Episode 22 in picture form
Episode 22 of the CrapTastiCast started of with an explosion of NSFW nonsense, transitioned nicely into some solid sports talk, and then degenerated back into a long series of dick jokes and other bathroom humor. So pretty much just like every other episode of the cast.
No more apologies from us.
This week we returned to Beast Studios with a full house, as all four Deeg members finally attended, as well as the infamous Joe Pinzone
of Buffalo Wins
, and producer Jess (aka Scizzette). The chatter continued about who should stay and who should go on the Sabres roster, the Lindy and Darcy situation, and why we hate most WGR personalities and The Buffalo News. We also celebrate the engagement of a member of the Deeg with our lovely producer, discuss Occupy Nassau details, Yachtsman and Barrister talk Liverpool, and Joe learns what an Eiffel Tower is. Musical interludes come to you this week from Rush (Neil Peart!), Ted Nugent, and at Joe's request, Eminem.
Stream here, or hit up Libsyn
or the iTunes button for a download. If you are having trouble with either, please let us know.
I wouldn't want to be seen with us either, Joe.
While we at the Deeg are steadily getting ourselves ready to #OccupyNassau next weekend, and are trying our darndest to keep motivated to give a shit about our Buffalo Sabres as the All-Star break rolls on, it's probably no big surprise to most of you that I would choose to check in with a joyful, exclamatory post about my Liverpool Reds. This blog may be aimed at wallowing in self-pity over the woes of our beloved franchises and sports heroes, but it also has to be about taking a moment - even when there is a healthy fear of the other shoe dropping, with force - to grin from ear to ear when we're lucky enough to be reminded of what sports can, on perfect days, be all about.
On the heels of a wretched 3-1 away defeat at bottom-feeding Bolton last week (this before Bolton finished their acquisition of American defender Tim Ream), it was truly difficult to have too much faith in Liverpool as they approached this week's League Cup match against EPL-leading Manchester City. Even though it was apparent, after the first leg of the semifinal in Manchester, that the Sky Blues were not going all in for a second-straight League Cup - likely due to absences from some of their key players - there was still a lingering feeling that Liverpool's 1-0 lead on aggregate might fall apart right before the eyes of the Kop.
That fear, in the end, proved unfounded on Wednesday. Liverpool played up to their competition once again, and pressed offensively much more than their opposition. The result - a 2-2 home draw that gave them the win on aggregate - was exactly what fans had hoped for. Down 2-1 late in the game, and struggling to beat the riddle that is Man City keeper Joe Hart, Liverpool deserved a breakthrough and ultimately found it off the boot of Craig Bellamy, former Man City cast-off. (my apologies if copyright laws take this video down in the future... Bellamy's goal is at the end of this highlightapalooza that tracks his many moments of impact on Wednesday)
How good is Craig Bellamy? Signed for NOTHING, as far a transfer fee, and basically left for dead by most football managers, the 39 year old striker has found a place during his return to Liverpool. He's basically shouldered much of the offensive loss the team felt when Suarez started his eight match ban, and his deciding goal on Wednesday was yet another example of how valuable he has become to the team. That he did it against a former team who basically shat on him, and did it to take Liverpool back to the League Cup final against another former (and hometown) team, is something pretty special.
That said, this Welshman-induced joygasm has slightly subsided in the nearly 48 hours since that match, and it is time to take a minute to calm down with some deep breaths. We talked a little about this, Yachtsman and I, in Episode 22 of the CrapTastiCast (which should drop sometime this weekend), and he mused as to how I was way more willing to praise this team who has still yet to win a GD thing. Fair enough.
So, they've made it back to Wembley. Now what?
