Musical interludes by way of Bleachers, Soundgarden, The Griswolds (no not those Griswolds), and Jackson 5.
Download here or here, RSS feed here, iTunes button below, or stream in the player.
|Dear God Why Us Sports||
The lovable idiots are back talking about the Bills coaching situation (recorded before the more recent Rex Ryan reports have been coming out), and then some other stuff like movies and music and karaoke and Sondheim musicals.
Musical interludes by way of Bleachers, Soundgarden, The Griswolds (no not those Griswolds), and Jackson 5.
Download here or here, RSS feed here, iTunes button below, or stream in the player.
Truth be told, I still don't really understand what happened today. It had the markings of a quintessential Bills loss in which they valiantly play up to their superior opposition and then lose anyway because reasons. Much like last weekend, in fact. It had those marking right up until the moment it, well, didn't. Instead of a late crushing blow in the form of an Aaron Rodgers two-minute drill, we were treated to a definitive seal in the form of a Nickell Robey safety. I'm sure football minds far greater than mine will be able to give you all the things that went differently today and contributed to the win, but it mostly just seemed that the team played pretty well instead of pretty shitty. Go figure.
We are left, then, holding this waning train of optimism together with our bare hands and the adrenaline we feel when we see Boobie Dixon smile, but together the train remains. Week 16 - SIXTEEN!!!! - is in one week and we have something that Bills teams have rarely give us for the past 15 years, at least after Thanksgiving.
We can wring our hands if we must, individually. No one would be wrong to say that the simple fact that this kind of late season hope is big news is entirely too depressing. No one would be wrong to say that the Bills still have such a small chance of making the playoffs (I've seen between 2% and %5 on fancy stat sites), or that we can't really celebrate being in a position where playoff qualification would require winning out and generous assistance from the Ravens and/or Steelers and/or Chiefs and/or December's illest birthday boy, Sweet Baby Jesus.
And, perhaps most depressing of all - if for no reason other than the altogether legitimate fear that the Bills might not sniff the playoffs like this again for about five years - no one would be wrong to get heated over the fact that there are at least three games, and as many as five, that the Bills should have won but instead opted to punt on crucial 4th downs, played conservative in the red zone and settled for field goals or failed to stick with running the ball despite the inescapable truth of how awful the Bills depth chart is at the quarterback position. Or all of the above.
Points were left on the field and that may haunt fans and players alike for a while, but it doesn't change where we are.
And that's the thing. Sure, we want a winner. All fans do. We want it so bad we can taste it. We know we probably aren't getting one this year or even anytime soon, yet we keep coming back. It doesn't make us suckers, though. Fuck that. It's a gift. It's a quantifiable and identifiable good in and of itself. It's a thing that connects us not just to each other as fans united in voice, but to that part of us that wants to dream big despite ourselves. The part that just wants a couple more weeks where nothing matters apart from the three and a half hours we let this team try to justify those big dreams; to justify our love and devotion after weeks of our own feelings of cynicism and rage at this Bills season.
This team has given us the opportunity to cheer for a miracle. I'm going to fucking enjoy it. I hope we all can.
... And now, because it just popped into my head and I think it's both hilarious and appropriate and whatthefuckever. This movie rules. Go Bills. barrister
I want to stick around the spring of hope that we suddenly stumbled upon these last couple weeks. I really do. There’s nothing I want more than to wait out this short week between games, watch the Bills play the Dolphins and hold onto this rare, stubborn feeling for another week or two. Our Bills are not mathematically eliminated. The task is not impossible. Maybe the current state-of-things-and-numbers should be enough to keep us all around the water cooler with more than a little bit of optimism. The Bills are still in the mix! It’s November! Any Given Sunday!
We’ve seen this movie before, and no matter how many times you tell yourself that things can’t go down like this every fucking time, it just doesn’t matter. There's always one thing or another that creeps into frame and ensures that success will remain just out of reach.
We knew this was coming, I suppose, but it hurts just as much.
Others will break down what went wrong yesterday, and you can go read them. I’m just too fucking sad today and can’t find much energy to make jokes while telling you what you already know about the Chiefs win in Orchard Park.
