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Category: sports

01/03/11 05:52 - ID#53388

Blaming Canada

The World Juniors Hockey Tourney formally kicked off last Sunday at the arena. I spent the the bulk of the week camped at sections 305-306 for the day.

And I’m glad I have the next day off. Overall, it was an entertaining experience. One actual brawl between a quartet of ugly americans over seats was thankfully ended before anybody got hurt. It did take a little bit for my nerves to resume normal operations. This aging usher isn’t crazy about that sort of fun when I’m outnumbered by a bunch of guys hellbent on proving how tough they are. Thankfully for swift security response, I could employ my older brother’s floor hockey technique of avoiding the actual action, but looking busy at the same time.

That was to start my third game of the day, the eventual US victory over Finland. Understand, this is basically a big Canadian party and much of the crowd was left over from Canada’s win over Russia (that was the best game of the day.). The building was jammed and energized and felt like a hockey game. I got a feeling we were looking at the two best teams. The first game of the day was between Switzerland and Germany and was played to a roughly half full arena. Some of the crowd was actually there for that, others were there to check their sightlines for the Canadian/Russian battle at 4.

I don’t know if the Bills games had anything to do with it, or if the Fins aren’t a big name opponent, but it was a little off to see the USA playing in prime time on National television in both the US and Canada (and presumably Finland) and the place wasn’t entirely full. If you are in to hockey at all and have the post Christmas means, I’d recommend checking it out. For the same reason college basketball is more fun than the pros, these young bucks move. International rules means fewer offsides, no fights, arguments get broken up quick, so the game really does move along.

And even the trash talk is mostly good natured, one of the canadian partisans invented the fried bologna/pretzel sandwich at the concession stand and stood eating that gastrointestinal miracle while explaining how if Finland beat the US, that would be good for the tourney. That bit of barstool philosophy was impossible to be an audience to without laughing.
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Category: sports

06/29/10 08:38 - ID#52053

Vuvuzela Blues

I’ve been paying casual attention to the World Cup and a couple things struck me.

The English soccer team is, as somebody already pointed out, like what Notre Dame is to college football, not nearly as good as advertised but they are there largely due to their own implied right to be there.

It’s not the horns that bother me, it’s the crappy officiating and blatant overacting. Some of the attempts at drawing penalties have been such blatantly bad theater you’d think Leonard Pimpf Garnell was doing play by play. Incredibly, the refs fall for it. I saw a guy get nudged in the chest and he covered his “eyes” in pained hysterics. Get up, jerk.

Not a fan, more of an appreciater, I wish there was a little ambiance for the English major leagues. I remember watching broadcasts on Channel 17 on Sunday mornings that inevitably my Dad and I would mock. If Arsenal got up too much, their fans would start serenading the opposition. Nobody says “You ugly!” like a chemically serene football fan.

It’s nice to see Papa Jakes and Cafe Aroma coming to life as different breeds of sports bars.

The US is out, but they gave it a good run, going deeper than ever before. Since they lost, there have been calls for the head coach, how he should be replaced, yada, yada, yada.

It’s a game, everybody should take a deep breath. It’s okay. The whole idea is to do your best. Isn’t that what we want to teach kids coming up. Shouldn’t we be happy that we made progress and our guys were among the best in the world? That’s a pretty good day’s work in my book. No shame in Ghana snagging one from us on the pitch as next time we see em on the ice, they are so our bitch.

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Category: sports

07/07/09 09:15 - ID#49221

We are not all "Lance"

I got on my bike for the first time this summer yesterday. I didn't want to get too carried away since it had indeed been awhile. I wasn't out to set any land speed records, just wanted to get a little exercise. The rest of the weekend felt a little sedentiary by comparison. I have no idea how far I go, never checked.

Given the lack of Sunday traffic in the city of Buffalo, I headed out down Delaware Ave, headed downtown. Now, I'm not one for the cycling regalia. I do wear a helmet, which makes me look like the Great Gazoo, but a regular t shirt and shorts serves me just fine.

I mention that because not everybody should try to dress like Lance. They don't give you a yellow jersey for making good time around the Aud wreckage. Doesn't stop a few folks for attempting the look. Like I said, I get out once in a while for fun and in the case of yesterday, getting my nerve back in the crazy lanes.

