Our Buffalo Sabres announced that Ron Rolston will be staying on as head coach today. You can hate this move. You can wish the team went another way. You can kick and scream and wish for something better. But you can't for a second believe you know what the fuck you're talking about.
We are fans and,. by definition, amateurs.
I don't care that you study the game and used to play hockey and think that fucking matters. I don't care that you trust the unsourced quotes from other "NHL GMs" that Sully and Bucky like to shove in our faces more than you trust Darcy Regier. You may be a plenty smart, reasonable individual, but YOU DON'T KNOW SHIT.
Neither do I, for the record.
The Commander, guest contributor
Hi there, welcome to The DEEG. I’m “The Commander”, which is totally a play on Cobra Commander. Confession: I’m a giant GI Joe dork, I have an entire room full of action figures and shit. I’m a grown ass man and everything. I even have a job, and a girlfriend, and a shitload of cats and dogs. If you don’t know me, that’s ok I haven’t written anything long form in forever. Basically, I’m a Twitter smartass and the people who run this place love that sort of thing so they gave me a chance to be funny and entertaining in more than 140 characters.
First a little background so that you guys get where I’m coming from when it comes to my relationship with Buffalo sports. I was actually born in Cleveland and moved to Buffalo when I was about 9 years old. Being too young to really care about the Cleveland teams, I latched onto the Bills and Sabres and grew up following them. The first Bills game I attended in person was The Comeback, so really It’s been all downhill from there. About 2 years ago I moved to California and jinxed the only pro team in my immediate area into moving to Seattle. You’re welcome Sacramento! Despite having a “9 to 5” I’ve been able to watch like 95% of every Sabres game this year…thanks to mobile devices and working from home occasionally. So now that you have an idea of the lengths I go to be disappointed in my sports teams, I feel that I can openly bitch and complain about them for you. The only difference between you and I is that at least when the Bills and Sabres suck unequivocal amounts of ass in November or December, I don’t have to shovel snow.
This is a terrible time to jump aboard the DEEG, Bills season is long over and another shitty Sabres season is behind us. But I wanted to take this time and reflect on the 5 things that I hated the most about the past Sabres season.
Super big wieners.
super bigger huge wieners
God help me for bothering to do this today. Pretty sure it's that asshole Dan Sterlace's fault, but whatever. I'm in too deep now.
Today, unless you're a Sabres fan living under a rock that doesn't allow for decent wifi, you know there was a press conference with Ted Black and Darcy Regier. Awesome! I seem to remember they didn't have one of those last year! I bet those pros over at the Buffalo News were so excited and put on their nicest Burger King pants for the occasion. I bet they even decided not to be their usual turd burgling selves and act like adults for once.
Oh mannnnnnnn, was this a terrible shit show. Everyone walked away from this looking like a terrible human being - Darcy, Mike Harrington, Jerry Sullivan, Paul Hamilton (though to be fair he waddled away looking like a walrus with terrible grammar, as per usual), Ted Black, some asshole from Channel 2 named Scott Brown and one or two guys named John, one whom I can only assume was Jon Vogl and the other who I learned was John Wawrow. Of course, the key players of Rusty Tromboning were to be expected, but fuck. The dipshittery was flying from every direction. Pretty sure I've interviewed inmates on Rikers facing murder charges evince more of a commitment to civility than I saw on display.
Oh, and they also talked about the terrible hockey team we inexplicably love. Good times.
What's the solution? Oh, I'm going to FJM this motherfucker. It's the only way we get right again.
HERE WE GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
Tomorrow night the longest lockout shortened season in the history of sports is coming to an end. Seriously, it’s only been three months; I have the schedule in front of me and everything. If you want highlights only, this will be a quick read for you: season opener, three Boston wins, comeback against Montreal, snapping Pittsburgh’s win streak. There, you can go back to whatever it was you were doing before you got here; I’m only writing this because the Wild Card is some sort of wunderkind and I’m feeling inadequate. Actually I’ll give you one more highlight: waking up at the gate in JFK at 7:30am after Occupy Newark, surrounded by dozens of people with only hazy recollection of how I got there. Probably should have just taken Scizz’s couch invite instead of taking a cab to the airport at 4am, but I am thankful for whatever TSA agent kindly let me through security.
That still-intoxicated confusion amongst the chaos of a crowded airport terminal is indicative of the season we just watched. What happened? Why was everything so terrible? Why am I still wearing this Vanek jersey? Well, I watched nearly every game and I don’t have the slightest goddamn clue. All I know is this is the first season I didn’t see a win in person since 2003-2004 and I’ve spent nearly all of those seasons in between living hours away. Well that, and that there were many specific things that came together like some sort of horrifying, malevolent Captain Planet to ruin our evenings three times a week.
