StillTalkin TV, BBE.
Oh, you don’t know what BBE stands for?
It stands for Buffalo Bills Edition.
Here are some thoughts about Channel 7’s coverage of the Bills surprising 34-21 victory Thursday over the Indianapolis Colts:
* While the perception is that interest in the team is down this year, TV ratings indicate otherwise.
The Bills victory over the Colts had a 15.7 rating on Channel 7, which was more than double the rating for any prime time competition Thursday. The New England game with Atlanta on Fox (Channel 29) had a 1.0 rating opposite the Bills game.
The Thursday rating was an improvement on the 14.3 rating for the Bills 42-17 disastrous loss in Washington six nights earlier.
The two games have averaged a 15.0 rating, which is about 20 percent higher than the 12.7 average for the first two preseason games against Chicago and Green Bay that were carried last preseason on Channel 7. So go figure.
* There was some good news for armchair fans right off the bat. The big letters BBE that were in the center of the graphic showing the score were reduced in size, thereby eliminating a distraction in the embarrassing loss to the Redskins. By the way, BBE stands for Buffalo Bills Entertainment.
To make BBE smaller, it looks like all the type was reduced, meaning the names of the teams and the score was smaller, too. Too small.
* Probably the biggest thing on the minds of Bills fans early was the “size” of the crowd inside Toronto’s Rogers Centre. The Buffalo News reported attendance was 39,583 but that seemed high judging by the view of the empty seats.
However, crowd size seemed to be one of the topics that announcers Ray Bentley and Steve Tasker were going to ignore. The two men working for the Bills chose to ignore all the empty seats and any discussion of how well or how badly the Toronto series has been doing at the box office.
* More surprising was the omission that came after first round draft choice C.J. Spiller made an electrifying 31-yard touchdown run to give the Bills a 7-0 lead. My guess is that many Bills fans noted that it was the first TD by the Bills first team offense in a preseason game in 20 possessions or since 2008.
It might have been worth noting by Tasker and Bentley even though it was the end of a negative stat.
* Of course, the ex-Bills announcers are there to praise the 2010 edition, not bury them.
“If you’ve got a back who makes three guys miss on a play you’re going to win,” praised Tasker.
“A Thriller by Spiller, let me just say it,” added Tasker.
And later Tasker added: “C.J. Spiller looks to be even better than advertised.”
* Tasker and Bentley had trouble deciding whether quarterback Brian Brohm had done enough in the game to unseat Ryan Fitzpatrick as Trent Edwards’ backup. Late in the game, they declared the competition “a push.” Brohm hit some passes early and made quick decisions, but he didn’t light up the scoreboard. The Bills didn’t score a touchdown during his time in the game. The most telling comment the announcers have made in preseason is that either Brohm or Fitzpatrick is likely to be cut because rookie Levi Brown wouldn’t clear waivers and will be the No.3 QB.
Bentley noted that Coach Chan Gailey likes Brohm “a little bit.” You have to wonder if the backup decision might come down to who has a smaller paycheck.
* Someone please tell Tasker to eliminate “courageous” from his vocabulary during football games. He used that word to describe one of Brohm’s passes. He should have used “risky,” not courageous.
But Tasker made at least one comment that was right on the money right before the Bills took a 24-21 lead into halftime. “That might be the best half of football in preseason that I’ve ever seen the Bills play.” Might be?
* Laugh of the night: Tasker referred to Levi Brown as Travis Brown, a former Bills quarterback. I doubt many Bills remember good ol’ Travis as well as Tasker did. Less amusing was the telecast missing a Colt fumble and a Bills recovery late in the game.
* With the Bills beating last year’s AFC team in the Super Bowl, it wasn’t hard for Bentley or Tasker to be positive at game’s end.
Bentley saw “a lot of good things” and Tasker noted the team’s best players – Spiller, Edwards and Lee Evans – made the biggest plays in the game.
Unlike the Redskin game, no one would argue that the Entertainment in BBE was missing Thursday night.