Archive for September, 2008

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Where Was This When I Was In School?

September 30, 2008

I took a class called Economics and Sports when I was a junior in college. It was an Honors seminar and old Bobby Buts assured me that I would have no problem with the class. I trusted BB’s judgment. That was my first mistake. The first day of class, I realized I was screwed. It was way more economics based than sports based. Did I mention that I had never taken an economics class before? This class was the worst class (just ahead of Religion and Politics) ever. I think that class broke my brain.

So perusing CNNSi today, I read that Bates College is offering a class on the “Red Sox Nation.” That’s right, this freshman only class focuses on the reach of the Boston Red Sox and baseball into popular culture. I got stuck reading about contracts and charts and these guys are studying baseball and pop culture.

So. Not. Fair.

- One, two, three, four…Goose will not declare a thumb war. Thumb surgery has put Gaustad on the sidelines for a minimum of three weeks. With Adam Mair out, that really leaves the Sabres with only Peters and Kaleta to serve as the role of big tough guy. But, on the other hand, could it give Gerbe or MacArthur a chance to stay in Buffalo for a little while longer. It will be interesting to see how the lineup shakes out over these next two weeks.

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Ovie For POTUS?!

September 29, 2008

ESPN Magazine compares Ovechkin’s current status in Washington to that of a political candidate.

Very presidential, no? (Photo from above linked article.) I’d vote for him.

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The Checkered Flag Drops One Final Time

September 27, 2008

Actor, racer and humanitarian Paul Newman passed on last night after a long battle with lung cancer.

Anyone who visited the paddock of a Champ Car / Indy Car race had an opportunity to interact with Mr. Newman. He was always a fixture on Newman/Haas/Lanigan’s race wagon and often seen in the team’s garage chatting with mechanics about his team’s performance. He would often stop and talk with fans if approached, but would never sign autographs. That was a surefire conversation killer. So was asking about Hollywood and his movie career. Want to talk about how a Lola chassis is reacting to a Ford engine? He had all the time in the world.

Godspeed, Mr. Newman. They broke the mold when they made you. You will be missed.

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Now They’re Paying Attention

September 26, 2008

Seems like the Bills 3-0 start has now caught the media’s attention. First, there was a nice write-up in Sports Illustrated. Now, Trent Edwards is profiled on the front page of the USA Today Sports section.

I think its incredibly sweet that his older sister moved here from California to live with him, since she was afraid he would fall into the lonely existence of a professional athlete. (This makes Miller’s “I’m not a rock star” comments all the more poignant. Maybe he needs a family member or BFF to crash with him? Oh wait, that sounds like we’re heading into Entourage territory. Never mind.) It also sounds like Edwards’ sister is the unofficial den mother to those members of his rookie class, as she often cooks dinners for Poz and Lynch. Maybe rookie camp needs to include a cooking class?

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Mascot Helps Out

September 25, 2008

I saw this video during the happy-happy segment on yesterday’s PTI.

Who knew mascots were good for perp apprehension?

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Media Fun

September 24, 2008

- Pat Kane and Jonathan Toews became the latest members of the Blackhawks to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at a Cubs game. While they shouldn’t give up their day job, they did a reasonably respectable job.

- There really weren’t any surprises in this year’s Sabres Media Guide. Everyone eats chicken, loves U2 and DMB and credits their parents as being the most influential people in their lives.  However, the photographer or stylist somehow managed to make Gaustad appear to have a fivehead that could rival Tyra Banks’.

Oh well, you work that fierce fivehead, Mr. Gaustad.

(Sidebar: Can I just tell you that I’ve rediscovered America’s Next Top Model after a five cycle hiatus? How did I get by without the ridiculousness of Tyra, the wackiness of Ms. Jay and the Small Orange Man, and the squicky hotness of Nigel Barker?)

- Continuing with the photo theme, Getty Images has some shots posted of Miller’s “stylized photo shoot” that occurred during his NYC trip (just search the site for “buffalo sabres” under sports and they’ll come up.)

I can’t decide whether this makes him look like a politician-in-training or a funeral director.

His face may be obscured by the Getty Images copyright, but the death glare still rings through. Glad to see some things don’t change.

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Meet The Guys

September 22, 2008

The IPB Fantasy Hockey Leagues held their annual draft this past weekend. House rules dictate that participants can only draft players from the conference opposite their favorite team. So once again, I will be getting a crash course in the Western Conference. Setting my pre-draft rankings was a bit like the player selection scene in Major League (“who are these fucking guys? / This one’s dead! Cross him off the list then.”) Last year, my team, the Mother Puckers, finished 5th in the league. I can only hope to move upward this year.

