We hope you take a listen. Yell at us afterwards if you must.
Download here or here. Stream below. RSS feed here. Subscribe and download via iTunes below. Get after it,
Racism, Sexism, Institutional Oppression and Why Donald Sterling Isn't the Exception to the Rule ... A Bonus Episode of the DGWU Sports CrapTastiCast
The Barrister is joined by The Defenseman, a former DGWU Sports contributor (though he swings by now and again), to hash out the myriad reasons why stories about race and gender conflicts - stories about Donald Sterling and Jameis Winston and rape culture and institutional degradation of freedom - are both frustrating and fascinating and important to discuss. Humans are pretty shitty at humanity, it's fair to say.
We hope you take a listen. Yell at us afterwards if you must.
Download here or here. Stream below. RSS feed here. Subscribe and download via iTunes below. Get after it,
Hi boys and girls. Before we begin, a quick disclaimer. This post is not all about sports. As a matter of fact, sports only cover a minority of this post. If that is a dealbreaker for you, I understand, and you can scroll down to the final third now. However, this post does contain the usual, if not an above average amount of vitriol, so it may be worth your time anyways.
Some two years ago, after a late night out, I shot an email to the deeg. The debaucherous, angry tone struck me as something I shared and wanted to lend my voice to. I get more ambitious when I’m drunk; some years ago I sent an email to the local paper declaring my intention to run for mayor around three or four am from my apartment in State College. A couple years back I ordered a bunch of shit on Vermont’s Long Trail because despite the fact I’ve never hiked once in my life I decided it was something I wanted- and more importantly could- do (an example of drunken delusion if there is any). There are other examples but the point is, some people text their ex’s or fight- and although I have done both- I tend to go in the other direction.
Some of these drunken undertakings were doomed to failure but the decision to lavish praise on my favorite blog and ask if I may participate- I hate asking for things- was not one of them. For the last couple years I’ve been the only contributor to a blog revolving around Buffalo sports that still lived in the Buffalo area. This has been helpful for a myriad of reasons not limited to the fact I was able to watch my teams play without having to order a special internet or television package or head to a bar with Center Ice/Sunday ticket. I don’t watch local news or read the local papers but there is just something about living in an area where the vast majority of local sports fans root for the same teams as you. Outside of the soulless front running jagoffs that reside on the opposite side of the Niagara River, there is something to be said about going out and having any sports conversation you eavesdrop into revolve around the same teams you follow and love yourself, even if those having the conversation couldn’t grasp a salient point if they had eight arms apiece. I enjoyed walking to the bar in Barre, Vermont as the Sabres made their playoff push in 2011 but I loved going to someone’s house or a bar around these parts to watch the same thing much more. But that luxury is no longer as the deeg will be an all-expat blog once again.
Like many of you scattered across the country, this move has nothing to do with desire as much as it has to do with cold pragmatics. I understand that 2013 was the first year in decades that the region’s population did not suffer a decrease; every elected official and news organization seems eager to discuss the region’s rebirth, facelift, resurgence, whatever word is on the teleprompter in front of them at the moment. More people are drawn to this growth and I couldn't be happier; my issue lies with what's underneath that. From last April until this February I read every single job opening within 50 miles of Tonawanda, which usually amounted to around one thousand new posts per week. I did not discriminate on salary, title, experience or education requirements, I read every damn one of them and what I discovered, and what anyone in this area who has been job searching recently already knows, is that the reason the quantity of new jobs is discussed so much is because the quality of them is often abysmal and inapplicable to anyone not in the infancy of their working life. In the average thousand openings, I would find anywhere between one and three that were applicable for me and in the 10 months I was searching I discovered three that were truly in my wheelhouse (My “wheelhouse” is not as narrow as one may believe). Still, I applied to dozens, hundreds of positions in this area, many if not all of which I was overqualified for, and for my trouble I got one interview.
jesus titty fucking christ I hate a lot of shit.
Sometime earlier this week, I was in some sort of stupid daze where I was happy about things. It must have been Easter and Jesus rising and the wonderment of reincarnation magic smiling upon my heart.
Fuck Easter, by the way.
