Eric Wood doesn't want to be one of those athletes who makes a provocative statement and backpedals from it later. The Bills' center said Wednesday that he stands behind his comments on his Monday radio show on 97 Rock, when he called the Toronto series "a joke" and said he hoped the Bills wouldn't renew the series.
"I was heated when I said it was a joke," said Wood, who also said he expects to suit up and play Sunday in Miami. "I'm not going to stand here and retract my statements, because it's what I meant and what I felt.
"I do understad we have a small market," Wood said, "and we would have struggled to sell tickets. But it was 55 and sunny on Sunday. We're not going to get better weather than that. It stunk that we were up there."
Wood, who was out with a left knee injury, watched the Bills' 50-17 loss to Seattle in his living room. He didn't kick in the TV set, but he was furious about the game and the fact it was being played in Canada instead of Orchard Park. He was tempted to make his feelings known on social media.
"I wrote and deleted about three tweets during the game," he said, "kind of using that 10-second rule. It was probably for the best. It kind of ticked me off. The way I look at is was, last week we were still in (playoff) hunt, and we've got a team traveling from the West Coast and we make them real comfortable. They get on a plane to play in Toronto, in a dome, without much crowd noise.
"You provide comfort that shouldn't happen when you travel to Buffalo," Wood said. "You should have a cold, uncomfortable feeling when people come in. That's our advantage. We go up in that dome and we let them feel really comfortable. They had a crucial third down in the first quarter where they run regular cadence. That just doesn't happen in Ralph Wilson. I don't care, there's been times there were 40,000 people in there (at Ralph Wilson Stadium), and they're still not running regular cadence on third down in the first quarter."
Wood agreed with my conclusion that the games in Toronto are actually worse than road games, because you don't have the customary negative energy of a hostile road crowd to feed off.
"Yeah," he said. "We played down in Houston and that might have been the loudest atmosphere I've played in as a pro. Either that or the opener at Kansas City last year. Those games, we're feeding off energy. It's a hostile environment, but at least you have some energy."
Wood said he's ready to play after missing two games. When he learned that his left knee injury wasn't serious a couple of weeks ago, he targeted Miami as his comeback game. The Bills' playoff hopes were faint when he got hurt, but he told Buddy Nix he couldn't miss a playoff game if they actually got in.
"There's a risk of injury whenever you place yourself on the field," Wood said. "I wanted to show this organization that even if I'm dinged up, I'm going to fight to come back, no matter what."
Wood said he's almost certain he'll play against the Dolphins. "I feel I can play," he said, "so I'd say there's a 100 percent chance I'd suit up, or maybe 95 percent. But I'll make a more accurate decision tomorrow."
"This is still the old Bills-Dolphins rivalry. We have a lot of things to play for. I know playoffs are not one of them, but it would be nice to reward the fans who have supported us so well by beating the Dolphins twice."