At first I was just going to list all the things that were horrible about this season but as I got to eleven it struck me that first, with enough time this list could go on perpetually as if I was writing out the decimals in pi, looking for an end, and second, I wanted to identify what was worse than all the others; what, when matched up against the other “worst” things on the list, made the others look better. Think of this like a Bill Simmons' NBA trade value column, except you’ve heard of these names and I don’t get paid for it. To properly settle this, I decided to seed the eight worst entities about this season and match them up in a tournament format to see what exactly would come out on top (bottom?), along with my analysis.
To the seedings: 9 (Honorable Mention): John Scott
- I definitely bitched about his presence on the ice more than some of the things found below, but when compiling this list I felt he may have gotten a bad rap from me. First, we all knew coming in he wasn't skilled at hockey. Two, it wasn't his decision to put him in the lineup constantly, leaving talented- err, less awful
players scratched. However, he would have cracked my top 8 if it wasn't for his photobombing post-game interviews
late in the season. So, thanks to some stellar off-ice moves, Scott does not make the most hated tournament. But seriously, get the fuck off my team now. 8) Jochen Hecht:
I’m not sure what I hate more, his complete ineptitude on offense, the rare moments when that ineptitude disappears, or the fact that everyone involved in making organizational decisions loves this guy for reasons beyond understanding. Ruff, Regier and Rolston have raved about this statue and I haven’t the slightest fucking clue. Giving Hecht top line minutes was effectively hoping for a 1-0 win or a 2-1 overtime loss, and despite this I STILL don’t trust them to cut ties after this season. He’s a fucking 80’s horror villain. Go away. 7) Drew Stafford:
Fuck Drew Stafford. Thanks for those two shootout goals I guess, dickface. 6) The Buffalo News:
This is primarily a credit to their belief that all the teams ills would have been solved if the owner had commented about Regier or the Pominville trade. Watching them slowly melt down during the season into petulant children was pretty funny when I wasn’t annoyed by the pettiness and lack of professionalism by people who actually do get paid to write for a living. Plus they’re fucking creepy. Solid dark horse as a six seed
Hi. I'm the Scizz. I write for this blog. Earlier today I found out that Buffalo Sabres' defenseman Tyler Myers has a broken leg and is out for the rest of the year. My immediate reaction?
It is amazing how much Buffalo sports simply don't matter to me right now. Now I hope the injury is not going to hinder his career or anything like that. I definitely don't wish injuries on players (unless their name is Lucic, Brady, or Vick and in that case they can all be set on fire while their limbs are ripped off by wild horses). Yet, there is something comical about the team's supposed "young star" being knocked out and finding myself having absolutely no emotion whatsoever. Of course besides that whole heart made of the blackest coal thing, I'm a pretty emotional guy SHUT UP EVERYBODY I CRIED AT THE END OF COOL RUNNINGS THEY TRIED SO HARD LEAVE ME ALONE!
So since I realized that two seasons ago this would have left me distraught and my day ru-eened, I figured I'd provide a quick list of 10 things that concern me more right now. This is probably pretty stupid but it took 11 minutes for me to write it, so get bent.
10. Giving up beer for 6 out of 7 days a week until my wedding, June 1st. Why did I do this? I know I want Jesus abs for the honeymoon and everything, but holy christ do I love beer. I'll never make it.
9. Whether to watch re-runs of Samford & Son, Wonder Years, or the 1960's Spider-Man cartoon on Netflix after work.
8. The homeless guy outside my job that looks suspiciously like Mike Harrington. (I still got it! Yeeeeeeeah!)
7. Kris Letang's injuries. Motherfucker is on my fantasy team and I neeeeeeeed him right now. That shit matters.
6. *WARNING! SEMI-POLITICAL SENTENCE* People that can say with a straight face that automatic weapons serve a purpose in society outside of law-enforcement and the military.
This seems about right.
5. Choosing the Yachtsman to be my best man and Barrister to be the man who marries me to my wife. I have nobody else to blame but myself.
4.This weird rash on my inner thigh.
3. Russ Brandon is still a thing.
2. The Knicks' winning streak has ended, Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin are injured, and the name James Singleton is being floated around. Dumb sports.
1. How am I going to survive my bachelor party? Like, seriously you guys? I'm concerned for my own well-being and all those around me that weekend. Take your craziest bender and multiply it by a hundred. Now you're getting close to the level of debauchery that's going to happen. I'm scared.
THESE are things to be concerned about. Feel free to add your own in the comments below.
Unless of course this is some rare, catastrophic leg-break that means Tyler Myers will never play hockey again and I probably should have taken the whole situation more serious. In that case, please contact @JoeBuffaloWins
for all of your hate and concerns. He actually wrote this.
AS IF YOU NEEDED ONE, AMIRITE??
