Did that seriously happen?
When I went to bed last night, I still hadn't really grasped it, and today I'm faring no better. Luis Suarez, the Premier League's best goal scorer this season, fucking bit a dude. And to make it worse, this isn't even unusual behavior for him.
He has a history of this. As stupid about my sports as I am, I'm still not capable of processing this; of deciding what it means about the player, about my club, and about what I'm willing to accept as a sports fan.
When Pat Kaleta blows someone into the boards from behind, I can rationalize it because it's within the scope of hockey generally. It doesn't stray that far from the script of the sport. But when a guy bites someone - TWICE - my brain just can't handle it. I want to jump up and down in anger - surely that's what I'd be doing if the situation was reversed and a guy on my team got chomped - but the fan in me won't go there, perhaps unreasonably.
But, put another way - a way that looks for the results end of the sport, rather than the vague concepts of honor and sportsmanship - the fan in me is looking only to reason. Suarez, after all, is a gifted player. He's the biggest reason Liverpool have been competitive this year. He has a captain in Steven Gerrard - the kind of guy who graciously combines great skill and talent with great honor and sportsmanship - who calls him the third best player in the world.
What to value, then? The moral/ethical side of the game, or the results side of the game? Am I being callous if I value goals scored by an apparently bad and deeply troubled person? Am I being naive if I value the character of a man over his ability to achieve the basic purposes of the game itself?
Is he a brilliant player in spite of apparent sociopathic tendencies, or because of them?
After all, he did this terrible, bizarre, despicable thing... and then he scored an amazing equalizer in the dying moments of the match.
He is both terrible and tremendous. He is a mountain of talent and an abyss of apparent soullessness.
Should our response be to praise, to loathe, or to find a combination of the two and search for a deeper understanding of what it is we're seeing when he takes the pitch?
I'm clearly at a loss for how to answer these questions with any sort of certainty, but for the time being some answers are being chosen by others as the club has fined Suarez and announced that he will not be sold this summer, while the rest of the football world calls for his head on a stake.
And, as for Liverpool fans, we are left to debate what this all means for a Club that has valued the kind of honorable football Suarez shirks while also valuing the kind of beautiful football he so often creates.
The Wild Card LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This post contains legal jargon, legal analysis and less profanity than usual because, well, my professor will be reading it and that’s kind of weird. But I think you’ll enjoy it if you’re a bored sociopath.
On March 12, 2013 an article appeared on Deadspin
containing a recorded phone call between NFL General Managers (GMs) Buddy Nix of our very own Buffalo Bills and Mark Dominik of the not-our-own Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Neither GM knew that their conversation was being recorded by two eager opportunistics on a third line. The content of the conversation was, at least to football obsessives like my self and yours: racy. Both GMs disclosed otherwise proprietary information, such as who was on the trade block, and how they felt about certain of their players under contract. The article garnered a degree of publicity, and a short survey of comments on the Deadspin website shows that many fans thought the same thing: that’s got to be illegal. Right?
We’ll see. But first, let’s spin a tale of intrigue, suspense and “dadgum” embarrassment.
Here’s how it happened. According to Deadspin, the “pranksters”
dialed the publicly listed phone number for the Bills’ front office and asked for Buddy Nix, claiming to be Dominik. Surprisingly enough, they were patched through and Nix answered the phone. They panicked and hung up.
Next, they concocted a little plan: they would call Dominik next and see if they couldn’t get Dominik and Nix to play an annoying game of phone tag. The devils. But while they were on the horn with Dominik’s secretary, Nix called them back! So, they used three-way calling to answer Nix’s call while they were being patched through to Dominik.