Watching Bills football has been fun this year, despite where we’re at right now. And it will probably be fun over the course of the next few weeks, and the team may even tease a little more optimism out of our eager tweeting fingers and blogging hands. This is a team that is incredibly enjoyable to watch, regardless of the persisting faults in areas here (the offensive line) and there (the other side of the offensive line). It’s a team built on immense talent, a top tier defense, and a real apparent desire of players to win in and for Buffalo.
Even so, watching Bills football has been fucking maddening this year. And it will most assuredly be maddening right through Week 17. Set against a roster with overflowing talent and skill and desire and sheer likeability, the broader Buffalo Bills franchise has been all-too-willing to forfeit that abundance of quality through a persistent lack of quality amongst the men really in charge. Compounding the unavoidable mistakes inherent in sport and the physics of its execution are the unacceptable decisions of a Head Coach deserving nothing more or less than the label of “coward.”
We have at our disposal, as consumers of this particular entertainment product, honest-to-God sports heroes playing for our Buffalo Bills. Heroes because of their persisting desire to succeed for us despite the significant bodily risks attendant that endeavor, but even more so for what they have been able to accomplish in spite of the cowardice of their Head Coach.
Catching a football is not always an easy task. Throwing a ball on a dime 30 yards down the field is hard. Blocking and running and tackling and working on a football field, all the while trying to keep your body intact for fear of pain and financial heartbreak and the scorn of fans quick to label you weak should you get hurt too often … all of this is hard.
Which isn’t to say that the demands of being a Head Coach in the NFL are not hard. But let’s not fucking kid ourselves.
Doug Marrone owes his players – these men who have risked everything while Marrone stands on the sidelines adorned in shitty khakis and a vacant face – far more than the cowardice he has displayed.
It’s about time we stop pretending that there’s all that much grey area in terms of assessing the quality of decisions being made by the Head Coach of the Buffalo Bills. Our guys are out there killing themselves to win for us, playing the most dangerous professional sport on earth. The least we can do as we start the long process of giving up whatever hope we allowed ourselves is stand up and start demanding a Head Coach that honors these players in some discernible way. Doug Marrone simply hasn't.
It’s taken me a while to get back my optimism. I started the season with real hope for making the playoffs. Not a lot. But a little goes a long way.
Then came Kyle Orton.
I’ve admitted I was opposed to this switch when it happened. It really wasn’t so much about who was the better quarterback. It was about the kind of the season we were going to see. A passer with the skill set and build of E.J. Manuel is something we’ve never seen before. A journeyman with iffy accuracy and no mobility? I felt like I could script the rest of the year from memory.
Three wins and one Patriots game later, it’s… debatable. No one will argue with the record, obviously, but no one’s rushing to buy a jersey either. Defense and special teams have been the biggest reason this team is 5-3. Orton has been (Dear God, why do I have to write this again?) as good as he’s needed to be and nothing more. At one point against the Jets, the Bills had six drives start within 50 yards of the goal line. Only one of them resulted in a touchdown. Before the game-winning TD at home against Minnesota, the Bills’ scored a field goal with 4 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. Then nothing, until that last drive. Against the Vikings.
But here is where I’ll admit I was wrong. Orton’s throws to Hogan and Watkins could not have been completed by E.J. Not right now. Since benching Manuel, they’ve gone from treading water to a playoff push. It’s undeniable. It was the right move. Now comes the hard part.
There are only two teams left in the Bills' remaining eight games that don’t have a realistic shot at making the playoffs. Of the playoff contenders, three have Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks. If the Bills are for real, they need a win this Sunday against Kansas City. It’s as simple as that. The Chiefs have legit wins against the Chargers and whoever that was wearing the Patriots’ jerseys a few weeks back. But their other three came against the Rams, Dolphins, and Jets. And no one accidentally thought of Alex Smith when I mentioned the MVPs. The Bills can win this game.
