

We have one of the best night life entertainment venues there is.

As for our sports yeah we lost 4 in a row we get it. How many times has your hometown been to a superbowl? Oh whats that? No sports team to play in the Superbowl? We made it right so we were the second best team in the NFL for 4 years in a row that is better than 31 other teams (not perfect but pretty good), and as far as the local NCAA Tournament it has been sold out throughout the Tournament in Buffalo. So now we switch to Hockey (GO SABRES!)

I have traveled alot of the U.S. and I have never been anywhere as Culturally diversed as Buffalo. We have Festivals for EVERYTHING! just to name a few (the italian festival, the Polish festival, The German festival, The renaissance festival, the Art festival, The taste of Buffalo, Old Home days, Buffalo wing festival, and so on and so on.

I know you are in Missouri and I am sorry that you could not find anything better to write about, but hey I guess we can't expect that much from an 18 Year old. What I would be more aggrivated about is that your editor would publish an article about a city that you have not researched or visited EVER.

If your goal in your article was to get a whole town in an uproar well then you succeeded my child, but now you know we stick together through everything and I have not seen to many people taking your back in this situation.

So in closing: To my fellow Buffalonians I will be home from doing my Military obligation in May and look forward to rooting for our Buffalo sports teams and enjoying everything our great city has to offer and I can tell you that we have the best people in the world cause no matter what we triumph together and drown our sorrows together, because we have all been through a whole hell of a lot.

(Report Comment)
Peter Farrell March 22, 2010 | 8:30 a.m.


Anyone can take a joke if it's in good taste and funny.

This was niether, hence the reaction. Understood? Thanks.

(Report Comment)
Keith Chambers March 22, 2010 | 9:02 a.m.


Apparently, you have just as much to learn about this episode as Alex does.

This is akin to me being invited over to your house for dinner and then commenting on the cellulite on your legs, the hair on your upper lip, how you over cooked the chicken, etc. It's in poor taste. If you can't figure out why, talk to someone on the faculty, they seem to understand why this article is in poor taste.

If Alex is your boyfriend, I commend you for coming to his defense, but he is wrong in this situation. If he isn't you boyfriend, then you just need more education.

(Report Comment)
erik carrubba March 22, 2010 | 10:08 a.m.

Scott swan Thank you for your service to our country and I wish you a safe return back to buffalo. Go sabres! and Go Bills!

(Report Comment)
Wesley Virginia March 22, 2010 | 10:24 a.m.

@ The editors and writer...Your fellow MU alum, Jerry Sullivan on your apology. Fast forward to 14:15.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 22, 2010 | 11:12 a.m.

Thanks for the information (the reference), Wesley Virginia. "Everybody has the right to be stupid." Hard to argue with that thought.

(Report Comment)
Peggy Marion March 22, 2010 | 11:21 a.m.

Normally, I would agree with Mr. Sullivan's sentiment. But he is wrong about this situation. Ultimately, the editors needed to protect a promising kid because they failed him in the first place. Mr. Sullivan, I'm sure, doesn't recognize the complexity of the events that took place and the reason why the editors' decision was ultimately correct.

(Report Comment)
Michael Bushnell March 23, 2010 | 8:56 a.m.

As another Missourian reporter and a friend of Alex, I can say for certainty to all you who have flame warred him that he is a really genuinely good guy and a fantastic writer. Sometimes stuff doesn't always work out; if any of you responders actually have jobs (11-plus percent unemployment in western New York), who amongst you can honestly say that every piece of work you've done in your field has been 100 percent perfect? So he erred, but so do we all. Everyone's home town gets made fun of- most people just laugh it off and move on, because they know their town in good for what its worth. Alex is a great writer and an even better person; he made tongue-in-cheek fun about a city. And besides: if he's such a worthless writer, why are some of y'all spending hours coming back to this page to comment over and over again?

(Report Comment)
matt owens March 23, 2010 | 10:46 a.m.

@Michael Bushnell-way to throw another cheap shot. So our unemployment rate hovers around 11%, yours is 9.5%. Seems like we are all in a whole hell of a lot of trouble. People do make mistakes at work, Michael, but not many of us get to stand and preach from a pulpit, but those who do should be held to a higher standard. Your friend and colleague, Alex, has a bit of a Rush Limbaugh syndrome, an inability to think before speaking. If this was "tongue-in-cheek" mockery, this message board would have died down long ago, trust me. Alex and the editors chose to take this to a new level of outright blasphemy, this piece is a sucker punch. It is unfortunate for this paper, and this school, that the article is written with sub-Willis McGahee intellect. You have represented yourself well.

