Monday, February 28, 2011

I Am An Idiot: Ex-GF Edition

I am an idiot in that I put up with far too much crap from my ex-girlfriend.  I can't promise any SFW-ness from this entry.  There may be breasts and vaginas and penises.

Live Chat at The Goose's Roost

Several Buffalo bloggers are partaking in a live chat for the NHL's Trade Deadline Day over at The Goose's Roost.

Vulgar Statistics Special: Brad Boyes and His $4.0M

After word of the Sabres trade of a 2011 2nd Round pick for St. Louis C/RW Brad Boyes began to spread, so did the tone of comments. Some people are ecstatic, calling him a legitimate upgrade to the top 6, and some people are calling him another Tim Connolly, lazy, and soft. (What is he European or something?) I can't speak towards his play, but I can compare his production to other forwards in his pay class like I did a few weeks ago with the rest of the Sabres.


There you have it. His production is slightly below average playing on a Blues team that can probably best be described as slightly below average. His TOI has dwindled in recent years (going from around 18-19 minutes in 07-09 when he notched 43 and 33 goals to 16-17 minutes from 2010 to present) which can probably be attributed to the massive logjam that St. Louis has at the center position. ( lists 12 centers that have seen icetime, and another 10 wingers that have played center at one time or another.)

At the very least we can say that Blues fans' assertion that Boyes is overpaid are false. Of course there are intangibles like heart, and toughness, and desire that can't be compiled in the chart above and we'll get to see those firsthand in the coming weeks. It could be said that the change of scenery coupled with the move to a better hockey town (sorry St. Louis), and a move closer to home (Boyes was born in Mississauga, Ontario and saw time with the Erie Otters) could elevate Boyes to his previous goal and point totals.

Boyes is coming in with 12 goals and 29 assists in 61 games, not entirely dissimilar from another guy who was traded to the Sabres with 17 goals and 29 assists in 68 games. That player was Daniel Briere and he went on to notch 7 goals and 5 assists in 14 games for the remainder of that season and became an integral part of the Sabres offense. Not saying it will happen, but the comparison is there.

Final Word:

I love the trade, my gut tells me that a second round pick for Boyes is a steal, especially considering that he is a cut above the previous players we've received for a second in terms of quality. I think with some of the players we have in Buffalo, namely shooters like Stafford and Vanek, Boyes could become a nightmare for opponents on one of the top two lines and I love that at 6-0 and around 200 pounds he brings a bit of size to the table. I am extremely excited to see him play this week.

(And his first career hat trick was against Cam Ward. How can you not love that?)

Vulgar Statistics: Western Conference Bubble Teams

I actually wasn't going to do this because let's be honest, who cares about the Western Conference?  But the playoff race over there is so intriguing I just couldn't stay away.  Honestly you could call everyone from third place San Jose (78 pts) on down to 13th place St. Louis (65 pts) a bubble team, but I decided to give San Jose (78 pts) and Phoenix (76 pts) the benefit of the doubt and St. Louis (65 pts) the middle finger.

Read More at BBG

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pegula Day Music Video

Quality is way better on my faceboook.

NHL Teams I Don't Hate

As a rabid Sabres fan, my happiness is tied into my hockey team.  Thus the opponents of my hockey team are actively trying to make me unhappy.  Thusthus hate is justified.  But there are a few teams that I can find a soft spot for, either out of respect, or genuine affection.  Make no mistake though, when they play the Sabres, I hate them with every fiber of my moral being.

Philadelphia Flyers - This one probably has a lot of people shaking their heads.  Philadelphia fans are known for being loud obnoxious assholes who cheer at injuries.  That having been said, as a kid my favorite player was Ron Hextall, and Philadelphia is a town not unlike Buffalo in its passion.  I know that they were huge rivals in the 70s, and beat us for a cup, but I wasn't alive then so I don't harbor those feelings of ill will.  There has to be somebody in the east that is a decent team and at least palatable when they win.  The Flyers are that team for me.  Which brings me to...

New York Islanders - Honestly the Islanders are so pathetic I find it hard to hate them.  The dynasty years are long gone and it seems like they've been bottom dwellers since the beginning of time.  Plus their fan base is awful and their arena is a garbage heap.  Still, I admire the lack of quit in their team this year and how they seem hell bent on playing spoiler for those teams looking to make the playoffs.  Plus they have Michael Grabner, an Austrian who is to put it simply, very exciting.

St. Louis Blues - The St. Louis Blues are my "other" team.  I don't beleve in sports bigamy, but if I had to pick one team that I'd like to see win a cup that isn't Buffalo, St. Louis would be my pick.  I call them Buffalo-South.  They have the same colors, a similar passion for hockey and are also an oft misunderstood city.

Vancouver Canucks - The Canucks are the Sabres' sister team, also coming into the league in 1970.  While it would probably piss me off to see them win a cup before Buffalo (and they are likely to this year), I can at least appreciate them, and the wonderful fans in Western Canada who are, in my opinion, the best hockey fans there are.  Plus they have the green men.

Nashville Predators - Phil over at BBG's "other" team.  While I don't really like southern hockey teams, I have to respect what the Preds have been able to put together over the past few years.  Plus they have a cast of extremely likable and talented players like Pekka Rinne.  And Taylor Swift likes them...kinda...