It seems silly to try to avoid talking about it, so I'm just gonna say it. Times like these make it easy to put sports in their proper perspective. Too often we allow ourselves to slip into a place where we "live and die" on the successes and failures of our favorite franchises and freely discuss how much we "hate" Tom Brady or LeBron James. It's mostly tongue in cheek, but at the same time, I know I'm not the only guy who has a sporting event ranked in his "Top 5 Most Enraging Moments of All-Time." For some of us, sports might occupy all five. But after something like the bombing at the Boston Marathon or the explosion in West, Texas, you realize that none of it really matters all that deeply to us and that you hate athletes like you hate mayonnaise. You remember that a hero isn't a quarterback playing on a broken leg. It's a marathon runner at a blood bank two miles from that desecrated finish line. Hopefully, you go back to the games with fresh eyes and remember that this is only entertainment. Invigorating, maddening, wonderful entertainment.
And with that in mind, no matter who you root for or against, the NBA playoffs bring a welcome respite from a very taxing week.
The regular season of the NBA serves more as context than content. We usually know who the good teams are and by the time the season ends, it feels more like you've been waiting all this time for it to start. And let's face it, this all feels like a preamble to Heat\Thunder II, The Rematch.
This is what awesome looks like.
Both teams took over 1st place this season (and for the foreseeable future) in their respective conferences. Both defenses have virtually identical numbers to last year. Somehow, both stars got better. Durant improved in nearly every single statistical category, while James led his team on a 27-0 streak that may have permanently silenced the "Can he be clutch?" conversation for good. And both seem likely to be raising MVP trophies at some point on their journey to the championship round.
But there hasn't been a championship round between two 1 seeds in 13 seasons for a reason. While the teams that enter the playoffs are very often predictable, what happens between the first round and the last is anyone's guess.
The path to the Finals is certainly much more difficult for Oklahoma City. James Harden leads a promising Rockets team their way in the first round. Assuming the young Rockets aren't ready yet, next the Thunder would most likely face the dynamic & deep Clippers. CP3 & the Poster Child lead a great blend of youth & experience that could easily give Durant, Westbrook & the rest of Thunder a very tough series. But if OKC can knock off Lob City, it's hard to predict who they'll face next.
Golden State is a fun team to watch, but also a likely first round out. The Lakers are an intriguing story line, but it's hard to tell what, if anything, they've got left at this point. Without Kobe's production & World Peace's defense, it's hard to see them winning two seven-game series. The Spurs are looking every one of their many years. And Denver has a good team, but not a great one. All this adds up to an opponent that, if they make it, the Thunder will most likely be favored against.
Across the aisle in the East, life is easier for the Heat. The Bucks are beaten already and neither the Nets nor the Bulls pose much of a threat. Yes, Chicago ended the 27-game winning streak. And if Rose returns, they'll certainly be able to give James & Co. a tough, grinding series, but it's hard to see them making it to the conference finals.
It's obvious that the biggest threat to Miami's Eastern Conference title are their old rivals, the New York Knicks. But to get there, the Knicks will have to knock off another rival, the Boston Celtics.
Clearly, this is the most intriguing matchup. To say this series will be emotional is like saying Captain Ahab was a little preoccupied. If there were ever a team built for this kind of unwanted scenario, it's these Celtics. Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett know their window is closing, but remain defiant in the face of long odds. You know they will give absolutely everything they have for each other and their fans. And they'll make sure everyone in their locker room does the same.
And they'll need every bit of it to stop 'Melo. Anthony is playing the best basketball of his career on the best team of his career. The Knicks haven't been this close to a title shot since Clinton was President. But can they handle that pressure? While they've certainly proven that they deserve to be amongst the league's best teams, they're still a franchise without a series win this side of 2000 and a star who's been out of the first round once in his career. All signs point to their talent overwhelming the undermanned Celtics, but don't be surprised if the Knicks make their usual early exit.
That being said, it's most likely that New York will get past Boston and whoever escapes the "Who Cares" series between Indiana and Atlanta. Then the two stars of the 2003 Draft will hopefully put on a show for the history books.
Over 10 years ago. God, I'm old.
It still might seem as though we're just waiting to get to the Rematch and that's certainly where I think we're headed. But at the risk of wearing out a tired cliche (whatever, the playoffs started 45 minutes ago and I'm out of time), there will most definitely be some excitement you won't want to miss along the way. Don't miss the start of Game 3 in Boston. Track how many Holy-shit!'s the absurd talent of LeBron, Durant and Westbrook bring out of you. Keep an eye on James Harden and Steph Curry. And whatever you do, make sure you watch any highlight reel involving the Clippers.