In the short term, the "now what?" is tomorrow's FA Cup 4th Round matchup against Manchester United at Anfield. Man U, unburdened by the missing pieces that were the undoing of their cross-town counterparts this week, are coming into Anfield with high expectations. Where Man City may have found solace in their all-but-assured success in the League table this year, Man U has to be looking at the FA Cup as its best chance of silverware for the campaign. In other words, it could be seriouusly messy for the home town squad, and will certainly not be the kind of comparitively relaxed opposing side that Liverpool faced earlier this week. Throw in the ongoing tensions between the clubs following the Suarez/Evra incident, and there are plenty of reasons to watch this game tomorrow. Even if you don't even love the sport like some of us do.
Looking further ahead, assuming Liverpool doesn't survive this weekend of FA Cup play, the importance of the League Cup spikes considerably since Liverpool seems intent on blowing their chances to make a Top 4 finish and qualify for Champions League this year. Of course, a league cup title is probably worth much less to the team than a Champions League birth, but it is also something that the team has much more control over. Their finals opponent, Cardiff City, is a team that Liverpool should beat, and if Champions League ends up being too far out of reach due to the ongoing success of teams above LFC, it is a team that Liverpool must beat. The League Cup may be the sole remaining way for the Reds to put a positive stamp on this season and avoid another depressing summer of nothing but regret. A loss to Cardiff, a side playing in the lower-tier Championship, would be an embarassment and would only amplify the feelings of fans who have already seen plenty of missed opportunities this season.
In the end, as happy as I am about the win this week - and the way that they won - I'm still knee-deep in apprehension and anxiety as we approach the Man U match tomorrow, as well as the League Cup final later this month. At least I got those brief moments of joy to hold on to, and to remind me yet again why it is that I watch.
Fist pump this
I'm going to keep this one short because 1) I'm sick. 2) I have very limited time to write this. 3) Even after a win, it is difficult to write about this Buffalo Sabres team.
I attended last's night OT shootout win against the also struggling New Jersey Devils, and much like I did last time I visited the Prudential Center
, these are my thoughts from the game. Please note, just like the previous post, I have not checked box scores, watched any highlights, or spoke to anybody about the game besides those I attended with, so some of this might seem way off the mark. However, I don't get to see many games out here in tri-state, so suck it up and keep reading.
There are a few facts about last night that I must start with. First off, the seats were free. Otherwise, I probably would not have paid to watch this team, because, as you all know, they are dumpsters on skates. Next, the seats were very good. I don't mention this to brag (ok, maybe a little), but rather to point out that I normally don't sit this close to the ice, and some of the observations I'm about to make were possible because of the location. I would have taken pictures to show you where I was, but naturally I forgot my camera, and my cell phone is from 1976 and lacks clear picture technology. Finally, I missed a good portion of the game. The person in our group who had the seats didn't get out of work until 7pm, so we sat down with only five minutes left in the first period, and during the third period, none of the members of my party had eaten since lunch, so we enjoyed most of the third period from the "Goal Bar". Clever name, huh? We could still see the ice from this spot, but I will admit that I was slightly distracted. Moving on to "mail it in" format.
-As mentioned before, I sat down at right about the 5 minute mark, and immediately saw Matt Ellis fire the puck up the ice to Gerbe, who in turn put it in front of the net for Jordan Leopold. I believe this is what happened, as I said, I have not watched highlights or checked box scores. At first, I thought Ellis had skated down and put a rebound in, which of course sent me into a frenzy, but I quickly realized my mistake. Either way, in my first live game with the new Ellis jersey on, seeing him get a point that quickly had me in a pretty good mood.
-Which brings me back to Matt Ellis. Everyone is probably sick of me talking about him, but I will say one honest thing about him. He falls down a lot. I mean, A LOT. It isn't Michael Ryan levels yet, but when he digs for pucks he throws his body into so much that the poor guy just topples over. Noticed a good amount of this last night.
