Archive for May, 2009

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He’s Alive!

May 26, 2009

Ah yes, Ryan Miller has updated his blog. It’s the usual blahblahblah travel/seeing the family cakes. However, I do have to wonder what weird, creepy shit was said that made him speak out about him not being on the big social networking sites. I know we all take our Facebook pages for granted, but can you imagine that these guys can’t even have their own Facebook for fear of being hounded by fans? I know probably half of them register under fake names or something to keep in touch with their friends, but still. They’re missing out on what is probably one of the key parts to being a 20-something today. (If I ever needed a fake name, I would totally go with “Regina Flange” in case you were wondering.)

- I saw this YouTube video mentioned on PTI, and of course, I had to go seek out the full version. During a five-hour rain delay during the Big East baseball tournament, UConn and USF had a dance-off to keep themselves and the fans amused. Watch the whole thing, you really won’t be sorry!

My favorites were the limbo, the irish jig and the Michael Jackson dance.

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Indy 500 Live Blog

May 24, 2009

This is my attempt at liveblogging the Indy 500. If I make it through the race without hurling something at my TV set due to the overexposure of Danica Patrick, the shameless weeping of Helio Castroneves over being acquitted on tax evasion charges based on the “my client is a fucking moron” defense, or any other story that ABC chooses to beat into the ground, it will be a good day.

And away we go..

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Stuffapalooza

May 19, 2009

- Patrick Kane has been all over the media today. Bucky Gleason did an excellent profile of him in today’s Buffalo News, and ESPN profiled him via stories and other embarrassing information provided by his parents and sisters. I’m sure after reading the ESPN article, Kaner will be hearing no amount of grief from his teammates over dance parties, karaoke and still sleeping in his childhood bedroom when he goes home. After reading both articles, I kind of want to carry Kane around in my pocket. At times he sounds like a grownup and yet, there are other times he still sounds like the 20-year-old kid that he is. Irregardless of where he goes and what he does, it sounds like he’s still grounded in South Buffalo. And I do like that he addresses – somewhat indirectly – the perception that he can be an arrogant little shit. Heh.

- Favorite search term of the day: “the stick that Sidney Crosby youses.” I can honestly say that this is the first time I’ve ever seen that word spelled that way. Where has our educational system gone awry?

- I’ve been looking at the weather report all day trying to figure out whether hell has actually frozen over, since I enjoyed both Bucky and Jerry Sullivan’s writings in today’s paper.

- The Toronto Star had an interesting article the other day, ranking North American cities based on the winning percentage of their sports teams since 2000. For this purpose, “sports teams” is limited to NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL/CFL organizations. The #1 city was Indianapolis, with Boston at #2 and Vancouver at #3. Of the 37 cities ranked, Buffalo fell in the 29th position. Since the Bills and the Sabres were at varying levels of mediocrity throughout this decade, I was curious as to what the team’s actual records were and how this ranking could have been achieved.

Since 2000, the Bills record is 60-84. By my rough math, this gives them a .416 winning percentage in eight seasons. The Sabres record in that same time frame is 330-245-33-48, with a points percentage somewhere around .565 or so (I took an average of the percentages in the seasons under question for sake of simplicity.)

So what does this all mean? Who knows. It’s open to interpretation, especially since a city so rich in good/decent sports teams like Boston is falls second to Indy, which only has the Pacers and the Colts. In closing, I want to paraphrase something my research methods teacher once said: 25% of all research is crap. You make the call whether this study is or not.

- Joke time: In France, why do they only eat one egg for breakfast? Because to them, one egg is un oeuf. (Thank you, thank you. No applause. Try the fish.)

- This Bob Cole parody is absolutely brilliant. The writer has all of Cole’s verbal ticks down cold.

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Conference Final Preview

May 15, 2009

In the second round, the Tralalala Feeling Bits prediction method faltered a little, as I was 1-3 with my predictions. Thankfully, Pittsburgh saved me. So now I have an even .500 record predicting the first two rounds of the playoffs. I’m now putting this stellar record on the line with my conference final predictions.

Carolina v. Pittsburgh – Eastern Conference Final

In this series, which could probably be subtitled “The Battle of the Staals,” I have to root for Pittsburgh. Jordan Staal has a great nickname (Gronk) and has a decidedly less “Children of the Corn” vibe than his older brother. Pittsburgh has to move on because the world needs to see whether or not Sidney Crosby can actually grow a full playoff beard, or whether he will continue to rock the partial beard / Snidely Whiplash ‘stache thing he has going on now.

