Music by Avalanches, streaming below, iTunes subscription through the button below that, download here or here, RSS subscribers hit here.
The boys are back. In this episode, with a delayed release due to Dubs being equal parts overworked and forgetful, The Outlander, The Commander and The Barrister gather from their disparate locations outside of WNY to discuss, in large measure, the value in recognizing expat stories when we discuss the City of Good Neighbors. We also make bad jokes, curse a bunch and talk about beer, the Sabres and awful sports media, as per protocol.
Music by Avalanches, streaming below, iTunes subscription through the button below that, download here or here, RSS subscribers hit here.
Last time I wrote here, it was regarding the depressing, soul-sucking death march to 30th place and the hand-wringing, moral crusading, negative nancies and militant pragmatists that came with it. It was by far the least amount of fun I’ve had following this franchise for the last twenty-five years or so, and that’s selling it short; it was not fun at all. There was zero fun outside of the occasional gallows humor that comes with some of the worst hockey players in franchise history hockeying together at once.
Yet I’ll remember April 10th. I went to Orioles opening day with my girlfriend and her friends, a miserable 50 degree day where the Blue Jays crushed the home team - much like they would to clinch the division title less than six months later - before we started barhopping. Shortly before some hardcore browning and blacking out between the two of us respectively, in the last final seconds before my phone died, I refreshed my score app continuously to see the Sabres lose to Columbus. It was glorious. Aside from the guarantee of McEichel, it was such a relief to just be proven right after doubling down on the certainty of 30th the entire season. As any borderline narcissist knows, things like that are victories in themselves.
The Sabres, regardless of the reasons for excitement that I assure you I’ll get to, are in a peculiar position they haven’t found themselves in for some fifteen years: that of afterthought. This is Bills time, and it will continue to be Bills time until that team’s season has either run its course or stomped on our hearts (nice start Sunday btw), forcing us to return in November or December to the team that has been our salve, our dependable solace for more consecutive football seasons than we’d care to address. It is that dependability, that wins help numb the pain of a previous Sunday’s disappointment and even losses (it’s a long season and what do you want, they were dead last two years in a row) help get us through the time in between those Sundays that for now just seem like such an insufferably long time.
I feel for many of us born in a certain window, who came of age in Western New York at a certain time, have felt more connected to the Sabres than the Bills mostly due to results. On my 15th birthday I watched from my Grandparents house as the Sabres took a 3-1 series lead over the Leafs in the Conference Finals. Two nights later my Mom dropped a friend and I off at the old Tops on Young in Tonawanda (now a Big Lots/Subway) just as Game Five started. The store played the game on the PA system and we got to hear RJ’s voice call the comeback victory and trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. To pass the time throughout the night, a large group of fans taught us Euchre, a game I’d play pretty much every lunch period for the rest of high school.
Despite being numbers three and four in line, the antiquated system at Tops was too slow when the tickets went on sale. Didn’t help that the two middle aged guys in front of us bought four tickets to each home game but when it came our turn, my friend got one ticket to Game Three, me one ticket to Game Four. I was dropped off at the foot of Washington Street while my Mom and Grandfather went to Coca Cola Field to watch the game on the scoreboard. I’ve been to many games afterwards and maybe seen better teams, but the noise when Sanderson scored on a breakaway in that game (the only home Cup Final win in forty years) was the loudest I’ve ever heard that arena.
I was hooked. Seven years later I was on the precipice of graduating college and was #blessed enough to have some of the best weeks of my life tied into the most exhilarating run a Buffalo team has given us in a generation. I got to watch Game 1 against Philly in the last row of the arena, where my first hug was not my girlfriend but the stranger who shared his nachos with me (and brought HIS girlfriend). I got to watch the Sabres murder that finesse team day drinking before a house party, I got to watch Game 1 against Ottawa at a Quad Party at Canisius, Game 3 from the Bonaventure Golf Course Clubhouse with over a hundred folks jammed four rows deep behind the bar to squint at the one small TV in the corner. Game 5 was the night before graduation, slip n’ sliding down a hill in the rain afterwards, warming up that chill at a bonfire until 5am with fifty friends who just didn’t want morning to come before my girlfriend told me “Matt you graduate in four hours.”