-Ville Leino is SOFT. I recognize that he is having an awful season and looks like one of the biggest FA busts in recent memory, but seeing him up close really revealed the problem. He looks like he is warming up before a pick-up game with a bunch of his buddies. Nothing but half-ass skating to pucks, lazy passes, and slow decision making. GARBAGE. It is so obvious that he flat out doesn't give a shit. I hope he proves all of us wrong, and it is nothing more than a mega slump, but I doubt it. He is the NHL's Mike James. (Kudos to the NBA fans that get that hysterical, yet spot on reference)
-And while I'm on the topic of Leino, how infuriating is it to see him skate with Stafford and Boyes. It's the "Oh hey, we all make $4 million a year, and if you combine our stats it equals what our individual production SHOULD be". Every time I see them on the ice together I pray for the world's first, triple lightning strike into an indoor arena. Put Weber and Sekera on the ice and let's make it a five-way.
-Derek Roy needs to be traded for the sole purpose of keeping members of the Deeg out of jail. Watching him turn the puck over, get pushed to the ice over and over, and taking absolutely ridiculous penalties that cost your team games is enough to make me....I won't even say it for future legal reasons. Trade him now, Darcy. For anything. Do the right thing.
-Luke Adam was beyond winded every single time he finished a shift. I'm wondering if his cut in minutes has anything to do with conditioning. He started the year on the top line and has seen his minutes dwindle down, so maybe the young guy is having a hard time adjusting to the full-time NHL schedule. Or maybe Lindy has no idea what he is doing anymore with all of his constant line changesAHTHANKYOUVERYMUCH!
-Why all the negative? The Sabres did win after all! Alright, so on to the things I liked....
-Ryan Miller looked solid. Again, maybe at home he looked pedestrian, but in comparison to the last time I watched him in Jersey, he appeared much more confident; like old school Miller who owned the Ice and could take over a game. I have no clue whose fault the first goal was, but he dominated in the shootout after getting beat by Kovalchuck.
-Nathan Gerbe and Jason Pominville are incredible to watch right now. I think both are taking these losses personally and it has been fueling them to go 'run-through-a-brick-wall' hard. Gerbe always skates hard, but you can tell the little guy REALLY hates to lose, and unlike other douchebags who appear unfazed (Stafford, Roy, Leino, Boyes, almost everybody else on the roster), he is taking it in his hands to motivate this team to play harder, just like he did in last year's 2nd half stretch. Pominville on the other hand, must be so fed up with being a captain that nobody responds to that he has taken it upon himself to do EVERYTHING. Including Vanek, nobody was looked better in a Sabres uniform than Pommers during these losses. I understand that isn't saying much, and it definitely is not a good thing that the team is most likely not responding to their captain, but at least he isn't giving up either. (I'm looking at you Rivet.) So how fitting was it that the two goals needed to win the game came from these two?
-At the start of the second period, my buddy Bill, who is not a big hockey fan, turned and asked me who the Sabres best player was. Without hesitation I blurted out "Thomas Vanek. Number 26. He's on the ice now." That is the first time in many seasons where that answer was not an immediate "Ryan Miller". Yes, it is obvious right now, but it's just odd to vocalize that for the first time....ever. Here's hoping this game catapults our goalie back to #1.
-The Christian Ehrhoff deal is not a bust. I was one of the first people to cast stones at him for his defensive liabilities, but the weeks leading to his concussion, and now the subsequent games that have followed, have shown me that he cares about winning and at many times looks like the best defender on the ice. I believe this will be one FA signing that Terry Pegula will not regret.
-Finally, if you were wondering how the wings were at the "Goal Bar", let me just tell you they may be the best tasting arena wings I've ever had. With that being said, they are also the smallest wings I have ever had in my life. It was seriously comical. An order of half a dozen wings from Buffalo is probably bigger in mass than an entire bucket of these things. Tiny in stature, but they packed a punch. I called them Gerbe wings! Get it?!? See what I did there? Alright, I'm a fucking idiot so I'll shut up now.
