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.
The Good - Red Bulls, the MLS Break and Early September Wagon Circling
Oh sweet lord, thank you New York Red Bulls. This summer has reminded me that, despite frequent frustration with my squads, soccer can be a beautiful thing sometimes, and not just because it makes Scizz's brain hurt in a mess of jingoistic rage and confusion at the panoply of abbreviations and set pieces. (I kid, mostly to incite the inevitable ragestorm.)
The MLS gets it right, I think, by treating the All Star Game like the novelty it is by bringing in the world's best clubs to play against the league's best players year after year, instead of the traditional East/West format. This accomplishes two things for me. One, it lets casual American fans see what a real football club looks like, even if it is Chelsea this year and even if the Blues make me want to do destroy something beautiful like they have seemed to do with Fernando Torres. Second, and this is very much related, it allows fans of the American game to measure the progress of the domestic brand of sport, albeit in an admittedly artificial way. In a week home while my lady fair still enjoys her vacation in Massachusetts, Wednesday night's game will be something to look forward to. As with all things sport, I'm just hoping for something to entertain me between my sips of beer, though beyond that it is difficult to know what to expect from the game itself. After the MLS side performed well in the first few years of the trend of bringing in European clubs to play in the ASG, the last couple games have been overwhelming defeats to a Manchester United side seemingly motivated to show that, regardless of the MLS's progress, there remains a sizable gap in quality. Even so, it's still an exhibition and thus it's unclear what kind of squad we'll get from CFC, not to mention what to expect from the MLS side being speckled together in a few trainings. (if that?)
Speaking of trainings.... Bills training camp starts this week. Another shitty segue and, besides, enough of this soccer bullshit, right guys?
Part of my irrational excitement is definitely wrapped up in the fact that I'm actually going to see live football this year, and in Week 1 to boot. PUNS! FOOTBALL! Season opener tickets purchased last week, 3/4 of the NYC Deeg (as distinct from our Buffalo correspondents) will be at MetLife Stadium to see the Bills fight for a perfect start to their 2012 campaign. Word is that one Joseph Pinzone will also be in attendance, which means that everyone can look forward to stories of a stumbling asshole in a Stevie Johnson jersey picking a fight with Fireman Ed. (Sidebar: I also own a Stevie jersey, so unless I wear my nameplate-less AFL Poz jersey, it's anyone's guess which stumbling asshole it will be). I'd promise on-scene reporting, but we're drinkers and Aps usually handles the game recaps anyway and he's missing the game in favor of Nathan Gerbe's bar mitzvah.
If you can believe it, I don't think I've been to a Bills game in eight years. In my mess of a brain, I had been running under the assumption that I caught a game when I was home in 2007, and I think that may still be true, but I can't for the life of me remember when or against who. Maybe that means I made it up or maybe it just means l had a really great time. In any event, it's been a while since that 2004 Cardinals game I actually do remember, so I'm long overdue. Certainly sad that I won't be able to catch the home opener one week later with my Deeg brethren (getting a little too close to the due date for Baby Barrister with that game), but the Week 1 tickets soften the blow.
Speaking of "blow"...
The Bad - The Mets resume form and I get depressed about the prospect of no hockey
Last weekend, around 6 pm on Sunday night, something occurred to me. I had been drinking for 48 hours straight, I had tried a few hundred different kinds of wine, and - for a blessed two days - I forgot the New York Mets existed.
Strike that. Amended: I forgot to care whether the New York Mets existed or not.
It was a peaceful state of being and it came at a fucking great time.
It was bound to happen, but as The Hosers' Derek Jedamski remarked last night - and something that can be said about any Cinderella story that comes to a screeching halt - as much as we knew the Mets couldn't keep up their play, it doesn't make it suck any less when it comes to fruition. Of course, the Mets aren't much of a Cinderella with the over-stuffed ownership and payroll, but it sure feels like they are when they're handicapped by youth and injuries and utter lack of talent at half the positions. I'll probably have some self-righteous, indignant post-mortem on the season when I have the heart to declare the team officially dead (with no disrespect to those who have made that quite right conclusion already), but for now I can only think of the kinds of years that Dickey and Wright are having and how much of a stupid waste it is and I get sad all over all at once. I need a hug.
Bizarrely, I'm working up a crew to catch Dickey pitch tomorrow night for game two in the series against the Nationals. It could be a turning point, or it could be the nail in the coffin we all need to give up on the season and start thinking of this team in terms of 2013.
God I hate Fred Wilpon. SELL THE TEAM, ASSBAG.
NHL news isn't much better these days, and has me dreading the autumn at the same time I look forward to football. For the Sabres, as much as I was happy to pat Lindy et al. on the back for the use of SEALs training with the development camp kiddies, I remain largely numb to Sabres news and speculation generally. I'm ready to be shown something remarkable, still, whether through an as-of-yet unattainable blockbuster move or by inspired play from the current roster when the time comes. But, I have the sinking feeling that one of two things is certain to happen this year, if only because I'm playing the odds - the Sabres will miss the playoffs again or there won't be any playoffs. Or any season for that matter.
Lots of people are talking about the revenue increases experienced in the NHL as the best reason for why this season is sure to happen, but I can't get past the fact that this is the same organization that gave us Brendan Shanahan as the head of player mother fucking safety, a system that allows teams to own players well into the next decade and the genius that is games that count for an extra point via overtime and shootouts. Nothing is certain apart from the track record that these clowns have at royally dick cheesing stuff up.
Until then, dance monkeys!