Archive for July, 2008

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He Really Wants to Be Here…Maybe…Kinda…Yeah-ish

July 31, 2008

It sounds like Craig Rivet is finally coming around to the idea of being a Buffalo Sabre.

I’m glad that while Soupy and Mike Grier were busy trashing the Sabres organization, they took a few minutes to praise both the City of Buffalo and the people of Buffalo. I’m more shocked that Doug Gilmour (!) praised the City of Buffalo. Dougie left Buffalo on some not so good terms, if I remember correctly.

I realize that professional athletes life a different lifestyle than us fans, but why does he need a 5,000 square foot house? That size house could cause a husband, a wife and three kids to never see each other during the course of a day, as everyone probably has their own wing.

And in other news, SOTC Manor is back online after a devastating power outage last night forced us to abandon the internet. However, it was nice to sit outside and talk with our neighbors. It wasn’t so nice when we discovered a bat in our attic. He’s still there, and members of my family are taking on a bat-hunting expedition this morning. Heaven help us all.

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Bits and Pieces

July 28, 2008

- I was perusing the Sabres new variable pricing schedule and I couldn’t decide whether I was shopping for hockey tickets or jewelry shopping. Naming the ticket levels after different precious metals is slightly ingenious, as some of the gold and platinum games will set you back roughly the same amount of money as a nice piece of jewelry.

Of the games I indicated I would like as a birthday present, two are bronze games, and one is a gold game. That’s not too shabby. (NJ and Ottawa were bronze games, Philly was a gold game.)

I also think its very sneaky of the Sabres to put single game tickets on sale the same day as the open practice at the Arena that will feature the unveiling of the alternate 3rd sweaters. The arena is going to be a clusterfuck that day, what with people crowding the ticket line and people crowding the Sabres store.

- In Buffalo, we bitch and moan about not having enough hockey coverage. In Columbus, they bitch about having too much hockey coverage.

- There’s a rumor afoot that the Indy Racing League may leave ABC/ESPN at the end of this season. One of the networks allegedly interested in picking up the rights to the series – and its signature race, the Indy 500 – is Versus. After seeing how they handle hockey coverage, I’d be worried about how they would handle auto racing. How long would it take them to work in Doc’s signature DRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE! call into a broadcast?

- For those of you that were engrossed in Puppy Bowl this year, there’s going to be another puppy special. The Puppy Games will air on August 8th, opposite the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. The dogs will “compete” in gymnastics, dog paddling and other events. Just looking at the puppy competitors and the countries they represent, I’m rooting for Germany (the Weimadoodle) and England (the retrievers and spaniels).

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Vogue: Write A List

July 27, 2008

I’m hopping aboard the bloggerly list-making bandwagon. Don’t worry, I brought orange slices for everyone. This is what I’m thinking about today.

1. Someone should tell Shia LeBeouf that being arrested for DUI (and hurting his little self in the process) isn’t a good thing. Most people were willing to overlook that “loitering outside a Walgreens” thing, but a DUI isn’t going to be that easy to overcome. I remember when he was just the sweet kid on “Even Stevens” (a Canisius 2002 O-Staff fave). Now he’s having run-ins with the law. Tsk. Tsk, Shia.

2. I’m watching the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race. Its boring as all hell, but there’s nothing else on the TV right now. I can say that if I was a person who paid good, hard earned money to sit in the stands for this fiasco of a race, I’d be demanding my money back. Due to excessive tire wear problems that can cause accidents, NASCAR is throwing what they call “competition yellows.” These caution periods (the yellow flag at a racetrack means caution, or “slow down you idiots”) allow the cars to come into the pits and change tires so that no one will be running on excessively worn tires. I get that its for safety purposes, but watching 10-15 lap segments during which no one is really racing hard because they’re worried that too much hard racing will cause their tires to go to hell, doesn’t really make for exciting racing. And when race tickets average $100 (or more), its a hell of a costly investment (when you factor in hotel, gas, food, etc) to watch 10-lap parades.

3. I started watching “Arrested Development” on Hulu yesterday. I like it. That is all.

4. I’m amused that so many of us bloggers (myself included) are amused at the type of book that Poz is reading. This says the girl who just finished “Lean Mean Thirteen” by Janet Evanovich.

5. Ever since I watched the video of “My Rifle, My Pony, and Me” on YouTube, I’ve had that song stuck in my head. It also brought me back to my Girl Scout days, as that was one of the songs we used to sing at camp. Only it was called “Purple Light,” since a song with rifles and ponies in the title might not have been the best thing for young, impressionable girls to sing.

6. The Erie County Fair guide was in today’s paper. Even though the same things appear at the fair every year, I still geek out over them. I have to see the Racing Pigs, visit the Mooternity Ward (and I want to note that Firefox recognizes Mooternity as a word), have some BBQ and a lime fizz, visit the agriculture buildings and look at all the produce and maybe visit the slots. Its a good way to spend a day for a reasonably small amount of money, and you never know what you’re going to see.