Edmonton Oilers - The Oilers are another one of those teams that is so pathetic it's hard to hate them.  Man 2005-2006 seems so long ago.  I have a soft spot for the much maligned city of Edmonton which gets even more flak than Buffalo does for being a terrible city.  The team has been awful, and still their plucky fans show up to cheer them on.  See what I'm saying about Western Canadian hockey fans?

Minnesota Wild - Last but not least, the Minnesota Wild.  I respect their fanbase more than probably any fanbase in the NHL.  They didn't deserve to lose their team and subsequently see it win a Stanley cup (neither did Hartford, and fuck Quebec), and their sellout streak speaks for itself.  Plus the State of Minnesota is a golden area for hockey right around some of the best (and my favorite) college hockey teams like the Golden Gophers, Badgers, and Fighting Sioux.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sabres - European National Team Podcast

Sometimes I Think Morality is Just an Excuse to be Bigoted

It is amazing to me how often morality becomes a justification for intolerance.  If you hate something without any rhyme or reason, it's typically a negative thing, but if you back up your hatred with some sort of moral reservations, by and large society will give you a pass.  (Which is funny because here I am raging about morality and my policy of tolerance is a type of morality.)

I think that we tend to take the things that we like and dislike, for a variety of reasons both logical, and insane, and wrap that into our view of right and wrong.  Inevitably the things we like become 'right' and the things we dislike become 'wrong.'  It causes a perversion of morality where people find harmless things to be 'wrong' even though they are exactly that, harmless.  I don't know what causes these feelings, whether it's upbringing, or if it's a sort of natural human narcissism.  We selfishly transform our own opinions into some sort of worldview, and music and movies and activities that we merely don't like become music and movies and activities that are 'wrong' or that 'suck.'

My mind conjures images of the stereotypical suburbanite sandy vagina-d soccer mom that sticks her nose up at a variety of things she deems to be 'wrong.'  You know the type, the woman that actively campaigns against homosexuality, or promiscuity, or any number of things that she doesn't have any exposure to and by which she is in no way affected.  But I know that's not a fairl generalization.

Which leads me to believe it's mere human nature to have trouble differentiating between our tastes and any sort of moral code.  Really to us the world is merely what we see, so it is easy to apply our own principles on a far broader scale than they should be applied.  And I don't think there is anyone that doesn't suffer from these tendencies.  I myself am not perfect despite how strongly I try to adhere to the Wiccan tenet "if it harms none, do as you will."

But I do try, and I like to be very honest and deliberate in my treatment of things I don't like in saying that they are merely not my taste rather than using harsher language.  Because that's the honest truth, and being rather unique and fond of things that many people don't like, I know how it is being on the other side.

Sabres - Senators Podcast

Part 1

Part 2

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Terry Pegula Rips the Media

On Wednesday Terry Pegula met with Buffalo News editors and reporters for an interview regarding all things related to the ownership change and his plans for the future.  If you don't wind up listening to the entire, somewhat lengthy interview, at one point Pegula says (paraphrasing) "Part of the quit in this team has come from this room."

I disagree with that statement.  Even at the high school level  myself, and the other bowlers and baseball players didn't read much in the paper.  And that was at a time when the excitement level of being mentioned was high, and we weren't mature enough to know better.  I highly doubt that professional athletes with better things to do are putting any stock in what the paper's contributors think.  If you want to point the finger at anyone for negatively impacting the team65, you can direct it at the fans, but that's not what this is about.

While I disagree with what Pegula said, I'm thrilled he said it.  It's good that someone in a position of power finally called out the Buffalo Media, because they both need and deserve it.  The media and the paper in particular are allowed to basically run without any checks to their power.  Sure they have standards, and they can reference editorial letters and website comments all they want as user feedback, but by and large if a reporter (say Bucky) continually acts like an asshat, there isn't much anyone can do.  No one is going to stop buying papers because one reporter is a dick, so that reporter has no incentive to stop being a dick.

And then in comes Terry Pegula and he basically says "you guys are kind of dicks."  I'm glad somebody with some clout finally told them.  I understand that part of the job description for journalists is being a douchebag and that those that exist in the field without that quality are few and far between, but it's good to see them get reined in every once in a while, if only for the readers who are tired of seeing the same rehashed negativity every time the team loses, or some small thing doesn't go a certain reporter's way.

It's much easier to generate buzz by preying on people's negative emotions than it is to try and hit on positive ones and too often media outlets fall into this rut.  Maybe it won't do anything, but I'm glad Pegula at least tried to smack them out of it.

Leaving Hockey Games Early

Much ado has been made about the owner of the Pegula #189 jersey.  Some hate the jersey, others are okay with it, and on the grand scheme of things neither opinion really matters all that much.  Wearing an odd jersey or committing a jersey foul only makes you look like a bit of an idiot to a lot of people.  Small potatoes. 

I actually sat four rows behind the owner of said jersey for Wednesday night's game.  He waved a Sabres flag for much of the game and was as rowdy as anyone and that passion made it a lot easier to swallow the goofy jersey.  Then he left with the Sabres up 4-1 and about five minutes left in the third period.  The respect drained out of me faster than the semen of a seventeen year old virgin fucking a porn star.

