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.