(Report Comment)
Patrick Fallon March 23, 2010 | 11:47 a.m.

@Michael Bushnell:
RE: "if any of you responders actually have jobs (11-plus percent unemployment in western New York)"



(Report Comment)
Mike Solakian March 23, 2010 | 1:00 p.m.

To all the Alex bashers out there, take a look at this.

So you all say he is a "newbie" or a horrible writer. Now, while he didn't have the time (or resources) to fly out to Buffalo and interview every resident he could find before writing this article, did any of you all read ANY of his other articles before calling him a horrible writer. If you took any time at all, you would see he is a fantastic writer for his age (20, not 18) and he was placed in the top 10 for his field. That's pretty impressive.

Just because the humor of this article didn't meet eye to eye with apparently most of the readers doesn't mean the journalistic integrity and future of Alex should be slaughtered. I find it hard to believe that everyone who has made comments on here (negative and positive) have never done something that everyone else seemed to hate. It happens, but just like you bash Alex for not getting enough context for his article, I ask where your context was for saying the things you have. Read some of his other articles (Missouri guard J.T. Tiller dishes out his trademark defense) is my personal favorite.

For Mizzou.


(Report Comment)
wood y March 23, 2010 | 1:56 p.m.


(Report Comment)
nathan westphal March 23, 2010 | 2:08 p.m.

@Mike Solakian - If I read a terrible book by an author, that doesn't exactly inspire me to read another.

The thing for me is trying to figure out WHY the article was written in smack-talk fashion. Buffalo was HOSTING Alex's team; our teams weren't playing each other. Why randomly slam your host? I think that's the major thing. If you are going to poke fun, be funny, and try not to come across as completely condescending. At the very least, make sense.

It just goes to show you how much Alex actually knows about Buffalo, because the #1 thing that he didn't know about Buffalo was not to piss us off. He learned that one the hard way.

The editors dropped the ball, too. They contradict themselves by apologizing for the poor taste of the article, yet their actions (keeping it up on the Internet) say that they still somehow stand by it, as thought they can have it both ways.

Look, Alex might very well be a great kid, but his reputation has taken a major hit here. He's judged by this alone by a lot of people, fair or not. Make the wrong "joke" to the wrong person in the wrong situation, and you might just get punched. Not threatening him, just sayin'. There is such a thing as bad publicity, too. This was poorly thought out and written.

Bringing up 11 people that died in a blizzard just had me rolling on the floor laughing. Putting down Buffalo for being the place where the windshield wiper was invented was just downright strange. Chicken wings and "beef on weck" happen to be great, with or without girls in tight shorts or whatever. Bringing up our low median income and using abandoned grain elevators as a way to convey how far the city has fallen financially is quite the hoot. Three legs on the Buffalo on Indian-headed nickels in 1937? Really? By the way, there used to be Buffaloes in the area before they were all slaughtered. Maybe slaughtering of Buffaloes is funny, too. Or maybe we should have changed our city's name after the Buffalo was wiped out. The list goes on. The opening paragraph set the tone: "Known as one of America’s most depressing cities, Buffalo isn’t completely worthless. The city on the unattractive shore of Lake Erie..."

My only hope is that the backlash this kid sees stays to a bare minimum. Good luck to him controlling his facebook page. I'm sure he's being attacked there by prideful people with misplaced anger.

To me, this article wasn't worth the time to read, much less gives a reason to say so much about it. What can I say? I'm bored enough to explain my take on the controversy about it. It's not worth the controversy. It's worthy of the garbage bin. Not a good read.

College is a place to learn, granted. I hope Alex has learned a thing or two here, preferably ten. Maybe he can write a paper about ten things that he's learned by actually submitting this piece. I seriously think that would be a good idea. Make him think about it.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 23, 2010 | 2:59 p.m.

Having read all the posts on this subject so far our Buffalo friends should understand that University of Missouri System consists of four campuses and that your complaints concern just one of them.