Until next time, follow me on twitter @TheScizz
, enjoy the worthless NHL All-Star game, and let's all hope and pray that this win gives these underachievers the spark they need. Go Sabres.
Last week, as my body deteriorated as it reacted to little sleep combined with a stomach bug combined with an impromptu visit to Elmhurst Medical Center, I reached my lowest point. Last night, as Mike Weber and Jordan Leopold looked utterly confused as to their respective purposes in life, and Ryan Miller was yet again run out of the net by a vastly superior team of ice hockey players, the Sabres followed suit.
As if it weren't clear, neither professional hockey teams nor 29 year old bodies are supposed to behave like this.
And while I have adjusted my sleep patterns and imbibed more than my fair share of fluids to right my own ship, I wonder just how much is being done to right what is so very, very wrong with our Buffalo Sabres.
Frankly, I fear that "nothing" may be pretty close to the truth.
What is becoming clear is that this season is a bust - the Sabres need to win roughly 70% of their games to even have a shot at the playoffs... that will not happen - and the only questions are whether we'll actually get any watchable, palatable hockey in the meantime, and whether organizational shakeups will happen sooner rather than later.
As to the first question, your guess is as good as mine. The team we've seen these past couple months is a shadow of its former self - the self which dug deep for a 7 seed last year and then pushed one of the East's best to the brink. I don't know if I've seen this team dig that deep since November, even for just a period. For a town that prides itself in its support for hard-working hockey, and for an organization which has sold itself as purposed towards a Cup above all else, this lack of on-ice passion is staggering and disheartening. And for a fanbase that tends to support its teams so long as the games are watchable competitions of relatively even sides, it shouldn't be that hard for the team to put together some decent hockey and give us a continuing reason to overdrink on weeknights. But, while it shouldn't be that hard, it apparently is. Say what you will about the pieces still missing from the roster - and there are PLENTY to speak of - but we all thought, at the very least, that they'd step out onto the ice and compete. Instead, they've simply folded, leaving us with a shitty product with shitty prospects for the future.
As for the organizational shakeups that are sure to come given the team's failure to achieve even the most basic of goals, I do hope that they come sooner rather than later. The caveat being, of course, that this season is an unchangeable turd sandwich with absolutely no realistic hope of salvation, so any shakeups we see need to be purposed towards the long term. With the disastrous results on Long Island and in Detroit these past two games, no reasonably thinking Sabres fan is looking for a splash that might turn this season around. But, since it's all too likely that the on-ice product will remain garbage, the least the team can do is start actively trying to find ways to make the team better for next year so that we fans can at least have that to cheer for. Most fans will ultimately be ok with waiting on that Cup run - hell, its been over 40 years, we can be patient for a couple more. But, even with that general willingness to be patient, we will have a hard time stomaching the developing feeling that the team is spiraling downwards with no legitimate hope of recovery on the horizon.
Which is exactly what watching this Sabres squad of underachieving, overhyped nancies has felt like. Putrid, vomuit-inducing shit heading further and further down the drain. And, sadly, for those who've been able to stomach it, you all know that this is far from hyperbole.
So, dearest Terry Pegula, you humble man of such extensive means - IT'S YOUR SHOW. We're all in for your master plan for this Sabres team, and we know it will take a little bit of time, but in the meantime we need you to show us something. We need you need to show us that, as much as we all love Lindy, you are beginning to understand - as we have - that he might not be the guy to take us to the promised land. We need you need to show us that, as well as he's played in the past, you see - as we have - that Ryan Miller is showing himself to be not quite up to the task of the Sabres #1 goaltender and might need to find a home elsewhere. And we need you need to show us that, as locked in to its farm system as this team has been over the last decade, you appreciate - as we have - that there might be another, easier, quicker road to a Cup victory than sticking by our "core" through thick and thin, and that there's no shame in admitting that the philosophy of the franchise you took over might need some major tweaking.