Liveblog for the potentially useless and infuriating out-of-town hockey. We still have hope, albeit only a shred.
Hi. I'm the Scizz. I write for this blog. Earlier today I found out that Buffalo Sabres' defenseman Tyler Myers has a broken leg and is out for the rest of the year. My immediate reaction?
It is amazing how much Buffalo sports simply don't matter to me right now. Now I hope the injury is not going to hinder his career or anything like that. I definitely don't wish injuries on players (unless their name is Lucic, Brady, or Vick and in that case they can all be set on fire while their limbs are ripped off by wild horses). Yet, there is something comical about the team's supposed "young star" being knocked out and finding myself having absolutely no emotion whatsoever. Of course besides that whole heart made of the blackest coal thing, I'm a pretty emotional guy SHUT UP EVERYBODY I CRIED AT THE END OF COOL RUNNINGS THEY TRIED SO HARD LEAVE ME ALONE!
So since I realized that two seasons ago this would have left me distraught and my day ru-eened, I figured I'd provide a quick list of 10 things that concern me more right now. This is probably pretty stupid but it took 11 minutes for me to write it, so get bent.
10. Giving up beer for 6 out of 7 days a week until my wedding, June 1st. Why did I do this? I know I want Jesus abs for the honeymoon and everything, but holy christ do I love beer. I'll never make it.
9. Whether to watch re-runs of Samford & Son, Wonder Years, or the 1960's Spider-Man cartoon on Netflix after work.
8. The homeless guy outside my job that looks suspiciously like Mike Harrington. (I still got it! Yeeeeeeeah!)
7. Kris Letang's injuries. Motherfucker is on my fantasy team and I neeeeeeeed him right now. That shit matters.
6. *WARNING! SEMI-POLITICAL SENTENCE* People that can say with a straight face that automatic weapons serve a purpose in society outside of law-enforcement and the military.
This seems about right.
5. Choosing the Yachtsman to be my best man and Barrister to be the man who marries me to my wife. I have nobody else to blame but myself.
4.This weird rash on my inner thigh.
3. Russ Brandon is still a thing.
2. The Knicks' winning streak has ended, Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin are injured, and the name James Singleton is being floated around. Dumb sports.
1. How am I going to survive my bachelor party? Like, seriously you guys? I'm concerned for my own well-being and all those around me that weekend. Take your craziest bender and multiply it by a hundred. Now you're getting close to the level of debauchery that's going to happen. I'm scared.
THESE are things to be concerned about. Feel free to add your own in the comments below.
Unless of course this is some rare, catastrophic leg-break that means Tyler Myers will never play hockey again and I probably should have taken the whole situation more serious. In that case, please contact @JoeBuffaloWins
for all of your hate and concerns. He actually wrote this.
AS IF YOU NEEDED ONE, AMIRITE??
I hate having to write this, but I'm a sucker for accuracy and specificity and setting the record straight when it's been sullied by knuckledragging journalists who couldn't care less about accuracy, professionalism or personal hygiene, and today was a perhaps overlooked adventure in misrepresentation in media and the willingness of fans to fall down a rabbit hole of obfuscation.
How's that for a fun potshotting intro? You're hooked! You're blissfully unaware I'm just a hack, basement-dwelling blogger!! Success!
The good (great) news is that this isn't a fan piece on booing. It's a fan piece on why the #WhiteVanBrigade has failed us, again.
Today... NEWSFLASH: RYAN MILLER AND RON ROLSTON CALL SABRES FANS ASSHOLES FOR BOOING; FANS RETORT BY CALLING THEM UNDERPERFORMING PUSSIES
It's probably more fun to just believe that our favorite players and our coach are talking directly to us after a game, giving unsolicited comments about the game we just watched. It's more fun to think of just those comments, and not the context of those comments when assessing a game story because, among many reasons, Paul Hamilton and Mike Harrington are both creepy and weird looking and who wants to think that they're part of the scenario. Hell, I can't be bothered to watch locker room interviews after a Sabres game anymore for fear of a walrus peeking out in the corner of the frame, voice recorder in hand, pastrami sandwich in pocket.