7. I’m totally pissed that I read this spoilery, spoilery article on Entertainment Weekly’s site about the Heroes season premiere. It gave away a lot, but still left a lot unanswered. I want it to be September already, damn it.

Mommy, I want one.

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That’s Not Something You Read In Rocks for Jocks

July 26, 2008

Perusing the Buffalo News this morning, I cam across this little tidbit about Paul Posluszny. He apparently does not have a television in his dorm room at camp, and the story picks up from there:

“I didn’t bring one last year,” Posluszny said. “Last year I was just so nervous about everything I didn’t have time to watch TV. So this year I said that’s fine, I don’t need one. I’ll catch the news in the morning, and I can keep myself busy without it.”

Posluszny owns a computer but he doesn’t have a laptop, so he doesn’t have that for a diversion at camp, either. He’s resorting to old-fashioned media to get away from football; he’s reading a book.

“I’m in the middle of a pretty good book right now, ‘Guns, Germs and Steel.’ It’s about why certain cultures, particularly the Europeans,developed the way they did,” he said.

The book, by Jared Diamond, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1998.

That’s not something you read – or even gain an interest in – in the simple classes that most collegiate athletes are shunted into. Seriously though, how many collegiate athletes are involved in athletic training / physical education / exercise science / general studies programs? I realize that those programs are the ones that usually co-exist the most peacefully with an athlete’s schedule, but what happens when they enter the real world (either instead of or after a professional career)? A physical education degree will only get you so far.

I like that Poz has a finance degree and that he graduated a semester early. I like that Crunchy appears to have gone back to school to finish his business degree (An internet search shows him with a 2005 graduation date. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. I just like that he’s older than me, but graduated two years after me.)

And that’s not where I thought this entry would go at all. :)

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Racecar Spelled Backwards is Racecar

July 25, 2008

The Edmonton Oilers are sponsoring a car at this weekend’s Edmonton Indy race. The new Oilers owner – and owner of the Rexall drugstore chain – generously made a donation to Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camps in order to have Rexall and the Oilers on the car. (Scuttlebutt says that this donation was in the $500k range.) Below, you can see three members of the Oilers at the car unveiling, presenting driver Graham Rahal with his very own Oilers jersey.

Oh, did I mention that Graham Rahal is a CBJ’s fan? Betcha that made for a small awkward moment during this whole photo op. At least the sponsorship is going to someone who knows his ass from a hockey puck. I wish I had the link to the video, but watching the Oilers players try to squeeze their cabooses into the car for photos was comical. Hockey players are all cabooses and thighs. Racecar drivers are tall and lanky or short and toned. There’s not that much room in that cockpit.

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Its a Muppet Kind of Day

July 24, 2008

Thanks to Heather B. and Matt, I have spent way too much time tonight watching Muppet clips on YouTube.

This one…is absolutely brilliant. It has all my favorite characters: Sam the Eagle, the Swedish Chef and Animal.

I need a hobby.

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He Really Wants To Be Here, Volume II

July 22, 2008

I honestly think that the Sabres are addicted to press conferences. Today wasn’t so much a “rally the fans after something bad happens and assure them that all is well”, type presser. Instead, we got a happy press conference allowing Ryan Miller to take the stage and explain why he stayed in Buffalo for six more years.

Miller stressed repeatedly that he stayed in Buffalo because the people embraced him, he’s playing with a group of guys that he knows and trusts, and he respects and trusts management and the coaching staff. He also stressed that it wasn’t about the money. If it was, he probably would have gotten the hell out of dodge on July 1, 2009. A guy that’s in it solely for the money, and not the love of the game or winning wouldn’t make a statement like this: I’d trade all the money in the world to be able to bring a Cup to Buffalo with my group of friends and my group of teammates.

That, my friends, is the textbook definition of loyalty. Miller pointed out that he’s spent seven years as a professional, and six of them, he’s played with the same group of guys. Kevin Sylvester mentioned that something like this is roughly the equivalent of graduating college and starting a job working with your college friends. (While that could be great fun, I worked with my college friends when I was in college. It was a miracle we got anything done). I really want these guys to be rewarded for staying together. They’ve come so close in two of the past three seasons. There’s no reason that this year can’t be theirs.

I have to give management a bunch of credit for doing whatever was necessary to keep the core group of Miller, Gaustad, Paille, Vanek and Roy together long-term. It meant that hard decisions needed to be made. We saw the end result of those hard decisions in February when Soupy left town at the trade deadline.

Time out for a second.

Miller’s left eyebrow is cocked higher than his right one. Its bugging the heck out of me because its in the center of my screen.

