Some of you all may read ESPN's online site more than others. If you are familiar with their website, you know there are only a few places specifically dedicated to Bills coverage. One of those areas is the AFC East blog posting. Until last year, that was done by Tim Graham, who now writes for the Buffalo news. Though Graham had his detractors, he at least had a well-versed understanding of most of the AFC East (working specifically in the Bills and Dolphins areas before becoming the ESPN AFC East blogger).
Graham was replaced by James Walker before the start of this season. The results have been odd, but one of his more recent posts seems to piss off a bunch of Bills fans. If you haven't seen the post yet, it's here (with the comments). For a little more context and explanation about the most-recent post, see after the jumpWalker was an odd choice for the AFC East, working primarily in the midwest before (writing for the Columbus, OH paper and then blogging for the AFC North...which makes sense moving from Ohio). He made some odd comments in the past revealing his lack of understanding in the region (he dedicated multiple posts to why Bills fans said they were the only "New York" team, and then didn't understand). However, this article calls out the Bills in two distinct and unrelated ways (yet Walker unsuccessfully connects them): Stevie Johnson's TD celebration should've been a bigger deal than the NFL has deemed it, and the Bills fans are unsupportive of their team now that they're losing.
Many of the blog posters have pointed out the absurdity of Walker's rationale, pointing out things like: the larger size of the Ralph compared to other stadiums, the smaller size of the region in relationship to the number of seats in the stadium, other teams' tendency to buy tickets to create a sense of sell-out when fans don't buy tickets, the number of sellouts the Bills have had in relation to the lack of playoff games the Bills have had in recent memory, etc.
In all of this, what clear is the lack of respect Walker gives to the Bills' fan base, and numerous bloggers call him out for this. The relationship between journalism, opinion pieces, and informal conversations is an odd relationship in a blog (especially a blog asked to do many things, from reporting on major storylines within the AFC East, to noting rumors, to taking the pulse of the fans). What seems clear to most blog posters from this story is that Walker does not understand the boundaries between them, and he does not understand the AFC East...or at least the Buffalo Bills, their fanbase, and the region.
What are other people's opinions of Walker? For those who have followed him all year, what are your opinions of Walker vs. Graham? For people new to Walker, are the reactions from the posts over-reacting?