In less than ninety -90- days we have seen three major gaffes that embarrassed University of Missouri System, and all are traceable to the same campus.

Hell of a way to begin 2010, don't you think?

(Report Comment)
jon b March 23, 2010 | 3:10 p.m.

@ Mike Solakian & Michael Bushnell:

Sure people make mistakes. Instead of covering up those mistakes with more stupid comments BUSHNELL, you're supposed to man up and apologize. Has anyone heard the words "I'm sorry" yet? From anybody? Sure, you screwed up. He wrote a dumb paper. A few dudes named Mike are trying to defend their friend. Just shut up and say you are sorry for what you wrote. It takes a bigger man to admit fault than to dodge the situation with his previous credentials.

(Report Comment)
Matthew Cavanah March 23, 2010 | 3:12 p.m.

@Nathan Westphal
It should be worth noting that the Missourian, to my knowledge, has never once removed an article from its website for any reason. They look at it as a way to be accountable and transparent. If they screw up, they're going to leave it up for people to see. Taking it down doesn't make it go away.

(Report Comment)
nathan westphal March 23, 2010 | 6:13 p.m.

@Matthew Cavanah
How many times has the Missourian said that many people have condemned an article of theirs for good reason and admit said article make cheap shots, was in poor taste, and came across as mean-spirited?

Look, I'm all for freedom of the press, but having heard those responsible say these things about the article leaves me with zero sympathy for the backlash they get after they leave it up for untold numbers to discover in the future. In other words, nasty letters are probably being written by people right Alex, the editors, the college, etc.

Taking it down might serve as some sort of damage control; that's all I'm saying. This is especially true after the half-assed "apology." Everybody involved looks bad. They should never have apologized if they totally wanted to own up to the article. You don't hear Don Imus' "nappy-headed hos" statement on his PREVIOUS network's website, do you? He was trying to be funny, too.

"We're sorry, but we won't take it back?" What kind of mixed signal is that?

Let them do what they want, but don't be shocked about what people say about them. Those nasty responses to the people behind the article shouldn't be censored, either, all things being equal, should they? If anybody says that nasty things shouldn't be said in response, they are hypocrites...after all, we can all claim to be just "kidding around" as well. Keep in mind that I use the term "we" loosely. I haven't e-mailed anybody involved and don't plan to.

(Report Comment)
David Steele March 23, 2010 | 7:28 p.m.

Wow what an ignorant rant this was. I can't even figure out what the purpose of this story was. It was not funny. It was not a fun slap at an athletic oponent. It was just dull mean spirited drivel.

Normally crud like this is written from a position of insecurity and that is pretty much the vibe this writer is putting out.

(Report Comment)
Rob Weir March 23, 2010 | 7:34 p.m.


The simple reason we don't plan to take it down is because that doesn't erase it. It's archived on various search engines, is accessible on RSS readers and will stay that way for as long as the Web (or at least Google) is around.

So "unpublishing it" doesn't serve any purpose other than shutting off debate on it. Matt Cavanah is spot on in his comment.

Rob Weir
Director of Digital Development

(Report Comment)
David Steele March 23, 2010 | 8:15 p.m.

Wow what an ignorant rant this was. I can't even figure out what the purpose of this story was. It was not funny. It was not a fun slap at an athletic oponent. It was just dull mean spirited drivel.

Normally crud like this is written from a position of insecurity and that is prettymuch the vibe this writer is putting out.

(Report Comment)
Evan Hamilton March 23, 2010 | 9:05 p.m.

I understand a lot of you are angry about the article, but I'm appalled how you all would personally attack the writer. You're that angry? This article did significant damage to you? I need you all to calm down and move on with your lives. He probably sees he made a mistake. You don't need to try and hurt him. When he wrote it, I'm sure he wasn't thinking how can I make Buffalo look bad. This is a commentary that's been done for a while. If you know it's not true, stop reading it and forget about it. I'm sure you have more important things in your life to concern yourself about. How about you get up in arms about things that matter? Like Racism, Heterosexism, Classism, Sexism, Unemployment, the hungry, the sick? Some real issues. Women just got dismissed in the Healthcare reform bill that got passed. Go comment about that. Please. Let this go.

(Report Comment)
nathan westphal March 23, 2010 | 10:09 p.m.