I hate having to write this, but I'm a sucker for accuracy and specificity and setting the record straight when it's been sullied by knuckledragging journalists who couldn't care less about accuracy, professionalism or personal hygiene, and today was a perhaps overlooked adventure in misrepresentation in media and the willingness of fans to fall down a rabbit hole of obfuscation.
How's that for a fun potshotting intro? You're hooked! You're blissfully unaware I'm just a hack, basement-dwelling blogger!! Success!
The good (great) news is that this isn't a fan piece on booing. It's a fan piece on why the #WhiteVanBrigade has failed us, again.
Today... NEWSFLASH: RYAN MILLER AND RON ROLSTON CALL SABRES FANS ASSHOLES FOR BOOING; FANS RETORT BY CALLING THEM UNDERPERFORMING PUSSIES
It's probably more fun to just believe that our favorite players and our coach are talking directly to us after a game, giving unsolicited comments about the game we just watched. It's more fun to think of just those comments, and not the context of those comments when assessing a game story because, among many reasons, Paul Hamilton and Mike Harrington are both creepy and weird looking and who wants to think that they're part of the scenario. Hell, I can't be bothered to watch locker room interviews after a Sabres game anymore for fear of a walrus peeking out in the corner of the frame, voice recorder in hand, pastrami sandwich in pocket.
Guest Contributor: The Wild Card
HOCKEY HEAVEN -- (Trade Deadline minus 25 hours, 8 minutes. Associated Mess) -- With Leopold and Regehr gone it's pretty clear now that Darcy intends to blow this motherfucker up, burn this motherfucker down and otherwise do things to this motherfucker that make it different tomorrow. Cool. They need to look different, but now I'm wondering if they'll be different. And the reason to think they won't be is the common denominator: Darcy.
A lot of people want Darcy gone, and I tentatively count myself among their number. The case against Darcy is easy to make, and it usually comes down to results. No cups. 1 cup appearance a long time ago. Drury, Briere, yada yada. I'm not telling you anything new. My problem is that I can make a pretty strong case in Darcy's favor too. He did have the sense to bring in said Chris and said Danny for next to nothing. He got a 1st for a goose. He just traded two 32-yr old defensemen with 12 games left on their contracts for 3 second round picks and a 4th/5th. Not too shabby. He moves Van/Pom/Mil and we could suddenly picking every 5 minutes in June. And with promising guys like Armia, Grigorenko (yes, shutup you shit-sniffing troll, the kid's going to be fine) and Leggio in the organization, I have to think Darcy's done a pretty decent job assembling some young talent.
But here's why I still think I want Darcy gone: with all that being said, under Darcy's regime these teams have been largely the same - dispassionate, soft, leaderless. The Drury/Briere era was the exception. We had clear leaders, and the other players had clear roles. But the leadership on that team wasn't drafted by Darcy. Drury and Briere were trades. McKee was drafted pre-Darcy. Lydman was a trade... Darcy just doesn't draft leaders. Name a guy Darcy drafted that would be a suitable captain on an NHL team. ... anyone?
I just can't get around it. I think about all the moves that Darcy has made here. I think about what he's tried to do. What the general philosophy of the team is. I have to admit, I agree with all of it. I even like the philosophy of building out from your goaltender, playing good defense and not droppin' cash like Tyrone Biggums in Free Agency.
But for 16 years he has failed to draft a true captain for this team. That's just not acceptable. ALL the good teams have good captains. Let's have a look down the list:
Chi - Toews, Sharpe, Keith (not to mention Kane)
ANA - Getzlaf, Koivu, Selanne (not to mention Perry)
MIN - Koivu, Parise, Suter
LA - Brown, Richards, Kopitar
PIT - Crosby, Malkin, Orpik
MTL - Gionta, Markov, (and Gorges... but fuck that.)
BOS - Chara, Bergeron (not to mention Horton, Marchand, Lucic, Seguin, and Thornton... good god I'm jelly. OK, back to grown-up talk.)
These guys are ALL-STARS, and most of them are gritty, intense, tenacious. Our guys are just good. Them: MEN. Us: Whiney little boners. I mean, do Vanek and Pominville stack up to ANY of these guys? If they were traded to any of these teams, do you think they'd say "shit, we gotta put a letter on this guy" ?
Maybe Darcy can change his stripes, I don't know. I think he's always been pretty good at seeing this team's weaknesses on the X's and O's front. Steve Ott is a good example. We needed to get tougher at the top and he knew it. So we got tougher at the top. But Ott is also a guy I like a lot as a leader. Could it be that Darcy knows we need leadership too?
He might only have 24 hours to prove it.Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @DGW_WildCard
This is as belated as we've been in a while. Maybe the dad among us shouldn't promise to edit anymore, particularly on a noght of such heavy drinking. With esteemed Deeg colleague Monsieur Boner Shorts in town, things got weird.
