Former Bills kicker and Niagara-on-the-Lake resident weighs in on playoffs. Photo credit: USA Today/Bills Wire
Steve Christie is still considered by many as not only the best Buffalo Bills kicker in franchise history, but also one of the best kickers in NFL history.
Christie has connected on nine field goals in overtime, an NFL record he shares with Jason Elam and Jim Breech.
However, most don’t know that the Oakville, Ontario native called Niagara-on-the-Lake home for many years.
In a recent interview on the Niagara Sports Report on Newstalk 610 CKTB, Christie said he remembers his time in Niagara fondly.
“Hanging out at the (Niagara-on-the-Lake) golf club there. A lot of great people in the town,” said Christie.
“I still have a lot of great friends there, and a lot of places to stay when we visit.”
Christie now calls Florida home where he and wife Kelly work in real estate.
The Niagara Sports Report interview quickly turned to the matter at hand – the National Football League playoffs.
Christie played with and for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, San Diego Chargers and New York Giants.
The Bills were easily Christie’s longest tenured team where he spent almost a decade from 1992 to 2001, including a pair of Super Bowl appearances.
No matter Sunday’s three-point final, in which Buffalo prevailed over Miami 34-31, Christie feels the Bills-Dolphins rivalry is back to a 1990’s rivalry.
Five of the six games from NFL Wildcard Weekend, before the Buccaneers-Dallas Cowboys clash on Monday night, were settled by a touchdown or less.
Saturday’s night game was probably the highlight of the weekend.
The fourth ranked Jacksonville Jaguars battled back from a 27-0 first half deficit to down the No. 5 Los Angeles Chargers 31-30.
Second seeded San Francisco used a huge second half to dispose of seventh ranked Seattle 41-23.
That brought us to Sunday where the second ranked Bills overcame four Josh Allen turnovers to oust seventh seeded Miami, followed by the No. 6 New York Giants upsetting third ranked Minnesota 31-24.
The late game saw Cincinnati, ranked number three in the AFC, outlasting sixth seeded Baltimore 24-17.
So that means Divisional Weekend is set:
On Saturday it’s a 4:30 pm kickoff as Jacksonville visits AFC top-seed Kansas City, followed by the NFC top-seed Philadelphia Eagles home to the New York Football Giants – who are led by Welland born Brian Daboll.
On Sunday, it’s the battle of the B’s when the Bills host the Bengals at 3 pm.
The late game Sunday features the winner of the Monday nighter between the Buccaneers and Cowboys in San Francisco.
And let’s not forget the NFL has already announced the AFC Championship Game will be played at a neutral site – Mercedes Benz Stadium – in Atlanta, Georgia.
Christie thinks Buffalo will play Kansas City in that game.
“I think there’s a good chance of that, definitely,” Christie said, and added everything the Bills and the city of Buffalo has gone through this season will propel the team back to the SuperBowl for the first time since 1993.
“They’ve shown the resilience that Marv Levy always talked about. All of this surpasses that – the whole community, the Bills Mafia, the whole organization – we’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Rod Mawhood is a lifelong Niagara native who has had the pleasure of working in all three mediums – Radio, Print and TV – for over 20 years. His first announcing gig was with the then St. Catharines Stompers. Since then he’s worked in radio and TV in Toronto, and currently is the announcer for the Niagara IceDogs and Niagara River Lions.
Rod also covers the Buffalo Bills for FOX Sports and the Buffalo Sabres for NBC Sports.