@Rob Weir
Would you erase it if you could? Just asking, especially considering the apology. You know as well as I that you could take certain measures if you wanted to. Most of the people that find out about this tripe were linked to it by this address, which I'm sure you have control over. If you want to ride it out, that's your choice, too, but don't play helpless about it; that insults my intelligence and digs yourself deeper into the hole of credibility, or lack thereof. I'm sure the worst is over...I surely hope, anyway.

@Evan Hamilton
Slamming the place where you live hits as close to home as any of the other relevant subjects you brought up to some people. It hits home literally. An ignorant article brings people's dander up, so to speak. People will get over it, but I doubt a bunch of those people will forgive and forget. I don't agree with those people either, but the fact remains.

It's no good no matter how you look at it.

I'd like to hear what Alex truly thinks about this right now. Granted, and like I've said before, it's become a bigger deal than it should be...a much bigger deal.

Have him write another article about Buffalo based off this. It could do some good or even be fun...if he works with a comedian that is actually funny. I don't think Andrew "Dice" Clay has enough tact for that task. Seriously, see if he can do it. I can't think of a much better real (or virtual) life learning process. But, please, somebody check his work beforehand. If he can pull this new assignment off, I think he can make a lot of friends out of what were "enemies." Buffalonians DO have a great sense of humor.

I'm not talking about a personal apology, but something funny or ironic about this story. A little self-deprecating humor wouldn't hurt.

Just an idea, because, hey, I don't hate you.

(Report Comment)
Michael Guinn March 24, 2010 | 12:08 a.m.

I think it's entirely hypocritical for anyone who got offended at this article to call Alex immature. I feel like it's just as immature to let yourself get so worked up over a pointless commentary. Whether he's been to Buffalo or not, there's an Amendment somewhere that says he can say whatever he wants about the place. Brush it off, no one wronged you in any serious way. All of your limbs are intact.

Furthermore, the bigger disappointment here is the Missourian, specifically the apology written by Mr. Warhover. Since when do newspapers apologize for the articles they publish outside of incorrect information and slander? You have a right to publish what you published, and if people have a problem with it, then it's their problem. No one is forcing them to read this.

(Report Comment)
David Steele March 24, 2010 | 12:21 a.m.


All those subjects you mentioned are important and should be discussed. But by your standard there should not even be a sports section of the paper or sports for that matter until we solve all world problems.

The problem with this story is that it is not humorous and is mean spirited starting with the first sentence. Based on that alone there is no question his intent was to demean the city of Buffalo. And for what reason? People in Buffalo may know their city to be better than the perception presented here. The problem is people around the country do not know that. Perpetuation of a negative stereotyped image like this hurts the buffalo area's ability to complete and grow its economy. You should know that this story IS a personal attack on each citizen of Buffalo and they have a right to make their feelings known.

Most of the comments I have read here are critiques of the story and its quality as an editorial piece. If the writer cannot handle that he needs to refrain from putting his opinions into the public realm.

I think the people of Buffalo are not so thin skinned that they cannot take a joke but this story really does not qualify in the humor category.

(Report Comment)
nathan westphal March 24, 2010 | 2:11 a.m.

@Michael Guinn
Isn't there an Amendment that says that WE can say whatever WE want to say about Alex as well? It's the same Amendment you are talking about, no? Why do YOU get so worked up about what WE say? Are all your limbs intact? Don't get too hypocritical of our so-called hypocricy, because you are guilty of what you accuse others of being, which is the very definition of the word "hypocricy." See how that works both ways? Thanks for playing.

Freedom of speech is a great thing.

I suggest you go down to some ghetto and tell the Afro-Americans there why you should be allowed to call them the "N-word" in all good fun. Tell them the reasons why afros are inferior to "proper hair." This, or some other bizarre putdown, should get a chuckle. Maybe they'll get over it right away because, after all, you were just kidding. This may be an extreme illustration of my point, but I think you get the idea.

Kicking somebody while they are down is pretty funny, although it's funnier when you are doing the kicking, apparently...not that I would know. Don't play the game if you can't take the consequences. I hope Alex reads all these comments, because he really needs to. He also needs to go to Buffalo. It's a great place.

Also, I agree with you that Missourian has handled this badly. They probably weren't prepared for it, but that's no excuse.

@David Steele
Couldn't have said it better myself.