Pegula #189 did in fact NOT leave early, but rather moved to fill the lower seats of some folks that had left.

Unless your kid is about to become an obnoxious little monster or poop on the floor, or you had a family member die suddenly, there is no excuse for leaving early.  Especially in a game where the Sabres are winning, and doubly so if it's a historic night as Wednesday night was.

People complain about the team's supposed lack of heart, or as Jessica, better known as SabresCutie on Twitter put it, via a sign on the wall of HSBC Arena "Fans show up, why don't you?"  Well the answer to that is that the players occasionally gut out games late, and the fans do not.  If I looked up after a big win and saw half the building empty, it certainly wouldn't be inspiring to me.

The concept of leaving early is so stupid it amazes me, especially when these people are leaving mere minutes before the end of the game.  What are you saving, twenty minutes?  What are you even going to do with those twenty minutes?  Masturbate?  Surf the internet?  Sleep?  Are those twenty minutes really that valuable to you that you can't be bothered to see the end of a hockey game that you paid $50+ for?  If I'm sitting in the crowd, then no one has any excuses.  I don't live in Buffalo, I live in Syracuse which is two hours away.  Which means on weeknights when I have to work the following day, I don't get home until midnight at the earliest.  If I'm not leaving early, no one should.

That so many fans left Wednesday night's game early was kind of disgusting.  "Hey Terry, thanks for buying the Sabres and giving us what we've always wanted. Too bad we're fickle assholes."

I certainly hope that somewhere on Pegula's to do list is making spending twenty minutes in HSBC Arena preferable to beating traffic.  Some of that has to do with the product on the ice, yes, but Wednesday night's game was a victory.  The product on the ice wasn't the issue.  The quality of fans were.

Sabres - Thrashers Podcast

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sabres Jeopardy

My girlfriend has to program a Jeopardy game for one of her classes so we decided to make it Sabres themed.  I then went over to Sporcle and created a quiz so you can actually take it instead of just reading this blog.  Most of them are pretty easy for Sabres fans, but a few are quite difficult.  Enjoy.

Sabres Quiz

Pegula Day

I've held off and held off on writing an entry on Pegula's press conference for a few reasons.  The first is that I didn't and don't want to simply write what everyone else is writing about it.  That's boring.  Also, I wasn't sure what angle I wanted to take on it, but I'm pretty sure now.

I'll be honest, I expected the conference to basically be a formality, that the media would ask some stupid questions and that Pegula would largely evade them and that the whole ordeal would be a pleasant introduction to Pegula, but largely a waste of everyone's time.  I was pretty much blown away.  From Pegula choking up and calling Perreault his hero to making it very obvious that he's willing to sink whatever amount of money into the team that it takes to win, it was amazing across the boards.

It's that second part that really gets to me because let's be honest, Terry Pegula is never going to win the Buffalo Sabres a cup.  Owners don't win cups, at least not directly.  They don't score goals, they don't sign players and the don't make draft picks.  It's great that Terry Pegula is a fan, yes, but what's better is that he's a smart fan.  After all, we don't want to be stuck with the NHL's version of Daniel Snyder whose oversized gonads and unstoppable ego have crippled the Washington Redskins.  There were two things in yesterday's press conference that I thought were really important.  The first is obvious, that Pegula is willing to sink money into the team in whatever way is necessary to make it better.  As much as Tom Golisano wanted to treat the Sabres like one, sports teams are not a business, and they never will be.  They're a hobby, and you don't concern yourself with making money through your hobbies.

The second was not quite so obvious and so emphatically stated by Pegula.  That he is committed to getting intelligent people in place to run the team, and humble enough to let them make their own decisions.  I really liked the approach he took in evaluating Regier and Ruff and in making judgments about their future with the Sabres.  It shows that he understands his role as an owner and is committed to getting the best people in place to make the hockey decisions.  That's where a lot of owners fail, I think.  We probably have an example of one just to the south in Ralph Wilson who has (been rumored to have) passed on several superior coaching candidates to bring in a series of lame-ducks that are agreeable to him.

Passion means absolutely nothing when it comes to owning a hockey team.  There are thousands of fans in Buffalo who are passionate and would be terrible owners, but people act like it's some magical attribute that automatically puts him on a pedestal.  I think Pegula understand this, and I think it's probably his best quality.  It will be evident should the time come when he has to make a decision that he doesn't want to make, but pulls the trigger anyways because it's a decision the team needs him to make.

I love Pegula and he floored me with yesterday's presser.  To see someone tear up at the history of the team the same way I do is equal parts refreshing and inspiring as were his candor and honesty.  That might be the best name to grace the back of a Sabres jersey since the likes of Hasek and Perreault, but as always, the name on the front...well...I'm sure he understands.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Current Sabres in a Word

I'm going to do a word association-type game here where I try to sum up each of the Sabres in a word.  To try and color this with my opinions as little as possible, I'm going to do one positive word and one negative word for each player.  And I'll probably cheat a lot with hyphens.

