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.
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!!!
This will be quick since, well, I've been suffering through another stomach flu this week and figure just one last Friday dump is in order. Ahhhh, wordplay.
This week, worldwide jersey and shoe maker, Adidas, has made some stunning headlines as it unveiled what have been routinely called some great fucking jerseys for the MLS. They really are. Apart from the fact that LA remains sponsored by a company recently adjudged to be a pyramid scheme by a Belgian court, they're really all top notch. Some of my favorites are Seattle's
... Colorado's home:
... their alternate, featuring hoops with the names of all their season ticket holders because that's pretty much the greatest idea ever:
... and because I'm biased, RBNY's new home kit which I'll most likely buy because I'm a sucker:
I still hate you Conor Lade.
Let's face it, Adidas has soccer on lock. They make the best kits in the world for the best sport in the world, and all of these designs - obviously with contributions from the clubs themselves - are brilliant. Hooray Adidas!!
And then, this happened.
What in the holy ever loving fuck happened here?
Man, I love me some Zubaz. I'd wear them every day if I could. Seriously. But no. Just no.
How can a company that does so great with one sport so completely miss the mark with another? Are these assholes clowning us? Have they just performed the ultimate marketing "fuck you" to everyone who foolishly gives a shit what any sports team is wearing ever? Sure seems like it.
And if someone wants to explain how institutions of higher education can permit this kind of monstrosity to represent their schools, I'd be glad to hear it. These are premier baskethoops programs and they've basically opened the door to every sort of criticism. Rick fucking Pitino is going to coach a team wearing those jerseys. Fuck. I can't even.
I'm attempting to remain upbeat by not thinking about our shitty hockey team and shitty local hockey media and how Mike Harrington needs a punch in the gunt and how Jesus Christ what if everything except Lindy was the problem and we're rebuilding with the wrong blueprint and this is all going to turn into a quintessential #becauseitsbuffalo fuckup that my son will have to live with through a lifetime of sport sadness steadily replicating the life I've led to date and the feeling of emptiness in my heart left by a missed field goal and foot in the crease and it'll just be passed on to a kid who doesn't know better and will surely love these teams too because he inexplicably thinks his dad is the tits and makes infallible decisions?
I just can't. Fuck. Dammit. Balls in the mouth.
So instead, I'm revisiting the bloggasuperfranchise that is my Intermittent Footy Roundup. See! It's been a long time! INTERMITTENT!!!! Ha. Words.
And I'm back. Not that The Beautiful Game is much of a comfort to me lately, but hell if I’m going to spend my precious free moments on this chilly Thursday to talk about the garbage pail Buffalo Bills. Fire Chan. Draft a QB or two. Do what you will with Buddy. And give CJ the damn football.
As for that game of so much beauty, that sport of kings, my current joy with soccer only exists by way of emotional detachment since there hasn’t been a ton to cheer about these past few weeks. Yet in the midst of that detachment, much has happened. Liverpool’s form continues to elude them, both Chelsea and QPR have rid themselves of their managers, and a little league called the MLS broke my heart. Twice. I’m finally ready to talk/emotionally vomit/ramble incoherently about it.
ninja, ninja, RAP!
Every week (or at least we hope, everyone knows we suck at schedules here), The Continental will answer your questions. Whether it is a Buffalo sports related inquiry, needed advice, or just a generally stupid question you feel like seeing her answer, have at it and we'll see what this young lady is made of! You can e-mail weekly questions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet us @DGWUSports, or even tweet her directly @hpurricane. The Continental It has been too long!!
To recap last week: I did not watch the Bills/Texans game. Me 1, the rest of you 0. And my Question of the Week - "Is it more pathetic that I can't drive or that I can't do 8th grade math? What are the most pathetic traits/quirks/habits you find in women?" - was a source of tremendously #HOTTAKES. Apparently there is no such thing as "too pathetic to have men want to sleep with you," which is spectacular news for me.
Oh, and The Barrister, The Scizz, The Yachtsman, @JustinBassett and I TRIED
to go to the Red Bulls game last Wednesday and were nor'eastered out. Shit was crazy. The next day, we managed to make it back to Red Bull Arena and it was exactly what you thought would happen to three Buffalo fans going to a playoff game. Look it up, I'm not about to rehash that shit show of a game. On the bright side, Barrister and I both independently made homeless people mixed drinks to get buzzed on the subway to Penn Station. Alcohol problem, or alcohol problem solved? You decide.
Then the Pats game happened, yawn, whatever, over it, but if you guys missed the Calgary v Saskatchewan CFL playoff showdown you Missed. It. All. I'm still not entirely sure what happened but god damn it there was a lot of yelling! Plus it's so fucking cold in Regina, everyone on the sidelines has to wear silly huge parkas when not playing. Not as silly as Belichick's hoodies, though, ew. On to the mailbag!!
Welp. Hurricane Sandy is upon us, I’m holed up in Central Massachusetts in probably the first of many moments of overprotective parenting, The Scizz is ragestorming at the flippancy of twitter in a time of potential crisis, Yachtsman and Apologist are playing video games like the two brave burnouts they are, Outlander is cursing the fact he had to work and remain in close proximity to certified morons, and The Continental is currently cruising the aisles at her local supermarket in the hopes of bedding some hurricane tail.
Just so we’re all clear about the current state of things.
Don't Worry. I'm Here To Help.
This past week/weekend brought yet another slate of highly entertaining soccer, with MLS playoff implications to be decided, Champions League and Europa action, and a Merseyside Derby that will have my blood boiling for at least another week. Or, at least until I have consumed at least a dozen or so adult sodas in rapid succession.