I figure a man of my proportions (6′2, 240) should probably know his limitations and I think I do when it comes to fashion choices. Apparently, I might be an island in that particular ocean. After making a turn around Exchange St, and working my way back up Washington, I spotted a similar proportioned individual who was geared up. All he was missing was corporate sponsorship and the good sense not to stuff the belly into the spiderman bike top. Looked like Peter Parker let himself go a little.

Not that I'm a matinee idol, but I think my loose fitting Springsteen t-shirt made me look a little more palatable. Something to be said for not looking like licorice toothpaste ready to escape the tube.

Made me laugh to see somebody so concerned with accessorizing that he's behind a little in the exercising department. It's always nice to get a sign that you are on the right path. It's that those signs are sometimes not always what you might think.

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Category: sports

04/27/09 10:44 - ID#48523

Take me out to the Ballgame

I get the feeling the Bisons just don't care. It used to be that you didn't have to be a baseball fan to enjoy a game at SodaBeverage Field. They used to sell the place out. I went to a game last year with my Dad and we couldn't help but wonder what happened. Limited open gates, desolate corridors, oh, where have you gone Mike Billoni? It just seemed fairly lifeless.

The Bisons changed major league affiliations over the winter and I thought that might inject a little more life. They are hooked up with the Mets and you'd thinking the prospect of sucking in HD on SNY might liven the place up a bit. Nope. As part of my reward for being a marketing judge at UB's departmental presentation, I was given a ticket to tonight's game by one of their teachers, a good guy who helps the Zoo out from time to time. Access to beer and burgers, I'm a happy guy, especially when the students are to scared to touch food that is still covered. Risking the wratch of the concessions workers and generally not giving a damn in the first place, I got things going at the grill.

Properly satiated, I settled in to watch a little ball and there is nothing so desolate as a sparse ballpark. I've always been intrigued with baseball architecture a little bit (as I am quite the dork) and the game wasted my interest, so this is what happened. I set off looking for dessert and found the following along the way. Enjoy

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Category: sports

04/20/09 09:25 - ID#48458

Pointless Sports Post

Can we all just agree that Lindy is a good coach and that if given the right reign, Darcy is a good GM? C'mon, Larry, remove the handcuffs, give em a budget and let'em alone. Darcy didn't suddenly get stupid. Left to his own devices, he's found Doug Gilmour, J.P. Dumont, Briere and Drury and many others. If it was up to him, Drury would still be here.

My only concern about John Madden's retiring has more to do with the future of his video game than NBC's broadcasts, which have about six too many guys on it anyway.

The hullabaloo over the schedules being out. I don't understand it. People are peeved about a division game being moved to Toronto. Personally I think the NFL did us a favor by moving the Jets up north, eh. I'm sure the NFL Network will find a local outlet to resale.

I think the Bills did themselves a favor in regards to Jason Peters. Other stars who actually showed up and are either doing new contracts or just completing them weren't commanding those numbers. With his vacancy, the Bills have an issue, but not nearly the problem another hold out could have been.

That whole thing with contracts is still a wonder. Why have one if you are prone to whinning for a new one. What is up with that? What made this okay? Shouldn't you honor the contract, then see about the next one?

Bisons are at least looking good in their new threads while they suck. Given the parent club, they might suck on SNY before too long.

The stadium count is rendering Major League Baseball into the NFL stratosphere. With the hooha about the new Yankee Stadium, I did get a chuckle out of the Yankees getting pasted by three touchdowns on national tv.

Evil, like that.
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Category: sports

11/20/07 07:18 - ID#42208

Some scenes from Sunday Night

Pre-game scenes that is. It is a little interesting being in a football stadium as it starts to come to life, kinda like being a roadie before the concert starts.

When the prime-time circus starts, the minions double and we were all bundled against a shitty evening both weather and football wise. I didn't get to many game shots as when the people come in I had to shift into industrial baby sitting mode, but here's a brief look at the ghost town awakening.
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They had just turned the lights on as NBC's minions finished working away
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John Madden's second truck
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My vantage point during the game itself. Right after this was taken, came the announcement that the gates are now open. The hounds were released
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Unspoiled by sloppy bodies and their many empty beers cups
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WNY sports remote trucks in the distance trying to look important
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I'm still tired from it. Personally ejected 4 folks who were chemically serene....or not.