Guest Contributor: The Wild Card
HOCKEY HEAVEN -- (Trade Deadline minus 25 hours, 8 minutes. Associated Mess) -- With Leopold and Regehr gone it's pretty clear now that Darcy intends to blow this motherfucker up, burn this motherfucker down and otherwise do things to this motherfucker that make it different tomorrow. Cool. They need to look different, but now I'm wondering if they'll be different. And the reason to think they won't be is the common denominator: Darcy.
A lot of people want Darcy gone, and I tentatively count myself among their number. The case against Darcy is easy to make, and it usually comes down to results. No cups. 1 cup appearance a long time ago. Drury, Briere, yada yada. I'm not telling you anything new. My problem is that I can make a pretty strong case in Darcy's favor too. He did have the sense to bring in said Chris and said Danny for next to nothing. He got a 1st for a goose. He just traded two 32-yr old defensemen with 12 games left on their contracts for 3 second round picks and a 4th/5th. Not too shabby. He moves Van/Pom/Mil and we could suddenly picking every 5 minutes in June. And with promising guys like Armia, Grigorenko (yes, shutup you shit-sniffing troll, the kid's going to be fine) and Leggio in the organization, I have to think Darcy's done a pretty decent job assembling some young talent.
But here's why I still think I want Darcy gone: with all that being said, under Darcy's regime these teams have been largely the same - dispassionate, soft, leaderless. The Drury/Briere era was the exception. We had clear leaders, and the other players had clear roles. But the leadership on that team wasn't drafted by Darcy. Drury and Briere were trades. McKee was drafted pre-Darcy. Lydman was a trade... Darcy just doesn't draft leaders. Name a guy Darcy drafted that would be a suitable captain on an NHL team. ... anyone?
I just can't get around it. I think about all the moves that Darcy has made here. I think about what he's tried to do. What the general philosophy of the team is. I have to admit, I agree with all of it. I even like the philosophy of building out from your goaltender, playing good defense and not droppin' cash like Tyrone Biggums in Free Agency.
But for 16 years he has failed to draft a true captain for this team. That's just not acceptable. ALL the good teams have good captains. Let's have a look down the list:
Chi - Toews, Sharpe, Keith (not to mention Kane)
ANA - Getzlaf, Koivu, Selanne (not to mention Perry)
MIN - Koivu, Parise, Suter
LA - Brown, Richards, Kopitar
PIT - Crosby, Malkin, Orpik
MTL - Gionta, Markov, (and Gorges... but fuck that.)
BOS - Chara, Bergeron (not to mention Horton, Marchand, Lucic, Seguin, and Thornton... good god I'm jelly. OK, back to grown-up talk.)
These guys are ALL-STARS, and most of them are gritty, intense, tenacious. Our guys are just good. Them: MEN. Us: Whiney little boners. I mean, do Vanek and Pominville stack up to ANY of these guys? If they were traded to any of these teams, do you think they'd say "shit, we gotta put a letter on this guy" ?
Maybe Darcy can change his stripes, I don't know. I think he's always been pretty good at seeing this team's weaknesses on the X's and O's front. Steve Ott is a good example. We needed to get tougher at the top and he knew it. So we got tougher at the top. But Ott is also a guy I like a lot as a leader. Could it be that Darcy knows we need leadership too?
He might only have 24 hours to prove it.Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @DGW_WildCard
This is as belated as we've been in a while. Maybe the dad among us shouldn't promise to edit anymore, particularly on a noght of such heavy drinking. With esteemed Deeg colleague Monsieur Boner Shorts in town, things got weird.
