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!!
If ever there was a mixed fucking bag of a weekend for me and my sport-watching-and-commenting brethren, it was this one. A tremendous Liverpool win, a Sporting KC win forcing the Red Bulls to do the same in order to get their first taste of hardware, a predictable Bills loss at the Superdome, replete with frustrating football and officiating alike, the Red Bulls getting that win and that shield, and Thomas Vanek.
If you're not into the Sabres and came here for Bills-only takes, my not-apologies, fuck you and wait a minute while I opine.
We expected this for Vanek - a guy who all but said he wasn't interested in sticking around this shit bag franchise anymore - though the swiftness with which the trade came late on a Sunday, months before we really expected it, was jarring. You want to be able to steel yourself up for a moment like this; a moment where a player so dear to you and the entire fan base is allowed to go, for now, to a place where things look discernibly brighter and more optimistic; a moment where a player is allowed to walk away, leaving his fans pining for the "could have beens" from a frustrating six years of Sabres hockey. He was a guy you wanted to be wearing the Blue and Gold when this ship eventually (please?) gets righted, but the impossibility of that scenario - Vanek staying and the rebuild occurring with some degree of speed - was unmistakable. He really couldn't stay if all the shit needing fixing is going to get addressed.
A fact that doesn't make it feel any better to see a talent like him depart the club we support.
Vanek has been the sole reason this team was able to fake it for so long, convincing fans and owner alike that the team could figure it out and become a contender; that the deals for Stafford and Myers and Leino and whoever else you want to point to wouldn't be fatal; that perhaps Buffalo could win in spite of those decisions proven to be mistakes by disappointing play and empty nets missed, by out-of-shape camps and defensive gaffes, and by games missed ad infinitum.
Vanek is a talent that seemed to make anything possible, but nevertheless never did. No titles. No Cup runs under his leadership. No true moments where you could really, reasonably think that he was taking the team somewhere other than consecutive sequences of mediocrity with brief pauses for ultimately inconsequential brilliance.
Perhaps I've spent more than enough words on a guy who has won nothing, but received our love anyway, and who is now simply gone. I'd say good luck, but let's be honest, I want all that luck for the squad he's leaving behind.
Fuck it, let's talk about our Bills.
This was WAY too easy to find, god bless you internet and god bless us, everyone!
Well I'll be fucking damned. I slept off some Pabst and the wonderful emotion of a road, divisional win and, yep, I'm a touch hungover but still fucking amped at what we all saw yesterday. Well, not quite all of us. Some of us turned it off sometime late third early fourth quarter because, well, there really is no reason to believe that this team will win a close game. Those of us in this category are stupid, jaded assholes since, these days, there's also really no reason to believe they'll lose a close game either. Predictions are thrown out the window with Jerry Sullivan's racist testicles - legit, they're a three (three??) person hate group as per the Southern Poverty Law Center, read a book or something - and we have yet another game to show that this team can not only hang with the league's supposed best, but are capable of surprising some of those squads along the way.
Going into New Orleans next week, even if there is no reasonable hope that the Bills can pull a win out of their collective asses, this team has firmly established itself as a squad able to put together a decent game of football every week, regardless of their opponent, and keep their fans glued to the TV wondering which way the result might go.
This is fun as hell.
I'm not sure if this is going to be easier or harder to writer than last week's Bills/Pats post-mortem, but it's going to be a lot more fun that's for fucking sure.
IS THIS REAL LIFE?? WHAT DID WE JUST WATCH?
Shit was pissing in your pants enjoyable, folks. From the defense to the special teams to the offense finally putting it together, sort of?, to the epic minute-thirty-eight-with-no-timeouts-and-don't-bother-spiking-the-ball-because-EJ-has-this-on-lock-bitches-march-down-the-field, this one was a goddamned JOY.
