Note from The Barrister:
This entry is from a new guest contributor here at DGWU Sports - The Grouch. As you all will see, the kid has some things he wanted to get off his chest. Some of these things will probably piss some of you off. A lot. But, since we don't really have a lot of respect for any of you or whatever you think, we've let the Grouch step in and take the DGWU soapbox. Make sure to leave some comments below if you wish to verbally berate El Groucherino. It's been months since anything on the site incited the wrath of our dear readers, so here's hoping that you all feel inspired to drop some hate before you depart. Enjoy!
So it turns out there are a lot of quiet truths in the world. Truths we know about ourselves, that we know about each other. Things that are virtually indisputable, but that we dispute anyway, because things are supposed to be one-way-or-another, because we are supposed to exhibit this emotion or that idea. There are things like that in every facet of life. There are things like that in the sports world. There are things like that about the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres that you know, that I know, that we just don't want to admit to ourselves. Here are 10 things about Buffalo Sports that you already know but you don't want to know.
10 - It was a Lateral.
Science has proven it. Math has proven it. I think someone from the afterlife might have stopped by in the spare pope-mobile just to be sure that we knew that it was a lateral. I was as bummed that the Bills allowed the "Music City Miracle" to happen as anybody, but the frigging thing went backwards, or at least exactly even, and the kick coverage was just piss poor. Yet we continue to banter out about how this was another in a long line of conspiracies against Buffalo, because the world dislikes snow and chicken wings. Enough already. Want to be bitter? Be bitter about the obvious, blatant, unfortunate holding on Steve Christie as he desperately attempted to make a play on the return (not that it had mattered), or the fact that Rob Johnson started that football game for no good reason. But don't be bitter about the lateral. It was a lateral.
9 - The "Bills Mafia" is a neat idea with a stupid name.
Fan and community organization is cool. "Mafia" is the dumbest name I could possibly think of sticking on it, though. "Mafia" was what the dumb kids referred to their cliques as in the 7th grade. The dumb kids, let's remember.
8 - Buffalo is never going to be a great city again.
We sometimes attribute our sports success or failure to the region's success and failure. Sorry. There is no comeback. It will always be what it is, and we should be proud of that. The time for a once-great city to exist in that particular part of the country, with its climate, its resources, its socioeconomic culture will never change. No matter how successful the Bills and Sabres become, people will never want to move to Buffalo in droves, the spirit of entrepreneurship has moved on permanently. It is too cold and there are too many obstacles. There will always be small gains, but as the "Queen City", Buffalo is broken beyond repair.
7 - When it comes to the difference between the likability, culture, etc. of professional athletes, race and background matters.
Football players and hockey players are different in a lot of ways. One of the ways that they're different is their socioeconomic background, one of the reasons that is different is because of their race. That's not always the case, but it is enough to call it a rule. For the most part, we all like football and hockey, and we should probably keep it at that, because liking who we like better, when unraveled deep down to the core, reveals things about ourselves we probably don't want to come to terms with.
6 - But really, the most popular team in town is the most successful team in town.
Does it feel like the Bills are just a little less interesting this week than last week? [Ed note: This point was much more salient when the Grouch wrote it between the Week 4 loss and the Week 5 win. Yet, I think we get his point.]
5 - Jerry Sullivan, Sal Maiorana and Mike Schopp are bad at their jobs. But no one is stepping up to do a better job, either.
We do not have alternative sports radio or an alternative sports periodical. The blogs are constantly in a Cold War with one another, never willing to "fully" work together without a guarantee that their specific blog would be the one to receive recognition and creative control. Creating a real alternative requires time, money, manpower and resilience. No combination of these things have been successfully presented by anybody.
4 - And they won't be.
Buffalo is a shrinking small to mid-sized market. Regular readers and listeners hesitate to expend their limited discretionary income on alternative media. There is no organization amongst people who wish to provide alternatives. The blogs are mostly out for themselves. Too many independent writers are wooed by the slightest bit of attention or recognition from the traditional media. Too many people want to listen to traditional journalists, who are going extinct, by everyone's admission. It is, in other words, generally not a good idea to read a survival guide written by dinosaurs.
3 - Being drunk at football games does not make football games better.
It makes you feel better, and yes, there is a difference. [Ed. Note: Whaaaa???]
2 - Ralph Wilson Stadium isn't "kind of" a dump. It's a dump. It's our dump, and it's all wholesome and has character and -- whatever -- it's a dump.
It is, in one of the coldest parts of the country, an outdoor stadium, built in the middle of nowhere, with tiny, insufficient concourses, outdated luxury boxes and an increasingly obnoxious parking lot situation. It's a dump. It's our dump. It's the only dump we'll ever have, because we don't have enough money to buy a new dump. Ralph Wilson Stadium is your 250 lb wife, who was once a passable 130 lb young lady with perky tits. But now you're both 45, have had 3 kids and do not have time for healthy foods and exercise. Thing is, you're old and broke and ugly too. You're never going to do any better. It's your dump, and it's all you'll ever have.
1 - We're bad fans. We hear a lot about how great of fans we are, mostly because people buy tickets and we "care" about our teams. But there reaches a point where it gets a little gross, also. Trekkies, the nerdy and somewhat religious fanatics of Star Trek are made fun of for a reason. And that reason is, caring too much is as bad as not caring enough. Whether it's vandalizing a player's lawn for making a mistake or bothering a player at the grocery store, the sports of Buffalo are a little too entangled in everyday life for comfort. And that probably makes things worse for everything else. We probably shouldn't give out keys to the city to athletes anymore, either. It probably just unlocks things about us which we wish we never knew.