It's Wednesday now, so this is the shit you get. An ornery dude in his early 30s blogging on a pretty shitty website since everyone stopped writing on it, complaining about a bunch of shit that you, at best, have a cursory interest in because sports.
Let's get on with it.
I fucking hate Major League Baseball.
Actually, that's not fair. I like the sport. I enjoy watching with friends. I fucking hate that baseball has an interminably long season that people weirdly care about during the first few weeks - enough to rag on a guy for HANGING OUT WITH HIS BABY AND WIFE WHO JUST BIRTHED HIM/HER/IT - and then they tell you it's because they like summer and being outside and drinking and all, but then they watch at a bar and make you turn off playoff hockey and that sort of defeats their argument about the joy of summer. Have a fucking barbecue. The MLB season's length is arguably one of the stupidest things in sports, right next to our weird treatment of athletes who used performance enhancing drugs in an era when everyone used them, thereby giving them essentially no competitive advantage. No big surprise that Bud Selig and his Merry Band of Miscreants manage to get so much wrong.
Listen ... OF COURSE I'd like baseball more if I followed a team that was good, but the Mets are not so let's move past that. In the midst of my hate for the team I love, it becomes abundantly clear that the league could cut 50 games off the schedule and still end up with basically the same product except without TV and ad revenue and I suppose that those things are what it's all about. Still defending it?
I'm going to a baseball game this Friday and it's so bad that I am compelled to go to a two hour open bar before the game so I can be sure to (a) not remember a fucking thing about the endless nine innings I observe and/or (2) get kicked out for calling a security guard a fat taint and/or (iii.) take a nap sometime between the fourth and seventh innings. Baseball is fun because of getting drunk, being an asshole with your friends, and naps. That's what we're working with here.
I fucking hate the NHL.
This is another sport I love that is ruined by the corporate fuckup of league decisions and the absolute assbags who work there. You know, in hindsight it should have been a warning sign that Pat Lafontaine worked for the NHL since it is pretty apparent that the league is routinely run in a way that can at best be described as "lacking clearly defined standards which tend to alter the competitive and fairness aspects of the sport" and can at worst be described as "OH DEAR LORD YOU DICKS ARE AWFUL IDIOTS AND RUIN EVERYTHING FUCK OFF AND DIE".
It's the playoffs now. And while NHL HQ's marketing blitz likes to tell us that things get all awesome and shit "Because it's the Cup" and "History will be made," it's becoming crystal clear that the real theme of the playoffs has become "Hey you! Yeah you! Feel free to be as violent as you want! We'll probably let it slide if you're important to your team!!" Shit, we don't even really get fights in the playoffs, but that hasn't stopped players from committing those acts that pose markedly high risks of harm, and it certainly hasn't stopped the NHL from allowing many of those acts to go unpunished, particularly when those committing the acts are stars, or a member of the Boston Bruins... those assholes get away with all sorts of shit always. This is all justified under the umbrella of "not wanting to stifle the natural competition of the tournament" or some such nonsense. Because, of course, risking injures that might injure a player or ruin his ability to use his brain is nothing in comparison to losing the assailant to a suspension for any drastic period of time.
The NHL sucks at understanding the simple concepts of justice in it's system of player discipline. The people employed by the league are seemingly more likely to make a decision regarding player discipline based on gut instinct rather than based on a logical assessment of conduct and the assessment of a penalty that serves as an effective deterrent. Worst of all, making the situation endlessly confusing for fans and players alike, the NHL truly lacks any sense of applying even-handed player discipline as it leaves some egregious acts unpunished and others receiving unquestioned bans. Player reputations play too strong a role in the determination of punishments for truly egregious acts, leaving Zdeno Chara unscathed for ball tapping an opponent and Brent Seabrook's suspension lasting only three games, while the bad guys of the league - the guys who are barely missed by their teams or its fans - are treated as "examples." It's no fucking wonder that Blues fans make light of Backes' injury when the NHL can't be bothered to find a suspension that meaningfully punished Seabrook for causing Backes' brain to get violently thrown about in his skull. Besides, I'm sure Seabrook will really learn his lesson when Matt Cooke is suspended for the rest of the playoffs.
