Music from The Jambrones, LCD Soundsytem, Pearl Jam, and Electric Guest
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Back from the dead, The Scizz joins The Barrister for some delightful conversation wherein the pair take endless potshots at everyone, talk about the pitiful Buffalo hockey club, ponder Donald Trump and the meaning of life, and discuss the Wayans brothers. And other stuff probably.
Music from The Jambrones, LCD Soundsytem, Pearl Jam, and Electric Guest
Download here or here. RSS feed here. iTunes button below. Streaming player below. Protect ya neck.
It seems it’s been awhile. I wish I had a good excuse but I don’t. I got a new laptop, I have literally all hours of the day to write these days, and with a new GM, tank watch, a thrilling EPL season, the ridiculously overwrought freakout about Pettine’s departure and the my hatred for John Scott, there really isn’t a shortage of topics. What there has been is a shortage of interest. When one is unemployed, whether the Sabres get to 29th or 30th place really loses its status on the list of concerns. Of course, it’s times like this where sports serve one of their best roles, one of distraction. Really, if one is going to be unemployed, being so while your baseball team is in the playoffs and the Olympics are some eight time zones away are about as good of times as one could imagine. But first, some sports takes need to be voiced.
I don’t follow the twitter accounts of other NHL teams, for a couple reasons. First, I don’t watch other teams play hockey unless it relates to me as a Sabres fan. For many years this meant “hey, this team is on the bubble too,” or “this could be an ECF opponent,” or “let’s see how the west is doing JUST IN CASE.” So no, I don’t care what the Kings, or the Sharks, or Blue Jackets, or the Panthers twitter is saying. It’s irrelevant to me and occasionally annoying because it’s usually a subtle way of someone saying “I’m a better hockey fan than you because SEE!?!?” Maybe you are, but I’m a Sabres fan. Shut up and go away. However, there is a narrative I have learned from these people, many friends, who do follow some or even all the NHL teams on social media: we suck at it.
I’m not a social media expert. I know what I find annoying, I know what I like, and naturally I gravitate towards people who like and don’t like similar things as me. Here’s what I also know. John Scott sucks at hockey, period. Mike Weber sucks at hockey, period. Cody McCormick probably still sucks at hockey, period. Marcus Foligno is a great idea, but when you’re relegated to the fourth line on this team, probably less great as a hockey player. The Buffalo Sabres are a hockey team in the NHL, one that presumably tries to win every time they’re on the ice (shut the hell up about the merits of that, I’ll be with you in a minute). They’re really bad at that, the worst in the league, even. So why in the living fuck do the Sabres social media people insist on talking about these worthless players?
Well, we know why. The Sabres social media and fan outreach folks are doing what Buzzfeed, Upworthy, Huff Post since it got terrible, and most other outlets on television and the internet do. They reach out to the lowest common denominator, or as Richard Nixon called them, the Silent Majority. Of course the Silent Majority are comprised largely of a brainless clump of folks who just love Storage Wars and Springsteen and god and guns and think bullying is just a part of growing up and why can’t we have a white history month too!? They’re also TBN’s wheelhouse, whiner line callers, and the idiots on that “we love Steve Ott GO SABRES” commercial. They’re the ones who favorite Marcus Foligno pictures and buy “BIG JOHN” shirtsies. So what do the Sabres tweet about? John Scott practice goals and Marcus Foligno’s uncle. The nuanced fans, the fans who know the game best, who love the team for the team, not for some big doofus whose appeal is that HE’S SO BAD BUT HE’S BIG AND TRYING SO IT’S CUTE RIGHT, these are the fans forgotten in this whole thing.
Maybe if the team was able to give a wink to the sheer hilarity of their ineptitude, to the predicament we all as fans find ourselves in together, the online interaction could be a bright spot. But some people are just so desperate for positive reinforcement, they’ll cater it from whomever offers it, even if that so happens to be teenage girls and middle aged dads who only discovered the team through those very same teenage daughters. These are the same people that claim America’s health care is the best in the world, that we’re the shining light on a hill, that our military causes are always just and the casualties always necessary. The one’s who get bent out of shape about a commercial featuring different languages, that claim god must exist because golly-gee that sunset is so purdy. These people live in a world of denial, just as anyone who pushes John Scott to the fans is in denial about the state of him or of the team he plays for.