In the battle of the mascots, Stormy the Ice Hog sadly trumps Iceburgh. Stormy has his own autobiography on the Canes site, while Iceburgh does not.

Oh yeah…Carolina has Rod Brind’Amour. That schnozz is like a -57 on the point scale, and the dude’s nickname is Rod the Bod. That is a completely ridiculous nickname for a grown man that is not involved in professional wrestling.

Prediction: Pittsburgh in six.

Chicago  vs. Detroit – Western Conference Final

The league is already promoting this series as the Battle of the Original Six. Ok, great…there’s much more to the story than the Original Six angle. As I mentioned in my last playoff preview post, the Red Wings are like the old Red Army teams. Their trademark is playing good, solid, dominant hockey. The Black Hawks are a bit like the USA 1980 Olympic team; a rag tag group of kids who don’t know any better and are having the time of their lives. How can you not root for the spunky little underdogs?

Moving on, Chicago has one of the most addicting goal celebration songs: Chelsea Dagger by The Fratellis. I’m generally not an impulse CD buyer, but after watching the video and hearing the bits and pieces of the goal song, I went out and bought the CD it’s on. And the CD is fantastic, moving it’s way into permanent rotation in my iPod (under the peppy, pick-me up music category).

Also, you have to love the Hawks fans for their complete enthusiasm and cheering during the National Anthem before every game. I can feel the energy from the arena coming through my TV set.

In the battle of the mascots, Tommy Hawk trumps the ginormous inflatable octopus that descends from the rafters of the Joe.

Prediction: Black Hawks in seven.

So to summarize, I will be rooting for the Pens and the Black Hawks to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Let’s let youth have a say this year.

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Since When…

May 9, 2009

- When did Hamilton become the latest new place to move a hockey team to? Couple years ago, the Predators were all but packed and on their way. Now, Balsillie wants to move the Coyotes there and a group out of Vancouver wants to move the Thrashers to H-town. There’s no way in hell that Bettman lets either team move. He’s bound and determined that hockey remain ensconced in the southern part of the US. It would be admitting failure if he let a team leave the south. The recent success of the Caps and Hurricanes is proving that hockey can succeed south of the Mason Dixon line. But then again, for every Washington and Carolina, you have an Atlanta or a Florida. It’s not good for the league as a whole when reports constantly surface that rich people want to move less successful teams to any area that waves a bright and shiny arena at them. (And that’s not even taking into account the rumors of Wang moving the Islanders to Kansas City if he doesn’t get his new arena on Long Island.)

- The photo accompanying TSN’s article about Gonchar’s injury is absolutely stunning. It completely shows the pain, anguish and heartbreak running through Gonchar as the trainer tends to him. I’m constantly in awe of the high quality of photos put out by NHL related photographers.

- Puck Daddy has a scathing indictment from Gonchar’s agent of the double standard potentially exhibited by the league in regards to the Gonchar/Ovechkin contact. Good read, as JP Barry has the balls to actually say what a lot of us have thought occasionally regarding the behavior of Crosby, Ovechkin and other “stars.”

- I’ve had Indy 500 qualifying on in the background while doing some work for a presentation, and the network is doing a pretty good job of promoting its hockey schedule. However, I do want to give Indy announcer Bob Jenkins a brief  pronunciation guide to the word “Canucks.” It’s pronounced “Ca-Nucks.” Not “Ca-Nooks.” Please work on this before I throw something at my TV set.

- We know that the NHL is one of the more savvier leagues when it comes to the use of the internet and electronic communications. However, I bet most of us had no idea just how in-depth the NHL’s email efforts are. Mediapost reports that the NHL has an email database of nearly 1 million names and sends 62 e-newsletter versions per week. That’s pretty darn impressive, but the media geek in me wishes there were some stats in there like open rates and click throughs.

- While poking around on the internets, I discovered that Derek Roy was a participant in Buffalo Spree’s bachelor auction that was held in February. I’m dying to know just how much our little Roy-Z was auctioned off for.

- And speaking of Roy-Z, here’s wishing him and Lindy the best of luck in the Gold Medal game at the World Championships. And best of luck to Stafford and Team USA in the bronze medal game. I just hope that when they come back to town, they don’t show off their medals in the locker room. Otherwise, they may have to keep sharp implements away from Vanek. Dude sounds extremely down about what happened at the WC’s, that it was just the icing on the crappy cake that was his past season.

- I really kind of want this USA Hockey T-Shirt.

