Tomorrow night the longest lockout shortened season in the history of sports is coming to an end. Seriously, it’s only been three months; I have the schedule in front of me and everything. If you want highlights only, this will be a quick read for you: season opener, three Boston wins, comeback against Montreal, snapping Pittsburgh’s win streak. There, you can go back to whatever it was you were doing before you got here; I’m only writing this because the Wild Card is some sort of wunderkind and I’m feeling inadequate. Actually I’ll give you one more highlight: waking up at the gate in JFK at 7:30am after Occupy Newark, surrounded by dozens of people with only hazy recollection of how I got there. Probably should have just taken Scizz’s couch invite instead of taking a cab to the airport at 4am, but I am thankful for whatever TSA agent kindly let me through security.
That still-intoxicated confusion amongst the chaos of a crowded airport terminal is indicative of the season we just watched. What happened? Why was everything so terrible? Why am I still wearing this Vanek jersey? Well, I watched nearly every game and I don’t have the slightest goddamn clue. All I know is this is the first season I didn’t see a win in person since 2003-2004 and I’ve spent nearly all of those seasons in between living hours away. Well that, and that there were many specific things that came together like some sort of horrifying, malevolent Captain Planet to ruin our evenings three times a week.
At first I was just going to list all the things that were horrible about this season but as I got to eleven it struck me that first, with enough time this list could go on perpetually as if I was writing out the decimals in pi, looking for an end, and second, I wanted to identify what was worse than all the others; what, when matched up against the other “worst” things on the list, made the others look better. Think of this like a Bill Simmons' NBA trade value column, except you’ve heard of these names and I don’t get paid for it. To properly settle this, I decided to seed the eight worst entities about this season and match them up in a tournament format to see what exactly would come out on top (bottom?), along with my analysis.
To the seedings: 9 (Honorable Mention): John Scott
- I definitely bitched about his presence on the ice more than some of the things found below, but when compiling this list I felt he may have gotten a bad rap from me. First, we all knew coming in he wasn't skilled at hockey. Two, it wasn't his decision to put him in the lineup constantly, leaving talented- err, less awful
players scratched. However, he would have cracked my top 8 if it wasn't for his photobombing post-game interviews
late in the season. So, thanks to some stellar off-ice moves, Scott does not make the most hated tournament. But seriously, get the fuck off my team now. 8) Jochen Hecht:
I’m not sure what I hate more, his complete ineptitude on offense, the rare moments when that ineptitude disappears, or the fact that everyone involved in making organizational decisions loves this guy for reasons beyond understanding. Ruff, Regier and Rolston have raved about this statue and I haven’t the slightest fucking clue. Giving Hecht top line minutes was effectively hoping for a 1-0 win or a 2-1 overtime loss, and despite this I STILL don’t trust them to cut ties after this season. He’s a fucking 80’s horror villain. Go away. 7) Drew Stafford:
Fuck Drew Stafford. Thanks for those two shootout goals I guess, dickface. 6) The Buffalo News:
This is primarily a credit to their belief that all the teams ills would have been solved if the owner had commented about Regier or the Pominville trade. Watching them slowly melt down during the season into petulant children was pretty funny when I wasn’t annoyed by the pettiness and lack of professionalism by people who actually do get paid to write for a living. Plus they’re fucking creepy. Solid dark horse as a six seed
Yesterday, following a night where I got little sleep due to fatherly duties and an ill-conceived desire to bait racist Obama-haters on the internets at 4 am, I awoke to a familiar theme in my Twitter feed from a familiar source. Jeremy White, WGR morning show pocket rocket, was criticizing the NHLPA and players for their (alleged) insistence on portraying themselves as victims. He doesn't think fans - not most fans, but ANY fans - buy that kind of meme, and he thinks fans - not some fans, but ALL fans - will eventually turn on the players as a result. In a stunning bit of word gymnastics, he criticized the NHLPA for a PR strategy while, in a subsequent response, claiming that PR is irrelevant.