How to fix it? I don’t know, I’m an unemployed JD, not a fucking social media manager. I know it’s more than tailoring to a different audience, it’s changing your entire goddamn outlook. You shouldn’t be Kenneth on 30 Rock all the time. Some things suck, it happens, and regarding this team, almost everything regarding the current situation sucks more than anything has sucked before, to steal from the Beavis and Butthead movie. But I know the one thing that doesn’t suck- the prospects, the future- is never fucking discussed. This may be because the puck bunnies and grit-obsessed cementheads don’t know or care who JT Compher or Jake McCabe are, but when they play on national television, I shouldn’t be stumbling upon their game by fucking accident. The Amerks are hot, but I know that only through the Amerks social media and the feeds of my friends that have the opportunity to follow them closer than I. The Sabres are telling us to like the very things that are part of the reason the team is so shitty, not the reasons the team won’t be so shitty quite soon. I know that’s a strategy the intelligent minority doesn’t appreciate. Not discussing the prospects or the fact that the future lasts longer than "GOOD SEATS STILL AVAILABLE" simply creates dumber fans and the perpetual cycle of whiner line callers, TBN sheep, Cody McCormick truthers will continue on forever. Which is sad for anyone who enjoys watching and discussing this team, but is at least a boon for pushing merch RIGHT NOW. Not hard to see where the priorities lie.
Of course the nuanced fans aren’t free from the grips of being yammering tools now and again. Let me say this again: yes, the Sabres losses are good for the draft, I want to be at the top of the draft, I fucking get it, and you’re not wrong. What is stupid, what is really, extremely grating and off-putting, is anyone cheering losses. “Well, one step closer to Ekblad,” is another thing from “Gotta hope [Team X] comes back in the third!” when the Sabres are winning. Fuck you, no I don’t have to hope for that. The draft is the reward for being shitty, and in case you haven’t noticed, this team can’t win! What, you’re concerned for a five game win streak coming out of their ass? Have you SEEN them playing this season? How they have 15 wins is remarkable and half of them can be explained simply by “they scored a goal they had no business scoring.” I can root for them to win tonight because they probably won’t and they probably won’t tomorrow. Because can you imagine what this team is going to look like after Miller and Moulson are gone? Jesus, go back to being a fan for a couple months, it won’t hurt you or make you an idiot, I promise. And if it does make you an idiot, well at least the Sabres store has BIG JOHN shirts in stock.
I don’t know if this is going to be my last Bills post of the season. Last night, full of such familiar rage after such a familiar loss, I couldn't imagine concocting any more takes on a team that has so thoroughly shat on my heart now that the rest of the games matter only in some vague developmental-yet-still-really-meaningless-because-fuck-it-all-they-are-still-objectively terrible way. Having just finished this post, I'm still not sure.
In the midst of Vanek's departure, massive Liverpool and Red Bulls wins, and a righteous hangover, this is a tough one to manage. Alas, I must. - A Bills/Saints Recap with some other stuff tossed in.
If ever there was a mixed fucking bag of a weekend for me and my sport-watching-and-commenting brethren, it was this one. A tremendous Liverpool win, a Sporting KC win forcing the Red Bulls to do the same in order to get their first taste of hardware, a predictable Bills loss at the Superdome, replete with frustrating football and officiating alike, the Red Bulls getting that win and that shield, and Thomas Vanek.
If you're not into the Sabres and came here for Bills-only takes, my not-apologies, fuck you and wait a minute while I opine.
