Archive for August, 2008


This Post May Contain Hockey Content

August 28, 2008

I spent some time tonight mucking around in the WGR audio vault, and found these recent tidbits.

– Andrew Peters has been bartending at Pearl Street this summer as a fundraiser for the Center for Missing & Exploited Children. For his last gig this past week, he invited along Roy-Z, Paetsch, Mair , Paille and Kaleta to help out and sign autographs and mingle. I would’ve loved to have seen these guys trying to bartend.

– It sounds like the boys are slowly starting to trickle back into town. Paetsch mentioned that he and the guys he’s skating with at the Pepsi Center are now up to 5 weekly on-ice workouts. The same guys mentioned as Peters guest bartenders are the core of the little Sabre skating group, with the addition of Marty “Chatterbox” Biron in net. In addition, we also have Breaking! Timmy! News! Patches reports that Timmy is now back in town and skating with them, and looks to be in the best shape of his career. Which, of course means that Timmy will have a tragic toenail clipper accident at training camp and be out for half the season.

– Not in the WGR audio vault, but still highly informative and entertaining, was this article regarding the Michigan State Pro Hockey Camp. MSU opens its doors for a week to its famous NHL/AHL alumni for a week in August. They spend time with the MSU coaches, working on plays and conditioning. And of course, who shows up at this event? Our very own Ryan Miller, who looks darn good. It looks like the offseason agreed with him, and that he was able to relax and bulk up (and lose a pair of shoes, if the first picture in the camp’s gallery is any indication).

– Also, Michael Phelps hosting SNL could either be the best thing ever or the best trainwreck ever.


Whod’ve Thunk It?

August 26, 2008

– In today’s paper, Bucky fulfills his yearly quota of writing a column that I actually agree with. I fully expect antagonistic Bucky to return any day now.

– I had to stop at Wegmans this morning, and as I was checking out, the woman behind me was gloating to the cashier about one of the items she purchased: pancake batter in a can. The batter came in a container similar to what Reddi Whip comes in. Tell me, is it really that difficult to whip up some Bisquick and some other ingredients to make pancakes? Is it really more cost efficient to buy Pancakes in a Can? (The can was over $5. I couldn’t see how many servings it had, but I doubt that you could get more than one meal out of the can.) How long until Sandra Lee uses this product on her show and pronounces it the greatest thing since sliced white bread? Or she’ll get it mixed up with her Reddi Whip during cocktail time and chaos will then ensue.


Its All Over

August 24, 2008

After the broadcast of tonight’s closing ceremonies, I will have my life back. There will be no more staying up late to see who’s going to win the beam final, no more wondering how the heck the horsies survive during water polo. Kidding, I know there aren’t horsies in water polo. But I would love one of those bathrobes the Team USA men were sporting. They looked rather toasty.

Now that the Games are over, I will be able to try and keep up with my same day viewing of General Hospital. I can stop wondering how the rhythmic gymnasts can a) bend that way and b) keep the ball or hoop moving at all times. I can stop reading mentions of Michael Phelps, though I do think the poor dear is in for a shock when he realizes that he’s now become a TMZ darling. The all-Olympics, all the time mentality can be put back on the shelf until 2010, when the world gathers for the Winter Games in Vancouver.

Canada is already preparing for the 2010 Games. I saw this commercial on CBC the other day, and think its absolutely adorable.

So until the Olympic fervor starts up again in a year and a half, I leave you with one final U-S-A! U-S-A!


The One Time That Peer Pressure Could Be A Good Thing

August 22, 2008

– I saw a very interesting article in USA Today regarding the philanthropic organization Right to Play.For those of you not familiar with this organization,

Right to Play is international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills, and foster peace for children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world. Working in both the humanitarian and development context, Right To Play trains local community leaders as Coaches to deliver our programs in more than 20 countries affected by war, poverty, and disease in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The hockey fans in the room may be familiar with Right to Play from seeing intermission features featuring Andrew Ference of the Bruins.

Johnson & Johnson has teamed up with Right to Play and US Olympians in a unique fundraising effort. If USA Olympians sign up at the Beijing games to be Right to Play ambassadors, and win a medal in their given sport, Johnson & Johnson will donate money in their name to the organization ($20k for a gold medal, $15k for a silver and $10k for a bronze). 6-time medalist Natalie Coughlin has already had $80,000 donated to the organization in her name. She is on a quest to get Michael Phelps to sign on, as his 8 medals would mean J&J would have to donate $160k. That dollar figure would be enough to enroll 52,000 children in the program and get 1,600 coaches involved. That’s a tremendous amount of good.

C’mon Michael. Step away from the money making deals for a second and do something good.

On a lighter note, I really do like this video explaining the Olympic ring tats that a ton of swimmers have.

I also enjoy the look of pure bliss on Phelps’ dog’s face.


