Long time, no write. I know we are all sad that our football team who showed so much promise now seems to be collapsing as always, but chin up. I STILL think this team is more fun to watch than any other team in recent memory, despite the joke of a game last week. (I was on a plane home from Seattle so praise the lord.)
Despite all of this, I thought it would be a good time to remind all of our dear readers about little Sally Kabel and her battle with Leukemia
. As many of you remember, earlier in the year we got together with Store716, Trending Buffalo
, and numerous other sports blogs to sell t-shirts and raise awareness for Sally and her family. The outreach and support was unprecedented, and I'm not ashamed to say I teared up several times from the e-mails, tweets, and phone calls I received about lending a hand. The Buffalo area & blogosphere are truly an amazing place.
So in case you haven't checked in awhile, Sally has been undergoing chemo while the rest of the family battles the Flu
, so with the Holiday season among us, I figured this would be a good time to see what we can further do for the Kabel family. This leads me to two ways you can #SupportSally this week:
1. If you live in or near the NYC area, this Sunday, December 15th the DGWU Sports crew heads to McFaddens on 42nd & 2nd for the Bills/Jaguars game to sell #SupportSally t-shirts in person. McFaddens was sent a bunch of shirts from Store716 awhile back and we're going to be heading in to sell them for $25.00 each with ALL proceeds going to Sally and her family. I will be there with my wife, the Yachtsman, and even Joe from BuffaloWins.com,
so look for us at one of the main tables. On top of that, if you buy a shirt and say "Buffalo Wins Sucks" I will buy you a Fireball shot. No joke. This might get expensive and come back to haunt me, but if it means selling more shirts, so be it! Please come join us, or at least spread the word to everyone you know in the area, even if they aren't Bills fans, this is a great cause. The shirts can make great X-mas gifts and help out a little girl very much in need of your help.
2. A dear friend of our blog, Frank Gifaldi
has designed a shirt for 26shirts.com
with all proceeds going to Sally and her family. 26shirts was started by Del Reid of Bills Mafia fame (and has been a huge help with the #SupportSally cause). This site releases a new Buffalo themed shirt every two weeks with all proceeds going to a charity of the t-shirt designers choice. Frank, being the awesome dude he is, chose to have everything go to Sally. The catch is, the shirt is only on sale for 2 weeks until December 22nd, so you have to get on it right away. On top of this, the shirts represents one of my new favorite unsung heroes of the Bills, Frank Summers, so it is definitely worth checking out...aka BUYING IT NOW!
Please join me in helping out our friend Matt, Sally, and the whole Kabel family. Spread the word.
I didn't watch. You shouldn't have either. Fuck this noise.
Oh my god... IS THAT THE WILDCAT?!?
We were all sold on a bright vision. From the offices to the sidelines to the locker rooms, everything looked new and exciting for the Buffalo Bills. Whether we liked it or not, many of us were sold long before we actually got to see the finished product. But we could never shake the fear of impending disaster lurking just around the bend. (see: Kevin Kolb slips on a practice mat, then ends his career on a preseason slide.)
Now, after two fumbles and an overtime loss, it seems like this vision is doomed like all the others. Maybe we should just destroy it all before it can get any worse. Because can we really handle another round of “Wait ‘Til Next Year!”?
Unfortunately, we’re not off the ride yet. Who we truly want destroyed is a decision for down the road. We’re still in it now and you’ve gotta decide whether you want to drive further into the jungle or hide in the bathroom until it’s all over. I think you should dare to go deeper.
I don’t know if this is going to be my last Bills post of the season. Last night, full of such familiar rage after such a familiar loss, I couldn't imagine concocting any more takes on a team that has so thoroughly shat on my heart now that the rest of the games matter only in some vague developmental-yet-still-really-meaningless-because-fuck-it-all-they-are-still-objectively terrible way. Having just finished this post, I'm still not sure.
If you don't know this reference, you're reading the wrong blog.