On top of the events on the pitches of the footballing world, news has come out that NBC Universal has successfully obtained the American television rights for the English Premier League, and their announcement has made it clear that American fans should expect expanding coverage and, more importantly, options to watch all games in real time. While the skeptic in me reigns supreme, especially after the coverage fails during the Summer Olympics, I’m looking forward to what this might look like next year.
And, as Grant Wahl mentioned on Twitter today
, this deal may spell bad things for the NHL’s market share if they don’t fucking get their act together. Interesting stuff, in any event.
On to the steaming hot takes!!
Oh fiddlesticks in the meadow with the cows as they're coming home, it's 5 am and I can't sleep and I wager my son will wake up by the time I finish this poor excuse for a post and I have to be at church in 4 hours and woohoo! fatherhood!
Much of this may not make any sense. Also: Apologist may be posting on the heels of this, so with any luck barely anyone will read it. Also also: I do not intend to use impeccable punctuation, grammar or spelling. So be sure to hop on the comments to make yourself feel better by pointing out my errors. Only pimple-faced trolls make it a habit of starting fights on the internet, anyway.... /ignores clear hypocrisy of that statement /takes yet another bite of now stale baptismal cake from last week /gulps down half glass of milk mixed with my vanishing integrity
The world of world football marches on, despite my wish that it would take a slight break while I try to get some fucking rest, and this week was chock full of action and, happily, not the typical slate of depressing results. There are a couple of games to still happen this morning -- Roma plays, I believe, which would satisfy lingering Michael Bradley lust if I hadn't just watched Mr. Clean in USMNT action; and QPR is at home to surprisingly strong, but waiting for the other shoe to drop, Everton. Neither of these matches I will watch, though if anything all that interesting happens, I reserve the right to usurp Aps' post with a hastily slapped together update with some bad jokes about Italians and/or some BonerJamz references to my love for Timmy Howard.
On to the hot takes!!*
worst 90 minutes I've ever spent on Netflix. Luckily, I was drunk.
Another weekend in the books, another slate of games where my squads shit the bed and give me more reasons to wonder whether the universe delights in pissing all over my face. Perhaps, written in my DNA somewhere, is some sign that I love Golden Showers, and the universe is simply following instructions... it would certainly explain a lot.
As for the other, more American sports you all come here to read up on, someone will be on here later this week to talk Bills, I'm sure, but in the meantime the hot takes will be soccer-centric. Bear with me, I promise many inappropriate moments to make it worth your while.
I watched a few games early in the week, including portions of a couple of Champions League matches that kind of put me to sleep, and a Liverpool Europa match that kind of made me shit in hats, but we'll start with the New York Fucking Red Bulls.
Exhibit A: Getting Smoked Off Your Own Pitch
With only three games left on the schedule, the Red Bulls hosted the Chicago Fire. The Chicago FIRE. As an aside, if you want to pretend the Deeg is somehow unreasonably inappropriate when it comes to our sports takes, don't forget the plethora of absurd and offensive team names scattered across the world, take the stick out of your ass, and laugh with the rest of us. It's fun.
As for the Fire, there are a dozen or so really dumb jokes or puns I could make, but suffice it to say that I think naming a sports team after a local tragedy is tasteless and crass and par for the course for the early days of the MLS. Just as Kansas City abandoned the dishearteningly lame "Wizards," and NY abandoned the Metro Stars and any reference to the state of New Jersey (smart move, that), it's probably time for Chicago to rebrand with something that doesn't tip it's hat to the deaths of hundreds of Chicagoishians. Because, you know, death is not. cool.
Or, you know, they could keep it since they sure brought the fire on Saturday night, right guys? /ducks
The game was saddeningly typical of Red Bulls efforts of late -- patient but uninspired possession play, with the chances few and far between and, more to the point, unsuccessful. Not that the Fire were much better, though they - via Sherjill McDonald's two goals - made the most of their opportunities, even when seeing very little of the ball.
comin at ya, sucka emcees
With the Deeg fully ensconced in the game of American Throw, Catch & Run Ball, and with fatherly duties perhaps keeping me away from my obviously more important duties here at the Deeg, it would be easy to coast a little bit with my contributions. Yet, if last Saturday night's "live" blog and the subsequent opportunities to watch a little more soccer than usual while on a slice of paternity leave, it's that I fucking love this sport. Sure, the NFL is tons of capitalist fun, but good Christ - there is little in the world that compares to watching the uninterrupted action of a game of soccer played at the highest levels of the sport.
So, for those of you who share that love or who like what I write enough to suffer through posts about one of your least favorite sports, I'll be trying to re-settle into a niche here at the Deeg while everyone else is talking about CJ "Blue Jesus" Spiller and the Bills' two lines of monster football players who remind us all (a little bit too much, probably) of what went down in Orchard Park about 20 years ago. (Not that this will keep me from chiming in on the Bills, since it is game day...)
The format for these forays into footy, if you give a shit, will be a breakdown of the handful of games that I got a chance to watch or follow closely over the course of the last week, followed by a sprinkle of quick thoughts about the squads that matter to me, whether it be Liverpool, the Red Bulls, (mostly because I love Michael Bradley) Roma or the US Senior National Teams. With the kiddo and my waning attention span, your guess is as good as mine as to how long I keep at this with any frequency. Finger crossing, as with all things, is encouraged.
Click "Read More" to, you guessed it! -- READ MORE.