We expected this for Vanek - a guy who all but said he wasn't interested in sticking around this shit bag franchise anymore - though the swiftness with which the trade came late on a Sunday, months before we really expected it, was jarring. You want to be able to steel yourself up for a moment like this; a moment where a player so dear to you and the entire fan base is allowed to go, for now, to a place where things look discernibly brighter and more optimistic; a moment where a player is allowed to walk away, leaving his fans pining for the "could have beens" from a frustrating six years of Sabres hockey. He was a guy you wanted to be wearing the Blue and Gold when this ship eventually (please?) gets righted, but the impossibility of that scenario - Vanek staying and the rebuild occurring with some degree of speed - was unmistakable. He really couldn't stay if all the shit needing fixing is going to get addressed.
A fact that doesn't make it feel any better to see a talent like him depart the club we support.
Vanek has been the sole reason this team was able to fake it for so long, convincing fans and owner alike that the team could figure it out and become a contender; that the deals for Stafford and Myers and Leino and whoever else you want to point to wouldn't be fatal; that perhaps Buffalo could win in spite of those decisions proven to be mistakes by disappointing play and empty nets missed, by out-of-shape camps and defensive gaffes, and by games missed ad infinitum.
Vanek is a talent that seemed to make anything possible, but nevertheless never did. No titles. No Cup runs under his leadership. No true moments where you could really, reasonably think that he was taking the team somewhere other than consecutive sequences of mediocrity with brief pauses for ultimately inconsequential brilliance.
Perhaps I've spent more than enough words on a guy who has won nothing, but received our love anyway, and who is now simply gone. I'd say good luck, but let's be honest, I want all that luck for the squad he's leaving behind.
Fuck it, let's talk about our Bills.
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
This evening the Buffalo Sabres host the Boston Bruins in what will be the fifteenth game of a forty-eight game season. With the season nearly a third complete, they find themselves tied for not the division, not the six seed, not the eight-seed, but for dead last in the Eastern Conference. I have watched the “L”s string along on the schedule I keep on the wall at work, next to schedules of other teams with their own impressive collections of losses. We’ve all grown accustomed to the Sabres being a fairly “streaky” team with no shortage of peaks and valleys throughout the seasons, of a team that will run out to commanding division lead only to go .500 the rest of the way and get bounced in the first round (09-10), or a team that will piss all over themselves like a bro after his first night out in Canada for four months and then become the hottest team in the league on the valiant run to eighth place (10-12). They are four points away from eighth at the moment, could conceivably find themselves there by the time I return to the office on Monday. But they won't, and that's why I'm here.
I don’t apologize often, for what I’d like to think are two reasons. The first is that in recent history, the words coming from my mouth that I regret the most have been apologies, apologies that were not warranted or deserved, even in abstract form. The second is related and offered with a grain of salt- I just believe I’m wrong less often than other people. Many fields demand that from those they employ, mine is no different.
So it is with gritted teeth but sincere repentance that I apologize for ever believing that this team, with these players, with this coach could ever put together a shortened season that could be described as anything other than a soul-sucking death march to the draft. We’ve spent many words here at the deeg eviscerating Ralph for not firing Jauron when it was called for, not firing Gailey when it was called for. I called him a “villain from a Dickens novel” and published it right after he had fired the coach I was ripping on him for not firing.
Ask how proud we are about "regionalism"
Ralph Wilson turned his franchise into a sideshow, an embarrassment. Perhaps they always were and we were just born at the right time to think otherwise. But I think at this point it is only fair to begin taking an objective look at those pulling the levers at the foot of Washington Street, because 2007 is rapidly disappearing in our rear view mirror and if all you need to do for immunity in this town is commission a bronze statue and plop an admittedly wonderful complex steps from the waterfront, then we deserve to be ridiculed by other fans, we deserve to be irrelevant.
The eeriness of the similarities is becoming disconcerting and I wonder if Ted Black follows Buffalo’s other hapless franchise enough to see those similarities, or if he is too busy digging through his thesaurus for new ways to explain “Terry’s” dedication to winning a Stanley Cup. We all love a good orator; myself probably more than most, and we cannot deny- especially in light of the last occupant of the owner’s box- that money talks. Throwing godfather offers at Richards and Doan, upgrading the arena, putting up the Harbor Center if for no other reason than we don’t have to watch Carl Paladino erect some lifeless structure only a 1970’s East German architect could love, mean something. But “something” is as far as I’m willing to go anymore.