Fuck the Toronto series. Seriously. They've never sold out a single one of these awful home game robberies. And way to take away our Thanksgiving game. The one weekend where almost every ex-pat is back in town, you ship the game up north for more money, but we're supposed to pat you on the back when Ralph or whatever machine is keeping Ralph alive buys up the unsold tickets which is essentially taking money out of your own wallet and then putting it back in?! Fuck you.
Then this week we had to listen to rumors about Bon Jovi moving the team to Canada. Not that anyone in Buffalo will ultimately care who it is that's moving the team when the time comes, but seriously? Bon Jovi? Throw on your Philadelphia Soul jersey and ghost ride your steel horse off the Peace Bridge, you over-the-hill hack.
But seriously there's no time for the usual song and dance so let's keep the profanity going.
Fuck Matty Ice. Fuck any fan in the crowd wearing a Michael Vick jersey. Fuck runs up the middle with CJ. Fuck Aaron Williams dancing like a moron after a routine tackle then getting torched on the ensuing play. Fuck the Canadian who says, "Well we're the ones who buy tickets to games in Buffalo." Fuck EJ's performances on the road. Fuck stupid penalties. And FUCK the Leafs and their beer-chucking fans. Just win today.
So raise a plastic cup to long bombs to Goodwin, Marcell Dareus' bruise that's still imprinted on Geno's ribs, tough runs from Freddy, disguised blitz packages, Mario Williams' sack total, and actually having a team worth talking about in December.
The Barrister et al.
Hey all. It's the day before Thanksgiving, we're all trying to concentrate on work while day dreaming about all the scotch we're going to drink tomorrow, and sports? Well, sports are sports which means they're terrible and awesome and disheartening and inspiring and all of it.
We did this last year - with some reasonable success, I guess?
- and when I emailed the crew yesterday to gather the things for which our dreadful lot are thankful this year, well, I feared the thing I always fear when I ask for things from the rest of the guys... no response whatsoever. That these assholes responded at all is a pretty amazing thing, and I thank them for it. Thanks, given. From The Scizz, our resident disproportionate responder:
This year I'm thankful for many things, but that doesn't seem very DGWU, so here is everything I hate.
I hate James Dolan. I hate him so much it hurts. This arrogant cock had the nerve to say in an interview that it doesn't pay to be impatient in the NBA, meanwhile he has a constant revolving door of players, coaches, and front office staff because he cares more about his ego and his shitty blues band than he does actual success. Fuck him and his 70's porn bush beard.
I hate Darcy Regier. So in a way, I'm thankful he is gone I suppose. But mostly I want to focus on how much I hate his face and the fact that he made Ville Leino and Steve Ott a thing I have to deal with. Also, if you were against his firing I hate you too. And your family. I hate your family.
I hate anybody who still thinks Stevie Johnson is a #1 receiver in the NFL. He isn't and he won't be. He is a solid player who has the ability to put up big numbers, but lacks any kind of consistency. This is called a #2 receiver. Go Bob Woods.
I hate every single American who still watches American Idol, America's Got Talent, X-Factor, or The Voice. Bring back Perfect Strangers and Dinosaurs.
I hate Obese people on the subway. No, I will not scootch over for you to sit down. You obviously had seven Whoppers this morning for breakfast and deserve nothing but the inevitable heart attack headed your way.
I hate seriousness on Twitter. As much as I'd love to see 14 straight tweets about your thoughts on somehow still defending Obamacare or gun rights, I'd rather you go post on a yahoo message board with the rest of the lonely people who have nobody to talk to in real life.
Now that you probably all hate me, Happy Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for being shitfaced by 2pm and wolfing down a turkey sandwich with Wasabi mayo before passing out on the floor.
From The Outlander, who can basically fuck himself until the end of all creation for this:
For the second year in a row I'm the only one here who had a team win a championship. Now I would trade them back in a second for a championship we could all dance and shotgun beers over, but unfortunately it doesn't work like that so I'll have to enjoy it largely alone. I'm thankful for the 2013 Boston Red Sox.