I listened to the Drury game in a tiny townhouse bedroom at Penn State, Property book open but used only to rest my elbows as I leaned as close to my speakers as I could, hoping for a miracle that, for once, came. I watched the mad rush to the postseason in 2011 in a dive bar in Barre, Vermont and welled up when the Flyers inexplicably played for a tie. And April 10th this year I high-fived people in Baltimore over a loss, the meaning of which they couldn’t understand. But it started long before all this.
I really wasn't sure how to open this...because I'm writing it with some serious rage. My creativity isn't quite flowing past the bile that I'm gagging on at the moment.
I'm a pretty nice guy, I try to be respectful of people and stuff. I limit my criticisms to open ended subtweets and passive aggressive shit, I try to stay away from the SJW type stuff that a lot of people get involved in, not because I don't believe in a lot of the good people are trying to do or because of my own values. I'm just not really that type of person.
But man, when you take something I love and enjoy like oh..... Sabres hockey and make a complete mockery out of it, man I get a little punchy.
This one's been building up for awhile, but it's coming to a head these past few weeks.
It's time to face facts. The off-ice department of the Sabres is a complete fucking embarassment.
I'll start with the easy thing: the decision to not live stream the Prospects Tournament. This is a layup for me to be mad about.
I don't live in Buffalo, I can't go to this fucking thing and buy hot dogs and beers and hats. Does that make me any less of a fan? Does that mean I shouldn't be able to follow the prospects that I've been waiting on for a few years while the actual garbage hockey team was dressing waiver wire fodder and trading away actual good players to get these kids?
The frustrating thing about this is that I know it's not a financial decision. It can't be, right?? I mean, there's a literal plaza and complex of hockey related shit down there that cost 14 billion dollars. There's a sports bar that draws a buttload of people. I know, even aside from the fact that the owner is a kajillionaire, they can't be hurting for money.
If you're not going to stream it as a decision of some type? Just tell me why. I might not (ok, there's no way I would) accept your reasoning, but at least I'd know why you're being dickish about it. And hey, if I'm wrong and you want to squeeze money out of people, I'll pay $10 to watch the tournament online, because I'm stupid as shit. Give me the option. Give me SOMETHING besides ignoring the outcry and telling me it's on the shitfucking radio like I want to watch Phil Housley and this is 1982.
Otherwise, I'll just happily sit here and point out that the fucking Nashville Predators, in the smoking hot hockey hotbed of NASHVILLE FUCKING TENNESEE is streaming theirs.
That's the easy one, EVERYONE is pissed about the streaming thing.
Oh but there's more...there's SOOOOO much more.
How about trying to buy merchandise from the Sabres Store when you live out of state? I just bought a jersey from there a couple of weeks ago. The process itself is easy, you call up, tell them what you want, the person goes to check stock, confirms said stock, takes your info and places the order.
You see the problem I have is that I was charged $25 for shipping UPS Ground on a $180 order. Look here Sabres, I understand that you're not Amazon and don't have your own logistics company to offset the cost of doing this type of business. I mean, sure, charge me for shipping if you need to. But $25 for standard UPS is fucking ridiculous by itself... let alone when I'm spending $180. Also, since I don't live in the area, I can't take advantage of any sales that the Sabres Store has, so maybe free shipping on a $100+ order is a nice gesture, I dunno...I'm a sucker for trying to support my fucking team. I just don't want to get bent over so thoroughly when I do so.
My retail spending habits aside, HOWEVER... The biggest, and most egregarious problem with the Non-Hockey portion of the Sabres office is the god damned Twitter account.
The motherfucking Twitter account. The cringe-inducing, make your butthole pucker up nice and tight while you follow along with it Twitter account.
I'm not sure when this all started, and I'm certainly not the first to voice the dissatisfaction here. If you want to go back a few years even, I believe most people started to take notice of this when the account started egregiously retweeting shit like OMG IM AT THE SABERS GAME WITH MY BESTIESS!!! during games instead of providing any sort of game information whatsoever. The outcry over this eventually led to the creation of a different account for this pandering nonsense, which I guess is fine if you get off on being noticed by the Sabres Twitter account for showing up to a game - that's cool, you deserve it after the last few years. Go nuts.