(Report Comment)
Ron Trettle March 24, 2010 | 9:28 a.m.

I apologize for coming to this conversation so late. But, as a person new to Buffalo I feel I need to chime in.

I have been working on a very large multi-year contract which takes me to Buffalo (from Chicago) for extended periods. When first informed of the prospect of living in Buffalo I was not happy. I was prone to the same uniformed stereotypes as this young writer. I think you can see where this is going. To my surprise Buffalo has been a wonderful discovery!

My family has joined me in the city for several long periods of time including a fabulous summer on Lake Erie in Canada last year. Contrary to the opening remarks in this story Lake Erie is a beautiful natural wonder. Buffalo sits directly on this massive lake with views out to the horizon. Did I mention that Niagara Falls was just 30 minutes away? Last summer we stayed for 5 weeks in a beach cottage right on the lake shore - in Canada!. It was a 20 minute drive to downtown and had spectacular views across the water to the twinkling city lights. It was the BEST summer we ever spent together as a family. This last Christmas break we had a family gathering at Ellicottville a gorgeous little ski town 45 minutes drive south of Buffalo. Normally I have spent my time in an area of the City called Allentown. It is a beautiful historic neighborhood filled with Victorian cottages and mansions. The streets are lively with shops and restaurants.

I could go on an on about how nice this place is. I don't want to sugar coat things either. Buffalo has had a prolonged period of economic stagnation and fight to the suburbs has left behind many ruined neighborhoods As is the case in many cities. But, this story did not focus on that it was not informative and did not seem to have any purpose other than to put down a place and its people for no apparent gain. This has been hashed over in multiple comments above so I don't need to go on. I know that this is a challenging time for news papers, I fear for our future if this is representative of the type of journalism we can expect as papers decline. As a commenter said above I was once influenced by the intellectually lazy stereotypes that are common with regard to Buffalo New York (and many other places) No longer is that the case.

(Report Comment)
Peggy Marion March 24, 2010 | 11:39 a.m.

Mr. Trettle: Wow, you have nailed it. Buffalo has gorgeous summers. Many people spend their as much time as they can outdoors.

If you are lucky enough to have a Canadian cottage, then you can live in two countries at the same time with a short commute between your permanent and temporary homes.

When I was growing up, many middle class people owned boats and used them most of the summer. A lawyer friend of my brother's, who is legally blind, lived on one during the warm months. He loved the sounds and the aromas of the river and the boat and visceral feel of the sunlight and the wind.

At least twice a month, we would go to the Falls. What a breathtaking and haunting place. The Falls and the University of Missouri still dominate many of my dreams. They are both awesome.

In the fall, you would root for the Bills, and enjoy one of the few sports venues in the country that was still affordable and friendly to the working class. If it snowed in the winter, your life went on. You simply allotted extra time for the commute.

That "can-do" spirit was evident during the recent tournament, as well. Recognizing its economic potential and the opportunity to win friends for the city, Buffalo worked hard to improve upon its prior NCAA hosting experiences. From what I hear anecdotally, its citizens were successful. They brought the city's patented personal touch to the events and enriched the fun for many visitors.

Hopefully Buffalo will be picked as a host again. Millions more will be pumped into a desperate economy. Everybody will have a blast. And if the circumstances are right, Missouri will play there and win the round without any distractions.

One can dream...

(Report Comment)
Michael Guinn March 24, 2010 | 8:15 p.m.


You're absolutely right you can say what you want about Alex, and it would be hypocritical of me to be offended about what you are saying about him.

I'm not offended. At no point did I freak out over the comments in the manner that some did over this article. In fact I laughed out loud multiple times. And no, I would not go to the ghetto and use the N-word. That's just dangerous. That doesn't mean I don't think it's ridiculous to get offended by a word.

I'm not going to say there's nothing you could say that would offend me. There are some things you don't joke about obviously. Not because of the law, but just in being a socially capable person. Taking a dig at another city however is not an off-limits topic. Maybe if this were "The 10 Things You Didn't Know About Abortion" I could understand people getting offended.

I would also like to say I regret missing the first time around that the post written by Jeff_Pijinowski, who spent a paragraphing giving us his editing credentials, has two mistakes in his post. I'm not usually one to use grammar or spelling as a tool arguing over the internet, but now I'm not all that concerned that he would have thrown out Alex's commentary if he were one of his students anymore.