Tim Connolly - Talented, Soft
Paul Gaustad - Likable, Overpaid
Rob Niedermayer - All I could come up with was "useless."  Sorry.
Derek Roy - Mesmerizing, Infuriating
Tyler Ennis - Super-skilled, Immature
Nathan Gerbe - Energetic, Small
Jochen Hecht - Gritty, under-talented
Thomas Vanek - Force-of-Nature, Snake-bitten
Mike Grier - Smart, Old
Patrick Kaleta - Energizing, Stupid
Cody McCormick - Tough, Underutilized
Jason Pominville - Fan-favorite, Overrated
Drew Stafford - Hot-handed, Oft-Invisible

Chris Butler - Young, Awful
Jordan Leopold - Dynamite,
Steve Montador - Underrated, Clumsy
Shaone Morrisonn - Solid, Under-skilled
Tyler Myers - Promising, Inexperienced
Craig Rivet - Likable, Expired
Andrej Sekera - Mistake-prone
Mike Weber - Physical, Overzealous

Ryan Miller - Leader, Frustrating
Patrick Lalime - Likable, Done

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Vulgar Statistics: Eastern Conference Bubble Teams

As it stands right now in the Eastern Conference there are three teams at the bottom of the playoff pile in Montreal, the New York Rangers, and Carolina, and four teams that are itching to get in and are close enough to pull it off if things go right for them in their next few games, those being Buffalo, Atlanta, Florida, and the shocker of all shockers, Toronto.  With the Sabres right there with those teams, I began to wonder how things shaped up for them for the remainder of the season.

Read more at BBG.

Sabres: How Much Turnover Can We Expect?

Which Sabres would be better off leaving?  The list is extensive.  First you've got a set of players that are past their primes, and probably past the point where they're even effective in Mike Grier, Rob Niedermayer, Craig Rivet, and Patrick Lalime.  Then you've got the guys that are bad contracts in Jasom Pominville ($5.3M), Jochen Hecht ($3.525M), and Paul Gaustad ($2.3M).  There are players that just aren't playing well enough in Tim Connolly, Nathan Gerbe, and Chris Butler.  Finally, there are guys that are maddingly inconsistent, but are enticing to deal because they might garner a decent return in Drew Stafford and Andrej Sekera.

With Roy coming back, that makes the Sabres lineup (assuming we re-sign a few people):

Vanek - Roy - ?????
Ennis - ????? - ?????
????? - McCormick - Kaleta
????? - ????? - ?????

Myers - ?????
Leopold - Montador
Weber - ?????


That is a lot of ?????s, too many in fact.  Obviously not all of those players can leave (and not all of them are feasible to see leave due to their contracts), so what can we honestly expect?  There are young players in the system, Adam, Kassian, and Byron to name a few, but will any of them be NHL ready next year?

Mike Grier, Rob Niedermayer, Tim Connolly, Cody McCormick, Craig Rivet, Steve Montador, and Patrick Lalime are all Unrestricted Free Agents at the end of the year.  It would seem that Grier, Niedermayer, Rivet, and Lalime are all no-brainers and we will never see them in a Sabres uniform again.  I would think that Cody McCormick will definitely be back.  Tim Connolly and Steve Montador are big question marks for different reasons.  Montador has played well so his return will depend on what teams make of that and how much they throw at him.  Tim Connolly has played poorly so he's probably gone, but if management thinks the needs at the center position are too great OR he takes a pay cut, I could see him returning.

Drew Stafford, Nathan Gerbe, Andrej Sekera, Chris Butler, and Mike Weber are all restricted free agents.  I'm not a huge personnell guy, but I believe this means that if another team makes an offer to one of those players, the Sabres can match and retain their rights to that player.  Mike Weber is the only certainty here as he's looked better and better with each game this season.  No certainty with the rest of them.  Butler has ridden the bench a lot this season so he seems expendable, but that also means he's cheap depth.  That's valuable on defense as we all know.  Sekera and Stafford are the hardest two to figure.  Both have been inconsistent over the course of the season.  Sekera has played well at times, but gets far less credit because he doesn't play a glory position.  Stafford is probably the biggest question on the team.  Who do you get, the guy that scored 19 goals in 23 games, or the guy that has seemed invisible three out of every four nights in his career?  Complicating the matter is the fact that the Sabres are short on goal scorers and Stafford is at least that some of the time.  I think unless the offers for him are enormous, he returns to the Sabres.  That leaves Nathan Gerbe a guy billed as a scorer who has played more like a hustle guy and a grinder despite his size.  His offensive contributions in the NHL have been unspectacular at best as half of his goals this season come against the woeful New York Islanders, and half are against the likes of Lawson, Poulin, and McElhinney.  The big question is a small hustle guy like Gerbe worth more than a big lazy (as he's been billed) guy like Mancari?  I honestly have no idea.  I want to say that I'd take the guy whose heart seems more in it, but Gerbe has been so ineffective so often I'm not sure we gain anything by keeping him over Mancari.

That leaves Pominville, Gaustad, and Hecht, guys that are likely immovable due to their contracts and don't become UFAs until 14-15 for the former and 11-12 for the latter two.  Unless they can be packaged with a pick or a prospect that makes them more attractive, or a contending team with tons of capspace is willing to eat a bad contract to make a run, they're here to stay.  If any of them is to be moved, it's probably going to be Pominville to a team like Nashville that is in need of scoring.