This wasn't the first time I heard something similar from him about how stupid the players are to whine about their situation and about how their "playing the victim" routine is bound to backfire. I haven't seen much about the owners "whining" (as if a forced work stoppage was anything other than a petulant tantrum in grownup terms) in his critiques, of course, so you're definitely right, before we continue, to question whether I chose a nonstarter and whether an employee at the "Radio Home of the Buffalo Sabres" would bother conceding any
points about the quality of the players' position in this whole fiasco. (More on that in the future, I'm sure...)
Though, perhaps stupidly, I chose to engage. I had points to make, what with White's consistent anti-labor diatribes and my general sympathy for those wishing to adhere to contractual principles of fairness. Out of character for me, I had enough restraint to make my points without calling Mr. White a douchebag or fascist or idiot or any number of things that I thought then and have thought since. I'm a documented asshole, and these are the kinds of things I think sometimes. I went to law school, in part, to channel my energy more constructively so people would like me more. So, I tried to be nice, tried to be persuasive, and generally found myself colliding with a brick wall of contrarian nonsense in consistent support of NHL ownership's power grab. Huh. #StateSponsoredRadio
Using my conversation with White as a point of reference, Outlander talked yesterday
about how disappointing WGR and the Buffalo News tend to be with their lockout coverage - something not exclusive to WNY - and how it's especially disappointing given the general sophistication (meaning attention to details, not necessarily expertise or general intelligence) of Buffalo hockey fans. Outlander made the point, long obvious, but no less true, that we deserve better.
Outlander also left the door open for future debate. And since the lockout may or may not be close to ending, and since my conversation with Mr. White, by it's nature on twitter, was character limited and, perhaps more importantly, unavailable to fans of the Deeg not on Twitter, I wanted to take an opportunity to flesh a few things out.
And since I (and others) already did the polite discussion routine to no avail, I can't promise I'm not about to be a huge dick right now. You've been warned.
When there's something strange....in the neighborhood.....
Guess who's back? Back Again. Guess who's back? TELL A FRIEND!
Due to popular demand and my own sheer boredom, welcome to the third installment of Buffalo Sabres: Where Are They Now?
If you are new to DGWU Sports in the last year, this all started as a dumb hashtag on twitter when I was bored at home on a Sunday night. Well, it's Tuesday morning, work is slow, and I compiled a nice little list with the help of some friends on the tweet machine. Enjoy yourself and start thinking up ideas to tweet me
for "2012 - Part 2." Oh yeah, and you can read the last year's two installments here
Ville Leino: Somewhere in Finland, diving into a pile of cash like Scrooge McDuck, except missing five feet wide and yet still laughing maniacally.
(assist from @JG_1611
Tim Kennedy: Filling out an application to be groundskeeper at Patrick Kane's new house in Hamburg. - from @Boner_Shorts http://lokihockey.tumblr.com/
Dominic Hasek: Working out for his big comeback. This involves vodka, pilates, vodka, 117 cortisone injections, and vodka. Handsome. Man.
Pat Lafontaine: Staring at a picture of himself staring at a picture of himself staring at himself in a mirror. - from the Barrister
Jason Botterill: Laughing at Sabres fans on twitter who thought a Roy for J. Staal trade would actually ever happen. Der
Chris Butler: Still being fucking terrible at hockey somewhere. This smells of the poop triangle.
Robyn Regehr: Staring at the living room wall while chewing a rock. - from @Boner_Shorts
Shaone Morrisonn: Taking his talents to Южная Бич. And by talents I mean the extra n in his last name.
Tom Golisano: Wondering how his bid for the Dodgers didn't win - Free payroll service & a coupon to Quiznos - from @JG_1611 oops
Steve Bernier: Hanging out with his new friends Scott Norwood, Bill Buckner, and Greg Norman. Somebody needs another.
Jason Pominville: Sitting in an empty locker room, rocking back and forth repeating "You're not Craig Rivet. You're not Craig Rivet" to himself over & over again.
Tyler Ennis: Auditioning for part of Crutchy in the touring production of Newsies. - from the Barrister
Taro Tsujimoto: Whereabouts unknown, but still better than Mike Weber.
Book it. Follow me @TheScizz
and feel free to leave other #WhereAreTheyNow ideas
in the comment section. Go Sabres?
Sad. And adorable.