(Report Comment)
Peggy Marion March 24, 2010 | 9:11 p.m.

To Mr. Guinn: Pssshhh...I will trade you Mr. Pijinowski's errors, my careless typos and all the other mistakes made by the article's critics for your "who spent a paragraphing giving us his editing credentials." It means nothing. Mr. Pijinowski was addressing the very real issue of editorial judgment in a complex, real-life world. You are avoiding the topic by setting up a straw man.

(Report Comment)
Michael Guinn March 24, 2010 | 10:58 p.m.


Haha good catch. And yes obviously I know it means nothing I was just pointing out an irony.

(Report Comment)
Chrös McDougall March 24, 2010 | 11:41 p.m.

If anything, the commenters on this story have only made me think less of Buffalo.

(Report Comment)
Blaine Grider March 25, 2010 | 10:51 p.m.

Full disclosure: I'm a former Missourian staffer.

Regardless, I have no choice but to agree wholeheartedly with my former Maneater editor, Mr. McDougall.

Get a life, Buffalo.

(Report Comment)
Jillian Doe March 26, 2010 | 11:00 a.m.

reading through the comments i have come to this conclusion. people from buffalo get this mad about cheap shots because in their daily life they have a reasonable expectation that perfect strangers will be nice to them. the reverse can be said of those who don't understand our reaction. i never knew how true the label "city of good neighbors" was until i left.

(Report Comment)
Peter Farrell March 26, 2010 | 2:06 p.m.

10 things about Missouri, for those not familiar.

1. Lost a football game in 1990 to Colorado because a sideline official forgot to change to down marker after a play in the dying seconds. The Buffs used the "fifth down" to score the game winning touchdown on the game's final play. Colorado went on to win a share of the national championship.

2. Lost a football game in 1997 to #1 Nebraska when the 'Huskers scored a touchdown on the final play of regulation on a pass caught after being kicked(illegally) by a teammate. No matter, it counted and Nebraska won in overtime. Nebraska went on to win a share of the national championship.

3. Has been to the NCAA Tournament 23 times in their history and never once reached the Final Four. At times Mizzou has been called the best basketball program never to have advanced that far.

You see, Buffalo? We have plenty in common with Mizzou, like heartbreak in sports and the refs screwing us over.

4. Missouri had an amazing season on the gridiron in 2007, they went 11-1 in the regular season, were ranked #1 in the country after defeating arch rival Kansas in "The Border Showdown". Then they lost the Big XII title game and watched as they were shunned from the BCS while teams like Kansas got in.

5. 1980's Missouri basketball star Derrick Chievous was nicknamed "Band-Aid" because he always wore one, regardless of whether he needed to or not.

6. Kansas and Missouri have a ferocious rivalry, perhaps going back as far as the foundations of the state of Kansas which was marred by acts of violence by pro and anti slavery forces attempting to influence the soon to be state into either allowing or prohibiting slavery. The conflict is commonly known as "Bleeding Kansas" and anti slavery forces won out when Kansas was admitted as a state in 1861.

7. Yep, no buffalo in Buffalo. And no tigers in Missouri, so where did Missouri get that name for their athletic teams? Apparently it was named after an armed guard of local Missourians who banded together to prevent guerilla attacks in pre Civil War Columbia which tended to occur in other smaller towns at the time.

8. Tigers don't have antlers. Yet "The Antlers" is the name of the student section at Mizzou basketball games.

9. Why the "Show Me" state? stories vary, one dates a Missouri Congressman using the phrase in a speech at the turn of the 20th century, another is that mining workers were brought in from another state during a strike and constantly had to be shown how to do the work in Missouri.

Speaking of wings from the column above - Show Me's in St. Louis. Good stuff.

10. Missouri defeated Buffalo 42-21 on the football field on September 20th, 2008, does no one remember this? Maybe Alex's "10 Things" column was just a year and half past deadline?

(Report Comment)
George Steele March 27, 2010 | 9:23 a.m.


That is quite understandable. Not so coincidentally, we have a much lower opinion of the School of Journalism at Missouri as well.