I won't bother recapping it, except to say this was recorded the night of Tuesday, March 26th, in the midst of Sabres, Knicks, USMNT, Clippers/Mavs and shots of whiskey. Also, the Scizz was there, so if you love the soft tones of his Franklinville accent, make sure to join in the fun with a download.
or stream below if you want, whatever. Subscribe via the itunes link below, or via RSS at www.deargodwhyussports.libsyn.com/rss ... I think?
The Barrister and The Apologist
I don't even care that the title of this episode rips off 'Friends' - it's accurate. We're mean in this one. Well, really only with respect to certain creepy members of a certain local newspaper's sports staff.
Recorded during and after the Sabres' most recent game - a win?!?? - against the Maple Leaves of Toronto, we talk plenty about the Sabres, how sad we are about the lack of silver linings this season, and then whistfully predict the inevitable Cup run. Oh, and Joe from Buffalo Wins makes a cameo to talk about striking out with the smokeshow bartender at Gleason's, further adding to the list of things we'll make fun of him about when he returns to Twitter on Easter.
Musical additions by the way of Jefferson Airplane, Homeboy Sandman and Kasabian.
, or stream below in the media player. And if you haven't, subscribe to all of our "great" "podcasts" via RSS
or the iTunes button below. LIKE A BOSS.
[the camera slightly rises to reveal a set of rugged old tires and then an equally rugged sedan, formerly sleek and currently rusted. Inside the car are four friends, empty tall boys of Coors Light tucked on their sides. The car rolls to a stop as the driver hands a wad of bills to the parking lot attendant on his left. The camera is set on the car's rear as it rolls slowly forward into a parking spot and the four doors each open suddenly. The tall boys are replaced by fresher versions from the trunk. Music plays over the idle chatter, revealing a certain atmosphere of hope as the friends don blue and gold jerseys.]
[cut to a startled Dubs, waking from a deep slumber in the embrace of a leather recliner, pretzels strewn across his torso and a dried mix of saliva and a Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA crusted on the right corner of his mouth. The look of disappointment washes over his face as he realizes that it is 2013 and the dream... distant.]
This is where we're at, Sabres fans. Our best memories of this team are forgotten and unreachable on the ass end of a half decade of ongoing disappointments. The 2013 joy of watching with friends and keeping up with the team ... largely dissipated after a horrid first month or so of hockey. With a 1.8% chance of making the playoffs, that time when we love our hockey the most, we can barely recall why we ever loved this team so much in the first place, other than an unrelenting commitment to our hometown, despite its many faults. Hockey used to be at the forefront of how we imagined Buffalo could be - social, excited, optimistic, fun - but now we struggle, especially when we do it from afar, to think much of anything good about what our hometown could be when one of its formerly superior products has failed so miserably. A future of incessant losing for our beloved home appears to be written in the stars.
#BecauseItsBuffalo appears to be a matter of divine providence.
I have a hard time discerning where it is I would like to place the heap of blame that I have stored up for this team. We always need to blame someone, of course, and even the act of placing blame becomes a competitive venture as we seek out a moment of triumph to fill that empty place left by a losing hockey team. Golisano. Small market economics. Those dickhead Rigas bitches. The media. Darcy. Lindy. European divers. Lazy Vanek. Derek Roy's STDs. Game presentation. The lack of fan noise. We can choose as many as we want, really, so long as we're willing to argue about it.
And then, when we're tired of deciding where the buck must stop, we revert to arguing about what manner of hope for the team is most appropriate. Hope for failure with the expectation of draft picks and a more solid and speedy rebuild? Or hope for winning now, draft position be damned, so that we may get small moments of triumph presently and may, if just for a night, revel in victory and forget the sordid history of defeat? We call each other bandwagoners and idiots and fools and callous pricks, and we bemoan how much we miss a hockey team that wins with some predictable regularity.
What I really miss, though, is arriving together at a point in time where we fans can all feel hope for this team again. Where it wouldn't sound like a terrible idea to hop in a car and head to some out-of-town arena just to see our boys battle for 60 minutes, win or lose. Where we can argue about which team and which team's fans we hate, rather than which part of our own fan base we hate, since we're all united in a shared devotion to Buffalo hockey.
We have none of that, now, at least not for more than a couple of weeks at any given time in any given season. Instead, pessimism (rightly, probably) rules and we're left to argue about the post mortem before the season is officially, mathematically dead. We're left with a "rational" part of our fan base wishing for the team to tank while the "fun" part of our fan base - the part that chooses joy at watching a team succeed, if only fleetingly - rails against the idea of ever cheering for your team to fail. We're left with many fans fitting into both of those warring factions from time to time as each of us struggles to find a mindset in which supporting this team is palatable again.
I wish I had a way to wrap this up with words of wisdom or some reprimand for being the kind of petty, stupid fans we have become, but this isn't that post. This is the post where I simply observe, commiserate, and quietly hope for some spark to bring us back to that place about which I so often dream.