I'm going to leave Stafford, Connolly, Sekera, and Montador as question marks and assume Hecht, Gaustad, and Pominville are going nowhere.

Vanek - Roy - ?Stafford?
Ennis - ?Connolly? - Pominville
Hecht - McCormick -?????
????? - Gaustad - Kaleta

Myers - ?????
Leopold - ?Montador?
Weber - ?Sekera?


I would imagine that one or two of the maybes will probably not be a Sabre next year, most likely Stafford and Montador.  Should they leave, that leaves some gaping holes for the Sabres to fill, either in free agency themselves, or with the unproven likes of Byron, Adam, and company.

I think the best case scenario is that some of the dead weight leaves this season at the trade deadline, and we end up shifting most of the question marks down to the bottom two lines where we can mix in a prospect or two and give them a bit of offensive upside.  The worst case scenario is that everyone leaves and we have to fill out spots on our top two lines with guys that have less than ten games in the NHL. 

Oh, and Ryan Miller convinces management to bring back Patrick Lalime.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Why Internet Dating Sucks: Making fun of People on OKCupid

It actually isn't because people are dishonest.  Everyone I've met in person after first meeting them on the internet has accurately represented themselves in terms of appearance.  Now granted I have a pretty fine filter and I've only met a couple of people, but honesty isn't really the issue, stupidity is.

First of all, Internet Dating sites are both a good and bad concept for a couple of different reasons.  They're good for people like, who are introverted, who don't go out much, and who want to meet similar people.  It always annoyed me when people told me I needed to "go out more."  I DON'T LIKE going out!  Why the hell would I want to meet someone "out" that probably does like going out?!  That is fucking stupid.  I want to meet people that like STAYING IN, the problem is...THEY'RE ALL IN!  Enter: internet dating, a way to meet like minded people that prefer trolling 4chan to trolling their local bar.

The problem is that it's very easy to reject people, and very difficult to project an accurate portrayal of yourself in an online dating profile.  We tend to include a myriad of aspects of our personality, and because they're all given the same amount of text online, it looks like they're equally important.  Someone could state their religious beliefs and it may just mean that they were raised in that faith, but haven't been to church in 15 years and don't spend a minute thinking about the existence of God.  Or it could mean that they're Westboro Baptist crazy.

But it's boring to paragraph on about these things without giving examples, so we'll delve right into that.

Retarded Picture Posting:
Anyone who says looks don't matter is a liar.  Physical attraction is part of the game and while one's partner might not typically be considered attractive, make no mistake, they're attactive to them.  Thus accurate photographys is important, multiple angles, face and body, and in a variety of styles of dress.  Plus it gives you a great opportunity to caption pics and tell a bit more about yourself.
These are the only two pictures posted by that girl, and both are uncaptioned.  We can at least tell that she's asian and moderately attractive (i.e. not house-sized), and that she may possibly have been killed and ground into some type of French Fry.  Seriously if you're going to take a picture that makes absolutely no sense, you might want to explain it at least a little bit.

Okay, there's a difference between "post pictures that accurately reflect how you look," and "post pictures in which you look like a tranny."

 If you're not a set of conjoined twins, this picture needs a caption.

Surprisingly fat girls with high angle pics are few and far between.  Like I said, honesty actually isn't the biggest problem, it's stupidity.

Introducing Yourself:

I won't respond to people who use lame pickup lines. I'm here to meet new friends, not be picked up. I think it's a weak icebreaker when a "hi" suffices just fine.

Fair enough, but when the first thing I read in your profile is a complaint, you sound like a bitch.

I like to keep busy and having variety in my life but really like to take time to relax too. 
 Congratulations, you have told me nothing.

Hmm, well I'm a quiet person until you get to know me, at that point I'm quite the talkative one.
Maybe not the worst thing to say...but literally every fucking girl says this, and it's probably true for 90% of the human population.  I don't exactly chat up people I don't know either.

Generally I am a very chill person; I avoid unnecessary drama and arguments whenever I can. It's boring. On the other hand, I won't act like nothing's wrong if I'm given shit that I don't deserve. 
So you're dramatic enough to have to complain about it basically...

I'm tired of the mind games that people are constantly playing, and I'm looking for something real.
Girls complaining about mind games, how ironic.

I love hanging out and relaxing, and basically just having a good time in general.
Who doesn't like having a good time?  What's worse is when girls say they "like to have fun." shit? You like to have fun?  Well I like to strip naked, run into the woods in December and play Auschwitz.

Your tastes:
When listing some of your favorite types of music, TV shows, movies, anal beads, electroshock torture toys, there are really only three ways you can go wrong.

I like pretty much everything.
Really?  Then you won't mind if we watch pissing porn?  Yeah, don't be stupid.

I like everything except (genre) (usually country or rap)
This is a surefire sign that someone is an idiot, because that is the only thing that someone simplistic enough to dismiss an entire genre of anything can be.  I would bet that there is a song in every major genre (note: major genre, don't ask me if I like bluegrass songs by retarded one armed midgest as a way of playing devil's advocate) that every person likes.  Do I listen to rap hardly ever?  No, but there are still a few rap songs I enjoy.