Full disclosure. I am not a former writer from Missouri. I have no choice but to agree wholeheartedly with the my fellow Buffalonians in that the people from Missouri have not represented themselves very well in this situation. I would echo your advice back in your direction.

Stay classy Mizzou!

Side note to the author. Courage to respond accordingly is much more admirable than hiding behind editors and alum.

(Report Comment)
Tony Notaro March 27, 2010 | 9:50 a.m.

I was born and raised in Miami Florida. I met a beautiful woman from Cheektowaga (suburb of Buffalo) 11 years ago and married her 4 years ago. She has a heart of gold and her entire family about 100 strong are the nicest people you could ever lay eyes on.

I hated Buffalo because of the Dolphins, Bills rivalery and did so up to the time my wife brought me to visit family. You can be anywhere in the city in 20 minutes, you can be in the country or in a very beautiful ski resort town called Ellicoitville. Just so you know if you take a trip to Ellicoutvile you will see Bison, unless I was on an LSD trip they were about 100 yards from me. Look and you will find.....
There are many great things to do in Buffalo. Ride jet boats down the Niagra rapids. Take a house boat trip up or down the erie canal and visit all the little towns on the way.. favorite was Medina NY. Vist Bison stadium probable better then most major league stadiums. Go to a Sabres game passion is ammazing and never seen in all my life in Miami FL.. I attendade my first Buffal vs. Miami game this year and plans are already in motion to rent a motor home and take in next years game with all the friendly fans (they get a bad rap)there loving and would give you the shirt off their back. Byrncliff Golf course is one of the most beautifull courses you will ever play in western NY and it serves as a ski resort to.

As i stated earlier I was born and raised in Miami and had the same opinion as you before I really got to know the town. I bought a house in Depew and will use that as my summer home once my wife and I retire in 10 years.

Buffalo has allot to offer you just need to look and take your time you'll find it.......
Go Sabres!!!

(Report Comment)
B Phillips March 29, 2010 | 6:55 a.m.

Well, I debated and debated, but in the end I decided to put in my two cents. We have lived all over the country and moved to the Buffalo area because of work. We really had no idea what to expect, but found the people to be delightful, the scenery, truck farming, grapes, the architecture and a lot of other things to be absolutely marvelous. It's too bad people who have not lived in the Buffalo area write things that are not only inaccurate but they miss a great experience. Yes, Buffalo has had its lumps like many Eastern cities, but we really liked it. Despite what people might think, Buffalo has a lot of style, they have great pizza and wings, good colleges, great architecture (think architectural tours from Europe, because Buffalo had a LOT of money at one time), it's right on the Canadian border, and you can visit the Falls, plus beautiful Toronto. Other writers have mentioned a lot of the good stuff. One of the fun things firemen do, volunteer ones, is have skiing races and teams at Ellicotville or in the Boston Hills. Lots of good skiing. In fact the ski buses from Canada used to come regularly by our rural road.

BTW - we lived there eighteen years. Have a nice day.

(Report Comment)
Keith Chambers March 29, 2010 | 9:05 a.m.

@ Blaine Grider & Chros McDougall

So you respect people who, when offended, lay down and take it? That's what I'm getting from you two. There have been some lucid arguments, as well as Neanderthal retorts from both sides here, so I can only assume your problem with those respondents in defense of Buffalo are their mere comment and not the substance of said comment.

If you take issue with substance, address that. Otherwise, banal barbs without substance do little to announce your intelligence.

(Report Comment)
Peggy Marion March 30, 2010 | 8:14 p.m.

Some questions for the J-School to consider in the wake of this controversy:

1) How do the editors/faculty stand on the research and attribution in this article? Is it acceptable to lightly rephrase Wikipedia entries? Objective readers review Wikipedia articles skeptically. They aren't always factual. They are easily manipulated by "guerrilla" editors with vested interests.

2) Didn't anybody realize that this article would go viral? The reporter, the assignment editor, the copy editor, the faculty mentor? Didn't anybody foresee the consequences to the reputation of the reporter, the School, the University and the playing environment of the basketball team? Isn't this the kind of editorial judgment that is essential in digital journalism?

3) How would such an article affect the credibility of a beat reporter? The slow accrual of credibility and power in your working relationships is essential to covering a beat well. Why blow your credibility for the sake of a cheap, lazy column?