Fuck the NHL and it's enormous clown shoes.
I fucking hate Donald Trump.
FUCK. I really don't know what got over me earlier this week when I had a momentary lapse into "you know what? Trump might not be that bad! At least he would keep the Bills in Buffalo!" Fuck me, and fuck Trump.
Yes, his politics are abhorrent to me, but more to the point the way he goes about his politics are the most truly fucking bothersome thing about this man. He doesn't just hate President Obama - he bandies about that hatred as a badge of honor and makes a concerted effort to find the most absurd criticisms upon which to latch. President Obama isn't American and his Presidency is unconstitutional? Check. President Obama walks in an un-Presidential manner? Check. This asshole picks on everybody, all the while courting our fan base - fans based out of the City of Good fucking Neighbors - in his looming bid to purchase our football team. Just the other day, he called Arianna Huffington ugly - really, guy, you are fucking hideous - and then retweeted the comment from a fan about her not having a green card.
GOOD ONE, SIR. YOU REALLY SHOWED HER.
This is the dude trying to buy our football team. Our "I don't care who he is and whether he's a good guy as long as the Bills stay and win a Super Bowl" refrain is all well and good. I, too, do not really care so long as both of those hypothetical, really impossible to comprehend things happen. But for fuck's sake, is this the guy who is likely to get us there? Does the universe truly reward us in such a roundabout way, still leaving a terrible taste in our mouth and, actually pining for the days of Ralph "Odious Taint" Wilson? This - a purchase by Donald Trump, the lovable douchebag who has invaded our social consciousness with a stunning brand of buffoonery masked as corporate acumen - is what we've been dreaming for.
Fuck that. We should be able to do better, and if not, let's at least not pretend to be happy about it.
I fucking hate Jose Mourinho.
I don't really have anything more to add except that he can blow me. Fuck that guy.
And in closing...
I fucking hate fat people who fail to realize their girth and mistake a small subway seat between two people for a square footage of area that can fit their fat ass, the comfort and personal space of their fellow riders be damned all to fucking hell (and yes, that includes me which is why I fucking stand most commutes like a gentlemen). I fucking hate the assholes who ride the commuter trains back into New Jersey with luggage and/or stroller and/or kids of any age while the rest of us are just trying to go about our normal lives. I fucking hate all the tourists that jam up my subway station between 5pm and 7pm every evening, christ the metrocard swiper is not that fucking complicated fuck. I fucking hate Fred Wilpon and Robert Kraft and Nancy Grace and Piers Morgan and Ann Coulter and creationists and birthers and the failure of law enforcement to properly investigate Jameis Winston allegedly raping someone and Episcopalians who left after Gene Robinson was elected and everything on the WB and that FiOS can't fucking fix by HD NBC Sports so I have to watch standard definition like a chump and that David Moyes was sacked and Vincent Tan and Jerry Jones and Rex Ryan and that Michael Vick lives while those dogs remain dead and every fan at MetLife Stadium and my bitch tits and that Nassau Coliseum will no longer be a place upon which I can urinate and that my teams are shit except for Liverpool they're fucking boss and Yankee fans.
Christ almighty I hate Yankee fans.
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.
Barrister and Phil (@Mechaphil) talk Premier League and Liverpool and laugh about Vincent Tan and make jokes and then everything gets fucked with technology so our Manchester City-supporting special guest has to wait until next week.
It's all a little bit of a mess, but that's typical at this point.
Music courtesy of Matt and Kim, DJ Format, Audiomachine and Lauryn Hill.
Download here or here. The RSS feed is here, or subscribe via iTunes below. Streaming is available with the handy dandy player below as well.
As always, all of the DGWU Sports podcasts are available via the tab on the top of our site and also our host site, http://deargodwhyussports.libsyn.com/.
WHAT IN THE SERIAL FUCK.
Daniel Murphy had a baby. Daniel Murphy took his collectively-bargained contractually guaranteed time off to go be with that baby. Daniel Murphy also plays for a terrible fucking baseball team, my beloved New York Metropolitans, who are certainly not in a playoff race of any kind during this the first week of the interminably long 162 game MLB season, and will certainly not be in any sort of playoff race ever again in all likelihood.