Our defense is for real. Sammy Watkins is a highlight reel waiting to happen. And that crowd. OH, that crowd. Bills fans haven’t had a game to go to in three weeks and the team has a legit chance to go 6-3 for the first time since Flutie Flakes were a thing. The Ralph might bear a striking resemblance to the USO show in Apocalypse Now by the time this game kicks off. I can't wait.
I’ve had recaps partially written the last few weeks. I promise. But then Wednesday would predictably roll around, too much of the post would be left to do, Bradley Gelber would incite unrelated rage in one way or another, my kid would poop himself, my wife would be justifiably mad at me for one thing or another, and I would give up. If I had any real sense that those recaps would have been good, or that anyone truly missed them, I would apologize. I do not, and you have not. Alas. Maybe you just come here for the podcasts, which is totally understandable as they are awesome, but even that proved too difficult this week after Scizz and my effort at a Halloween evening recording was ultimately unusable – a weird electronic distortion of our otherwise silky smooth voices, creating something way too close to the sound created by the device that creepy motherfuckers use on the phone whilst stalking/engaging in international espionage/playing pranks on their teachers/murdering teenagers in some suburban wasteland of the late 90s. We're trying again soon.
As for my writing, I got a new job a few weeks back, and before that I was steadily seeking employment with a level of anxiety that made spending too much time writing here seem foolish at best and, at worst, unconscionably dismissive of my duties as bringer-of-bacon to the homestead. All of which is to say that while this little internet playground we have here at DGWU Sports has been left largely free of the heavy tread of my #hotsportstake gait, it is all for very good reasons.
But while I have a few moments in between assignments at the new gig, let’s touch on a few of the things that I would have posted about previously but for my career, marriage, kid, and intoxication.
Hey we did it! We kept to our promise to find an hour to talk this week and record that talking and make jokes and shit!
Barrister talks about his new job, Scizz talks about running, and the two bemoan idiot Doug Marrone, the weird status of the Sabres and some other stuff and other things that make them laugh.
Subscribe to the DGWU Sports CrapTastiCast on iTunes and be sure to download Episode 3! We promise to try to get it out earlier in the week next time.
Download here or here. RSS feed here. iTunes below. Stream below. Pick your poison. No complaints if your ears burn from the temperature of takes contained therein.
Our little website adventure has been a haven for negativity, as a rule, and it's about time we tried to change that paradigm. Born out of Scizz's brain, we're taking a crack at a weekly podcast aimed at being positive. Positive enough to keep Scizz motivated to stay in the business of producing oral internet content without slipping into a downward spiral of rage and infinite sadness.
Enough of sad stuff that keeps us yelling too much.
We bring you Happy Endings with Barrister and Scizz.
Hope you like it. No big deal if you don't. We'll try to keep getting better.
Stream below, iTunes below, direct download here or here, RSS feed here.
Where I work, we use an outside agency to clean the bathrooms and provide general maintenance duties throughout the building. For some reason, they've sent some seriously incapable individuals to do this job for years. Cleaning a shitter shared by 90 people is a fairly important - and simple - task. Somehow, though, time and time again we deal with people so incomprehensibly bad at holding a mop and emptying trash cans that you have to wonder how they made it this far in life. The last kid even broke a fucking toilet seat trying to clean some curly alfalfa sprouts from under it. I'll say it again - he broke a goddamned toilet seat. Anything is an improvement over this neverending cycle of smarmy creatures.
They recently brought in a new body to throw on the pile. This cat's in his sixties, can't hear a thing, and skips half of the shit he's supposed to do every day. We like him, though, because he he's a little quirky, he's got some wonderfully creepy mutton chops, and he does the essentials. After clearing the trash in the break room, before scrubbing the johns, he'll dance and sing some shit that none of us can understand a word of. We don't care, he's entertaining. We're cool with it, he does enough to get by. The guy won't be here forever, but he's all we need for now.
If that lede didn't make it blatantly obvious enough, The Apologist isn't available this week so I've been called up in his absence. The janitorial situation we're now all aware of is all too similar to the wonderfully incompetent American football team we all share an interest in, and that really saddens me. For years (let's say fifteen of them), we've been through some serious shit as Bills fans - most of it stemming from their complete lack of comprehension when it comes to finding and developing a quarterback.
