Oh, spring. The time of year when I have already given up on baseball except on the days when my team's improbable Cy Young candidate is pitching; when the Sabres have, not so improbably, retired for the off-season; when sports are a simple backdrop to thoughts of day drinking in the sun and cutting out of work as often as possible.
For the next three months or so, soccer will really be the only sport I care about, and that's just fine with me. While the Buffalo Bills tempt us into a familiar land of hopes and dreams, I'll be in the corner enjoying a sport that hasn't yet beaten me into submission with annual kicks to the nuts.
/looks at prior Liverpool season results
/kicks self in aforementioned nuts as penance for blatant lie
Of course, paying any attention to this sport flies in the face of certain opinions set forth by certain creepy sports journalists in Tuffalo
, but I think it goes without saying that Mike Harrington is simply out of his element when he tries to talk about anything that doesn't fall within the following categories:
- the availability of Terry Pegula for sarcastic, caustic interviews;
- the quickest way to climb a tree outside an unsuspecting woman's window;
- tying knots;
- the best proportion of Miracle Whip and Fritos to put on a bologna sandwich;
- the fragrance of a minor league baseball locker room;
- buying bulk candy;
- Jerry Sullivan's jock; and
- LOL ROFL Doh! Thanx
So, when it comes to soccer, don't worry about this knuckledragger's opinion. When he hears "The Beautiful Game," his mind instantly shifts to family reunion Twister. He's gross.
On to the #Hot #Sports #Takes!!!
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.
It sure has been a while since I dusted off my gloves and took the media to task for its latest absurdity in the sports world. Sometimes, these venomous hit jobs are directed at The Network - an easy enough target, what with the willingness to sit on apparent evidence of child molestation at Syracuse, only to run the story without even giving the authorities the opportunity to vet that evidence and find that, in sum, it was demonstrably false. And sometimes, these hit jobs are directed at Buffalo sports media - also an easy target, what with the spelling errors, the apparent desire to merely yuk it up with a failing, entrenched hockey coach and the pathetic derision of a blogger community which has arguably provided better and more insightful sports analysis over the past couple years. (Not here at the Deeg, of course. We are more than happy to be the slime scraped out of the bottom of the barrel, presented as food for your more carnal cravings. It's what we do.)
One of the things I've noticed about Buffalo sports fans is that they can tend to believe that their town is getting jobbed at every opportunity. It's certainly no surprise, given the history, but it can leave people with a lingering sense that, in essence, whatever we get in Buffalo is a class below what everyone else gets in other cities. Sports teams? Inferior from top to bottom. Local theater and music? Undeveloped and of poor quality. Government? Corrupt and ineffective in a way unseen throughout America. Schools? Underfunded and forgotten. Cheerleaders? Sixes instead of tens. (This one may be right).
Some of this is true. In many ways, other cities do have it better. In a lot of ways, though, Buffalo has the exact same problems as other cities, but has convinced itself that the grass is greener in New York City, in Boston, in D.C., in Philly. I've found this to be especially true when it comes to how we digest our local sports media in Western New York. There always seems to be a lingering sense that Bucky and Harrington and Hamilton and Sully are on a lower tier than the guys who cover sports in the big markets. With the internet, though, we can verify that this is simply not true, and never was this more apparent to me than during the post-game presser following last Friday's Rangers-Devils Game 6.
Dear God, it was brutal.
So, in keeping with the overlap between "media hit piece" and "mailing it in," here is the transcript of the questions asked to Rangers coach John Tortorella following Game 6. My thoughts are in italics.
Those are interesting points Mr. White, Mr. Schopp. In rebuttal, I would ask that you both blow me. Cheers.
Listen, I'm not a huge Chan Gailey fan. In the midst of my fantasies about what the Bills could be this year, there is more than enough of a realist in me, telling me that there are hordes of things wrong with this team and that at least some of those things fall directly on Chan's shoulders.
But, there's realism and then there's churlish pettiness. One merits a simple nod of the head, the other deserves a water balloon full of herpes.