I hope that the School remains true to its principles as it wrestles with the complexities of the new journalistic frontiers.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 31, 2010 | 4:11 a.m.

@ Peggy Marion

Regarding point 2) of your post, one is reminded of the phrase "an accident just waiting to happen." This was not the only article in recent times that was a bit too "cute."

In one of your posts you asked me whether the "cotton ball incident" was before or after your time at MU. How are we to answer that when we don't know when you were at MU. The incident occurred in February of this year. We measure time at this university by whether an event occurred before or after the year 1870.

Hopefully the best journalism school located at a state university will learn from this experience. Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University and University of Southern California - all private universities - tell us they have America's best journalism schools. We don't argue with them.

(Report Comment)
Peggy Marion March 31, 2010 | 7:43 a.m.

Mr. Ellis, I was supposed to graduate in the 70's but I took a job with a NY-based publishing company. Later, it seemed like a chunk of me was missing, so I made up 12 hours and finally got my BJ in the 80s.

The late, great Tom Duffy once told me, "Don't let writing style get in the way of good reporting." He was right, of course. I wish he was still around to advise students today.

(Report Comment)
derek kraus January 6, 2011 | 1:30 p.m.

I am actually suprised that it is a full year later and nobody has made any more comments? Either way it doesnt matter. I dont care what anyone says, that is not journalism, that is not even writing. That is an un-educated, misinformed, immature piece of trash written by a 18 year old nobody.
I was born and raised in Buffalo. You F***ing right I root for the Bills and the Sabres! People love to bash on Buffalonians cause we lost four Superbowls and two Stanley Cups. Yea, but I ask you it harder staying true to a team that has won a bazillion rings time and time again, or actually staying proud and true to your team that hasn't?? I am not in an uproar over little Alex's crude and pathetic comments....actually I pity him and all the rest who have no idea what it means to be a true Buffalonian. Coming from a blue collar town where we actually learn to live and work for ourselves...not have mommy and daddy pay for our entire lives. We are a hard knock town, we have lost every major game that counted, and we continue to take crap from everyone...but that is the greatest part that none of you will ever understand. That is what unites us and makes us stronger. Something none of you will ever have the privelege of understanding.
So to you Alex...kiss your writing career goodbye because you never had one and it obviously shows! For all my fellow Buffalonians, stay proud and true and remember who we are and why we love and are proud to say where we come from!! Something near and dear to all of us that all the rest will never be blessed with!
In conclusion, Missouri has a long way to go thinking they can even come close to us. The school should be disgusted but most importantly, I hope that this article gets to as many people as humanly possible so anyone with a real future in journalism...knows NOT to go there!! Go Sabres, Go Bills...but most importantly GO BUFFALO!!! Love y'all!

(Report Comment)
Andrew Hansen January 6, 2011 | 1:42 p.m.

A full year later? Don't we have to wait until March to say that?

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 6, 2011 | 1:55 p.m.

Send Buffalo to IRAQ!!!

(Report Comment)
derek kraus January 7, 2011 | 10:06 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Paul Allaire January 7, 2011 | 10:20 a.m.

Bwa ha ha ha ha haaaaa Bea haa ha ha!!!!!! Ba Ha ha ha. Breate.... BA HA HA HA HA.Ba ha ha ha. Whew.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 7, 2011 | 10:32 a.m.

The above comment was in regards to the comment that must have got taken down. I wish they would put it back up. It was beautiful. A picture is worth a lot of words but there is a premium on words that angry. Do I have to get all my laughs out of trib talk?
You know I had the typical post holiday season blues, living in the mid west and all. And then I was able to remind myself that things could be worse...

(Report Comment)
Jake Sherlock January 7, 2011 | 12:20 p.m.


The above comment was filled with personal attacks, which is a violation of the comment policy. That's why it was taken down.

Jake Sherlock
Opinion editor
Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
derek kraus January 18, 2011 | 2:36 p.m.

That certainly figures...we soldiers fight and die for this country only to be was a personal attack which is against it is called truth and you wouldnt know the first thing about a real "attack". Be thankful cause your policies can shove it

(Report Comment)
Anthony Cino April 13, 2012 | 3:21 p.m.

Well obviously the person who wrote this has not been to buffalo and if they have been their blind because it is NOT depressing and our sports teams have potential so don't insult the city.

(Report Comment)

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