Thanks to modern technology and the fact that my Center Ice package turned into two months of free extra innings, I was able to follow this team closer than I had followed them in previous seasons. There's no need to dissect what made the team successful, which signings were the most important, how big a difference a new manager can provide, that's the dry analysis that makes reading Jonah Keri feel like chewing on wet cardboard. What makes me so thankful for this Red Sox team is that they were able to wake me from the stupor of ambivalence and detached incredulity that watching my favorite two teams had become. Outside of a couple weeks in 2010 and 2011, that passion had disappeared; the moments where you watch with your chin buried in your hands, your fingers over your mouth, your heart pounding against your rib cage as if you just ran a 5k when in reality you haven't gotten up from your seat since you took a piss after the sixth inning. The moments where the unthinkable happens, where your heart leaps into your throat and you find yourself standing and screaming without remembering consciously leaving your seat. Think about when you last felt that way. Was it Drury's goal in 2007? Pominville's the year before? For all of us it has been too long, and in baseball, where the only percentages that define success are ones that always come with a majority of failure, those moments- when the ball flies off the bat toward Citgo sign, or the right field bullpen, or when the most feared hitter in baseball swings through a sinker with the tying run on third in the eighth inning- feel all that more unexpected. Add to the fact that no matter where our baseball, basketball, soccer and college teams call home, we will always find ourselves expecting the worst because we're from Buffalo and dammit that's just how it goes.
Except when it doesn't.
This team was supposed to finish at the bottom of their division, not win it going away. It was predicted from August on that midnight was about to arrive, whether in a series at the Dodgers, a series at Yankee stadium, a series against the Tigers, and then later in the playoffs, certainly there. The prognosticators kept waiting, and even as a fan so did I, right up until they beat Scherzer, Verlander and Sanchez and found themselves returning to Fenway a game away from the World Series, that's when I finally new.
I was at a wedding North of Boston for that game, at some retreat in the woods outside Glochester. The type of retreat where the "couples" bedrooms had separate twin beds and three dozen flies on the inside of the windows. After drinking a remarkable amount of whiskey and ciders at the reception, followed by a considerable amount of craft beer at the afterparty bonfire, I found myself in that lovely area between half and fully in the bag. A bunch of us- some still clad in their suits, some hurriedly changed into hoodies and jeans- found ourselves in a small dining area watching the game on an old 16 inch screen. The Red Sox trailed 2-1 with two outs in the seventh, the bases loaded and one of the MANY guys underachieving in the series, Shane Victorino up. He had hit a huge grand slam in the 2008 NLCS for the Phillies; my friend who had just gotten married had the call as his ringtone our entire 3L year at Penn State. Now it was my time to watch the unthinkable.
I don't know why, maybe it was the location, being somewhere different, surrounded by friends, drunk as all hell, celebrating the feeling of something finally coming together, that YES, this WAS our year, but it reminded me of this.
Someday, my friends. We'll all suddenly remember what that feels like. And we'll dance, and all of us at the Deeg will be stuck being thankful for the same goddamn thing. I don't think we'll mind. Awww, that's nice, buddy. But still, fuck you forever. Go Mets.
And now from The Wild Card, the new guy who is generally letting law school deny you all from his hot fire takes:
I'm thankful for an awful lot you guys. An AWFUL lot. An AWFUL LOT of Sabres players that miiiight just, fate permitting, be awful to get a #1 pick... but remember it's a fucking lottery now so even if we're the worst in history it's still pretty likely that the native Americans buried in the soil beneath the city of Buffalo who cursed our existence in exchange for a horrific genocide despite the initial warmth and caring they showed our forefathers in the fabled original Thanksgiving will prevent us from receiving that #1.
Full circle guys. See how I did that?
Mmmm. Airport coffee. Mmmm. This girl next to me at the JetBlue hotspot. She seems really cute and nice. But her hair is covering most of her face from this angle. That must be why I think she's cute and nice. Either way, I'm thankful for her too, and the fact that she hasn't given me the stinkeye even though I took off my shoes to cool off my rancid feet. 100+ minutes on the train with a suitcase takes its toll folks.