Earlier today, the triggering event for many comments and criticisms to follow, Chan was quoted as saying that he expected to win every game this year. Better yet, let's get the whole quote, so that we're all on the same page: "If you don't expect it, something's wrong with you," Gailey said when asked about expecting his team to make the playoffs. "If you say, I hope we're just a little bit better than last year, you ought to get out. That's wrong. I expect to win every one of them. I expect to be undefeated."
Gailey, in charge of selling his players on the idea of winning, and in charge - at least partially - with convincing us fans that the team is in the winning business, gave us what we should all hope for in a head coach: Hope. He didn't coat it with the realism we Buffalonians seem to value; he didn't tell us the actual truth about what, if a gun was pointed to his head, he would bet on for the Bills' season record. Instead, he gave us what we need as sports fans -- a reason to watch; to see if he can prove himself right, even if we know that he can't possibly really believe it.
But, goddammit if those clowns at WGR don't want to make us all feel like knuckle-dragging morons for seeing the real truth behind Gailey's lie. Goddammit if those clowns don't want to express their intellectual superiority - as if there's something so fucking brilliant about pointing out that, clearly, the Bills will not go 16-0, duh - while making us feel just a little bit less than ourselves for getting behind Chan for speaking confidently about his team and his job.
Good lord, the contempt with which these ass clowns hold the plebeian Bills fans for whom they apparently speak is OUTRAGEOUS. Mr. White, Mr. Schopp, I'm not one for cheap shots - wait, yes I am - but you two, and many of your comrades over at WGR, are sanctimonious knob gobblers. With great power comes great responsibility, and fuck it if these guys don't consistently thumb their noses at the special place that they have in Buffalo sports media and the trust that we fans, in essence, have invested in them.I won't waste my time with the reasons Schopp and White put forth (apparently over the course of THREE HOURS on air today) about why they think Gailey was stupid or silly or out of his mind. As I noted above, logic tells us that Gailey probably doesn't believe that the Bills will win every game. And even if he does, logic can also tell us that there is a benefit to his statements apart from their truth.
Nay, I take umbrage with the way
that these guys went about this whole argument, and about how it turned into one big joke for them -- "Everyone look and laugh at the stupid fans who respect Gailey for what he said. They're Stoopid!!" While the real fans, and the real sentient beings amongst us, get that there is a difference between the truth a coach gives us in a presser and the actual truth
, Mr. Schopp and Mr. White are so adamant that we have to choose between the two; that we can't see the good sense in Gailey's comments without ignoring the fact that those comments are, in a sense, ridiculous; that we can't be sensible and realistic about the Bills chances without seeing the value in Gailey's simple act of speaking those ridiculous words out loud. While the twits at WGR are always telling us - over and over - about how they want to give us the "straight truth" about our sports teams, and about how it's about respecting us fans enough to give us that truth, they have today shown themselves to think so little of us that they can't possibly fathom that we understand that Gailey's comments will probably be shown to be faulty in the end - NO FUCKING WAY!! - but that we can, at the same time!, validly feel that he's right
to make those comments. Gailey loves our Bills (and his job), and he loves them enough to feed them a little (read: BIG) white lie, a lie that hurts no one except for the sensibilities of dumbass radio hosts who care more about semantics than the big picture. Who care more about being right than about increasing a fan's enjoyment of the sport.I'm not even really sure why all this bothers me so much. Of course, Mat
thew Stewart at Buffalo Wins already covered Schopp's douchebaggery earlier today
, and maybe that should be enough. But, on the eve of the season, maybe the only moment where Bills fans can allow themselves to swim in the depths of foolish hopes and dreams for the return of a winning franchise, our coach comes out and stands with us in that hope. And these dipshits, with their soapbox monopoly over the Buffalo sports airwaves, choose to poop all over it, and all over us who choose to stand behind Gailey in the shared hope of success in 2011 rather than wallowing in the likely reality of a failed Bills season. This is the same old-world mentality that shits on new ideas that might spark a rejuvenation in Western New York, constantly focused on the likelihood of failure rather than the chance of success. This is the same old-world mentality that pushes vibrant voices like Nick Mendola's off of the air, seemingly preferring a solidarity of thought, marketplace of ideas be damned. With so many voices across the blogosphere who speak with a wit and intelligence and variety that make WGR seem laughably quaint in its narrow-mindedness (as Matthew so much more eloquently put earlier today at Buffalo Wins), I think it important to join in the fray and let my intentions be known. So long as Buffalo sports radio is limited to the, largely, asshat population guiding the reigns at WGR, and so long as those clowns continue to make money off of local listenership while unpaid blogger minions routinely outperform them, I will continue to call foul on the status quo and hope for a day when Buffalo sports receives more adequate coverage and consideration by those that get paid to do it.Of course, by jumping into the fray - where Schopp and White live daily - I think it fair for people to disagree with me. Maybe even call out the hypocrisy of my calling foul on WGR after calling Tim Connolly-apologists idiots, for instance.