Daniel Murphy has his priorities in COMPLETE. FUCKING. ORDER.
Mike Francesa and the geniuses of the WFAN Morning Show "Boomer & Carton"? These guys are monumental douchebags. Sources tell me that each of them has physically been used to clean the undercarriage of Fran Drescher and Bea Arthur on consecutive evenings. Sources, guys.
First, Francesa... (quotes stolen from NY Daily News)
"One day I understand. And in the old days they didn’t do that. But one day, go see the baby be born and come back. You’re a Major League Baseball player. You can hire a nurse to take care of the baby if your wife needs help,”
“For a baseball player. You take a day, all right. Back in the lineup the next day! What are you doing? ... I guarantee you are not sitting there holding your wife’s hand. . . . I had three kids. . . I was at the birth and was back to work the next day. I didn’t see any reason not to be working. Harrison (Francesa’s son) was born at nine in the morning. I worked that day. What was I gonna do, sit with my wife in the hospital?”
And the shitheads at Boomer & Carton, who I can only assume operate on a single source of consciousness like the motherfucking Borg or, perhaps, DGWU Sports? ...
Boomer Esiason, on WFAN’s morning show, took it even a step further, saying Murphy should have insisted his wife “have a C-section before the season starts. I need to be at Opening Day, I’m sorry.”
His partner, Craig Carton agreed: “Assuming the birth went well, the wife is fine, the baby is fine, 24 hours and then you get your ass back to your team and you play baseball.”
I feel better now.
Kids rule. Babies rule. Being a dad is FUCKING RAD. Yes, you should hold your wife's hand after she just did the thing that is so much more difficult than any of the things that pissant men do. Yes, you should help while the baby is crying and your wife wants to nap because she just pushed a fucking HUMAN BEING through a hole in her body. Holy shit, these guys are either trolling or stupid assholes or both. Either way, fuck them because this is shit that men still unironically and unsarcastically believe with all their heart - that fatherhood is a spectator sport, that raising kids doesn't involve real work, and that neither the kids you've just created nor the wife who has worked and will continue to work harder than you are worth staying home for a few days.
Hey kids, it’s been a long time (unless you listen to the Podcast, and you probably should listen to the podcast). Everything about Buffalo sports sucks complete monkey dicks and when I think about it, I want to die. So sitting down and putting those thoughts into long form isn’t exactly something I look forward to doing. But let's give it a shot. As a bonus, there’s some mailbag-ish Twitter questions that I chose to answer below about cats and other neat stuff.
First off, before we get to the mailbag, I feel the need to throw some additional dirt on the corpse of Ralph Wilson. I’ll keep it brief because others have made the same point I’m about to more eloquently than I probably will, but it needs to be reiterated. Don’t ever forget while you’re sucking back Genny Cream Ales at the Ralph Wilson Memorial Tailgate Party that Ralph was a cheap old fuck who did absolutely nothing to secure the future of the Bills in Buffalo. When he died, my mind didn’t go straight to “Oh man, this sucks…we should celebrate everything that nice old man did for us!” and jump into the “My Favorite Bills Memory of the Time I saw Ralph at the Stadium and He Shook My Hand And It was Fucking Magical” circlejerk. My first thought was, “How soon do the Bills leave Buffalo?” It’s sad, I wish I could have been able to say goodbye to Ralph without sounding like a petulant little shitbag, but that’s his legacy to me. He left that door open and I ran right through the motherfucker. Not in a rude way, but not with the reverence that would have been deserved had that stubborn old codger actually given a fuck about us. Compared to The Outlander and The Barrister, I was downright polite.
Ok, lets take some Twitter questions, because hey I hate myself and so should you! There’s a definite Ted Nolan theme to all the questions that I was asked. I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I have a mild dislike for Captain Compete Level, but we need to dive deeper. I’m totally going to ignore the Buffalo Blue Collar Compete Level Work Hard bullshit, because I’ve made it abundantly clear in this space that I fucking loathe it. Steve Ott, Blue Collar, Ted Nolan, Work Hard - all of it can go die in John Ramsey’s wine cellar for all I care.