A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

August 20, 2008

– I’ll let you come up with some of them after you review this photo of Jay McKee at a Carly’s Club fundraising event.

And I don’t know if those are the respective Mrs. Jay and Mrs. Baby Joe, so please don’t ask. (For the record, Baby Joe’s political site doesn’t have any mention of a Mrs. – which, hello, political site, family should be all over that thing).

– Its good to hear that Trent Edwards’ “deep thigh contusion” isn’t serious. I just find it funny that injury reports list a player as day-to-day. By definition, every human being is day-to-day. There has to be a better descriptor out there for the injury report, right?

– I realized today that Gossip Girl starts back up on 9/1. And the new 90210 starts the same day. Whoo! Real TV again!


NOT What You Want to Make ESPN For

August 19, 2008

– If the good folks at Wilson Central thought the Buffalo media was putting them through the wringer, they apparently haven’t met the good folks at ESPN. The Wilson Central hazing case is featured on ESPN’s Outside the Lines page. And while the writing style of the author does make my head hurt a tad, she does do a good job of presenting how this hazing incident has divided the town.

-Continuing with the Phelpsie coverage, is he shopping at the Hipster Emporium?

That is such a Crunchy-esque hoodie, isn’t it?

– Matt Lauer and Al Roker attempt rhythmic gymnastics. I think I hurt myself laughing at this one.


Take Marty Out to the Ballgame

August 18, 2008

1. I’ve missed Marty’s rambling conversation style.

2. How adorable is Marty’s son?

3. The Philly Phanatic is awesome. How can you not love a mascot that lists a “slight case of body odor” as one of his attributes?

– In some non-hockey related news, imagine the ratings gold that would result from Michael Phelps taking on Chad Johnson (aka Ocho Sink-o) in a swim race? Judging by this interview, Phelps sounds like he would be game to it, and also realizes that he would get his rear handed to him if the two of them competed in a foot race.



August 16, 2008

– Normally, close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and nuclear war. But I guess we can add Olympic swimming to the list. Check out this photo essay of the ending half meter of last night’s 100m fly.

– And Canada finally won their first medals of the Beijing games. Within an hour, they went from having 0 medals to having one of each color. Oh, Canada, you did good!

– And the gold medal for worst translation ever, goes to…. 🙂


Here, Goosie, Goose, Goose

August 14, 2008

From this morning’s edition of Mary Kunz Goldman’s Buzz column

While Buzz was scouring sales, teams were scavenging Allentown in the second Buffalo Scavenger Hunt. Participants had to find things –a Buddha statue, a Gusto, a Buffalo Sabre, etc. (Oh, wait, the Sabre was last time. Someone brought back Paul Gaustad.)

Did someone just go up to Goose and say “Hi. I need you for a scavenger hunt. Come with me?” If so, that’s pretty awesome.

I like hearing about how these guys get involved – however unintentionally – in the Buffalo community.


The Olympic Commercial Extravaganza

August 13, 2008

In addition to the athletic performances going on at the Beijing Olympics, the business performances are gaining a fair amount of leverage. Not only is there an increased commercial presence on the broadcasts, but there’s also quite a significant commercial presence on the Olympic Green in Beijing. Many companies have set up pavilions in the area surrounding the main Olympic venues, but are kvetching that there’s significantly less foot traffic than was promised by organizers. (Rumor has it that the security is extra stringent, leading to less people being allowed in to mingle in the pavilions and shops.) But I don’t want to write about that part, I want to write about the commercials that we see during broadcasts.

In my opinion, some of the ads that have been created for the Games are outstanding. I absolutely love this Coke commercial.

The little birds are adorable, and really does a good job of highlighting the unique architechture of the main Olympic stadium.

I’m normally not a basketball fan, but there’s something about the juxtaposition of the current USA men’s basketball team and Marvin Gaye’s national anthem that really makes this commercial. This video is the long form version of the current :30 ad. I give mad props to the agency that created the Nike commercial, as its tough enough to create (and get approval on) a :30 spot, let alone a 2:30 extended version.

I hadn’t seen this ad until I tripped over it on YouTube, but Michael Phelps + his dog is always good (even if the subject matter is a little dry). I also love the name Herman for Phelps bulldog. That’s such a great name for a dog. (Me, when I get a dog, I’m naming him Edgar.)

And Phelps is not a half bad actor, either.

Moving on, and this is not related to either the Olympics, commercials or Michael Phelps, but has anyone else noticed that Tony Reali on PTI has bulked up? I noticed yesterday that his biceps were pretty huge, and then today, the t-shirt he was wearing really showed off the pecs (though he does need to be careful to not cross the border from pecs to moobs). Its a little jarring, since Reali used to be kind of scrawny.

That concludes another day of non-hockey related content here at Shots off the Crossbar.