#3 – The Internet
The internet has dramatically changed how I view the sport of hockey. Before I really discovered the hockey internet landscape, my primary sources for information about the Sabres – or even the NHL – was The Buffalo News, USA Today or ESPN. The former was great for local Sabres coverage, while the latter two dealt more with league matters, when they dealt with the NHL at all.
Then, I stumbled into the message boards. And I feared for my sanity. Hockey message boards make auto racing boards look like beacons of sanity. And Buffalo Sabres message boards really take the cake for drawing out their fair share of crackpots. (Crackpots…on the internet? Hard to imagine, right?)
After getting really pissed off at the message boards, I tripped over the blogosphere. And I’ve found nirvana. The blogosphere contains some of the wittiest and most intelligent hockey related discussion out there. Reading these blogs has expanded my knowledge of other teams (you mean there’s a conference out west? Surely you jest!) as well as educated me about some of the more quirky rules of the game and line items of the CBA (per diem and mortgage payments after trades? Hot damn!). I also like that more and more teams – especially the Sabres – have hopped onto the blog bandwagon. Pommers’ blog this season was a joy to read, as it allowed us to see what kind of a person he was both on and off the ice. Tim Kennedy’s blog during prospect camp gives us a look at what the youngins are up to. (I just wonder how many of these youngins are begging Kennedy, Kaleta and Orpik for invites home to dinner.) And of course, Miller’s wonderfully candid blog during the playoffs showed that even the biggest stars are figuring out this internet thing.
Outside of these two realms, Google friggin rocks. Google images is always good for that picture of Paul Gaustad in a tux or Jason Pominville looking adorably doofy. And Google News is always good for that completely random article from a player’s hometown paper. For example, I would like to submit this article to the Sabres as a reason to definitely give Gaustad a contract extension with a very nice raise.
And when I really need a laugh, “those boards” with the latest “extracurricular gossip” are a quick pick-me-up. Not only just because of the content posted, but because people actually feel the need to post such intimate details. Has no one any shame anymore? (Well, if that last sentence didn’t make me sound like my grandmother, then nothing will.)
On a completely unrelated note, Crunchy and I are no longer FIHTING. I sent a wonderfully calm, yet complain-y email about my visit to the Refinery, and received a response yesterday. Apparently the store is closed on Sundays during the summer months due to the closure of MSU. As a make-good, I was offered a 25% discount coupon. My inner negotiator is happy with the make-good and will probably put it towards the one Sabres shirt offered on the site. (I don’t buy “real clothes” through the internet, as a general rule.)