I picked this question because of the way it was asked, I think the two things go hand-in-hand. Part of the issue I have with Nolan is that he’s just flat out the wrong guy for the development of young kids. If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice that aside from noted superstars Matt D’Agostini, Mike Weber, and Jamie McBain, we have a lot of youngish kids and like 50 billion draft picks coming through here the next few years.
Now, I know that realistically not all of them will become NHL players, not to mention GREAT NHL players. But I think the odds of either just decreased with this Nolan extension. He’s never shown that he likes to play rookies in any meaningful way until this year with Zemgus Girgensons. s that a testament to how good Zemgus is? Or was it “hey, this guy is on my Olympic team, so I should probably keep him around me.”? It’s probably more of the former, but who the hell knows…the latter wouldn’t shock me one bit based on Nolan’s past or the fact that he plays D’Agostini 20 minutes a night because the guy coaches at his hockey school. Hopefully he’s on-board with developing these kids, and not giving John Scott their ice time because “THEY DIDN’T EARN IT,” but based on his magical Try Real Hard Fairy Dust crap, that is the only thing he understands or ever talks about.
He's a singularly focused creature that can't be bothered with the nuances of good hockey, keeping his dick out of the vaginas of other dude's wives, or waiting a reasonable amount of time between meals. So, yes, Ted Nolan is a zombie.
As far as Mikhail Grigorenko and Joel Armia?? I’m writing them off now. There’s no fucking way they amount to anything under Nolan. He’s not going to let them. So this move has already cost them 2 quality young players, both first round picks. How long will the final trail of Marek Zagarapan-ish dead be?
The other aspect of Ted Nolan, NHL Coach that’s been surfaced by many people is the fact that he readily admits to having no knowledge of X’s and O’s and that he’s not an X’s & O’s guy. Cool, that’s good news. I mean, it’s not like over the course of the next 3 years there will be – lets say 10 – guys who have never played NHL hockey coming to him for advice and knowledge that he doesn’t have. TRYING SUPER HARD AND STUFF is fantastic don’t get me wrong. I’m probably a shitty person to confirm that for you, because I do just enough to get by and it’s worked for 30+ years, I’m basically the Cody Hodgson of life. So if they don’t bring in assistants who have exceptional knowledge of NHL systems and what it takes to play in the NHL besides “try hard”, there could be some serious trouble ahead.
So when will the Sabres be good?? Before this extension I would have said 3 years to playoffs, 4 years to serious hockey team. Now?? At least 5 years to maybe hitting 8th place, and I’m basing that off of the fact that 2 first overall picks will have enough natural talent to overcome the bullshit they’re going to be subjected to the minute they pull on that sweater.
The other part of the Nolan thing I hate is that it’s not a hockey decision by any means. It’s bullshit pandering to all the fucking horrible assholes who (I hope) are a very vocal minority and drink the Berry Blue Collar Kool Aid that Nolan dispenses, like a modern day Jim Jones – wherein Cheektowaga is like Jonestown. One day I hope to come home and find a bunch of fat, dead Pollacks in PatrickKaleta jerseys laying on Union Road with blue lips. Whereas Ralph Wilson died and did some shitty things, at least he never let the fucking WGR Whiner Line influence his decisions as it relates to his team.
You know, Buffalo is a tremendous hockey town…people will go watch hockey, even if it’s real bad. If the Sabres had a marketing department that was worth a shit, you wouldn’t need to hire bad coaches because people like them to keep people coming to games. You seriously waited until last week to do “Fan Appreciation” events?? Fucking Christ, teams around the league do all sorts of cool shit to get people to go to games. Promotions for students, promotions for LGBT groups, bobblehead giveaways, trading card giveaways, t-shirt giveaways, Star Wars Night, Lord of the Rings night…whatever. The Sabres do so fucking little of this that I understand why that arena has become a silent, miserable place. It has a little to do with THEY BAD and a lot to do with “going to games isn’t fun”. You have a market that will eat the shit you put out for it, and you can’t even put out some ketchup or mustard to dull the taste a little for them. Give some incentive for people to not race to StubHub and get that $7 for a Florida Panthers game. Make losing a little bit more fun than it has to be, there’s always going to be people mad that you suck shit as a hockey team that you won’t be able to placate – but those people aren’t going anywhere – do fun shit to keep fringe people interested in whatever the fuck it is you’re doing over there.
