Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Baseball or NASCAR

May 19, 2010

We’ve reached the end of the line for hockey this year, at least for me.  Though I will thoroughly enjoy the remainder of the NHL playoffs even though the Buffalo Sabres are no longer involved, that will soon end.  Come June, the summer drought of my sports interests will leave me begging for some competitive sport or activity to follow.  Not that my days won’t be full, but the evenings are sometimes longer in the summer and beg for something…

So what’s it going to be – NASCAR or baseball?  I wish someone out there could give me a solid reason to get into one or the other.  I like both, but I feel like I should really get into one of them, to be able to converse intelligently about it. 

Of course, I could pick something else completely…like playing my guitar, or writing a book, or eating to coma-like status. Any ideas?

Sabres v. Carolina 2.11.2010

February 11, 2010

Tonight the Buffalo Sabres take on a newly resurgent Carolina Hurricanes team that has turned things around a little in the last week; wins over the Sabres, Islanders, and Panthers have them unbeaten in their last three.  Buffalo is reeling, with 5 straight losses.  As a Sabres fan, I think tonight would be a really good night to turn things around.

The big question is “what is wrong with the Sabres?”  I hope it’s a slump;  But the more I see of this team, the more they appear to need just a little more offensive firepower than they have right now.  It wouldn’t hurt to also give a couple guys a press box seat for a game just to shock them out of their complacency.

I think there’s a real need to add a little to this team, but I am not confident that Darcy Regier’s going to make the move.  Katebits and the guys from The Goose’s Roost scared the hell out of me with the following thoughts on Twitter the other day:

  • Darcy will claim that getting Kaleta back from injury will be better than any trade.

 

  • Darcy will claim that the two week Olympic break will be better than any trade.

That sounds  exactly like Darcy.  It also sounds exactly like a recipe for an early exit from the playoffs.

Same Old Story

September 28, 2009

I’m a fan of the Buffalo Bills. It’s my hometown team. I grew up only a mile or two from Ralph Wilson Stadium. I’ve been following the team pretty closely for about 20 years, and I am not sure that I have ever felt the way about the Bills the way I feel now.

I feel doomed.  I feel like no matter what the team does or doesn’t do, it’s not going to matter.  I feel like the defense will never be quite as dominant as it needs to be to cover for an offense that is going to just suck forever.  Since Jim Kelly retired, Buffalo’s been searching for a quarterback that could be a consistent winner.  They’ve never quite found anyone; not Todd Collins, Rob Johnson, Doug Flutie, Drew Bledsoe, JP Losman, Kelly Holcomb, and not even Trent Edwards.  There have been running backs, but no one spectacular.  Receivers?  Who the hell knows, considering who’s been throwing. 

I keep hoping that somehow, despite all the problems with the guidance and leadership of this franchise, the Bills will get the combo right through sheer luck.  And for one glorious year we could have a playoff team again.

What’s sad is that is how far my expectations have fallen.

The Truth About Favre

August 18, 2009

Why didn’t he just tell the truth…sort of like this:

“Hi, my name is Brett Favre.  I used to be the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers of the NFL.  Under my leadership, I turned the Packers from an also-ran to one of the elite franchises in NFL history.  After a bunch of years of messing with the GM over whether or not I was going to retire, those bastards decided that they could do without me and handed the starting job to that other dude.  What’s his name, Derek or Ray or something? 

Anyways, I’m still mad that they did that.  After all, I’m the MAN.  How dare they not let me unretire for the second or third time?  They should know that the real issue is that the new coach didn’t let me make all the decisions, and that riled me, and I was just trying to assert my rightful place as the unquestioned leader of the franchise.  Plus, I don’t really like training camp.  Give me three warm-up throws and a couple 11 on 11 drills, and I’m good to go.   That’s how awesome a player and person I really am.

So now you understand why I got mad.  I am DYING to get back into that stadium and soak up all of the wild cheering of my adoring fans.  Plus, I want to show those lousy bastards in Green Bay’s front office that they messed with the wrong dude; that I am NOT washed up and they shouldn’t have let me go in the first place.  And please, don’t judge me based on that year in New York.  I wasn’t really motivated enough there.  I only even agreed to go there because it was the easiest way to keep my name in the news.  Plus, there were all these restrictions in the agreement between the Packers and the Jets that prevented me from going to the Vikings like I wanted to, so I had to play SOMEWHERE for a year. 