After the draft, I was pleasantly surprised at how this year’s team – christened The Little Honkers – has shaken out:

- Roberto Luongo, Ales Hemsky, and Marek Zidlicky are all returning for a second year on my team. I still have a Sedin on board, but this time its Henrik, instead of Daniel.

- I’ve also picked up a couple of Blackhawks. Brian Campbell will alternately cause me to cheer wildly and swear like a lunatic. In other words, it will be like he never really left town! I also managed to pick up Pat Kane. No, not in that way. Remove heads from gutter, then continue reading this post.

- The Stars also have a small presence on the Honkers, with Mike Ribeiro, Matt Niskanen and Marty Turco all looking to play a key role. The only one I’m not sure about is Niskanen. I don’t know a lot about him. Hell, for a good chunk of last season, I thought he was Swedish.

- And what team is complete without some sort of criminal element? Kristian Huselius – one of Tallinder’s co-defendants in the Swedish sexcapades a few years back – fills this role this year.

So yeah, its going to be a fun year. First opponent is Meg’s Mutinous Peons.

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It..Just…Football…and other stuff

September 21, 2008

- Wow. I really thought the Bills were toast today. I’m still in shock at today’s win over Oakland. I really thought the game was over when the Raiders scored their final touchdown. While I’m not normally one to advocate unsportsmanlike conduct, I did think that Donte Whitner’s in-endzone tackle on that touchdown was called for. That was a “bitch, please” penalty, after the Raider taunted him for the final five yards of the run. Also, Trent Edwards came back from a not so great first half to play a pretty spectacular fourth quarter. Did anyone else catch him shaking out his wrist and hand late in the fourth? He took a couple solid blows, but never gave up.

- Buffalo.com (now the slowest site known to mankind) has up some more photos from Puck Drop.

Think Peters and Kennedy had a discussion over the “Let’s Hug It Out” shirt?

- Sounds like Miller has also thrown down the gauntlet with the team’s prospects.

We’ll see what happens when they’re out of the shinny hockey and into the real stuff,” Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller said. “I’m not ripping on them. I think they’ve got great skill. But the step into playing physical around these guys, it’s tough. It’s not just something every person can do. I’ll be interested to see how they handle camp as it gets a little more competitive.”

The challenge has been issued. Let’s see how the kiddies meet it.

- The Winter Classic DVD being sold by the Sabres is a great look back at one of the best days in Buffalo hockey. It does spend more time on the rink building aspect than anything, but it does go into the locker room during practice and game day. There’s highlights of Lindy’s game strategy, Spacek trying to give a pep talk, and the equipment guy fearing that the chili he made for the team on practice day would give them food poisoning. This part was a nifty bit of editing, as the editing monkeys cut it with a shot of Gaustad saying it was good, but hopes no one gets sick. Ha.

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Puck Drop Report

September 20, 2008

WARNING – PHOTO HEAVY, WORDY POST AHEAD!

I just got back from Puck Drop, and it was so nice to see actual hockey being played. Even though it was just a scrimmage, and there was no hitting, it was good to see the scoring, the skating and the creativity on the ice.

Hockey, Its Good To See You Again!

I fully admit to having edited the above photo in Picasa. The flash of my camera was having a blast catching the reflective stripes on the jerseys. Making the photo black-and-white really made the stripe pop.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Pommer Signs!

September 18, 2008

In some surprising news today, Pominville signed his contract extension with the Sabres. The population of Pominville will continue to grow in Buffalo for five more years. And the terms of the deal (5/26.5) are probably as close to the mythical 5/25 deal as we’re ever going to get.

With Pommer under contract, six Sabres are locked up with long term deals. I think we can agree that Vanek, Roy, Hecht, Gaustad, Pommers and Miller aren’t six bad choices to build a team around. Miller – when he’s on – is one of the best goalies in the world. Gaustad and Hecht are the quiet, yet dependable lunchpail guys. They’re going to show up game in and game out. Vanek and Roy provide the flash and panasche, while Pominville has developed into a quiet leader.

Now that the deal has been done, and done before Pommer’s self-imposed Friday deadline, let us move on to more important things. Like, what the heck are Sabres fans going to bitch about now? If we don’t have something to bitch about, will we all implode?

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Pominville (and Sabre) memories.

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