It's not that the Sabres Twitter is BAD. (Yes it is). I mean it serves its purpose in a very basic way. It tells you there's a game tonight, it gives you some video of the players telling you they need to go out and give 100% and all the other cliched nonsense that the media drags out of those guys. That's fine, I'm ok with that - it's important.
God forbid the Sabres Twitter actually had some decent original content to push out to us, though... funny videos, getting to actually KNOW the players, things like that. Other teams do this. Other teams EXCEL at fluff pieces like that - they get the players to buy in and do skits, and all sorts of fun things. I know the Sabres have some seriously talented people working in the Team Coverage department - shit, Kevin Snow was awesome before he left for greener pastures, Ian Ott is a totally normal dude who seems to get it, no other team has someone as dedicated to coverage of the teams' prospects as Kris Baker, Chris Ryndak was one of the most insanely talented bloggers in the Sabres blogosphere before he was hired.
The problem is, you don't seem to hear from these quality gentlemen very often. The Sabres Twitter pimps the fucking hell out of that god awful Hockey Hotline show with those two idiots that host it - but I'd LOVE to see more original content from these talented people represented here. The blatant lack of self awareness of CK ANAL as he curates the content on @BuffaloSabres is what seems to drive everyone fucking nuts though. Holy fucking shit. When you're hosting a prospect tournament in your own barn, featuring one of the best hockey prospects of the past 15 years...your best play after the team decides not to stream it... is to tweet the most barebones information you possibly can with a vomit inducing amount of Emojis?
We really can't do better than this? We can't find anyone better to run the public facing side of your social media presence than the person who uses the tool like you sat them in the "HERES WHATS COOL AND HIP ON TWITTER 2015!!" introduction class, gave them the password, and let them spam the red 100 emoji 15 times a tweet non-ironically?
Holy motherfucking shit. @BuffaloSabres is run like the Twitter for Applebees for fucks sake. I realize that the Buffalo Sabres are a #brand, but sports teams aren't like types of laundry detergent. They have history, they have colorful characters, they have a never-ending stream of #content. And I'm motherfucking insulted that your Twitter account panders to people like there's a buy one get one free sale on you at Target this week.
Look, people who follow you already LIKE you. They've already "bought" the product. This nonsense like "no arena giveaways," "no web streams of shit," "no dressing up Patrick Kaleta like Shrek" needs to stop. I'm not asking you to be the LA Kings Twitter or whatever. I'm just asking you to not be the fucking Orbitz Twitter. It's a fucking embarrassment. Give me a sense that you actually know who Derek Plante *IS* when he's going to be on Hockey Hotline - he's a guy who scored one of the Top 5 Goals in the fucking franchise history by the way. Cover the prospects game better than your goddamned AHL franchise did for starters...that shouldn't be hard. Don't tell me the score of the fucking prospects game and in the same fucking tweet, spit in my fucking face and tell me I can listen to it on the radio like this is 1957 and Jack Eichel is crinkling paper to make fire sounds effects after he scores. Stop using Emojis non-ironically like a 13 year old girl who just figured out that they are a thing that exist on her fucking Hello Kitty iPhone. When the rest of the league is doing a #fun thing like watching the Mighty Ducks movie and tweeting about it, having fun, making jokes with each other - don't be MIA.
Eyes are going to actually be on you soon and I'd prefer they know Jack Eichel as the motherfucking cock of the walk, not the USA flag Emoji.
If you need any fucking help, and it's clear that you do, it's right down the hall - maybe you can Periscope your walk over there:
You can block me at @essbeeay if you're so inclined. I already know you're petty enough, and I already know I won't miss anything.
In this slightly (read: very) belated publication of the Buffalo sports podcast you love to hate, we give you a glimpse into the week the was 8 days ago - before James Harrison called his sons entitled pussies, before the Bills signed IK and Tyrod Taylor became a thing, before Paul Cambria stormed Bedenko's Facebook page and gave us a glimpse of the best defense attorney talent Buffalo has to offer. 'Twas a simpler time.