Now that my year in purgatory is over, I am psyched to play against the Packers for the Vikings.  I know, I know, it seems that this is kinda late in the summer to finally make the move, but who really needs training camp anyways?  😉  I can’t wait to walk into Lambeau Field and light it up.  So to all of my fans, I say watch me!  It’s going to be an awesome year!  And to the Green Bay Packers’ coaches and management:  SCREW YOU!!!”

No Margin For Error

August 10, 2009

Pat Kane ends up in the klink after being arrested for beating up a taxi driver and robbing him.  OK, this sounds crazy but barely plausible.  Next thing you know, everyone is yelling for Kane’s head and wondering how a big name dude does something so stupid.  The inevitable “privileged asshole athlete” theme begins to overtake the commentary.  Sandy Beach is calling for him to go to jail (with the snide comment “if he’s guilty, of course”).

But wait.

Turns out Kane and cousin may have been locked in the cab by the driver, who thought they were just a couple college kids who might skip out on a fare.   The driver’s lawyer is now trying to downplay the incident.  Reports that the driver has gotten into spats with customers before are beginning to make their way to the media.  Hmmm.

What this sounds like is a couple kids that are probably a little intoxicated and one of whom is a pretty rich and famous hometown boy ran into a surly cab driver with a temper who was going to teach a couple college boys a lesson.  Then all hell – or, as is seemingly more likely, a smaller incident – broke loose and everyone ends up looking dumb.  People arrested, stories on the news and talk radio and every online media outlet in town, people who don’t know a hockey puck from a doughnut shouting their opinions at each other.  What this so clearly illustrates is that there is little room for error for those in the public eye, or even those who either inadvertently or purposely get caught in the glare of the media spotlight.

As a student of people – and who really isn’t? – I have a few questions.   Is this a new phenomenon?  Certainly the sheer size, reach, and ubiquity of media coverage is at an all time high.  Is it too much?  Are we expecting an level of behavior from our celebrities that is simply out of touch with the reality of their status as human beings, mere mortals, people who were born just like us?  I think that the money accorded these folks comes with an awful and almost unfulfillabe expectation.  Should we dial it back a bit?  Can we?  Or is this the bell that cannot be unrung?

I Miss You, Playoffs

May 6, 2009

I just got done watching two NHL playoff games; Washington vs. Pittsburgh and then the end of Carolina vs. Boston.  Both games went into overtime, and bothe ended rather early in that overtime period.  The Caps/Pens game was the main game broadcast on Versus, which is fine with me.  That was one hell of a good game.  Tight checking, scoring, hitting, skating, excitement, and everything else you want a good game to be.  Then, at the last, the Penguins scored on a shot from the point and the place went absolutely insane. 

It was at that moment that I realized how much I miss the Sabres being in the playoffs.  For a fleeting second I thought of how nice it would be to be a true Pens fan, like a good friend of mine is. and how awesome that would have felt to witness that win.  Now, any time that I think of myself as a Pittsburgh fan is a good time to slap myself straight.  And so I did, and now I’ve got a red spot on my face.  But anyways, that fleeting second has me wondering what it is going to take for the Sabres to return to that heralded tournament, to play for the Cup.  What has to happen?  Who has to go, who has to step it up, who needs to lead these guys?  

The sooner the Sabres get back to the playoffs the sooner I can start rooting for them and not trying to talk myself into rooting for the Caps because after all their star is cooler that Pittsburgh’s star and blah blah blah….

Unrelated Thoughts

April 21, 2009

I have a few things that I’d like to get off my chest, so let’s go!

The presence of Perez Hilton as a judge at the Miss USA pageant says all I need to know about the event.  I can also say without reservation that a woman’s position on gay marriage has no bearing on my calculation of her beauty, poise, or intelligence.  I may not agree with her, but I also think it’s completely irrelevant.

The weather in and around Buffalo, NY at this time of year is absolutely maddening.  Tomorrow night there will likely be a mix of snow and rain with temperatures around 35 degrees.  Saturday is supposed to be 72 degrees and sunny.  Of course it won’t be 72 at my house, since I live within 800 feet of the 38 degree Lake Erie.  It will probably be more like 60.  Oh well.

This time of year also brings the joy of the NHL playoffs, but there are two drawbacks this year.  One is that the Sabres aren’t playing, which decreases my interest in general and makes it difficult to find my true rooting interest.  The second is that since I have DirecTV I don’t get CBC – the Canadian TV channel that carries Hockey Night In Canada and airs a couple playoff games every night.  I don’t have a strong enough antenna to pull it in from across the lake over the air, either, so I’m SOL.