Fuck, lets move onto some fun questions before I start hemorrhaging.
NOT HELPING!!! Yeah, as it turns out I have to leave California this summer and head back East to live on Long Island for a year. I’m not real thrilled about it, because I fucking LOVE California…but the fact that I can meet up with Dubs and the gang for beers and sports will help dull the pain of leaving paradise. After that, we will end up somewhere else…so don’t get too attached. I have no idea what to expect from Long Island, other than it apparently costs more to live there than where I do now and it’s full of Jews. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but fucking seriously, that's what everyone who hears I'm moving there makes sure to tell me. It's weird. Oh, and I heard they have a Bennigans.
As far as other teams go – the Penguins will always be my second team, and I’m partial to the Sharks as well.
Our cats are exceptionally lazy. Most cats are. One of them likes to curl up on my lap and sleep for hours on end. Which also shows how lazy I am, because I’m available to stop being a sentient being and instead just be a chair for hours on end. The only compete level in our cats revolves around food or occasionally staring at shit outside wishing they could go out there and get hit by cars.
Clawed. Which means we don’t have nice furniture and will never have nice furniture. Or children.
I never play anything without a cat napping on my lap helping me shoot brown people or robots. I even announce that I’m going to shoot people and usually one of them will hop up and join me.
I’m always down for some man shooting or hockey pucks on the video game systems, but I usually don’t play until you east coast shitbags are sleeping. I have both Xbox One and PS4 (and Xbox 360 too) – you can hit me up at essbeeay on Xbox Live or essbeeay on PSN. I might not always jump on the headset if I'm being sensitive about making a shitload of noise and risking my dick being removed by an angry Vet Student.
You can also follow me there on Twitter, @essbeeay which is how I usually sign off…so bye!!
FOR. FUCK'S. SAKE.
I don't subscribe to the Sabres email list - this email was sent to people who do, and the homie @Mechaphil tweeted it and has told me that he believes this is the first instance of any such emails while he's been signed up on this list for the last 6 or 7 years - but if I did, I would expect some degree of care and respect and, I don't know, not this fucking garbage. This email is (a) not hockey-related, (b) not Sabres-related, and (c) bullshit.
Hockey Heaven this is not, assholes.
This is a fundamentally asinine and abusive use of fan interest to increase revenue by a team that deserves far less fan interest than it currently gets. This is the Third Jersey of emails. This is the Big John shirsey of emails. This is the Terry Pegula of emails.
Monty Python would write sketches about stupid shit like this and we'd all laugh and it would be grand but instead THIS REALLY HAPPENED AND CHRIST YOU ARE AN AWFUL FRANCHISE.
When people ask me why DGWU Sports has basically become a soccer-and-soon-baseball website, at least until the Bills get going again, this is now going to the top of the list. This is inexplicable.
You're now worse than the Bills, in almost every way. Congratulations. You did it.
Mr. Pegula, you've purchased a local hockey team that ought to be held in public trust, with community ideals held as sacred, and fan faith and love and interest cherished above all else. Instead, not only do you not win, and not only do you show scarce signs that you have any fucking clue how to win, and not only do you miss the mark with team marketing more often than you hit it, but now this. It's so fucking easy to not be the corporate behemoth that treats its fan base as money trees to be slaughtered and left to waste, but I guess it's also equally easy to do exactly that.
We shouldn't be surprised. You've made your billions by raping the environment, and now decide to dig wells into your fan base, rip cracks into the foundation of a city's love for its team, and take whatever you can straight to the bank. We don't even really know how inept the organization is, but we see signs enough to make us fear the worst. We ignore those signs out of little else than fear that these past 10 years might actually be the glory years when we're looking at the first pick in the 2035 NHL Draft, the Presidents Trophy and Divisional banners looking just as lonely as they do now.