Ted Black has emerged as Russ Brandon 2.0, with a wardrobe upgrade and a new fan interaction feature. The talk remains about the brand, about how dedicated the owner is, how they communicate daily, how passionate he is to win and how distraught they are about the losses. Now I fully believe that Brandon is shoveling shit while Black is being at least more sincere, but the similarities of listening to these two men offer red herrings and parlor tricks to a disgruntled and desperate fan base is insulting. I’ll enjoy the Harbor Center as much as anyone, but Pegula can take the flaming tap water from “Gasland” and turn it into the fucking Bridal Veil Falls if it means there’s a parade down Delaware. I won’t fault this owner for not dealing with the Buffalo media given their current bullpen of hacks and has-beens, but that silence, pious as it may be, has a consequence to the fan base and that consequence is assumptions.
As I was marching up the tunnel to MetLife Stadium on Sunday, marveling at how lucky Jet fans were that the Giants built them a new stadium, an asshole in a green jersey started to rail me and the Barrister about losing the Bills. Lost in a haze of hops and kielbasa, I countered with a hoarse, incoherent version of "Buffalo will never lose the Bills!"
Then karmic displacement came and booted me directly in the ass in the form of this article.
Let's not focus on the government coming in and having to help the Bills build a new stadium. That's a foregone conclusion/argument to engage in on some other day. Let's focus on the reality of the situation. The facts are as follows (stipulation that Ralph lives forever):
- We do not have a remotely competitive stadium in the current NFL climate.
- The economy of New York State is depressed.
- The franchise cannot afford to build a stadium because the owner's wealth comes solely from the team.
- The state, county, and even league will have to help renovate the stadium to keep the Bills viable.
All of this adds up to one giant pile of suck the week before the home opener.
So with nothing else to do and my two favorite sports teams months away form playing again, I decided to jump into baseball mode. Up until this point I have been mostly ignoring the Cubs. Back on April 1st I explained why I wasn't feeling baseball this year, but after all, these are my lovable *cough cough* Cubbies. I have to admit, despite my early hate, I think this happens every season and I never notice it. By mid-July, I have attended several Mets and Yankees games, drank at two different Cubs bars, and am examining the box scores in detail every single morning. I love sports, and if baseball is all that is left to me during the summer months, then the obsession picks up. Of course by September when Chicago has been eliminated from playoff contention, all focus goes back to football and hockey. But at least I can admit to it. So without further ado, I bring you what went down Wednesday night.
8:00 Girlfriend is working late and I’m planted on the couch with a Left Hand Stout. Let the game begin. Early stories are the domination of Lance Berkman, Starlin Castro, and Pujols hug-gate.
8:02 Holy shit. Castro speaks NO English. The guy interviewing him is both the interviewer and translater. This is amazing! Why did I not know ESPN does this. Mind-blowing! Still not sure what I just witnessed
8:03 Commercial break already. Seriously, Fuck ESPN. At least I can get my coffee maker ready for the morning.
8:07 Fan shown with Cubbie tattoo on his chest. Kill yourself dude. But first kill future trade bait Matt Garza.
8:09 Tony LaRussa still has Shingles. But he is safely tweeting so thank God for that.
8:11 Aaaaaaand Ryan Theriot leads off for the Cardinals. If he is batting over .300, I’m going to chug my beer.
8:12 Off the hook, batting .279. That bitch talked shit about the Cubs after getting traded to Cardinals. Strikes out! Boom!
8:13 Two outs and up comes future Cub Albert Pujols. He hugged the GM, of course he will be a Cub next year. HE HUGGED THE GM!!!!
8:15 As ESPN keeps playing up hug-gate (did I mention fuck ESPN?), he flies out to center. Hug it out Albie.
