There’s a lot to complain about these days. The sun is setting when I get out of work and still pouring in my window before I need to wake up (iPhone’s have flashlights on them now for Christ’s sake; the farmers can milk the cows without making all of us who were dumb enough to go to a school without dirt floors to sink into seasonal depression), Pumpkin beer season is already over and has been replaced with Christmas music before the first snow accumulation. I went on a three day boozefest a couple weekends back that included day drinking Saturday (to a pitiful 0-0 Man City draw and the May Day game) and Sunday (Bills game at Papa Jake’s with Barrister and several of our twitter friends) and led to me being completely out of commission Monday. Of course this wasn’t going to keep me from taking advantage of that Wednesday’s vacation day and going out until the wee hours of that morning celebrating Obama’s victory in a way that Randy Marsh would have been proud of. I’m not sure if I’m mad at myself for going that hard and killing my body for a week or if I’m mad that I can’t go that hard anymore. I’m not even talking about my college years- if I had that schedule and body for a week right now…well it would go exactly like it did the first time around, lessons be damned- I’m talking about two or three years back where I could have a hard weekend on occasion and not be paying for its repercussions until goddamn Thursday night. Getting old is sad in so many ways.
Since they met last week and over the weekend- we’ll start with the NHL lockout. I’m currently an ugly mix of disgusted, disconcerted and depressed over everything that is going on right now. My defense of logical analysis of the situation has been steadily broken down over the past two months. Today marks the third (or fourth?) straight day of meetings and by every indicator progress has been absent, which isn’t surprising when a hockey league is run by men who don’t care about hockey. These meetings have been for no substantive reasons aside for both sides to cry to us, the fans that “hey, we tried! See!” I bet right now Bettman and Fehr are smoking cigars and trading stories about their families, until the designated time comes and they can escape to tell their constituents that “we’re still far apart.” These people need to be fed the biggest bag of dicks in the world. We’re not going to have a season in my mind; I should have solidified these expectations long ago but I greatly overestimated any dedication to “the greater good” that these men had for the NHL. The thing is there is no good greater to these weasels than their client’s demands, and while I know that is what advocacy is at its heart, three work stoppages in eighteen years? There won’t be client’s to make demands much longer at this rate.
So what do we have in the meantime? Well, there’s the KHL…actually fuck them. There’s whatever random junior game or college game you might encounter on a given night (Harvard at Cornell next Friday on NBCSN! PS Fuck Cornell). The lineup is grim. I even bought the sports package and can’t seem to find much to occupy my time. And despite my pro-NBA pledge (pro-Andrew Nicholson is more accurate); I’d rather detonate my apartment Fight Club-style just to avoid my TV commenting about Mike Brown’s firing. I did turn on a Penn State girls volleyball game last night and was pleasantly surprised, not by the play- they won three national titles during my time there despite me never taking in a game- but by one of their player’s. Hey, the Winter Olympics and my figure skating guilty pleasure is still two years away, and I pay for the channel so don’t judge me! I suppose I’ve digressed.
Speaking of the Nittany Lions, I headed to Buff State several weeks back to check in on Terry Pegula’s other baby, the only one playing right now. A quick glance at my schedule tells me the team is 5-2 in their inaugural Division-I season. Of their two losses, one was in overtime. The other was a shutout. Guess which one of their seven games I attended. If you guessed Buff State, you’d be right. That would call for a #BecauseItsBuffalo but that can’t really apply when a Buffalo-based team succeeds so I guess it’s more #BecauseItsOutlander. How did I enjoy the game?
Oh, and fuck Buddy and Chan. I really don’t have much to say about the Bills aside from that. I have my season tickets, I watch the away games with friends, I know the myriad of problems and the embarrassment they bring on those who are fans with any degree of rationality, but I just can’t bring myself to address them. So many of you can and have. They’re a bunch of guys who mean well I guess, but I’ve reached my breaking point with them. I guess it’s easier to reach the “breaking point” when you haven’t seen a meaningful win since middle school and the team in question has been merely the second most important team in a two team town. There was not a moment, not one last Sunday where I believed they were going to win. Not when Donald Jones caught a touchdown to bail out Chan’s shitty play calling and not when Spiller was scampering down to the fifteen yard-line with under a minute left. Hell, I took Nyquil at three in the morning the night before and slept until the fourth quarter of the game because I simply didn’t care, something I haven’t done since my school days.
The Big-4 is a local niche; those of us who care enough to click on the article likely already know the expectations for each team, or at least those of our own. Believe me, I know St. Bonaventure’s preseason A-10 ranking and telling me that Butler and VCU joining their conference does not make it easier. I mean, I’m not asking for some in-depth Olean Times Herald shit here, but have some confidence in making an actual- you know- prediction if you’re going to cover these guys during the lockout.
Sigh. It’s a dark time to be a hockey fan, a dark time to be a Buffalo fan (Not thirty seconds ago I overheard a co-worker lament to another co-worker "why does it always happen to us?" about the Pats game). Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? I won't say no, but will say it is so far off in the distance it hasn't yet risen above the horizon.
PS: Miami 31 Buffalo 28