Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category


Sabres vs. Montreal – Take 1

November 24, 2007

– If I didn’t heart Timmy Connolly already, I would definitely heart him after his reaction to scoring his second goal of the season last night. In the midst of the goal huddle, he screams “fucking finally!” We read lips, Timmy. But hey, you can’t be a hockey fan and not know that profanity will show up at the randomest times.

– Max Afinogenov must be reading the internets. Every message board and blog has been taking him to task for his play lately. However, last night he was quite the beast. His play was consistent (minus an ill-timed penalty), and it seems like he might have gotten a message from the coach.

– Harry Neale: how do you not know who U2 is? RJ’s aghast reaction at your mention of this fact was priceless.

– The Sabres have been promoting the heck out of Miller and Staffy appearing with Ronan Tynan and the BPO. The press release on indicates that more players may be added later. Might I suggest Sabretooth playing The Little Drummer Boy using the drum he plays “Lets Go Buffalo” on?

Brad Riter (formerly of WGR) has a great Miller quote on his blog. While I’m glad to see Miller not worrying so much about being a leader, I still think this is his team. As he goes, so go the Sabres. He may not be wearing the “C”, but he’s still the most recognizable name on the team, and there’s the perception that name=leader. I hope this doesn’t mean that Miller’s keeping his mouth shut in the locker room, just that he’s choosing his battles a little more wisely.

– I caught the Devils highlights after the Shootout on MSG. I think I might finally get the Brodeur love that Interchangeable Parts has been spouting. Marty was completely self-depricating, relaxed and gave a great interview. He doesn’t look like your typical goalie – compared to Miller, Marty’s the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man – but that appears to be part of his charm.


Brought To You By The Letters WTF?

November 20, 2007

Moving away from hockey for a second, I was perusing yesterday’s NY Times, and found this review of “Sesame Street: Old School” featuring episodes from the early years of Sesame Street. What’s so unbelievable about this review is that the DVD box mentions that these Sesame Street dvd’s may not be appropriate for today’s pre-schoolers.

I’m sorry. Sesame Street. Not appropriate for children. What kind of alternate universe did I step into?

Apparently, its the universe of today’s child rearing. Where everything has to have some sort of underlying meaning, and can’t exist simply to exist. For example, the above NY Times review states that Sesame Street stopped doing the Monsterpiece Theatre sketch because first Cookie Monster smoked a pipe, and then later ate it. Apparently, this is wrong behavior for children to emulate. Which it is, but how many children out there are smoking pipes and then eating them because the big blue furry monster on the TV did so? (Don’t even get me started on the fact that they’ve made Cookie stop gobbling up his cookies and made him switch sometimes to healthier snacks).

How is this sketch objectionable to anyone?

Classical music? Cellos, honkers and dingers, oh my! (and this is where The West Wing fan in me says “Yo Yo Ma rules!”) Skits like this require a warning? I would think kids would love the combo of puppets and music, but what do I know? 

One of my favorite Sesame Street songs. I added it just because I could.

I’m surprised people haven’t had conniptions about The Muppet Show. We had an ADD animal, a scientist with a speech impediment, a narcissist as the female lead, and two grumpy old men in the balcony. Not to mention the content of the skits. Pigs in space, a swedish chef running around trying to kill half the cast so he could cook, not to mention the guest stars, some of whom were quite cutting edge for their day.

The crocs singing harmony kill me every time.

I’m just shocked that something that was such an integral part of my childhood isn’t considered good enough for kids these days. I watched Sesame Street in the early 80s, and I turned out alright. At least, I think I did.


The Kid is Alright

November 8, 2007

What a day for Clarke MacArthur. Getting called up from Rochester to play for the Sabres, having a halfway decent game, getting put on the ice in the OT and scoring the game winner. Not bad at all.

Just beautiful.

Read the rest of this entry ?


Live Every Shift

October 29, 2007

That’s the NHL’s new tagline for the year, being introduced in two commercials starting today: “Is This the Year” and “I Pledge.” Let’s take a look at both of them.

Is This The Year?

Ryan Miller, Sid, Ovechkin, Vinny LeCavalier, Eric Staal and Wayne Gretzky all make an appearance in this first ad. Its a very good commercial, and Miller does a very adept line reading (much better than his teammates in the Dave & Adam’s commercials). I like the line from Staal about finding this year who is Dad’s favorite. I even like that Ovie speaks in Russian. I’m not sure what Gretzky’s doing in the ad, other than to be there for the sake of being there.

The second commercial in this series promotes the Reebok jerseys, which is comical, considering the problems that the players have been having adjusting to them.

I Pledge

Thank you Crunchy, for pledging that a hole is only a hole if its open. Those are words of wisdom right up there with “books are the foundation of reading.” I’m not blaming you, I’m blaming the copywriter for that bit of triteness. I’m also a sucker for Sid’s line about playing for the logo on the front, not the name on the back. Sid looks good here, and I’m now feeling like a semi-dirty-old-lady for saying that.