I fucking love the Buffalo Sabres. But, as surely as I do, I hate the people insistent on ruining it.
Fan goodwill is forfeit, you money-grubbing pieces of shit. If you wanted my attention, you've gotten it. Hell, maybe this will be a Sabres site again. I guess I was probably waiting for something like this.... maybe now I'll come here much more often to talk about how much I loathe you vile sacks of excrement parading as Buffalo's next generation of revitalization heroes.
Obviously this monstrosity - and I mean that in a good way, I promise, this is great! - couldn't get edited and uploaded in time, so obviously that meant it going live after the match yesterday, but them's are the breaks with amateur, poorly crafted, digitally recorded, oral sports takes.
Barrister and Phil (@Mechaphil) linked up again to re-hash the joy of winning at Old Trafford and look forward to Liverpool's trip to Cardiff. In the middle of it, we talk about Julian Green committing to the U.S. Men's National Team, FIFA corruption, and the glory of American deliberate indifference.
Bonus clip at the end of this massively long episode as we welcome the hottest of takes from Rochester's biggest (only?) Cardiff City supporter, recorded before the game, at halftime, and immediately after Cardiff's 6-3 loss to the Mighty Redmen. /farts
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As always, all of the DGWU podcasts are available at deargodwhyussports.libsyn.com. Cheers.
I've been grinning all day, trying to focus my thoughts on what a win like this means; what it means for the Club and the players and the supporters and, well, for me. What it means to be looking glory square in the face again, after such an arduous and unpredictable path away from it, and what it means to now find the necessary balance between reveling in what can fairly be described as "HOLY SHIT THIS RULES WHERE ARE MY PANTS?" and breathing deeply the reasoned cynicism well-taught by five years of ingrained and immovable disappointment.
If I'm honest, the balance has shifted in a way that's both uncomfortable and welcome, since dreaming again is what we'd been waiting for all along. Dreaming is what makes sports worth anything when stripped from the bullshit economics and the vague morality plays. Dreaming is why we have lucky jerseys and fan rituals and why we bother to have favorite players to do the things we wait for them to do ... the hope for a moment of beauty and achievement and, if we're lucky, perfection. Sports can be perfect, as marred as they are, through how they might at some point make us feel. Dreaming of that is an end in and of itself, and to have even just that dream is pretty fucking fantastic.
Earlier this season, when Liverpool sat in roughly the same position in the League Table as they do now, midfielder Lucas Leiva said, and I'm paraphrasing, that it was good for fans to dream. It didn't matter if it was premature or folly or whatever, since it was the players' jobs to make sure that they kept themselves and their aspirations in check and that they got the job of each game done, but fans didn't have that responsibility. Cheer. Dream. Believe in a miracle run to a Premiership title. Have at it, Lucas said. It's fun.
Of course, it hasn't been fun lately. Not until about 14 months ago, and even since then it's felt necessarily precarious. We saw how quickly success could vacate the Club - a title chase quickly transitioned into near bankruptcy and then into terrible management and a slow crawl back from the edge - so we were guarded. We'd let ourselves hope for a Champions League berth, but no more. A line in the sand, such as it was.
But then we had a thrashing of Tottenham away, and two close losses at Chelsea and City, and then the resounding win against Arsenal at home. And we had other affirmative statements of our club's dominance or even just its ability to win when it shouldn't, making us forget the weak moments and the disappointing moments; helping us move past the regret of dropped points that does a fan no good when he controls so little. So when the time came, a trip to Manchester seemed, because it simply was, important in a way that it hadn't been since we'd really started on the road to mediocrity.
Win and this all seems genuinely doable. Lose and the opportunity to win the League would be genuinely lost.
"We'll lose, for sure. It's Old Trafford after all" ... This or some other similar caveat tossed up as the defense mechanisms that fans don't need, but somehow cling to so that they can shrug off the sadness that feels strangely and inappropriately like shame if their team's failure indeed comes.
Except dreaming is allowed. And at this point, for fans of the Liverpool Football Club, it's all but required.