As sports observers, in an effort to make ourselves feel that sports are more significant than they are, maybe, we often look for a moral component to weave into the narrative. We look at the field of play, of course, and then the life off the pitch. We search for a quality, or even just a moment of a perceived quality, where a player becomes emblematic of the evil guy you believe/want him to be.
Hating guys is often less trouble, since there's not the kind of risk that goes hand in hand with watching your beloved hero inevitably fail. In football, the guys I've always hated most have been good. Very good. Brady, Revis, Marino, Emmitt. Above all, we hate guys because they're good. Because they've made a habit of making our squad look like bitches. Because hating them is so much fun.
Hating a player for being good alone is rarely enough fun, though. Sometimes you just need a heel. The moral component of a guy being utterly terrible is often a necessity. Watching a sport, especially one as infuriatingly inconsistent with its rules as the NFL, is easier with a heel; a guy you can verbally douche upon with a moral righteousness to go with your over-consumption of Pabst and/or whiskey and/or ESPN. The heel allows you to swim in an Olympic-sized pool of sanctimony as we moralize over the lives of men we pay to subject themselves to repeated blunt force trauma. It allows all of it to seem more than what it probably really is: utterly insignificant and arguably inhuman in its brutality.
All of this, I guess, is to say that it's probably no surprise that we moralize over the life of Ray Lewis as he wins a second Super Bowl and tries to leave a troubled past behind. It's how we moralize, and what we're willing to abandon in doing so, that has been bothering me for the past couple weeks.
Checking out Jeremy White's twitter feed. Considering just quitting.
What a busy week it has been at DGWU Sports! Between news of the NHL Lockout and our battles with the various personalities at WGR for refusing, as is their custom, to engage with viewpoints other than (a) their own, or (b) those of the mouthbreathers who call into WGR and make it their mission to express their vehement disdain for everything in the world, there was a LOT to discuss when we gathered Wednesday night. More shots were fired and kindling put onto the world of Buffalo sports media so that we can continue to watch it burn. Heh. Sports.
Oh, and there are those Buffalo Bills, too, which is actually where we started in segment one as we recapped the shit show that was Sunday with the Deeg. Bills @ Cardinals was by no means an enjoyable time, but recapping the fun times we had and the trainwreck of a game ended up being pretty fun/depressing/rage-inducing.
In segment two we welcomed Colin Bruckel, one of the founders of TheHosers.com
, a site we have linked to for a while and which provides stellar insight about the legal issues surrounding professional hockey and, in particular, the CBA. Colin's assessment of the current CBA negotiations was as interesting and well-presented as any I've heard, and it is an understatement to say that we were lucky to have him on. I would note, however, that since our discussion took place before the NHLPA presented its own offers to the league (and before Bettman rejected them immediately), you'll want to keep an eye on his site for more hot legal takes. Or you could continue being ignorant and just keep listening to the superficialities of sports talk radio.
Segment three brings it back to our wheelhouse of inappropriateness and ill-conceived sports takes as we talk the USMNT's win on Tuesday, the NBA's new policy restricting pre-game celebrations, Apologist's suicidal ideations following the Orioles' elimination from the playoffs, and our predictions for the Bills/Titans game this weekend. I must add that we had intended to talk more about (read: make fun of) Shawne Merriman's return to Buffalo, but had to toss that to the back burner so we'd have time to talk about the more pressing issues of gloating about our intellectual superiority over talk radio hosts. It's a burden, really. In any event, I'm hopeful that Merriman's second tenure in the 716 will give us plenty of opportunities to point and laugh.
Musical interludes this week are provided by Broken Bells, Gov't Mule & REO Speedwagon, as well as - of course - The Jambrones.
Download here and stream below, or check out our Libsyn
page or iTunes button below where you can get all of our archived podcasts and subscribe for future hot, aural takes.
A simple point for today: Fuck Tim Tebow and a pox on ESPN for taking today's 25th anniversary of the only time he touched a vagina and making it into an insufferable blow fest.