 

    win one for red

    March 24, 2009

    As I mentioned before, I have just about given up on the 2008-2009 Buffalo Sabres.  I pretty much skipped out of watching the game this past Saturday.  In fact, for the first time this year I was making plans to NOT watch any more games. 

    Then my Father-in-law gave me tickets for Friday’s game against the Maple Leafs.  It will be my first game of the year.

    So now, for me, the season comes down to this – win Friday, and I’m as OK as I will get this year.  The Sabres beating the Maple Leafs and not losing anyone to a career-threatening injury is about all I am asking out of the rest of the year.  Beat the Maple Leafs in front of about 8,000 of their fans so that I can laugh at them all the way out of the building.  Beat them so I can say that the only game I went to this year was  a good one. 

    I don’t know if they’ll even be in the playoff race anymore by Friday, but I’m not exprecting it, so that would just be icing on the cake.  And if they pull out the improbable and actually sneak into the playoffs, God Bless America and all hail the Blue and Gold. 

    But for now, please, no matter what, beat the Leafs Friday.

    casual friday

    March 20, 2009

    I have just finished watching the Buffalo Sabres fall in spectacular fashion to the Philadelphia Flyers.  In fact, I may have just finished watching the Sabres for the rest of the year.  I have been a Sabres fan for my entire life, and I know that next year I’ll be back, and the year after, and the year after that.  But as of now, I can’t take it anymore.  I can’t watch them lose.  I can’t watch them defile the uniform I love.  You know how I know that the Sabres have lost me?  Casual Friday.

    Every Friday is “Casual Friday” at work.  For all of the sports fans around the office, it’s almost mandatory to wear the team colors.  Well, for the first time this year, I couldn’t bring myself to wear my Sabres gear to work.  In fact, the number of people wearing  jerseys, t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc. has been dwindling down to almost zero.  ZERO.  And when I can’t even get myself to don a Sabres hoodie, I know it’s over.  Oh, sure, there are times in the middle of the year when the team might be haaving a rough spell, but somehow we all get through it with the colors flying.  But I know that it is time.  Time to cut bait and move on.  If by some miracle they win four in a row, I might come back.  But until that happens, I’m not going to put myself through the pain.

    On the plus side, I can probably break out my Bills gear until they completely implode.  Ought to give me a good few months, anyways…

    home game my ass

    December 4, 2008

    This Sunday, the Buffalo Bills will play their “home” game in Toronto.  I don’t care about regionalization of the team, the money Ralph Wilson’s getting out of this, or any possible positives that are suppsed to come out of this.  There is no justification for playing our home game against the Miami Dolphins anywhere besides Ralph Wilson Stadium.  None.  Just so we’re clear.

    when did this happen

    June 10, 2008

    The other night I watched the first game of the 2008 NBA Championship between the Celtics and the Lakers.  This might not sound very monumental; after all, I was only one of about 13.4 million people to tune in for the show.  What is remarkable about this is that I haven’t watched a basketball game intentionally in about 10 years, and it’s been more than 20 years since it wasn’t a college game.  I’ve since acquired a certain opinion of the sport and it’s players and coaches that I’ve never seen fit to change.

    So why did I watch?  The only reason that I tuned in at all was that it was the Celtics and the Lakers.  They were the dominant teams the last time that I had any inkling to follow basketball, and I suppose there was a certain nostalgia to it.  I also think that I somehow figured this was a perfect time to validate my opinion of the NBA and sport in general by saying “look, I used to love this game, and these were my favorite teams!  But they done gone and ruined it with the me-first selfish stupid showboating and other BS antics off the court too so there.”  

    Then something cool happened.  The game was good.  The players were running hard and playing hard and they were teams, not just a collection of spoiled stars bitching about fouls and acting like brats.  I was surprised.  I was pleased.  I think I might watch the sport again once in a while.  It was a complete shock in that it was so totally not what I expected from the game at all.

    It’s not going to drag me away from hockey by a long shot, but it might be something on those nights when there’s no Sabres game and those jackass announcers from Versus make me want to throw my TV through the window.  

    Go Celitcs! 

    (I am Irish, after all…)

    sabres, a little late

    April 27, 2006

    I never did get to talk about my take on the Sabres v. Flyers game 3.  The Sabres were ripe for a let down and they sure didn't disappoint.  I missed most of it due to 2 rather demanding children and a wife that was at some home interiors party.  I thought they picked it up a bit in the third, as Philly appeared to tire out.  So that's a good sign.  The Sabres must win tomorrow night, or this series gets somewhere Buffalo doesn't want to go….long.  For a better look at things, go to BfloBlog.