Sure a critical mass of us started watching the game with an air of disgust and disappointment as the Bills seemed to be pissing a game away. Again. But that's what made it great. The way the team has suddenly convinced us to love them again, not 10 minutes after we loathed them with the fire of a decade plus. Or as Scizz put it after spending more than 80% of the game mumbling about how much he fucking hates this team...
And EJ did. And now, most assuredly, we do. The recap continues....
Barrister here. Jeremy White suggested, in the midst of unreasonable amounts of ranting in my twitter feed (@theycallmedubs
y'all), suggested that we talk about Mario Williams and his broken/sprained/bruised/not really hurt at all (?) foot and Doug Marrone yelling at John Wawrow and others.
Music from Glitch Mob and Wu Tang.
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We gathered to chat about sports and stuff. Bills. Jokes. Dance music. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. America.
It's been too long.
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What a crazy week. /understatement
Even putting aside the up and down big ticket decisions out of United States Supreme Court this week, and even putting aside that crazy filibuster down in Texas that had us all riveted in a way politics rarely does unless it involves dick pics and/or unruly ejaculate, and even putting aside a bereft Paula Deen trying to rehabilitate her image by lying and crying on The Today Show, it was a crazy week. Even just looking at what's happened in sports, and even just Boston sports, and even just Boston sports that are professional American football.
This is the
story of the sports world this week. I don't care that the Hawks just won another title or that the Heat won another, too, or that Wimbledon has been nutty, or that the Washington Redskins continue to hold onto their logo and name in a way that is nothing short of astonishing. Oh, and I didn't follow the NBA Draft but I hear there was a lot going on and that someone ate some Mike and Ikes.
An NFL player - and a pretty high profile one at that - killed a man. And may have killed others. I know there haven't been any convictions yet, but I'm not willing to dwell on suspicions of innocence when the facts give me none.
Every reporter who covers football should care about this. Every fan of pro football should care about this. If you're talking about the story, there is plenty to delve into: explaining the potential motives, sorting through Hernandez's past, speaking with family and friends, digging for information about that 2012 drive-by. All of this comes with the caveat that "Hernandez as villain" is the story. Hernandez as apart
from the rest of us - the people who haven't taken it upon themselves to take the life of another.
Sorting through it all is an exercise in trying to find an explanation for some terrible fucking things that have happened, and to adequately frame Hernandez as man and as killer.
This is how we get right. We can do it callously or patiently or quietly or any way we really want. We must respect the victim(s), surely, and hold them up in any way we can. But we owe nothing to the man and killer. He owes us - the society with which he had and broke a sacred social contract - everything.
An eventual conviction and sentence will return Hernandez, in a legal sense, to an equilibrium with society. In a social sense, though, our collective "working through it" is how we get that equilibrium to be real.
The accuracy of this exercise is important, too. It's important to ensure, as we sort through the facts and form opinions about the man and killer, that we don't get bogged down with items far on the periphery. That, in reaching our solution, we don't fall into the trap of bringing other issues into our criticism; other issues that are simply too dissimilar to merit comparison with Hernandez's act on equal terms. Indeed, making anything else the story now, and using the Hernandez case as a springboard, is beyond asinine. It is intellectually reckless.
So when Mario Williams instagrammed a "Grand Theft New England"
picture with Hernandez's head photo-shopped on, there is a necessity that those who might comment on it do so in a way that respects the only acceptable frame: Hernandez killed a guy and the rest is just noise in comparison.
What we got, though, was an object lesson in how "journalists" get so wrapped up in finding and creating a story that the words they write are nothing more than alphabetic vomit.
I don’t know if I have ADD or I just want to get on a pedestal about a whole bunch of shit today, but I just couldn’t pick one thing to write about. So let’s make an introductory list: (1) Jerry Sullivan is a troll that eats babies. (2) I wonder what made Jerry Sullivan a troll that eats babies. (3) Props to Jeremy White and Howard Simon for not putting up with his shit this morning. (4) This Mario Williams business is intriguing and frustrating. (5) This tornado in Oklahoma is just... wow.