The article discusses more of the behind the scenes details, including the fact that all of the players were shot helmetless, except for Miller. Well, duh. If you’re going to be filming a goalie stopping a puck, it might not be wise to shoot him helmetless. Especially when he is on a team where the coach might just cut a bitch.

I like the look and feel of these commercials. Its crisp and clean, which is what hockey is all about. I’m interested to see what other ones the NHL is going to roll out, and if they will continue to star these same players.


Friday Night Follies – Columbus v. Buffalo

October 19, 2007

Couple of things from tonight’s Sabres / CBJ’s game.

– RJ made it a whole 1:11 into the game before shedding his Coaches v. Cancer tie. Considering RJ never wears a tie, making it that far is quite the accomplishment. My mother observed that all of the Sabres coaches had on dark suits as well. Combined with the matching ties, she said they looked like they escaped from some boys boarding school.

– Harry Neale has given me my new favorite quote: being a hockey coach is like being a jackass in a hailstorm: you have no choice but to stand around and take it. I will work a version of this quote into my real life, since sadly, sometimes being a media planner works the same way, especially this time of year.

– The first intermission feature was all about Yo-Yo. His teammates weighed in with their opinions, and they all came to the conclusion that he’s quiet and likes movies. Goose has made it his personal goal to make Hecht (or Yokes, as Goose called him) smile in the mornings, as Yo-Yo’s not a morning person. Goose also shared the story about the last movie they watched on a plane together: Saw 3. They only made it about 5 minutes before Goose was clutching Yo-Yo’s arm, and they had to switch to another movie because they couldn’t handle it.

– Rayzor pointed out that Peca / Foote / Federov were directing traffic on the Columbus bench tonight. While he did say that if Hitchcock didn’t approve, it wouldn’t be happening; it sounds like this could be something that innocently starts out as veterans being leaders, but then turns into a veterans v. coaches rebellion. Maybe Hitchy could be an entry into the next coach fired derby?

– Miller played a decent game tonight. I really thought the team would rally after he stopped Nash on the penalty shot (and I’m surprised Tallinder did not get called for slamming his stick on the ice when the shot was called). Usually, a stop on a penalty shot rallies a team, but not this time.

– Miller also had two unintentionally funny moments tonight. The first occurred when the puck headed into the Sabres zone in the middle of the second period. The puck is chilling out behind the net, and there’s a good 5-7 second lapse before anyone in blue shows up to claim the puck, as they were in the middle of a line change. The CBJ’s get the puck and put it on net. Miller grabs the puck, and the camera zooms in on him, as he’s yelling, and shaking his head. I can’t read lips through a goalie mask, but the message his non-verbal communication was giving out was something along the lines of “do I have to do fucking everything myself?”

– The second unintentionally funny moment occurred when Miller drew the tripping penalty. He was whacked gently in the back of the calves. There was this two second pause, and then Miller wobbled like a little weeble, and fell down, throwing his arms up in the air. I wonder if he is taking a class at the Derek Roy School of OverActing and Embellishment?

Speaking of that school, I think Goose may be a pupil as well. When he was called for interference in the third period, he immediately put this angelic look on his face. It was a total “who me?” moment. Very Derek Roy.

– I want to end this post on an upbeat note. The broadcast did reveal the new Sabres team photo. Following previous year’s photos, this year’s is in the lets-all-line-up-along-the-bench-in various-states-of-undress style. Its a very nice photo, although Crunchy’s hair is kind of funky, Timmy’s head is really shiny, and Thiebault’s goalie gear is very bright. This photo is definitely on the shopping list for the game I go to in November.


Now Starring…The Buffalo Sabres

October 13, 2007

I work in advertising, so I’m forced to pay more attention to commercials than the average person. Whether its catching one of your client’s competitor’s commercials, and talking the next morning about how crazy it is and what the heck were they doing buying that show? Don’t they know that show sucks? And so on. Of course, with hockey season now starting, we’re now seeing more and more Sabres in commercials, especially ones airing in-game.

The first commercial we’re going to look at is the granddaddy of them all. Brian Campbell warning us of the dangers of hyperhydrosis.

Oh, Soupy. I hope you were paid handsomely for this commercial. Because the first time this ad ran during a game, we were talking about it the next day at work. And we were not kind. We did not know that hyperhydrosis was such a problem that it required a commercial, let alone its own special medical center. And I wonder what made them choose you for the commercial. Do you have a sweating problem? If so, I guess the new Rbk jerseys and all their difficulties would not be your friend.

As a media planner, I have to wonder who the target audience for this is ad is, since the only time I ever see this commercial is during Sabres games. Are they implying Sabres fans are a sweaty lot? The mind, she is boggled.

Continuing with Soupy, I was made aware of this new commercial for a local card emporium while looking online for an old school CCM style jersey.