I'm thankful for the fact that I'm at JFK and not in any real danger of missing my flight. FACT: this is the first time that's happened since I moved to NYC.
I'm thankful for Geno Smith too. I don't care that he's looked good in a couple games. The NFL is about consistency. He hasn't shown it. Ton of talent/physical skills. Bad attitude. He's the perfect successor to Mark Sanchez. Though I doubt he'll ever buttfumble. Oh, I'm thankful for him and that too. Like, VERY thankful.
I'm thankful (I guess?) for this weather which convinced JetBlue to waive change fees for all flights today. Their generosity gave me about 3 hours extra sleep.
I'm thankful for the ESPN Playoff Doo-Hickey
(sp?) and for the word of the day: "permutation" because when you put them together you get: excitement; a headache; about 100 different ways for the Steelers to make the playoffs; and the Bills beating the Pats in week 17 cuz... ha, you know.
I'm thankful that my girlfriend got that job and has to stay home so I get to go to Buffalo myself and deal with my family's disappointment because they like her way better than me.
Oh, and naps. Naps on my grandmaw couch >> Turkey >> Cran sauce >> fresh Cran sauce >> my aunt making fun of my dad >> stuffing ... yeah it's way better than all that shit. No blankets grandma, please. What am I 4? From the Apologist:
I'm thankful for Miley Cyrus and camels.
Welp. That got weird real fast. Thanks, Aps.
Let's all forget this happened... From The Commander:
Asking a Buffalo sports fan what they’re thankful for right now is a daunting task. Most of the stuff in my life that I’m thankful for has very little to do with sports right now, I have a decent job, a cool as fuck girlfriend, I don’t ever have to see snow or freezing temperatures, I can talk to my Xbox One and make it do shit, we have rad cats and dogs...my life is pretty fucking awesome! Which is why I can continue to tolerate Buffalo sports. If I didn’t have a bunch of other cool shit going on, I’d have slit my wrists or overdosed on pills for sure.
Xbox, make me look more miserable
It’s been really fucking difficult as of late to be thankful about ANYTHING Sabres related. We were sold a promise of youth and watching kids learn at the NHL level, and now that’s pretty much up in smoke with most of the “blueprint” being sent back to the minor leagues. So let’s just scratch all Sabres shit from my list.
I’m pretty thankful for the Bills. I realize they don’t have a winning record and probably won’t make the playoffs again, but they’re selling me on the promise of their youth successfully. Plus the team itself is very likable. This is the first time I can remember being this invested in them as December rolls in. Usually by now my routine was to play hockey in the morning on Sundays, come home, shower, and pass out sleeping by the end of the first half. So let’s run the fucking table and get there already. I’m on board, I’m not going anywhere…let’s do this shit.
That’s really it for me, I don’t do soccer, I’ve just started to get into the NBA (where my team, the Sacramento Kings, may as well be from Buffalo too), and baseball is for 75 year old white men.
However, I’m thankful that I have an outlet to express my fucking misery with a good group of assholes like myself here…as well as the other snarky motherfuckers on the Twitter. We’ll all get through this together.
Enjoy your turkey or ham, enjoy spending time with your families and friends, enjoy massive amounts of booze, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
From the long-silent Yachtsman!! ...
I'm thankful for Matt Harvey electing to have Tommy John Surgery, Rye Whiskey, portable Marijuana vaporizers, Marcel Dareus' abuse of Geno Smith, and key bumps.
Par for the course, you handsome sonofabitch.
And finally, my thanks:
I am thankful for Kiko Alonso being amazing and always looking high. For the renewed chance that Jairus might stay in Buffalo after all. For Patty Lafontaine investing himself in our city again. For Ralph Wilson being one more year closer to dying. For EJ Manuel for looking like the goods. For Doug Marrone for being a boost to this team, for being honest about his work, and for bringing in a defensive coordinator who has his squad playing like fucking beasts. For the hope that persists in my heart as I watch my squads keep failing to get their shit together. For the hope that sustains me and keeps this fun.
