In scanning Twitter the other day, I had noticed a Tweet from a different blog with the title “Did Lindy Ruff deserve better from the Sabres?”. After choking back the rage and bile, I decided there was no possible way I could read this piece without wanting to drive carpet tacks into the head of my dick repeatedly. Since I’m fairly new here, I don’t think I’ve discussed the absolute disgust I have for Lindy Ruff at any sort of length. If you've followed me on Twitter for awhile, you won't be surprised by what's below - I loathe the man as much as the city insanely loved him. So let’s dig in a little.
First off, I don’t understand the thinking that this guy got a raw deal from the Sabres. Let’s be brutally honest, the guy should have been fired YEARS before last season. He was afforded multiple chances, with about 3 different sets of core players, 3 ownership groups, and 2 different sets of rules to get the job done here. I think that’s a fair shake. 15 years is about 8 times the lifespan of the average NHL coach. (I didn’t actually look this up, it’s a guesstimate) On what fucking planet isn’t this a “fair shake”?? There were plenty of times you could watch a Sabres game and see a listless, boring team going through the motions. Most every player who’s left here has had nothing kind to say about his coaching tactics, not to mention the guys who spoke up when he left here.
Hey gang, Commander here. I decided to forego a “season preview” of sorts for the Sabres based on what we’ve seen already. I don’t think anyone hasn’t figured out that they’re going to be fucking terrible.
I’m pretty sure that I couldn’t log on, type up “The DEEG 13-14 Sabres Preview” and just post “They fucking blowwwwwww” in 36pt font, because that covers things pretty nicely. (At least not yet, give me a few more months and some job security and that might be funny).
Is it fair to demand better from the Sabres?? I’d say absolutely. But I’m not talking on ice product. Let’s face it, we’re not a storied franchise like the Bruins or the Blackhawks. There’s no real history of success to draw from here. Your best hope for the on ice thing to work out is these kids ending up pretty good, a sprinkling of vets when they are good and one or two of them to be great. It’s the same recipe that created 05-07. Right now you’re in like 2003, this is going to go on for a few years and that’s fine. They flat out told everyone it’s the plan. Later on in the year we’ll talk about how it’s going, but for right now we need to take a look at the bigger problems in Sabreland.
Face it, the Pegula Era came with a lot of hope and promise and we all had the warm fuzzies that things were going to be FUCKIN RAD from now on.
We’re so far away from there that I’ve seen people wondering what Larry Quinn is up to.
So hey there! I learned this morning that I’ve “graduated” from my trial period and will soon be getting my name on the little sidebar thing over there full time. I’d like to thank everyone for the opportunity, and I hope to do them proud until I graduate to Deadspin or Trending Buffalo!
I had no plans to write anything until at least the NHL Draft because I heard once you get a full time gig here, you don’t actually have to write, you just sorta hang out and make fun of people on Twitter. But then Bucky Gleason decided to regurgitate his annual GM For A Day column and I couldn’t resist busting into the old blogger standby and giving it the Fire Joe Morgan treatment. I also want you to know that after doing this, I clearly hate myself and I’m apologizing in advance for making you read part of a Bucky Gleason article.
Let's get on with it.
The Commander, guest contributor (until further notice)
Greetings friends. I sincerely hope everyone is enjoying the fabulous offseasons from both of our favorite Buffalo sports teams. I’m sure one of us can do something with the Sabres around draft time, perhaps making up some bullshit about how the guy we picked at #8 is a bunch of cool buzzwords that actually translate to “Joel Savage”. Or we can talk about how Tarvaris Jackson has been the best QB at the Bills OTAs, but that sounds sort of depressing considering that we drafted a 4th round rated QB with pick #16 overall, doesn’t it?
Fortunately, there’s a bunch of good non-Buffalo sports things going on. I managed to not get my Buffalo Curse all over the Sacramento Kings and they’re staying here, there’s some basketball playoffs going on right now (I’m not good at basketball yet so I can’t really say much more than that), the baseball mans are hitting the baseballs all over the place, and of course the NHL Playoffs have reached the Conference Finals stage. Which is why I would like to present:
The 2013 DGWU NHL CONFERENCE FINALS PRIMER!
Let’s take a look at the 4 teams remaining and help you decide who you should root for.
Back from a pretty long hiatus, the Deeg is back with another CrapTastiCast, and it's one some of you have been waiting for since Mr. White and I exchanged words over the NHL Lockout in October
. We spoke about having Jeremy chat record with us at the time, but daddy duties and Hurricane recovery put this on the backburner until now.
Perhaps that delay was for the best since, in the month and a half that has followed that initial twitter fight (God I feel so stupid typing that), Jeremy and I have had a chance to talk more about the lockout. While I wouldn't say we've reached any kind of consensus on those issues that got me so heated in October, it's become apparent that Jeremy is a civil dude (not always readily apparent on twitter... which could be said about many) and that civility plays itself out on what you'll listen to here.