I won't bother recapping it, except to say this was recorded the night of Tuesday, March 26th, in the midst of Sabres, Knicks, USMNT, Clippers/Mavs and shots of whiskey. Also, the Scizz was there, so if you love the soft tones of his Franklinville accent, make sure to join in the fun with a download.
or stream below if you want, whatever. Subscribe via the itunes link below, or via RSS at www.deargodwhyussports.libsyn.com/rss ... I think?
Tonight the Buffalo Sabres take to the ice in the land of meth labs and man-eating sinkholes to attempt to do something they haven’t done once during this mercifully shortened season: win their fourth hockeypucks game in a row. If Winnipeg and Philadelphia win their games in regulation, the Sabres will suddenly find themselves one point removed from the final playoff spot with a game in front of 13,000 empty seats on deck Thursday night in the Everglades. Ten of their final fourteen games will be played at home and, despite all of this, some of you are despondent, downtrodden, terrified that they might win, that they might turn that puncher’s chance into a playoff berth.
Why is this case? Well the prevailing logic seems to be that the team is better served by finishing with a top three draft pick, buttressed by the sweeping assumption that if the Sabres sneak into the playoffs, Darcy Regier will be rewarded with keeping his job and this team will be thrown into some sort of perpetual mediocrity as true as our orbit around the sun. I can’t say I don’t understand this logic; the idea of giving this general manager a second crack under Pegula at assembling a roster would accomplish little more than hemorrhaging the fanbase and leaving us a few more years closer to death without a sniff at a cup. What I don’t understand is how people are willing to assume that this is black and white, that wins equal the general manager staying. Because drive-time radio pronounces it true? Because a WGR beat reporter who spent the entire football season telling you Chan Gailey wasn’t going anywhere is now saying the same about Darcy? Because TBN staff members that haven’t broken a team story since the Ford administration pronounce it true? For shame.
I don’t know what the owner thinks about the general manager’s future. Neither do you and neither do any of the local media. What I do know is management espoused a three-year plan to win a Stanley Cup (that has been shot to shit) and pledged to win multiple Stanley Cups under the new owner. I know the owner allowed or ordered the firing of a coach that had been involved with the team for the better part of three decades. I know that perennial eighth place finishes and first round exits are quite removed from the sixteen wins that it takes to win a championship. I know that no one who builds a business worth more than a billion dollars does so by accepting continuous underachievement and incompetence.
I also know that telling the fans that they’re being neglected, ignored and mistreated sells papers and ad space, and allows fans to wallow in the “woe is us” attitude that gets ingrained into your DNA at conception in this region. I know it’s the safe column to write, the safe position to take. I know Pominville, Vanek and Miller have contracts that expire after next season and the general manager himself has already bucked tradition and stated to local and national outlets that any changes that will be made will be focused on next season.
My point is that there’s at least enough empirical evidence to argue that the general manager is gone no matter what happens short of a conference finals appearance, right? There’s more than enough evidence to support the idea that columnists and radio hosts are trolling the fanbase by using Darcy as a boogeyman to get you to tune in or use one of your ten free page views (I’m not silly enough to assume any of our readers are also TBN subscribers).
Making it harder to accept even a slight run of success is the fact that we had finally embraced, welcomed the idea of hitting rock bottom. After half a decade of mediocrity this was going to be the year we finally said “fuck it,” and took the losses laughing instead of crying. We were ready, and then these, these ASSHOLES had to go and start winning! God can’t they do anything right!?
The Barrister and The Apologist
I don't even care that the title of this episode rips off 'Friends' - it's accurate. We're mean in this one. Well, really only with respect to certain creepy members of a certain local newspaper's sports staff.
Recorded during and after the Sabres' most recent game - a win?!?? - against the Maple Leaves of Toronto, we talk plenty about the Sabres, how sad we are about the lack of silver linings this season, and then whistfully predict the inevitable Cup run. Oh, and Joe from Buffalo Wins makes a cameo to talk about striking out with the smokeshow bartender at Gleason's, further adding to the list of things we'll make fun of him about when he returns to Twitter on Easter.
Musical additions by the way of Jefferson Airplane, Homeboy Sandman and Kasabian.
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