And, yeah, I am thankful for this place at this URL and the people who have made it great and written things here that have been simply amazing. Holy shit, this website is a hilarious piece of my life. I started here two and a half years ago, have largely taken the reigns of keeping at least some trickle of content going while the OGs deal with the big shit going on in their lives, and have seen the Dear God Why Us? #becauseitsbuffalo theme get traction with all you dear readers who inexplicably come here to debrief the fun and misery of watching our teams. We won a kind of nice award from a website we kind of hate, we've seen our traffic steadily increase since rebooting in 20011 and we've been lucky enough to have some of you say kind things and some really mean things about what we do here.
It is really goddamned great.
And now I've moved to the suburbs and I have a kid and I don't see the other guys listed as contributors very much anymore. But this is the thing I do to try and keep myself close to them; to pretend for a few moments when I can that we're sitting at a bar, talking our asses off about the teams we love and hate. Let's get drunk and bro hug soon.
Happy Fucking Thanksgiving.
In the wake of such a joyous victory, it’s probably no surprise that it’s taken a little longer to get a recap up. Words are simply insufficient to express the happiness with which I take every step throughout the Tri-State knowing that my beloved squad has vanquished such an annoying and petulant team from the nether regions of Douchebagistan, New Jersey.
Either that, or the Apologist offered to do the recap and then got burnt out by over-thinking it and now I am diligently picking up his fucking predictable slack.
That really was a great game. The first of its kind this year: a convincing win by the Bills; the result never really in doubt beyond half time. Sure, many fans, including a few in my living room, expected the game to fall apart when the Jets finally put a touchdown on the board, but those efforts by Gangrene, excuse me Gang_Green, were woefully insufficient compared to the kind of day Buffalo was having. Fucking unreal, totally unexpected, and still has me tingling from head to toe a day and half later.
Bullet points await!!
The Outlander Top moment of season until today
I really didn't know when I was going to write another post here. The Red Sox season- while for me magical and enthralling- has been described in many different publications and blogs by many different writers than myself in much more satisfying ways. Not to mention our readership's approval rating of the Red Sox has got to be hovering in the same ballpark as Congress' and I don't need to put something out exhalting my joy just for all you to shit all over it.
You're not my real dad dammit.
As for our local teams, up until about 9:15 this morning, what could really be said? Our Bills weekly previews and reviews capture this season's varying degrees of optimism and hopelessness, especially now that we just got clocked with the 2x4 of reality watching the Pittsburgh game. The best Sabres forward of the past fifteen years got traded and the team has embarked on a journey that many fan bases have endured but virtually no one who has ever watched this team has had to witness: the laughingstock year. The year of catching shit from every friend or coworker who roots for other teams or generally enjoys the despair of others; the season of watching them in numb resignation, too indifferent to yell at the television, not because the team didn't look terrible but because you knew that they simply couldn't do any better. They're a cast of guys who may be perfectly likable and able to contribute to the right team (except Stafford, fuck him), but to watch them skate around for two and a half hours chasing their own tail just simply wasn't a good use of our time.
The constant theme to make us want to tear our hair out- those of you with any considerable remaining scraps anyways- was the decision-making of the coach regarding lines, scratches and ice time, really the only things that a coach does that are pretty easy and straightforward. A coach watches the players and puts the best ones on the ice, with the most offensively skilled players matching up with others of their like. It's literally the only thing that someone playing NHL '14 can do as well as a real coach. And somehow, someway, this team managed to place a man in this position who could not even be passable at this task. These are not mistakes - as Doug Marrone, for instance, freely admits to making when they appear - it was a failure of philosophy; a flaw in Ron Rolston's hockey DNA that poisoned the entire franchise in a matter of months and has at the very least set back the development of young talent and possibly derailed it permanently. It's easy to not care about who wears the "C" when they're in the rightfully earned position for their skill set. It is much harder to ignore when that same player is being double shifted in the third period of a game you're being outshot by thirty.