My apologies if you came here expecting nothing but our unbridled asshole shtick. Frankly, we care too much about the issues of the lockout to cave into our sophomoric tendencies - at least this time - especially when we have a guest willing to look beyond the fact that I may or may not have called him a equivocating hack/dickhole back in October. /rushes to delete Deeg archives /trips over beer cans /farts /forgets original task
Which isn't to say that this CrapTastiCast is entirely devoid of those tendencies you've come to know and love. Along for the ride are The Scizz and The Continental. In addition to the lockout, we talk Bills, Jets, Mets, Knicks and stumble through a few completely inappropriate conversations about drugs in closets and Scizz's love for our 43rd President.
If you're only interested in our talk with Jeremy, cue it to 15:55 and enjoy. Also - give yourself the finger from us since we think you should listen to the whole fucking thing.
In addition to our usual intro, Deeg house band The Jambrones help us out with our first two musical interludes, while the rest is picked up by Audioslave and Brother Ali. Podcast page here
. Direct download here
. iTunes link below or Subscribe via our RSS feed here.
And, of course, stream audio in the player below if you wish.
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.
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.
I had hoped I wasn’t going to have to address this, but I suppose I will.
Last week’s Niagara Falls Reporter
piece by former alleged stalker
and current bigot Lenny Palumbo managed to rightfully stir up enough voices around the internet locally
to shout down and condemn the rantings of an angry white man who longs for the days where he could oppress others to placate his insecure and disturbed soul. It appeared to me that Palumbo and perhaps the Reporter
itself was hoping for this type of reaction in the way the author tactlessly shoehorned anti-gay rhetoric into a meandering bitchfest about the Sabres - or at least the past roster - being pussies. Their latest issue has confirmed these suspicions as Palumbo doubles down on the hate and publisher Frank Parlato puts on his ten-gallon hat and climaxes to the image of a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag while reciting the first amendment at the top of his lungs. (Editor's Note: This is true, we have
video) As a fellow proponent of the Constitution, I feel I’ll take a crack at exacting my right to free speech as well.
Lenny Palumbo is a piece of shit. He is weak, hateful, little man. As a man I am ashamed to share my gender with him and as a Western New Yorker I am ashamed to share my region with him. However, there is no changing these people. One thing about this region that so many hateful souls like Palumbo love is that they can completely wall themselves off from the world and live in their own version of 1950 where homosexuals are synonymous with “deviants” and minorities have to call every white man that addresses them “sir.”
(I will not stoop to Lenny’s level here and make assumptions that he is a racist. I will
say that many of the people I have come across that hate gays also have no problem voicing their deep hate for anyone with a different skin tone than them.)
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.
It's a celebration, bitches.
With Yachtsman covering the bases yesterday with his mouth diarrhea gem of a post,
you'd think I would consider the Deeg's coverage of Derek Roy's departure from the Sabres complete. Nay, good sirs and ladies, for I am hungover at work and can't possibly be trusted with actual responsibilities but want to feel like I accomplished something today. Count yourselves lucky, trust me.
Besides, this is really the only topic I can blab on about, since I can't possibly write about Dickey after Yachtsman threw down the gauntlet on that topic. I'm nothing if not spiteful, even if it does necessitate rehashing a topic that has certainly received enough attention this week. (Sidebar: Yachtsman's joke about me asphyxiating myself while watching Mets' games was both hilarious and accurate in its own way. I'll leave it to you to decide which way that is.
One of my favorite things to do lately is watch the fans of Sabreland trip over themselves in a fury of anger and resentment at Darcy Regier, fueling a prevailing wisdom that tells us that he's simply incapable of making this team better. So when free agency approached and people stomped their feet about the need for a big splash and their assumption that such would not come, it set the stage for another moment of shock as Darcy inevitably did something
. Maybe not the big splash we had hoped for - and that we still hope for - but a move that is terribly satisfying to all but the most homer of Buffalo sports fans. With Derek Roy shipped out, we learned - yet again - to chill the fuck out and let things take their course, and to never trust anything Paul Hamilton says, even if it affirms our belief that Derek Roy is an overvalued hack just like, well, Paul Hamilton.