*900 line list of bands/movies*
I'm pretty sure it is physically impossible for you to have listened to or watched all of those in your lifetime.  There is this great new invention called a top ten list.  Use it.

Random Aside, Let's Be Honest:

If you have a picture that looks like this:

Then you're "first thing people notice about me" section should not read this:
Probably my eyes or my sense of humor Or my height. Being 5'10 isn't something you can easily hide. 
Yes honey, we're looking at your eyes.

Also, can we do away with some of the cutesy adjectives that describe appearance?  I've seen curvy range from about 120 to about 400 pounds.  Give me a fucking break, post a number or GTFO.

What You're Looking For:
It's shocking how many people fail to mention this in their profiles.  OKCupid has a section for text that reads "You Should Message Me if..."  Fucking use it!  What do you want in a person?  What qualities are important to you?  God damnit!'re interested/want to know more/want a true and genuine girl to talk to.
Don't message me (please) if:
You are older than 27ish
You are simply looking to hook up--I'm looking for something real.
You don't live in NY--I've done the distance thing, and I'm looking for something local. 
What does true and genuine mean?  Are you a genuine bitch?  If so, no thanks.  And judging by the fact that you used this space to complain, I'm thinking that's pretty accurate.

YSMMI...You like what you see!
 Really...that's all you're giving me to go on?

YSMMI...You're not an illiterate douche bag. If you use correct spelling and grammar, and are an overall nice guy :) 
If "nice guy" is your only qualifier, you're an idiot.

YSMMI...You want to.
I hate you.

YSMMI...your under age 22.
not a creep.
not looking for a one night stand.
actually are doing something with your life and not a total loser.
 Hey, it's not internet guy's fault you continually make bad decisions and wind up with idiots, don't take it out on him.

Alright, Time to Look at a Good Profile: 

I'm an acquired taste. I can come off as being rather abrasive, but it's usually just in jest. I can joke around about pretty much anything, and don't get offended easily. I like to play in pretty much every aspect and it's difficult for me to take things seriously. I feel like I am a compassionate person, at least when it comes to kids and animals. I'm pretty spontaneous and I like adventures. I'm passionate about the things I am passionate about, and apathetic towards most everything else.
 See this actually tells me something about this girl's personality and what she's like to interact with.

The first things people usually notice about me...Probably top down so my shaved head, wild blue eyes, "broken" sticker on my sweatshirt, toesy shoes or the ghetto scooter I'm about to run them down on.
Looks pretty accurate to me.'re intelligent, Dominant, kinky, confident and assertive. You should message me if you're affectionate without being clingy, and like randomness, kids, and animals.

On the other hand, don't bother messaging me if you write like a preteen girl or are uncomfortable with extremely independent girls.
This speaks well to her tastes, and even though she includes a "don't," it actually indicates the type of person that would get along with her rather than merely being bitchy. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sabres - Blues Awfulcast

Random Reminiscing of Baseball

For a while, one of my biggest regrets from playing baseball was that I was never able to hit a home run.  I was always a scrawny kid and really only capable my last two or three years or so.  I did hit a ball that went about to the warning track in front of the 408 sign at P&C (now I think Alliance or M&T Bank) Stadium that was caught for an out that would have been a home run anywhere else, but not the genuine article.

But then I came to realize that I'm okay with not putting one out of the park because I did something far more rare.  There are several kids that hit a home run over the course of their baseball "careers."  Several you wouldn't expect as sometimes they see a short fence, or they catch a pitch just right, or the wind aids them.  I did something that probably only a handful of people can boast.  I stole home.

It was late in the summer ball season of 2007.  I don't think it was a playoff game, but I think it was a game that determined the post-season seeding so it was just as important.  We were down 3-1 in the early innings and their top pitcher was just mowing us down.  I got on base and somehow managed to wind my way around to third.  Rather than keep me honest and pitch from the stretch, he opted to go from the windup as there was no base for me to steal...or so he thought.

I love being on third when a guy goes from the windup because al you have to do is watch his feet.  If the off foot moves first, you can take a huge lead and are pretty much guaranteed to score on a groundball to the infield.  Being a daring, and talented baserunner, when a pitcher went from the windup, I could probably have made it home on any hit better than a bunt five feet in front of the plate.

I still have no idea what prompted me to did it.  I didn't even know I was going to do it until I was actually in the process of doing it, but on one of the pitches I just took off.  The pitcher shit himself when he saw that I wasn't stopping and almost threw it by the catcher.  The pitch wound up low and outside and I slid in safely.  Unfortunately the umpire was caught completely offguard, wasn't watching the play and called me out, ending the inning.  Despite getting out of the inning with no runs allowed, the pitcher was so rattled he lasted less than one more inning as our team cruised to a 9-3 victory and the third seed heading into the playoffs.

It bothered me a little bit that the umpire called me out, especially since the play wasn't even close, but it doesn't matter.  Everyone watching the play knew what the outcome was, especially the pitcher who saw an early exit, and more importantly, out or safe, it helped the team win the game.

Writing What I Want

I had a rather odd dream last night.  I was still in high school and it was at one of the times during the year when we got quarterly grades.  When I got to one of my classes, I had a  bunch of demerits for things that were unrelated to school and a D average.  I questioned my teacher about it and she started listing off things from my blog that she didn't agree with.  The dream basically ended shortly after as I woke up, but it was interesting because my reaction in the dream was the same one I'd have in real life.  Fuck you, I'll write what I want.