It's another long one. Take breaks if you need to, but come back so we can finish the job. It's Paul Olczak's first CrapTastiCast, after all, and we wanted to treat him right.
Music by way of The Jambrones, OK Go, EXGF, Disclosure, and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. Some good, good shit in the episode, y'all.
You can streamline this aural methadone below, download here or here. RSS subscription is this, and iTunes button is below and always on the right column because branding. This and all our myriad podcast offerings are generally cataloged in the handy Deeg Podcast Industries tab above our altogether depressing site banner above.
Y'all, we recorded this four nights ago but then a whole hit load of life happened and fuck you for asking. But seriously. Work, a mass of yard work, summer hangouts and loads of Lagunitas chased by spliffs. Here we are.
It's the offseason of most things we talked about so nothing is all that out-of-date apart from some baseball talk - the Mets swept those Nationals shut the front door. Delightful. Life filled with delight.
Podcast featuring rants about Russ Brandon, Tom Brady, born-again Bills fans, Uber-less Buffalo, our plans for Week 1 tailgates and a few other things that I can't remember since I haven't actually listened to this and just hastily tossed in some musical selections without worrying about the propriety of taking on American Methodists, among others.
Good to be back, kids.
Music by way of Bleachers, Oddisee, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Priory.
Download here or here. RSS here. iTunes below and a streaming boxey box below that. Old podcasts, and there are a bunch of them, available at deargodwhyussports.libsyn.com or the Deeg Podcast Industries tab at the top banner. Gooey gooey aural goodness.
Barrister's Note: Ted Nolan was fired. Good. Fuck 2015 Ted Nolan for ruining my memory of 1990s Ted Nolan.
The home @jambrones is nicer than I am, which is hardly surprising, I know. He makes some fair points, none of which I will adopt as my own for the aforementioned reasons ... Fuck. Ted. Nolan.
Also, you're not "just" a music teacher, Jeff. No such thing.
If you’ve ever read my crap on here before, you know I‘m just a music teacher. Everything I say goes through that lens. So, um, sorry if you’re looking for actual sports writing. I will only write about what I know. I conduct little kids in little concerts for their parents. Frankly, 95% of the little kids are not very good at music. Sorta like the current Sabres team. Surprisingly, many people, including myself, are consistently impressed with the product I am able to create … I think I’m good at it. Ted Nolan gets a similar reaction from many fans; they lose, but lose “with dignity." Like me, Ted has reason to think he's really good at what he does. But what, exactly, is it that we do? Are we elite? Are we Cup Capable?
Listen. I am the absolute worst. This blog – this haven for hot takes under a veil of anonymity; this breeding ground for overwrought emotions and overwritten potshots; this once proud establishment of frequent musings on the State Of It All – it’s been dormant. This is my fault, and I’ll take all the credit, errrr, blame. I have been Captaining the U.S.S. Disaster for a few years now – HOLY SHIT, THREE YEARS – and I’ve permitted it to fall into a steady state of underuse.
Hell, the last time I wrote something here, it was a few hopeful paragraphs I shat out on the eve of the Bills’ improbable – fuck, IMPOSSIBLE – win against Green Bay, and even that seemed too much. I’m far less suited for this than I used to be – less angry, less energetic, less eager, more annoyed at the sound of my own thoughts in my increasingly muddled mind. I am certainly more busy.
But I’ve also been waiting. Waiting to feel anything about Buffalo sports again … anything new or sudden or interesting or wrathful or worth repeating onto a computer screen beyond 140 characters.
I don’t know that I’ve been waiting for this, exactly, but it seems as good a time as any to take a couple cuts in front of the mirror and see if Dougie can go deep again. Hell, this may only be some easy BP before stepping back into the lineup, but my ability to string out metaphors to ungodly lengths is matched only by Tim Graham’s ability to take any topic, poop genuinely well-crafted sanctimony on top of it, and do so in such a way that makes you question whether the last time the guy had any fun was when Norwood went wide-right and a teenage Graham (I’m guessing) wrote 5000 words on why kickers are the Miracle Whip of sports – completely pointless and lacking any discernible quality beyond their traditional role in ruining Sundays.