The Barrister & The Scizz
It was a rainy, misty, shitty day in New York City on Thursday. The perfect setting for our second installment of Infinite Sadness, one of the peripheral cogs in the Deeg Podcast Industries. Scizz, still sitting in the solitude of his sobriety, and I, still sitting in my own sweat and overworked misery, got together via Skype to discuss some of the more recent sports news that makes us infinitely sad.
While the arc of our conversation is often tangential, we touch on the NHL playoffs and how it's been to watch hockey suddenly get big in the big market of NYC, and then have a reflective discussion on how unsurprised we are to see that the Buffalo Sabres have not invited us and our stockpile of dick jokes to attend next month's Blogger Summit. Hint: It's Scizz's fault. Second Hint: It's also Alex Sulzer's fault.
This was a ton of fun to make, as always, and includes musical interludes from Incubus, Ben Folds Five and Biggie Smalls. Enjoy by streaming or downloading below.
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This post was inspired by twitter. And thanks to Aps for this lovely image.
The Scizz I'm sorry, where am I going?
Thursday night, amidst the crazy happenings of the NHL, yours truly was becoming extremely bored staring at my twitter feed while awaiting the news that Robyn Regehr may be headed to Buffalo. So in true DGWU fashion, I dropped a Bob Corkum joke. With no news on the NTC being reported I exchanged a couple of more twitter jokes with fellow blogger, Scott Michalak
about the current whereabouts of Mr. Corkum.
Several other Buffalo bloggers that I respect jumped in on the action and what ensued was a litany of hashtags representing a "Where Are They Now?" of former and current Buffalo Sabres personalities. Scotty said I should turn it into a post and I jumped at the opportunity.
I realize we have many readers who don't go on "the twitter", so I have compiled a list for those of you who missed it. If you have been wondering what some players may be up to in their post-hockey careers, or even off-season shenanigans then look no further. I also took the liberty of adding a few more for fuck's sake. Where Are They Now?
Brian McCutcheon: Drinkin' the brown drinks at the end of the bar at the Adams Mark all week long. -Scotty of BSN
Mika Noronen: Sitting at his PC up-bidding his memorabilia on e-bay Sully's house? Or City Honors senior prom?
(sidenote: I actually have a goalie stick and several rookie cards signed by Noronen that I got from him personally. That's a story for another day)
Tim Connolly: Sitting silently in his car outside of Sully's house, drinking a 5th of Jack and plotting... - Scotty of BSN
Mark Mancari: Playing as himself on NHL 2011 on a line with Vanek and Roy. Scored 42 goals, 103 points and took the Sabres to the cup. Offsides were set to off. A young Willem Dafoe
Max Afinogenov: Pleading with NHL GMs in broken English that he's committed to 2way play. - Brian of Buffalo wins
Danny Briere: Kicking puppies. Punching babies. Campaigning for Newt Gingrich. Hitting on your mom. Training with Al-Qaeda. Listening to Air Supply. Defending the Lost series finale. Marrying a Kardashian. The 2nd handsomest member
Patrick Lalime: The soon-to-be newest member of @DGWUSports!
Ales Kotalik: at home feverishly hitting redial to get ahold of Regehr to cancel their trade to Buffalo -Scotty of BSN You need back rub?
Dmitri Kalinin: Still sucking at everything. Only this time, in Russia.
Nathan Paetsch: At Borders buying the German version of "Rosetta Stone." - Scotty of BSN (this one literally made me spit-take my beer)
Andrew Peters: Running his own medical equipment sales company - Phil from BBG(This one is apparently real) Actual Myspace photo
Jim Lorentz: Sleeping in the 300's wearing his old uniform with Batman underoos on the outside, holding an old hockey stick & listening to the dulcet tones of Mr. Ronan Tynan. -Tag team of Scotty & myself
Daniel Paille: Um....never mind. SMASHED
Dominik Hasek: Shit-Faced on 190 proof vodka while prank calling Ryan Miller
There was plenty more and I have some brewing on my own, but I'll save them for another time. Feel free to add your own "Where Are They Now's" in the comments. And if you are not on twitter, get the fuck on that grandpa and follow me!