Ok let’s roll.
(1) Good lord, if you haven’t listened to Jerry Sullivan’s segment
on WGR this morning, it’s worth a listen - if for no other reason than to give yourself an idea of what the biggest asshole in North America sounds like. You know, just to give yourself a baseline. Let’s break down some of his quotes, on this, a day where the top story in sports is Mario Williams apparently feeling suicidal:
“I haven’t been sympathetic, one iota about this guy since he played his first game for the Bills.” Ok, so Sullivan doesn’t feel bad for a guy who’s suicidal, and hasn’t ever since he had a bad game. Nice.
Sully then went on to criticize Mario’s effort throughout the year, brushed off his double digit sacks, then disclosed (to my knowledge for the first time) that a player told him last year, off the record that he was unhappy with Mario’s effort. Next, Sullivan says “Anyway, he might have a very good year. There are indications - I heard in camp he came into camp energized! Oh boy, Mario Williams at 100 million dollars comes into camp energized”
“Go look at his injury history, it’s always something with this guy.”
Sensing a pattern here? Sullivan hasn’t even talked about the story yet - he’s just taken this occasion to rip a guy in the wake of a story THAT HE’S SUICIDAL.
“I know for me, in the text, he’s - he can’t even write a simple declarative sentence.” -achm- Unreal. Attacking grammar in a text message WITH A SENTENCE FULL OF FAULTY GRAMMAR. If I was truly anal, I’d break down what’s wrong with Sully’s sentence.
“I have written about suicide in an earlier - in an earlier life in journalism, and I know you’re supposed to always take threats seriously, but I’m having trouble with this one.” SO, I know I should be taking suicide seriously, but I kinda don't like this guy, so... naaaahhhh.
Then, one of the morning show guys mentions the column that Sullivan mentioned earlier in the segment, and he gets defensive. “You goin Ted Black on me?!” The next 5 minutes is Sullivan just lashing out at anything he can think of. He re-hashes the Ted Black press conference, and tries to paint himself the victim of Black’s aggression, when Black asked him if he wrote the column already: “that was a cheap shot on his part, and suggested he wanted a fight!”
“I laughed later. I like those vigorous exchanges because you get more out of people. … I tried it with Mario Williams after the Seattle game” So, Sullivan admits that he jumped on the guy after an embarassing loss just to get a rise out of him - and that this is a tactic he uses frequently. No, Jerry, no... you? I don’t believe what I’m hearing.
Finally, Sullivan closes out by saying “you guys, you guy - come on. I’m past 7:20, I’m not even gettin’ - I don’t even get compensated past 7:20. I don’t need that, bein - why don’t you guys talk about baseball or somethin.” So, Sullivan, a professional journalist, closes out with FIVE incomplete sentences minutes after he rips a suicidal football player for his grammar in a motherfucking text message.
As, The Barrister
tweeted this morning,
"You are a disgraceful person and journalist, @TBNSully
. May your taint be set on fire. Forever and ever, Amen."
I concur. Go to hell. You're nothing but a troll with a salary. You’re no better than the idiots that waste their lives on twitter just trying to calculate the right words to piss someone off. Actually, you’re worse, because you’ve found a way to get paid to do it. Burn taint burn.
I know I write on a blog that knocks its boots to a tune of crass humor, dick jokes and calling Buffalo media members all sorts of defamatory names (except those names are all true, hence no defamation! ZING), but man oh man even I draw the line somewhere. Like, for instance, terrible puns that make light of real world shitty things. The kinds of puns that you find on the front or back pages of the New York "we're owned by a criminal wiretapping parent corporation and have absolutely no standards when it comes to integrity, law, morals, ethics, hygiene (see Brooks, Larry) or credibility" Post. The kinds of puns that make reasonable-thinking people cringe at the poor humor of it, not to mention that complete lack of sensitivity to the personal impact that some news stories can have on the subjects of said stories.
