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Ch.2's Kellman is honored; 2 chances tonight for "30 for 30"

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

Channel 2 understandably is running promos highlighting the two State Emmy Awards and five regional Edward R. Murrow Awards it has won this month.

The promos feature Scott Brown, who won three of the seven awards, Dave McKinley, anchors Scott Levin and Maryalice Demler, Claudine Ewing and several other members of the station's staff.

One winner you don't see is Rich Kellman, the former Channel 2 anchor who still contributes a feature now and then. Or he did until recently. He is no longer on the station's website. One of his extended features in 2012 called "Five Sisters" won a regional Murrow Award.

The four other Murrow awards were for overall excellence; Brown's sports feature piece on a former Buffalo Bill, "Harry Jacobs: A Case of Hard Hits": McKinley for writing and the station's website.

All the Murrow regional winners now will compete in the national Murrow competition.

Speaking of Channel 2 promos, Demler and Levin are now featured in promos on WUTV to make viewers aware that the 10 p.m. news is running seven nights a week instead of just five nights as was the case when the 10 p.m. news was on WNYO. Channel 2 believes Channel 4 had another advantage at 10 o'clock because its newscast has always aired seven nights a week on its sister station WNLO.

Let's hope that Thursday's coverage of the NFL Draft is as riveting as the "30 for 30" film, "From Elway to Marino," documenting the 1983 quarterback draft that premiered Tuesday night on ESPN.

You could still practically feel the tension of the draft 30 years ago when ESPN carried it in the morning and essentially had three people at the draft table instead of the hundreds who cover it now.

Told mostly through the eyes of Elway and the agent for both Denver Broncos star John Elway and Miami Dolphins star Dan Marino, Marvin Demoff, the 90-minute film illustrated the wheeling and dealings on draft days, the influence or some would say the interference of the league office and the lengths that many teams tried to go to get Elway and prevent him from playing baseball with the New York Yankees.

There also is a special reason for Buffalo viewers to watch since this also was the draft in which the Bills took Jim Kelly in the first round two spots after they chose Notre Dame tight end Tony Hunter.

Many WNYers know the legendary stories of how badly Kelly didn't want to play here and of a Bills secretary blowing the team's chances of signing him in 1983 and sending him into the arms of the Houston Gamblers.

Bills fans undoubtedly will be waiting for Kelly to recant his anti-Buffalo statements. Be warned that it doesn't happen until the show's final minute.

Kelly lives here now and has become such an icon in Buffalo that I suspect some fans will be upset that the film concludes that Marino was a better quarterback than Kelly without any debate. Kelly, after all, had more team success and played in a city where the weather wasn't conducive to piling up big statistics. Many experts certainly would call Marino a better pure passer, but whether he was a better quarterback is open to debate.

If you missed the film, you get two more shots to sign it tonight. It airs at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU and at 10 p.m. on ESPN2. 

You should take one more thing away from the film that pertains to this year's draft. After the Bills drafted Kelly, he said all the right things about playing in Buffalo.

Cut to the 52-year-old Kelly of today: "You have to say those things. It is part of selling yourself and the franchise that picked you. Those were lies."

Remember that when the Bills' No.1 draft choice Thursday is interviewed.

Speaking of Thursday's draft, Channel 2 reached out Tuesday to veteran Syracuse sports columnist Bud Poliquin to assess what he thinks of Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib, who many experts assume may be reunited with Bills Coach Doug Marrone when the Bills draft Thursday. Marrone was Nassib's coach at SU.

Poliquin's assessment of Nassib was pretty brutal, questioning his size, his speed and his arm. It was so brutal that you almost had to hope that Marrone hasn't said a word about Nassib not because he wants to draft him but because he wants another team to take him. You also had to hope that Poliquin didn't get any of his Nassib criticism from Marrone over the years.

On Tuesday night, Channel 2 reached out to veteran Los Angeles sports anchor Fred Roggin for his opinion on USC quarterback Matt Barkley. Roggin wasn't quite as brutal as Poliquin but he didn't think the Bills should pick him in the first round.

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