Entrenched analysts with zero credibility! #becauseitsbuffalo
Roy being traded to Dallas, and the Sabres picking up two - TWO! - players in return is yet another reminder that Darcy Regier is, when he wants to be, a straight up wizard in the player market. Does he drug opposing GMs? Did he replace 2011-12 game tape with archived footage of the point-per-game Derek Roy from 2010-11? Is Darcy actually competent - gasp! - when backed by ownership with the desire and bank roll to make a legitimate bid for a Stanley Cup? Moments like Monday, when our shared desire for change suddenly came to light, prove that Darcy might not be the ineffectual villain we sometimes make him out to be. As a basement-dwelling, venomous blogger, this is a sad realization, as it's certainly more fun and satisfying to throw everyone under the bus as I commiserate over failed season after failed season. So sad that many of our brethren are, after receiving the Roy trade they've so long pined for, right back at the work bench, writing off Darcy's career in Buffalo and calling this move - as is any move post-July 1, 2007 - too little, too late. For me, though, things are not so black and white.
Neither, to be fair, was it black and white that Roy needed to go. As much as we like to rag on him for his white suits and Kangol hats and mandles and propensity for sexual assault (maybe?), the guy was also a key cog in the successful times of the past decade, such as they were. There was a time, probably about a year ago, when I thought we were seeing Derek Roy turn a new leaf. His production in 2010-11 was impressive, even accounting for his limited availability due to injuries, and - unlike the skewed stats of some others on the team who had brief stretches of absurd production in the midst of utter mediocrity (*cough* *stafford* *cough*) - Roy was showing us something night in and night out. History of diving and half-assing it down the ice aside, I was hopeful. Shocker, I know, for the Viceroy of Hyperbole, but it honestly seemed like anything was possible in this new town of Pegulaville, even an apparent prima donna finally earning his fucking paycheck.
Your guess is as good as mine as to where that brief glimpse of quality went. Last year we had what was arguably the worst version of Roy. He wasn't just bad. We was invisible. With an "A" on his chest, he seemed to wilt as the team's #1 center following an off-season where so much hype surrounded whether we even had a #1 center. Speculation - my favorite! - is that he grew tired of Lindy Ruff and maybe tanked his play to ensure that long-rumored trade. If that's true - and who the fuck knows if it is or if Roy had just had enough of the poon down at SoHo - he may be a great player after all, but he's also the worst kind of shit head. Good fucking riddance.
Not our problem no more.
The obvious downside, to the extent I'm forced to concede any downside at losing a guy who seemingly exists only to take idiotic penalties and show off his sweet dangles, bro, is that we just lost our best center. This, as we know, is sad on multiple levels, not the lest of which is that our "best" center licked donkey balls like it was going out style. (Sidebar: donkey ball licking NEVER goes out of style. Just ask Aps. BURN!). Left to fill Roy's underachieving skates, then, are a bunch of centers who are young and/or unproven and/or apparently talent-less and/or already scared of Lindy. Not the greatest back-up plan. Though, if you want to be positive about a roster of players who missed the Stanley Cup playoffs again or who played on an Amerks team that got straight-up owned in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs, I can accept that. I do hope, though, that you think before you open your mouth, because there's a fair chance you're a moron.
Of course, Roy's departure wasn't just about getting rid of our favorite whipping boy. Steve Ott, the returning player in the Roy trade, adds a lot of good things to the roster. He's a decent point producer for a player who fills the role of "grinder" - certainly better than Paul Gaustad for the same price, basically - and if you credit his WGR interview from Tuesday morning, he's pumped to be coming to Buffalo. (Suck on THAT, Dallas, what with your championships and gorgeous cheerleaders and oil money and... FUCK). Of course, no one has any clue whether Ott will perform well in Buffalo or whether we'll have another severe drop-off in play like some of the other recent acquisitions post-Pegula. If nothing else, though, even if he's not the answer to the Sabres dysfunctional roster and even if he never contributes half as much as Roy did, I'd prefer to have someone who actually wants to play as a Sabre than one who consistently demonstrated that he could just as easily quit in favor a long-overdue career as a hand model.
As for the other new faces on the roster (for now) - Adam Pardy, John Scott and, just this afternoon, Kevin Porter - the untrustworthy prevailing wisdom is that none of them are really fit to be a consistent presence on an NHL team. Porter, from what I've read in the 15 minutes since the news of his signing broke, won the Hobey Baker back in 2008 and has had only marginal success since he entered the league. John Scott, to his credit, is rumored to eat children and make Boston Bruins pee their pants, so I can't really see any downside at $600,000. And Adam Pardy, well ... he's pretty big and pretty tall and probably plays defense better than Mike Weber, so I'm ok with that as well. Worst case, they all get to have their pictures taken in the Andrew Peters Memorial Pressbox, right? (Sidebar: "Memorial" in reference to Peters' upside, which perished sometime in 2006; happily, Andy Bear the man is still alive and well).
Fact is, the Sabres probably aren't done, especially since so many people probably suspect that they are, and no matter if they're done or not, the roster is still filled with so many head cases that are being ruined by Lindy Ruff that none of it will matter and the team will flame out to another 10th place finish come April, 2013.
Or, that's at least what we'll keep telling ourselves, right?
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.