I don't watch ESPN's morning programming, mind you, so I can't pretend to claim that their coverage of this non-event ruined my day or that I am now hoarse from raging at my television over coffee and Cheerios. Even that distance from ESPN's influence, however, is not enough to keep my blood pressure in check as I learned about the Birthday Boy focus of both SportsCenter and First Take this morning. No, it's not surprising. And yes, I shouldn't get angry about it because there are certainly better things to do with my time.
Ah well. Priorities.
One of the many things I missed while I was out.
Cue the milquetoast opener:
Well gosh darnit, fans of the Deeg, I know you've been eagerly awaiting content from the Kings of Fresh Takes and like the degenerates we are, we've opted to tend to our real world lives instead of bloviating about the latest in bread and circus sports entertainment. Why the lull? Well, personally, my answer to that question has three parts: (1) it's July and I've been getting viciously hamzoed more often than I should admit (hooray anonymous internet monikers!!); (2) I've been traveling a lot over the past 10 days, aforementionedly (not a word?) drunk for 70% of it (not true... not not true either), and I've simply been too drunk and/or hungover and/or distracted to sit down for a little chat; and (3) the only bright spots in my sports world are a surging team in a still ignored league (for now) and an utterly unproven team in the best league in America (for now). Forgive me if I don't jump for joy at the prospect of dwelling on shit that makes me contemplate a swift union between my fist and Fred Wilpon's balls.
But more on those Mets in a few. I can't lead of this trainwreck with that much heartache.
Can't you tell this is going to be FUN??? I'm bored and drunk on a train and you all get the fruits of my labor!
Wait... we need music.
"I am crushing your head. I am crushing your head."
Welcome to the first part of a nnniiiiiiine (cue up Principal Rooney voice) part series that came to me after seeing this t-shirt
created by famed Deadspin commentator and artist twoeightnine. If there is one thing worse than the carousel of lousy coaches that have come through Buffalo since the retirement of Marv Levy, it has to be the shit-show of QB’s that have consistently sucked HARD for this franchise since the retirement of Jim Kelly. I decided to do some stat research and do my gosh darn bestest to remember each and every tragic “field general” that started a game in Orchard Park. These posts are not for the squeamish. I shall start with Todd Collins.
Drafted out of Michigan in the 2nd round of the ’95 draft, Collins was supposed to be the heir apparent to the great Jim Kelly. Instead, we got a mediocre QB who lacked confidence and arm strength, and also had the ability to make every Bills fan realize how good we had it with #12 for the past eleven seasons. Before I continue, let us take a gander at Collins’ stat line as a Buffalo Bill Record: 7 -10 Rating: 68.5 Yds: 3128 Comp. %: 54.7 TD: 16 INT: 19
Inspiring, huh? Ryan Fitzpatrick almost threw for as many yards in just this past season (only 13 game to boot). I was only 14 when his career started with Buffalo, but I do remember never liking the idea that this guy was supposed to replace Jim Kelly, my favorite player of all time. I can’t go into too much detail because I’m only writing about these players as I remember them, and since 1999 I have killed way too many brain cells via alcohol to recall anything more than me witnessing the beginning of the end for the franchise. Cryptic? Maybe. Wait until you see the rest of my posts.
Did somebody say Crypt? Any excuse is good enough to pull out this classic DGWU gem.
Back in April, Buffalo Rumblings actually ranked Collins as the 5th biggest draft bust in team history
. I simply cannot argue with that. However, I will say that he has gone on to have quite the career as a headset wearer and clipboard holder. He has spent five seasons in KC, three in Washington (in which he received one of the best contracts ever for a third-string veteran QB
), and last season in Chicago. He turns 40 this year and has lasted in the NFL longer than almost every other QB that will be a part of this series. Hell, in the past three seasons as a backup, he as a record of 4 – 0. I wonder if he is under contract for next season? Oh that's right, Buffalo has Levi Brown so we should be all set.
Kudos to everyone who got the The Kids in the Hall
/Mr. Tyzik reference underneath the first photo. If you didn't, stop watching re-runs of King of Queens
and move on to some Canadian comedy gold. Just avoid the Chicken Lady if you can, I'm saving that for a rainy day.
Follow US on twitter @DGWUSports
Follow ME on twitter @TheScizz
And check out Episode #8 of the DGWU CrapTastiCast
if you haven't already