The fragile sports psyche of the Buffalo fan, promised time and again that progress is coming, only to be served the same shit sandwich from its teams year after year, needs this all more than ever right now.
Terry, again - IT'S YOUR SHOW.
Not a cafe
We'll keep this brief. This past Tuesday evening, the Deeg and friends gathered at the Paris Cafe in the South Street Seaport to watch the Sabres take on, and eventually lose to, the Leafs. While there, we figured we might as well record an entire episode, street-cast style. What followed was pure rage and nonsense.
We recorded four segments: one pre-game with the Scizz and Apologist (a sickly Barrister wanders in near the end), and then one after each period, including an epic final segment in which the Yachtsman makes his triumphant podcast return (he rolled into the bar with 13 minutes left in the 3rd). What you will hear is all of us raging on Derek Roy, Drew Stafford, Lindy Ruff, Darcy Regier, Tim Connolly (yup, still going with that), and everything and anything about the Sabres. I'm not sure if any of it even makes sense, but make sure you stick around for Yachter's EPIC rant during that final segment. Classic stuff.
Other topics include fancy hats, the New York Giants, being allowed to have secondary teams, Mike D'Antoni, Time Warner Cable & MSG, a lovely James Hetfield impression, and bunch of other shit that probably doesn't matter. But, let's be honest, that is the reason you listen to us. Music interludes are brought to you this week by the Clash, My Morning Jacket, Jethro Tull, and Jadakiss. You read that right. Fuuuuuuuuuck Yeeeeeeeeeeah! D-BLOCK!
Stream or click the link button. You know by now. (Or check out our Libsyn site!
Two of the assholes you're listening to
Welcome to Brooklyn
The Scizz & The Yachtsman
AoB is back by popular demand! And by popular demand, of course, I'm referring to a incredibly miniscule handful of readers/listeners. But seriously, even if you aren't a huge basketball fan, this is a fun podcast to listen to. Fun was had by all and I believe it to be the bee's knees. Moving on....
This past Saturday night, the Yachtsman and myself gathered in his backyard in Brooklyn with some rare beer and even rarer 58 degree January weather to talk NBA hoops.
The Grouch (guest contributor)
One of the most unique attributes of the American culture, or any culture, really, is the way in which that culture deals with its most basic problems. Think about death for a second, and the many ways in which different places in the world handle that issue. The predominant American method, on the other hand, is a stridently Anglo-fied rendition which includes a whole mess of things from grief, to fundamental Christian religion, to economics. There are, as it goes, surely better means available to us.
This is the usual derivative, trash of a piece on the failings of, *sigh*, us as a people, but so it goes. At the more finite levels, our failings rear their ugly head in all manner of pithy domestic issues. Put broadly, it is, essentially, this: we are not particularly good at sorting out the many messes that entail any problem, and certainly no good at handling foresight.
My favorite phrase for this is that we are hopelessly addicted to building fire stations after the fire.
This is not going to be a happy post.
I'm fucking bitter. Right from the outset, dear readers, please understand that there is a LOT pissing me off these days. For the life of me, though, I can't stomach a full post where I take on one, cohesive topic of my rage. I'm exhausted from vacation (go figure), I'm already exhausted from work, and I'm exhausted by the dozen or so little corners of my sports world that make me want to find Jerry Sullivan's NYC doppleganger and strangle him to a long, slow death.
I am not in a good place, in other words.
Keeping wildlife, an amphibious rodent, for uh, domestic... you know, within the city... that ain't legal either.
Wow. Where do I start?
Do I start with Stevie Johnson's benching? Do I mention that our quarterback with a six-year contract leads the league in interceptions and bewildered-bearded expressions? Do I point out George Edwards' defense gave up the second most points in a half in the HISTORY of this tortured franchise? Do I bring up the fact that all excuses aside Nix & Gailey have a 10-22 record? Do I expect Jerry Sullivan to ever bring any effort to a column again?
Well, I suppose I have to.