It's fair. Can't take faceless internet potshots without expecting a few in return. Either way, there's one thing that all of us can agree on, even if the guys at WGR want to make us feel a little like fools for doing so: Let's Go Buffalo.And now for a video that is, perhaps, more dramatic than is appropriate for this ultimately petty post. But, it certainly suits my mood, at least so long as I have the
growing urge to punch Mike Schopp in his ugly, unfortunate-looking face.
Follow me on Twitter. And the rest of the DGWU Crew, too.
Do we have a great episode for you friends! This week is chock full of guests, returns, and absenteeism. You are probably familiar with Andy Boron as one of the dudes that runs Die By The Blade
, which has become the major blogosphere hub for all Sabres news and information on the interwebs. However, what you may not know is that Andy is a really awesome and cool dude that was a pleasure to have on the CrapTastiCast, AND really knows his shit to boot. We were more than excited to pop his podcasting cherry and are definitely encouraging DBTB to join in the podcast ranks.
We also welcomed Joe from Buffalo Wins
(who was grabbing pre-cast beers with us) into the studio for some takes and discussion with Andy. Three Blogs, one podcast. Did we just blow your mind? Probably not but it was still cool to have Joe on board for the night. We also welcomed back our amazingly talented producer Megsie, who had just returned from two weeks of Gallivanting across Europe. Not sure how we got by without her. You may also notice the Scizz's terrifically awkward intro, which was due to the absence of one, the Yachtsman, who has been sent on a covert mission by Sabres Nation to Colorado in order to bring back Mr. Paul Stastny. You think we are joking? Why else would someone give that lunatic a gun?
ACTUAL PHOTO. Hide you kids, hide your wives.
There were some great topics discussed on episode 12. Before Andy joined us we did some quick takes with Joe about domestic beer, roadtrips, NASCAR, Sabres free agency, the relocation of the Bills, and attempt to answer the big question: Is Buffalo a Football or Hockey town? Once Andy joins us, we discuss how Die By The Blade began and it's rise through the blogosphere. He talks about his blog journey and the fact that DBTB was started as place for ex-pats to go for Sabres news, as he was once an ex-pat himself. We also chat about illegal feeds of Sabres games, more free-agency, the fan divide on Timmy Connolly, the Yachtsman/Stastny covert mission, and you may notice quite a bit more Toronto shit-talking than usual. So bring it Leafs fans. We then spend a some of time talking about the "blow-up" over at WECK1230 and their transition to "The Breeze" without friend of the podcast, Nick Mendola and his crew. There is also some solid chatter to close things out about the blogger summit and our collective concerns over press passes for bloggers.
We would like to thank Andy again for coming on the CrapTastiCast and we our privileged that he even links to us at all. And of course thanks to Joe for coming back, Megsie for all the incredible stuff she does, and our sound-man extraordinaire, Mondee for always coming through in the clutch.
Download the podcast by clicking here
or with that nifty little button below. Make sure to subscribe if you haven't already. You can also stream using podhoster under the itunes link or this site's own sexy audio player. Yup. I said sexy. Enjoy the mayhem!