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Oh-So-Quotable

May 6, 2009

- Thank you Sami Salo for giving me the biggest laugh I’ve had today. When asked by the media about the exact nature of his injury, Salo played coy and replied that it could even be something as simple as a burning sensation when he pees. I know we all joke about hockey players and STDs, but I think this may be the first time I’ve ever seen it referenced by a player in the mass media. I love when players have senses of humor about their injuries and try to deal with the ridiculousness of the upper/lower/inner/outer body injury classification.

The thing is, I could see some of the Sabres resident wiseasses making similar jokes about injury statuses. While I don’t imagine that they would get as descriptive as Salo, I could imagine a little creativity being used by the boys. I can see things like “I can’t play because I just gave myself a manicure and my clear polish isn’t dry.” “I have a lower body injury from having relations with my wife on a piece of living room furniture, which then broke.” “I got my toe stuck in my faucet.” And so on.

Thanks to alix of Canucks Hockey Blog for tweeting about Salo’s amazing quote.

- From the statbit files, someone found my blog via the search term “Ovechkin, chill the fuck out.” And someone else found me with “who has Sidney Crosby slept with.” Those are definitely better than the usual ones regarding Ryan Getzlaf’s hairline (or lack thereof) and the girlfriends of Drew Stafford/Martin Brodeur/Ryan Miller, et. al.

- With the announcement that Jim Basillie wants to purchase the Coyotes and move them to Hamilton, sorry, an undisclosed market in southern Ontario, one cannot help but wonder how this would affect the Sabres. I seem to remember that the last time Basillie tried to move a team to Hamilton, that it would require him to make a very substantial payment to both the Leafs and Sabres, as Hamilton falls squarely within their market area. While there’s no doubt that the Greater Toronto Area could support two teams, it is likely that a team in Hamilton probably would affect the Sabres. I believe the last stats I read said that something like 10% of the Sabres season ticket base is from S. Ontario. While some of these people undoubtedly will remain loyal Sabres ticket holders, you can’t help but think that these people will undoubtedly jump ship and go to their “own” team.

The one group of people that I definitely feel sorry for are the Coyotes players and staff. It can’t be easy having your livelihood be the subject of so many rumors, speculation and gossip. While the players may be used to moving around, it can’t be easy for Suzy CreamCheese in the front office to be dealing with the uncertainty of her job and whether or not the team will be in Phoenix next year.

- If Basillie does move the team to Southern Ontario, I’d be curious to see how the league would be realigned. Nick Mendola of WGR has some intriguing thoughts on this subject on the WGR website. It really does make sense to align the teams using more of a geographuc sense. I mean, there’s no good reason why Columbus and Detroit should be in the Western Conference. It’s like the NHL decided to pick up some alignment tips from the NCAA when they decided that one.

The Coyotes situation does add some additional drama to the playoffs, that’s for sure.

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So Far

May 2, 2009

- If the remainder of the Red Wings / Ducks series is as good as Game 1, we’re in for some fantastic hockey. Game 1 was physical with good, hard play from both sides. I was kind of sad that Detroit won it in the third period, since I really wanted the game to go to overtime.

- I saw this Sabres article on Yahoo and was floored when I read this statement about Craig Rivet.

Rivet told the Sabres’ Web site he is already back in the gym, only two weeks after Buffalo’s season came to an end without a playoff appearance. The captain is eager to help his team right the ship.

He also wants help doing it. Rivet was acquired last offseason, and his new teammates almost immediately voted him captain. He is happy to lead, but he says the Sabres will need more guys to stand up if they want to make it back to the postseason after a two-year drought.

I’m not shocked about the leadership comments, since Rivet discussed those with the Buffalo News (and praised Gaustad and Timmy while doing so), but I am shocked that Rivet is already back working out after two weeks off. Is that a subtle gauntlet being thrown down for his teammates? Between that one and the one Miller threw down earlier about wanting players to come back mad as hell, it sounds like the accountability is going to be starting in the offseason. Less drunken whoring, more working out and making good choices seems to be the message du jour.

- While reading Buffalo Spree during a server crash at the office, I saw an ad for the Camp Good Days Gala. Once again, Paul Gaustad will be the honorary chair. The theme for this year’s gala is Star Wars. Now I know Goose will probably show up in a tux, and look quite yummy while doing so, but does anyone else think that he could pull off the Han Solo look?

- If any of you out there in bloggyland are cubicle drones like me, please go watch this week’s episode of The Office on Hulu. This episode deals with the two words of office life that are open to much interpretation: Casual Friday. I was dying while watching this episode.

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