I love how this commercial tries to make Campbell appear all threatening. If I were to really read into the symbolism of the commercial, I could say that the checking of the Philly fan could be a replay of his hit on Umberger. Or it could be a subliminal shout-out to the fans of what he’s going do when slag-faced whore #1 comes back to town later this year.

I also enjoy that Soupy is wearing a team sweater minus the team logo. Guess the Sabres did not grant permission for the logo to be used in this ad. It has that great “local commercial feel” as one of my professors once put it. (its a polite way of saying low-tech).

The same card place also has another commercial featuring Andrew Peters.

For some reason, I find Peters wanting a Poz jersey pretty funny. Between that, and the fake punching, this has the potential to become comedy gold.

Moving into the PSA category, we have Paul Gaustad’s version of “give a hoot, read a book.”

I do have to commend Goose for getting involved in a PSA, rather than a for-profit commercial like his teammates. Unlike the previous commercials, this one also has special guest stars, with Nathan Paetsch, Marty Biron and Sabretooth reading along. The oddest image from this ad is Marty Biron in full goalie gear reading a book in the crease. Everyone else is in street clothes, but Marty’s in gear. An artistic choice by Marty? (Marty could probably have read half the contents of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library had he been allowed to read while sitting on the bench.)

And this commercial also left us with the immortal truth that books are the foundation of reading. The moral of the story is make like Goose and go read a book.

The season is still young yet, which means many more opportunities for your favorite players to appear in ads. Stay tuned to your sets.


Media Guide Snippets

October 11, 2007

Non-serious blog post ahead. You’ve been warned.

The Sabres posted their 2007-08 media guide online today. I won’t bore you with the statbits of the thing, instead I’m going to talk about the most important stuff: what the players had to say about themselves. Sadly, no one reports the existence of a Boxworthy or a pet chinchilla, but there’s still some funny things.

Brian Campbell’s favorite food is a chicken finger sub. This is a refreshing change from the drudgery of chicken, pasta or steak that his teammates have. (Side note: did you ever notice that chicken finger subs always taste better late at night, especially after you’ve been out on the town and are maybe just a little bit tipsy?) His favorite concert was Justin Timberlake at the Arena this spring, which I agree was a faaaaaaabulous show.

I had to look up Tim Connolly’s favorite athlete (Doyle Brunson). He’s a poker player. Are poker players athletes? I could argue till I’m blue in the face that a race car driver is an athlete, but I can’t argue that poker players are. Sorry, Timmy. I’m also intrigued by the fact that he would own a winery if he wasn’t a hockey player.

Goose’s hero is his brother. (Everyone now: aaaaw).

Jochen Hecht lists his hobbies as biking and ping-pong. You don’t see ping-pong played all that much anymore.

Ales Kotalik’s favorite karaoke song is Californication. I would pay good money to see him sing this song.

Toni Lydman lists his children as the most influential people in his life (again, awww), and his favorite concert is Pantera in 1994. I love how someone who innocently looks like the love child of Hillary Rodham Clinton and a baby chick after a nap (TM Katebits) lists heavy metal as his favorite band.

Ryan Miller’s favorite concert was DMB. I honestly expected more from Crunchy, after seeing his iTunes playlist. He just named the same band as every other college-educated guy that is the same age as Miller and me. But I’m going easy on the Crunchster, since he put in an amazing performance last night, and has a lot going on off the ice.

Teppo’s (and I’m so happy they included him here) favorite food is mashed potatoes and meatballs. Both components individually are yummy, but taken together, sound like something that Sandra Lee would put together and call it haute cuisine.

Nathan Paetsch lists his nickname as Nate. I have to admire Patches for this one, since it seems like he answered this question in the way it was intended. While every other guy answered with his hockey nickname (Soupy, Goose [he provided that, which should end the Goose/Paul/Paulie debate], Mairsy, Millsy, Roysie), he answered with Nate, which it seems like people would call him in real life, not just at the rink.

Daniel Paille is my new hero. Not only is his nickname Pie, but the most embarrassing song on his iPod is “Hanging Tough” by NKOTB. I’m a girl, and I don’t even have that song on my iPod. I will admit to Hanson, but I don’t have any NKOTB.

We make it all the way to Andrew Peters before we have the first mention of Nickelback, so there may be hope for these guys yet. (Side note: Wayne Gretzky is in the video for Nickelback’s Rockstar. Youtube won’t let me link it here, but the video’s pretty funny. )

Drew Stafford. Where do I start with Staffy? The nickname D-Money? The naming of Zach Parise as his favorite athlete? (Boxworthy must’ve slipped him some cash for this one.) The fact that he considers Ahhhnold or Phil Collins the biggest influences in his life? Oh Staffy, you kill me.


And while he’s not a Sabre anymore, seeing this image of Marty Biron had me dying.

Why am I imagining a WGR “Marty Miked” segment? I see Marty rambling about how Lindy would metaphorically talk about putting their nuts in a sling, and now that he’s gone to Philly, his nuts are now literally in a sling and he doesn’t like that.