Time in.

Addressing the “I’m going to sign with Detroit next season” rumors was probably one of the best things Miller could have done. I did like that he pointed out that he’s only felt real loyalty to two teams: Michigan State and Buffalo. Detroit never entered the equation. Most of us knew that those rumors were complete bull, but it was nice to hear those words out of Miller’s mouth (again). So pbbbbbbt to those members of the media who insisted otherwise.

Miller seems happy and optimistic. Management is the same. Gaustad and Paille were enthusiastic when WGRZ caught up with them at a Camp Good Days event. The fans are enthusiastic and somewhat looking forward to the season. I wish we were dropping the puck today instead of in two months.

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Just a Few Links

July 20, 2008

- This has to be the nicest picture of Thomas Vanek that I have ever seen, and his new wife looks gorgeous. Congratulations to the happy couple.

- Shut. Up. Danica. Patrick. This is the second time in two months that you stomped off and confronted another driver for some slight (real or perceived). Your pout, argue and stomp schtick is getting old. Really old. The Indy Racing League doesn’t revolve around you, contrary to popular opinion. You’re not winning yourself any fans, and the few fans you have left are starting to see you as nothing more than a petulant child. Grow up already. (Just try to confront Paul Tracy next week at Edmonton, sweetheart. PT owns the chrome horn, and also hasn’t been afraid to dunk a bitch. He’ll squash you like a bug.)

- If you already haven’t been there, visit hulu.com. The site contains clips and episodes from certain TV shows and movies for free and with limited commercial interruption.  Its completely addicting and a great way to catch up on shows you haven’t seen, episodes you missed or find a new favorite show.

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He’s Just Happy To Be Here

July 18, 2008

In our continuing attempt to digest the fact that the Sabres signed someone – Ryan Miller – to a pretty significant long term deal, we here at SOTC listened to Miller’s interview with Howard Simon this afternoon.

He’s happy to be a Sabre, and was encouraged to sign with the team when he saw Gaustad get signed to an extension. (I do want to point out that Ryan was practically gushing over Gaustad, pointing out that Goose is growing into quite the player and quite the active guy in the community.) Miller also specifically said that in his heart he wanted to be in Buffalo. He could’ve tried out the free agent market, but what good would that have done anyone? The contract situation would have been a distraction during the season, and he didn’t want to deal with that. (Gee, who the hell does that sound like, Soupy? Then again, I do think that Ryan could have potentially given Soupy a run for his money in the “can’t play hockey and negotiate a contract at the same time” competition.)

He freely recognizes that his contract will give the media something to talk about when he has an off night, but hopes that doesn’t happen too often next season. I did like his point of view about how he learned from Drury and some of the other veterans about how stepping up to give an interview in the locker room does take some of the heat off the other guys. Drury and Briere did it for him, and now he’s stepping up and doing it. He reinforced that in his interviews he’s always honest with the press. Between Miller’s blunt honesty and Pomminville’s earnest enthusiasm, the media should always get a good quote.

He was briefly distracted from the interview when the pizza delivery arrived for the groomsmen’s lunch. (Younger brother Drew is getting married this weekend, and Ryan is the best man.)

He feels comfortable in Buffalo, that he can go to the grocery store, be recognized and yet be left alone to do his thing while shopping. Just speaking from the past experience at seeing a Sabre in the grocery store, I’d be too tongue tied to say much of anything other than “hi” to a Sabre.

Its, dare I say it, refreshing to have some optimism coming out of the media and the players. Last summer, the entire team turned into a bunch of kicked puppies after the co-captains left town. When your coach admits that it took a month for him to get over the loss of them, you know that all was not right with the team. I think the team was so busy trying to justify that they could survive without Briere and Drury that they beat themselves while doing it.

And while I haven’t listed to the full Darcy interview, reading a summary of it gives me a ton of hope. They’ve had productive talks with Teppo(!) and want him back in some capacity. If Teppo comes back, his presence combined with Rivet’s would give the team a very strong veteran presence on the blue line.

All in all, not a bad day, eh?

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Five More Years! Five More Years!

July 18, 2008

Yea, there’s really not much to say about Ryan Miller’s contract extension except:

1. WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

2. Suck it, Bucky.

3. Does this mean he reads SOTC, since I totally requested a contract extension in yesterday’s post?

4. The signing shows that Miller is committed to the team and the Buffalo area.

5. The guys that are all signing the long-term deals are all the guys that were brought up together and spent significant time in Rha-Cha-Cha. Miller, Goose, Roy, Vanek, Paille, C-Mac. Something has to be clicking in the room for these guys to stick around. And even if there wasn’t, as the almighty Goose said repeatedly in intereviews, we (the media and fans) don’t know the half of what’s going on.

More later when I can form coherent thoughts.

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