It made me think, as I fell back asleep, about how free speech is a bit of a misnomer.  Sure people have the freedom to say what they want (within certain bounds), but that speech comes at a price.  There are perceptions that come about from everything you say, and let's face it, Americans are an extremely narrow minded people.  You are being judged, and being judged constantly and often unfairly.

But we have people who don't give a shit, and I love them (and myself) for it.  Without those that have a willingness (and often a delight) to turn people off and make them uncomfortable, we wouldn't really have anything of artistic value in society.

Jersey Fouls

This post was inspired by the following jersey:

I have a hard time finding a definitive place to stand in regards to jersey fouls. Probably the worst is when a fan has a jersey from a certain year with a player's name on it that never played in that jersey, like a red and black Lindy Ruff jersey. That one pisses me off because it's just stupidity.

Admittedly, I am annoyed by those that put their own name on the back of their jersey, I think that's a little juvenile. But at the same time I can't get too mad since it's their money and they can do what they want with it, and if having their name on a jersey if fun for them, then so be it.

This whole thought process was spurred on by a tweet by Bill Hoppe of the Olean Newspaper during the Sabres - Maple Leafs game about how fans who point along with Sabres anthem singer Doug Allen are "tools." I took exception to that, not because I occasionally point along with Dougie, but because I don't see the point in railing against something that is harmless and makes the experience more enjoyable. Doug Allen is unique, and his renditions of O' Canada and The Star Spangled Banner are unique, and if fans want to share in that, then fine. That's the stance I'm trying to take with "jersey fouls."

That having been said, I think some jersey fouls are hilarious and I will document and enjoy them as much as possible. And I think some are unforgivable (sewing two different teams together for example) and fall outside the realm of being okay.

Which brings me back to the Pegula jersey above. I have much less of a problem with it than the shirt that has Pegula replacing the word Sabres on the front. Pegula may be a great owner, and exactly what we need, but the concept that should rise above everything else is that of the team, and replacing that for any reason is sacrelige.

I will say that I think that the use of the purchase price of the Sabres is a little stupid.  I myself have suggested the appearance of a #11 Pegula jersey.  I understand how some people can be a bit critical of the mania surrounding Pegula, after all, he has done absolutely nothing but throw out a few decent quotes, but I'm perfectly okay with showing appreciation for members of the organization that never touch the ice.  Because let's be honest, we do love some of these people, and there is no real way to show that appreciation.  I kind of see it like buying a Jeanneret jersey and putting a #71 on it (or even like buying a Ruff jersey).

So in short, I'm fine with the jersey...but purchase price?  What the fuck were you thinking dude?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Facebook's 30 Day Challenge in One Day

Because I am 30 times as awesome as everyone else.  Plus we'll say it's dog days or some shit.

Day 01 - A Picture of Yourself and Ten Facts.
1). This is the 6th color my hair has been (brown, natural red, fire engine red, green, blonde, black)
2). I've been to the emergency room nine times (1990, 1991 (twice), 1994, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2008). 
3). I've been to thirty-four Sabres games.
4). I've been to six Bills games.
5). I'm a BDSM afficionado.
6).My first favorite NHL player was Ron Hextall
7). My first favorite Sabre was Jason Pominville
8). My all time favorite Sabre is Thomas "Hat Trick" Vanek
9). My first Sabres game was on Jan 4th, 2008.  They lost 5-3 to Ottawa.  Mike Ryan scored.  It was awesome.
10). My first Sabres win was on February 10th, 2008.  They beat Florida 5-3 after Richard Zednik almost died.

Day 02 - A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest.
Well, I never really got along with my sisters until recently, and I moved when I was ten, so I don't have any lifelong friends.  Plus, being introverted, and an only child for five years, I got used to spending a lot of time by myself.  Call it sad, call it douchey, but it's true, and I'm happy with it.

Day 03 - A Picture of the Cast from Your Favorite Show.

Day 04 - A Picture of Your Night

Day 05 - A Picture of Your Favorite Memory
 Party in the Plaza - 4-15-2011

Day 06 - A Picture of a Person You'd Love to Trade places with for a day
 Mark Davis

Day 07 - A Picture of Your Childhood Crush
Isn't this kind of creepy?  Like I'm supposed to take a picture from a person without their consent and post it?  Elizabeth Peters, no pic coming, go troll my facebook if you want to see.

Day 08 - A Picture that makes you Laugh
 Sabres beat Rangers, clinch the division 4-6-10.  This was also the picture for my sister's graduation cake even though my face is more prominent, haha.

Day 09 - A Picture of the Person who has gotten You through the most
I've actually had a pretty charmed life when it comes to personal tragedy.  Anything that I've "gone through" would seem extremely petty in comparison to most people.

Day 10 - A Picture of the Person You do the oddest things with
 She gets me like no one has.

Day 11 - A Picture of something You Hate

Day 12 - A Picture of something You Love
No Question

Day 13 - A Picture of Your favorite Band or Artist

Day 14 - A Picture of Someone You could never Imagine Your Life without
 I did come out of her vagina...

