Good God, we have been pretty testy here at DGWU Sports lately. Between my rant about USWNT naysayers, our communal efforts at trashing the NFL, and its coverage, and our Bills whenever we get the chance, readers might leave our site thinking that we don't really even like sports at all. Indeed, Yachtsman - who first pulled me into contributing here, in large part because I was pretty impressed with some of the work I saw from him in late winter/early spring - has been silent for the past month due, by his account, to having not much to say about, well, anything. Sure, a lot of it has to do with the off-season doldrums, combined with some less-than-successful sequences of events for those teams of our that are playing. But, beyond that, I think we're not trying hard enough to enjoy what's good about our teams and our sports these days.
Frankly, I'm a little disappointed. Looking back at the last week, and in particular the last couple days, there are reasons to celebrate our sports fandom, even if we all ultimately agree that the Bills are worthless and our sports lives won't matter until the Sabres start playing in October. So, at the risk of alienating those amongst you who might prefer to petulantly hold on to these sullen feelings of summer, some thoughts on the good things.
Bob Bradley fired, Jürgen Klinsmann hired
To that end, Yachtsman and I have long discussed the need to revisit the idea of a European at the helm of the national team, as a means to an end. Bob Bradley, as smart as he is, is limited by his experience within American soccer. While he clearly had the lads behind him and working hard for him, Bradley was never going to be the guy to inspire that next step. Klinsmann, on the other hand, with national team experience in Germany, and a playing career that far exceeds the success attained by any of the players on the USMNT roster, might just be the key to inspiring the team to make the leap.
Brad Smith to the Bills
Apart from him as a player, I love this move because I hate the Jets. The fact that the Bills got a really skilled, talented guy from a division rival, that twice this year, I'll have the opportunity to cheer this guy on as he tries to stick it to his old teammates is fantastic.
I won't pretend that I love his price tag, or the questions that necessarily come up about why Ralph is willing to spend money on a guy who may, realistically, only spend a fraction of the game on the field, while refusing to make any other effort to spend on, say a left tackle who doesn't completely suck balls, or a linebacker who isn't either (a) undersized and unable to cover tight ends, or (b) injury-prone in a post-steroids world. But, this is a happy post. So fuck off.
The Mets have won FIVE STRAIGHT
What I like the most about the Mets of late is the the fact that, unlike all of us watching, it really doesn't seem like the team is all that surprised about where they are right now. As scrubby the team is, and as lacking a true ace through the first half of the season, this team has a roster full of guys who think they can win. When news came out that the team was NOT going to be trading Jose Reyes this year - despite the fact that he's in a contract year, that he has made it clear he will not negotiate an extension during the season and that he will likely demand absurd money in the salary cap-less world of Major League Baseball - it seemed to me to be the most encouraging sign of where the organization expects this season to go. Argue all you want that this Mets team can't, and won't, make the playoffs... I won't argue back. But, luckily, we're not the ones who get to shape that destiny, and all signs point to there being a whole lot of positive thinking at Citi Field this year. This could get really interesting.
Sabres re-sign the Demon Swede
As an initial matter, I think people who are talking about letting Miller go via trade are insane. Jesus, people, the DUDE IS ONE YEAR OUT OF HIS VEZINA. Wanna know what happened with the last guy who won a Vezina and then had a down year with people calling for him to go in favor the up and coming young netminder? HE JUST WON A FUCKING CUP. I feel stupid even having to type this. Goddammit Buffalo, you are fickle bunch.
Anyway, even though I'm not in the "trade Miller" camp (at least, not yet...I like eating crow as much as the next guy), I am in the "let's get real about how much any goalie should be worked" camp. Miller is a skinny sonofabitch, and it goes without saying that his slight frame could use a little more rest than the Sabres have been giving him during the Patrick Lalime Experiment. Enroth has shown himself to be more than capable, and if he can take on 25+ starts this year, Miller could be rested for a deep Cup run in a way that he hasn't been since 2007. And, with the Sabres re-establishing their alignment with the Rochester Americans, the team has the option of giving Enroth spot starts in Rochester to keep him fresh. (Note: I have no idea if moving Enroth to Roch for refresher spot starts is even possible under his contract, though I think it is...my apologies if these words are coming out of my butthole).
The Sabres are left with only one RFA - Marc-Andre Gragnani - left to be signed, assuming he does, and still have some fat trimming to get to in the coming months (likely in the form of moving Ales "Alice" Kotalik and Shoane "My Name Has Too Many Letters" Morrisonn to the AHL), but I love that we'll FINALLY have two solid goalies to root for, and that one of them happens to be a hobbit. Middle Earth represent.
God, I suck.
So, sports fans, we have much to celebrate these days, and much to look forward to. Sure, the MLS All Stars got sodomized by an offseason form Manchester United squad, and sure the Bills are looking at another season at the bottom of the AFC East, but sports are fun and life isn't all bad. After all, we now get to play Chad "I promised to change my name back if I got shutdown by Revis in the playoffs, but then reneged when I got one catch" Ochochinco twice a year now!! Guaranteed that ESPN will talk about the Bills then, right??
Ugh. My happy thoughts are leaving me. Someone get me a beer.