It’s not even what he says, but how thoroughly awful he makes my head feel with the way that he says it.
Wait. Actually it’s often what he says, too.
I was sitting in my office yesterday morning and frantically refreshing my Twitter feed; not simply because I am way too reliant/addicted to modern technology but because, as I have been for the last several days, I am craving, demanding more Rex Ryan #Content. Last Saturday I stood in a bar in the Federal Hill area of Baltimore (think Elmwood) with my girlfriend and several friends, mowing through buckets of Bud Light and the occasional round of cherry bombs, watching what, for a while at least seemed to be the funeral for the Patriots season. Sometime during a lull in the second half I pulled out my phone and absently began scrolling through Twitter only to find news that Rex Ryan had been brought back for a second interview. Suddenly, inexplicably, the Bills had seized my focus from the fantastic playoff game in which the rest of the bar was so wholly wrapped up. That focus remained the rest of the evening, through the anguished screams consuming the bar that sounded so familiar, through slipping on sidewalk ice on the way to the car which also felt so familiar (seriously, salt your sidewalks, Baltimore), to Sunday morning when I hacked through the haze that was my hangover, grabbed my phone and let out what can only be described as a joyous squeal upon seeing Mr. Ryan would be the next coach of the Bills.
I have read everything about the hire; I’ve read national writers, New York City writers, Buffalo News writers, all writers (except Paul Hamilton, who writes as though he handled downed power lines in a storm). I scrolled through photo galleries on the Bills website, watched the news conference in my office, and listened to any reaction that wasn’t phoned into a WGR switchboard. And now I sit here, refreshing Twitter as the hype begins to subside and I am still craving my Rex content, so I guess I will simply create my own.
Hey, we're back! We predictably got too busy and left a huge whole between episode releases, and did so within the first month of this podcast's young life. Solid work from your favorite Buffalo expat sports internet reality show stars.
We get buzzed on Little Sumpin Ale and our own egos as we talk some serious nonsense about our Bills and Sabres, enormous tangential discussions of television, porn video mosaics of historical figures, and our mutual loathing for an HBO personality who is neither smart nor funny, but is too conceited to notice.
Music by way of Bleachers, Nas, Smallpools and Jackie Fucking Wilson.
Download here, stream below, RSS here, iTunes button below. All of our podcasts available on iTunes and the tab on the top header here. Fuck yo couch.
Greetings all!! I haven't blogged anything in a very long time, and for that I apologize. You see, when last we left me...I was happy, living in beautiful, warm California...enjoying life as much as I ever had. Funny thing that happens when you're with someone in the medical profession, they have to do internships and residencies for like 15 years after they pay six figures for the privilege of getting their degree. So you end up moving all over the country (and maybe even Canada!) while they're basically paid less than minimum wage and you never ever see them. This sort of vagabond lifestyle leads you to such exotic locales as my current home: Long Island.
So here we are, cold, miserable, and I haven't left my house in like 6 days. What better time to fire up the old blogging URL and wax poetic about our favorite hockey team, the Sabres.
First off, you need to go watch this or else the theme is going to be lost on you. If you haven't seen it, you can probably still follow along...but you should watch that video anyway because it's all sorts of brilliant and funny.
And with that I present...
MEGA HAPPY POST-DRAFT JUBILEE, by The Barrister
We had dreams to dream and songs to sing, by The Barrister
The DGWU Sports CrapTastiCast! Episode 48: Since I Left You
Shady? He Fucking Stays. You? You can leave anytime., by The Barrister
Where Else Would Rather Be, Than Right Here, Right Now?, by The Barrister
"If I die, I will die well-dressed." - Week 11 - Bills at The Patriots of New England, by The Barrister
"This is the capital of the world! The culture, the... UGH!... He just spit in my mouth!" - Week 10 - The Jets of New York, by The Apologist
FUCK YOU, DOLPHIIIIIN! - Week 9 - The Dolphins of Miami, by The Apologist
Black & Blue & Gold
Buffalo Sabres Nation
Die By The Blade
The Goose's Roost