So where did this get us, or me more specifically? I was offered tickets to last night's game and had not even the slightest bit of interest because there was a UB FOOTBALL game on television. Tickets were hovering in the low teens and I didn't even consider heading down to the FNC to take in the carnage. The overhead of attending a game (traffic, new security measures, parking, a late bedtime on a weeknight) had become too much to see what has been my favorite local team since well before I was a teenager. I've spent thirty bucks on weeknights just to yell at Patrick Lalime about how much he sucks, but I could no longer be bothered. A 3-7 Bills team appeared light years ahead of their NHL counterpart and it wasn't close. Any optimism for the future, be it trades, draft picks or free agents could be dismissed simply by mentioning those who were in charge of acquiring talent and developing talent. I am confident in saying there has not been as dark a time regarding the cumulative future of our professional teams, and while the Bills have had bright spots in the midst of an objectively dismal record, what did we have to look forward to regarding the hockey team? The jersey retirement of a guy who hasn't played for them in a dozen years? The failure of the young kids to ultimately develop and trigger the long overdue firing of Rolston some three years down the road? The hope that maybe the third time the seemingly immovable General Manager failed at rebuilding a team from the ground up, it would be his curtain call?
Over six years removed from their last playoff series victory that distant hope for the future was too far off for many, including myself.
News happened yesterday. We blew the conch, gathered, and produced this. Enjoy.
Music by, well, I won't ruin the surprise. You're welcome.
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Another guest contributor? Another guest contributor.
By Peter Berkes
I’m going to try to keep this brief. Last year, they lost me.
Fresh on the heels of another mediocre season and a prolonged, acrimonious, and completely avoidable lockout, the Buffalo Sabres started out the 2012-13 season like dog mess stuck to a boot. At that point, my frustration with the franchise reached critical mass, and I cashed out. I think I actually said to a TV, “Look, call me when you’re interested in being good again, because this shit is not working for me.”
That was somewhere between games five and ten last year, and since then, I haven’t watched more than a stray minute or two of the Sabres. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t missed them. Sure, I stayed up to date with what was happening on twitter since there’s no way I could unfollow everyone in Buffalo twitter, but I was pretty much completely disengaged from the team.
It’s a really and truly weird thing to actively dislike your favorite team. Sure, we all have that on some level with the Bills, but it was different for me with the Sabres. And it all came back to God damn Darcy Regier.
I can handle failure. I mean, Jesus, I’m a Buffalo sports fan. Failure happens, but this franchise has been a walking, shambling corpse. It felt like Terry Pegula, the man we all thought was going to spend this team to a championship in short order, was nothing more than some stammering Whiner Line regular who was still stuck in the 90s. But after finally pulling the plug on Regier and Ron Rolston, it feels like there may actually be something good that comes from all this.
The thought of Regier attempting to rebuild this franchise after he personally steered it into the ditch was, for the lack of a better term, completely fucked. We don’t know if Pat LaFontaine and whoever he hires to be general manager will be any better, but it’s different, and that’s enough to get my attention. Yes, that’s pretty sad, but that’s where we are. This is Progress. Capital P. I don’t really care about Ted Nolan. He’s not going to be around next year anyway, so just play the kids a lot every night and get the team working hard and I’ll consider his return a success.
There have been a lot of people that think this move is just more bullshit from the Sabres because they brought back two guys with ties to the team. It’s certainly possible. LaFontaine doesn’t have any real experience as an executive, but he at least realizes it. He seems smart enough to hire someone who has done this before. But the larger point is this: Just because someone has ties to the organization doesn’t mean they’re clueless. It makes for an easy joke because hurr durr Buffalo, but anyone who says so is more interested in humping away at narrative than assessing the situation honestly. I want the best possible people to be the coach and GM of the Sabres, and I don’t care where they’re from. Hopefully Pat can put those people in place. If not, hopefully it doesn’t take a billion years for him and everyone else to be replaced.
So am I back in? I don’t know. What I do know, though, is that they have my attention. Let’s go.