8:16 COMMERCIAL!!!! X—Men: First Class looks kinda bad-ass.
8:19 Cubs first at bat. I bet Fukudome flies out. He does.
8:20 2nd best Cub name behind Starlan Castro comes up. Mr. Darwin Barney folks. And he grounds out for the second out before announcers can even show the Cardinals defensive lineup. Cubbie tattoo guy needs to kill me too.
8:21 Just noticed girlfriend sent a text at 7:50 saying she will be home within an hour. Not working late after all. She may not be thrilled with my plans.
8:27 Never disliked Lance Berkman. Then he joined the Cards and started playing like himself circa 2001. Full Count.
8:28 Fly out to left as they go to the studio for Curtis Granderson’s league-leading 12th homer. “But wait for the next homerun from Yankee stadium we show you!” Oh no, don’t make me wait. Already forgot as Garza gets K #3. PROVE ME WRONG BIG GUY!!!!!
8:31 Just realized how bad I’m milking this beer. Girlfriend text really having an effect on me.
8:33 First hit of the night as Aramis Ramirez knocks a single to center/left. Here come the 10 millions dollar man Carlos Pena. Ew.
8:37 Pena walks to put two men on for Starlin. NO HABLO INGLES!!!
8:39 Shot up the middle off of Westbrook’s glove bloops to center. Ramirez thrown out at home despite maybe the ugliest toss from center I have ever seen. I think someone needs to talk to Dan Marino about weight watchers, Aramis.
8:44 “That’s a big time Squander by the Chicago Cubs”. Thanks Dave O’Brien. No runs this inning. Time for another beer.
8:53 Men on 2nd and 3rd with one out. Here is the Garza I know!
8:55 A “nubber” off of bare-handed Garza. Therior gets an RBI. Terrific.
8:57 WOW! Pena actually impresses me with a great catch on a line drive. Two men stranded and the Cubs get away only down one run. Not bad I guess.
8:58 While I have a moment, let me play tribute to our color-man for the evening. NOOOOOOMAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!! GIMME A COUPLA TAAAAAAAH BOOOOOOYS!!!! Alright I’m done.
9:00 WTF?!? Back from commercial and it is an absolute downpour in Wrigley. Like end of the world rain. Coincidence that this happened as the girlfriend walked in the door? Eerie.
9:01 ESPN heads to Toronto for bonus coverage of the Red Sox and Blue Jays. I think not. Time to check out the IIHF World Championships on Versus.
9:03 Czech Republic is up on Team USA 1 – 0 after a goal by…Jaromir Jagr??? Really?
9:04 And a penalty on the US by Van Riemsdyk. Sound familiar? No, because the refs didn’t call it enough when we saw him last!
9:06 Ty Conklin is in goal for Team USA. Let me type that again; Ty Conklin is in goal for Team USA. Time to check on the Cubs game.
9:09 Fantastic. Now it’s giant douche-bag Michael Kay and the Yankees/Royals game. I have YES for every Yankee game and ESPN puts this on. Baby Punching time…..and my next beer.
9:13 Starting to think this was a bad idea. Back to the hockey game and it appears Jagr scored his second goal to make it 2 – 0 Czechs.
9:16 Back to Yankees/Royals and Michael Kay is plugging Center Stage with Rex Ryan. Holy fuck cakes can it get worse?
9:17 I can hear the girlfriend watching old episodes of 30 Rock in the bedroom and I’m getting jealous.
9:20 At least the pitcher’s name on Kansas City is Adcock. It made me giggle. Then I thought of the Beastie Boys. I have issues.
9:25 Losing patience. Michael Kay is terrible, Patrick Elias just had two consecutive turnovers, and my allergies are causing me breathing issues.
9:35 Check into Miami/Boston game in time to see Lebron celebrating. How does it feel to financially cripple an entire city dick-hole? I’m getting angrier by the second. Time to check in with the Cubs.