Jumping from clogged toilets like JP Losman to vomit-soaked carpet akin to EJ Manuel is really leaving us wanting here. We all do our part to get excited for the new guy, with hopes he's at the very least a slight improvement over the last. Unfortunately, most of them fizzle out before you get a chance to really give a shit about them, which is what happened to Manuel. This city is so thirsty for relevance that the majority of fans were calling for his head after a shortened rookie year. Given four more starts this season with average to terrible results, EJ was benched the reigns were turned over to journeyman and noted good-time machine known as Kyle Orton.
At every stop in his NFL career, Orton has been unspectacular if not boring, but still managed a .500 record which is a lot more than most in his situation could say. The dude took over last week and won us over with a decidedly mediocre game. Sure, he threw for 300 yards and touchdown, but he also threw a pick and a ton of short passes against a strong Lions defense. Point is, he did what he could and what his team needed. A snazzy catch by Sammy "The Glen" Watkins and a magical field goal by Special Teams Jesus were what decided it, not Orton's play. He moved the offense, took what the defense was giving him, and kept the club in it. That's all they need right now.
He's not ideal, and it's just one game, but he's (Christ... so, so sadly) the closest thing we've had to everyone's wanted in a Tom Brady figure in years. Speaking of Tom, he's coming to town this weekend with his New England Patriots and is more than welcome to go fuck himself. With the history these teams have had since Brady's been at the helm of the former doormat of the East, it's always satisfying to think about topping them and taking a win to wear as a badge of honor for the rest of the season. Every blogger's expert analysis when this matchup comes around is that the good guys have to get to Brady. At least that's what they write. Get them a few slugs of fireball, and you'll find that the more apt advice is to get him to the hospital. I'm not usually one who cheers for injuries to any athlete, but the thought of Touchdown Tom breaking his leg again in Orchard Park this Sunday got me to half mast quicker than David Carradine in a belt factory.
It's two days later, and I may have just been in a 36 hour haze after Adrian Peterson's latest orgy party, but did Kyle Orton, Kicker Jesus, Sammy "The Glen" Watkins and an unconscionably good defense roll into Motown and steal a W?
YO. Did anyone really see that coming? It was a fucking terrible game - a TERRIBLE GAME - that had the markings of what 2014 Buffalo Bills football seems to be all about: amazing defensive efforts wasted by awful lack of offensive production. It was looking like what the Chargers and Texans games looked like, to varying degrees, and on a day when the Bills were missing a key cog in the defensive line, the effort we saw on that side of the ball was more than we could have hoped for. The game was bad. It was all but lost. That is, until Alex Henery took things into his own hands, er, feet.
Tough beat. At least you have a sweet bike.
I suppose it was meant to be, what with the new mustachioed QB who appears to barely bathe, the game in our now-deceased owner's hometown, and the return of the former Lions coach and current Bills DC. Al (we should call him Al now) Henery was just doing his part in following the predetermined course of fate, however doomed it would ultimately make him. Personally, I think Stu Holden should be the Lions kicker. Would be safer for him, at any rate.
Bad game or not, it was a win and an excuse to make ebola jokes....
We recorded a podcast. Our intentions were good, but the first two takes were lost in my computer so by the time any recorded content was created, we were multiple drinks deep and had lost all sense of boundaries. Renn tries to keep it together, SBA tries to imagine being anywhere else other than Long Island, and Dubs tries to be as offensive as possible while pretending he knows stuff about sports.
It's the Hope that Keeps Us Going by @pvo78
Battling the Narrative Bemoaning Premature Exultation by The Barrister
Re-Framing My Blog Game by The Barrister
Mr. Nolan's Opus - "Guest" Post, courtesy of @jambrones
Like Smoking a Chicken Bone- The Death Throes of the '14-'15 Sabres, by The Outlander
Black & Blue & Gold
Buffalo Sabres Nation
Die By The Blade
The Goose's Roost