So done at the end of the year.
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Category: sports

11/19/07 09:24 - ID#42194

Wow, that was hard to watch

I was dreading the whole idea of the Buffalo Bills reappearing on national tv from the moment I got the letter saying from the team saying I had to work (ain't doing it next year). For the unitiated, the Patriots are frighteningly good, and the Bills, not so much. I knew the weather was going to suck (it did)(fucking cold out) and people would have that much more time to get loaded on bad beer. Bad enough that the Bills will charge you $6.50 for a bud light, scarier still how many people keep going back and coming back double-fisted.

But, pro that I am, I pressed on. I'll have some pictures of the behind the scenes prep stuff later, because that part fascinates me. The prep for all the cameras and the triple layer of remote trucks from what is usually there was impressive. I don't know why all the yahoo were congregating around John Madden's touring bus. It's not like he was going to invite you on.

Side note: I'm trying for Springsteen tickets as I write this and HSBC Arena wants $27.00 in "Convenience fees." They obviously have a different mind set about convenience than I.

Anyway, back to the game. It was over by the end of the first quarter. After settling a few disputes, threatening a blow hole over his insults about the Tim Horton promotion moving over to the next section, I was so ready to go home. If you watching at home, you're so watching Brothers & Sisters by this point. Me? I'm busy fuming because the alleged increased security sending Bill and Ted who were watching the game and straightening up only when their boss or mine came by.

Got a 200 level ticket from Bruce, a little less convenient, but what the hey.

Anyway, you know about the score. The stands turn into "Lord of the Flies" and I'm left wondering why the hell I signed up for it. The extra cash comes in handy, but holy shit. I'm trying to look like I'm working at the moment, but failing miserably.

When everybody leaves, we have to survey the carnage and it's a wonder the crowd didn't look taller given the amount of shit they threw under their chairs.

One of the women I work with just came in with a fresh dutch apple pie. Gotta go.....
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Category: sports

05/10/07 03:54 - ID#39225

Sabres fans with Hi-Def TVs

Because the Versus network is run by Dewey, Cheatum and Howe, I thought for the benefit of tonight's Sabres game I'd offer up the following info. Tonight's Sabres game is on Versus and on Hockey Night in Canada and in HD on a network called MOJO.

Versus shares their HD feed with the party animals at the Golf Channel. If you go to Versus HD expecting to see Hockey, you'll actually be treated to a bunch of guys in Polyester pants -- not unlike clubbing in Lackawanna.

I just thought I'd offer this estrip public service announcement for the common good and in light of the fact that people will be hollering at me tomorrow about "What did you morons do about the HD?" when it wasn't us morons it was the Versus morons.

Non Hockey fans can enjoy the new Grey's Anatomy in its proper HD.
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Category: sports

11/30/06 11:06 - ID#29631

Joshua's post on the Maple Leafs.....

Reminded me of this story.

Two boys from Buffalo are playing street hockey when one of the boys is attacked by a rapid pit bull. Thinking quickly, the other boy takes the hockey stick, wedges it down the dog's collar and twists, breaking the dog's neck and freeing his friend.

A Buffalo new reporter hears about the incident and rushes over to interview the boy. "Young Sabres Fan Saves Friend from Vicious Animal," he starts writing in his notebook.

"But I'm not a Sabres fan," the young hero replies.

"Sorry, " replied the reporter "since we're in Buffalo, I just assumed you were." "Bills fan rescues friend from horrific attack," the reporter continues in his notebook.

"But I'm not a Bills Fan, either," the boy responds.

"I just that everyone in Buffalo was either a Sabres or a Bills Fan," replied the reporter, "Whome do you root for?"

"I'm a Toronto Maple Leafs fan," the boy answers proudly.

The reporter starts a new sheet in his notebook and writes, "Little Canadian Bastard Kills Beloved Family Pet."
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mike said to mike
Well really I did not bury the hatched in my mind I guess because now 5 years later, I just saw him ...

mike said to mike
Well really I did not bury the hatched in my mind I guess because now 5 years later, I just saw him ...

mike said to mike
Well 14 years later I have more grays but still solidly more pepper than salt so that's good at leas...

mike said to mike
Well 14 years later I have more grays but still solidly more pepper than salt so that's good at leas...