9:37 Still no game. Rain continues and this experiment is an EPIC FAIL. I’ll DVR ESPN for the next 4 hours and check the game after work tomorrow. Addendum? Possibly
Thursday morning 6:07 AM Couldn’t wait until after work so I check the box scores. 11 – 4 Cubs wins. Starlin gets nasty with a 4 for 4 night and Garza goes for five solid innings. However, if I continued to watch, they would have lost 17 – 3. So it works out.
Thursday morning 6:11 AM Turns out they started playing 13 minutes after I retreated to the bedroom. Damnit, I suck. Oh well, maybe next time I can do this for a whole game and destroy my liver even more. GO CUBBIES!!!!!
Thursday morning 6:15 AM If you have not seen the video below, please do yourself a favor and watch this incredible interview. Just make sure your not drinking anything. I did a legitimate spit-take after the "hot guys that are like up for anything" line. Sadly it isn't real and only a local sketch comedy actress, but somehow that may make it even funnier because I'm not sure the interviewer is in on it, or not.
As promised, here is the rest of my breakdown of the 2008 draft class. Writing this series has really depressed me. I knew the drafts have been awful the last several years, but when you sit down and really examine them, you understand why we have barely sniffed the playoffs in the last 11 years. As soon I finished writing this you better believe I cheered myself up by watching Sabres' highlights from the last few weeks. Especially this one from Jason Pominville last night.
Hopefully this whole series is also entertaining for the readers, but if you need another pick me up besides the Sabres' Warpath, Buffalowins has a solid mock draft up, so check it out. On to the sadness!
4th Round - Reggie Corner - Defensive Back - Akron
At one point this pick looked like a steal. I mean his name is CORNER! Reggie started eight games in 2009 due to injuries and was better than serviceable. He was blanketing WR's, disrupting backfields, and was probably one of the only players I was really taking notice of during the entire season. However, (and isn't there always a however with Buffalo) last year Corner took a huge step backwards. If it wasn't for nagging injuries to Terrence McGee, you may have never noticed him at all. By the end of the season, he was barely seeing time in dime packages. Jury may still be out on Reggie, but after three seasons and little consistency, I'm calling him Reggie "Specials Teams".
3rd Round - Chris Ellis - Defensive End - Virginia Tech
Ellis was drafted as a "project". He played 15 games in three seasons. He recorded 13 tackles and one sack. He then injured his knee last year, was cut by Buffalo and signed a future contract with Pittsburgh who will probably turn him into a pass-rush specialist who records double-digit sacks next season. Watch it happen AND STOP CALLING ME NEGATIVE!!!
2nd Round - James Hardy - Wide Receiver - Indiana
Remember how excited you were when Buffalo made this pick? I know I sure as hell was. At 6'5", Hardy was that big target receiver that everyone wanted. Unfortunately, despite a couple of nice TD grabs in his rookie season, this was a marriage that would never workout. Why?
1. Hardy pulled a gun on his father before his rookie season ever started.
2. He had almost no clue how to run a route correctly, making his height absolutely useless.
3. Some guy named T.O. joined the team in 2009 and took James' jersey number AND starting spot.
4. He blew his knee out early in that 2009 season and was unable to get healthy in time for the 2010 season.
You would think that this may be one of the biggest draft busts of the last five years, but oh heeeeeeeeey 2009 draft class! Ugh. Shoot me now.
1st Round - Leodis McKelvin - Defensive Back - Troy
I'll keep this short. I could talk about how Leodis has had some solid kick returns for Buffalo, but honestly what's the point? He was the 11th choice overall and has not lived up to expectations at all. He missed almost all of 2009 with an injury, fell down the depth chart to the point where he looks like a career nickel-back, and even on those said returns, he has become fumble prone. One of which will be the way I will always remember him:
Yup. That is Leodis taking an unnecessary kickoff out of the end-zone, fumbling it, and allowing New England to continue their streak of owning us. Vandalizing his lawn may be insanely immature, but in the moment, I wanted to vandalize his knee with a crowbar. (Who am I kidding? I would have said "nice game" and then ran away crying....sigh)