Like, for instance, the pun used in a screen graphic by Jonah Javad, a WGRZ sports anchor, to describe the latest news about Mario Williams' alleged struggles with suicidal thoughts and pills.
Listen, I get that this story started with news of Williams' engagement being broken off by his ex-fiancee, and that Williams was suing her for return of the ring, and that hahahahaha that's so funny because basically no millionaire athlete is ever supposed to exercise his legal rights when it comes to money because FUCK HIM HE'S RICH. TMZ had a laugh at it, I got into a spat with one of Bomani Jones' twitter followers
over the legality of conditional gifts like engagement rings and the whole thing seemed a pretty silly thing generally.
Then Mario's ex comes out with details about how he had said she could keep the ring and how the lawsuit was meant to harass her, so she counter-claims in the lawsuit and we all scratch our heads about "oh man, Mario may be an idiot lulzzzzz." But then, unexpectedly, she mentions the text messages, and the depression, and how he was talking suicide and pills and suddenly the shit isn't at all funny anymore. It's entirely too real, too serious to be funny.
And then, shortly thereafter, as if he was reporting on a last second touchdown or a player being cut or a coach being hired, Jonah Javad decides that a motherfucking pun is a good idea.
Not only are puns stupid about 80% of the time even when they're about meaningless shit like hockey games (I'm looking at you NHL dot com
), but they're downright callous when they're used to talk about real shit.
I get that, as you see above, Mr. Javad has gone on twitter to issue apologies about his intent and how he didn't mean to make light of Williams' drug use, but that he meant stupor as in "dazed." But, wait... So, in other words, Javad wasn't poking fun - because that's what a pun does, after all; if pokes fun - at the alleged use of pills, he was poking fun at Williams' more general mental state. He wasn't making a joke about, perhaps, an attempt at suicide, but really just at the depression - the daze, I guess - that led to the attempt?
Cool, because that totally doesn't contribute to the outstandingly unfair and prejudicial way that we think about mental illness in our society.
I absolutely understand that the sports media in this country, and in particular my beloved hometown, is more often than not ill-equipped to deal with the complex issues surrounding mental hygiene, particularly where the ideal of American athletes is centered on mental fortitude and any deficiencies therein are signs only of weakness. Which is why, when reporting - as they should - on the inevitable instances where the issues of mental illness and sport overlap (increasingly so with the traumatic brain injuries prevalent in football), the same bullshit shtick that can work for sports suddenly does not work anymore.
As many explanations and apologies as Mr. Javad wants to throw out, fine. I don't doubt he's an incredibly decent guy. But this shit is really inexcusable. It has to be better than this.
Well, that happened.
I don’t think my liver was really ready for that delightful mess of a game.
Defensive dominance? A special teams touchdown? Thrilling, last-minute interceptions? A 50/50 split of running and passing plays? Apologist buying round after round of preemptive victory shots, chased down by Lagunitas IPAs?
So. Much. Win.
As a new dad, and a Bills fan, I haven’t gotten many days or nights like that recently, and I’m not entirely sure I could handle it if one of my teams actually started to get good for once. I know the team is bad, and we’ll get to that, but fuck what a fun night.
Which isn’t to say it wasn’t ugly. After all, winning ugly – very ugly, mostly – appears to be the best we can reasonably expect from this enigma of a squad. But, after putting together one of their most complete games of the year in Foxboro this past week, only to fall short when it mattered, the Bills took an early lead at home and cherished it like the rare commodity that it is. They ran the ball often relative to their track record, relied on their best player to get them the points they needed – albeit via field goals – and made sure not to disappoint a home crowd itching to get that primetime monkey off its back.
It honestly shouldn’t have worked, seeing as they’re a garbage team coached by a garbage Chan and owned by a garbage taint, but it’s not like the Universe doesn’t owe us a game like that every once in a while. And even with the playoffs a supremely unlikely scenario for these Bills, a win is a win is a boy this team is not very good please god where is hockey?
Screw it.... On to the milquetoast takes!