Day 15 - A Picture of something You want to do before You Die

Day 16 - A Picture of someone who Inspires You
 Richard Castle, fictional characters count

Day 17 - A Picture of something that has made a huge Impact on Your Life recently

Day 18 - A Picture of Your biggest Insecurity

Day 19 - A Picture and a Letter
Dear Patrick Lalime,
You deserved better than what the team and the fans gave you.  Thank you for your service.
Signed, Intelligent Sabres Fans

Day 20 - A Picture of somewhere You'd Love to Travel
Anchorage, Alaska

Day 21 - A Picture of something You Wish You could Forget
Why the hell would I have a picture of it?
Figured I'd pick one of the more unflattering pictures of my ex.

Day 22 - A Picture of something You Wish You were better at

Day 23 - A Picture of Your favorite Book

Day 24 - A Picture of something You Wish You could Change
There's a banner missing.

Day 25 - A Picture of Your day
 On the way to Buffalo

Day 26 - A Picture of Something that means a lot to You
 The Sabres and the experiences and friends I have through them.

Day 27 - A Picture of Yourself and a Family Member
 Too bad I don't have one of everyone from 4-17-10

Day 28 - A Picture of Something You're Afraid of

That Rick Jeanneret will retire without getting to call a Sabres Stanley Cup Victory

Day 29 - A Picture that can always make You :)

Day 30 - A Picture of someone You Miss


Monday, February 14, 2011

Vulgar Statistics: Centerman Derek Roy

Derek Roy is a pretty damn good hockey player.  I think most people can agree on that.  What is somewhat contentious is whether or not he is a top line center in terms of production.  Certainly with the current crop of players, Derek Roy is the top center for the Buffalo Sabres whether his skills match that designation or not.  But how does he compare to the rest of the league’s top line centers?

Read More at BBG

Sabres - Isles Podcast (400th Post!)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lindy Ruff - Analysis

Longest Tenured Coach in NHL
Great at coaching grinders

Mishandles goalies.
Mishandles European players
Team lacks effort at times
Best players often "not our best players"

Friday, February 11, 2011

Iris Sabres Video

Sabres - Panthers Podcast

Friends' First Moments

I've been rolling around the idea of doing this post for a while, detailing my first memories of meeting each of my friends, and I think I finally will.  Despite being an introvert and somewhat of a dick, I have a lot of friends, so if I fail to mention you it probably just means I forgot or got lazy...or I secretly hate you and mail your family antrhax on rainy saturday afternoons.

Beth - This is the one that inspired this entry, because our first "meeting" was so bizarre.  I had been a member of the Buffalo Sabres Message Boards for about a year and knew a bunch of members well enough to call them by their first names, text them, etc.  So I was watching a Sabres - Senators game at my girlfriend's house and texting Beth updates because she was at work (I think).  At one point during the game, Jarkko Ruutu bit Sabres winger Andrew Peters and I texted Beth.  A short time later I get a phone call and the first words this girl says to me are "What, Ruutu bit Peters?"  Awesome.

Phil and Melissa - Another message board friend, he was in Syracuse visiting his girlfriend when we decided to meet up and watch the game together.  So I traveled out to Tully's in Cicero and approached the jailbait hostess (seriously it must be a law for chain restaurants to put a max age of 17 on their hostesses) and was like "I'm looking for..."  *sees giant Phil waving across the room in his Lydman jersey* "never mind."

Dehaas - While at Clarkson I posted often on a campus-wide forum called the Daily Jolt, on which the atmosphere was a blend of 4chan's douchebaggery with youtube commenter's intelligence.  Being both smart and prone to controversy, I was among the least popular members there.  (I would need a calculator to count the number of times I was told to kill myself.)  Dehaas was another relatively unpopular member owing partially to his position as an RA. We didn't actually end up meeting until my Sophomore year, most likely through my current RA at the time.  It was one of those "ooohh, you're that kid" moments.

Lee - I met Lee through Dehaas playing football at Walker Center, the old hockey arena at Clarkson.  Ironically Lee was the one person I had trouble covering even though he was much slower than myself due to his ability to use his size to get positioning on me.

Juliane and Bonnie - It was a random weekday and my then roommate Jacob and myself noticed two girls wandering aimlessly up and down our hall.  They seemed confused/lost so we invited them in.  Turns out they were random girls from nearby SUNY Potsdam entertaining themselves while their friend got triple penetrated and gangbanged or something.  So we invited them in since the majority of our floor was sketchy/smelly and played Mario Kart with them.

Ariel - I also met Ariel through the Sabres boards, but I wound up webcamming with her long before we met face to face.  She was a young freshman at UB, up early (from her home in Maryland) and in need of companionship so I used my studliness to answer the call.  Sadly, I can never meet her again because she'll probably kill me for writing that.

Rutledge (John) - The call came from a random car on Scott Street in Buffalo, "I see Alex!"  "Who do I see?"  I replied.  "Rutledge!"  Good to know.  Due to my frequent posting on the Sabres Message Boards and my (then) relatively rare red jersey, I was spotted a couple times by people I had never met before.

Nick (Rud) - Rud came up to me, I want to say after the Sabres clinched the division against NYR last year, said something unintelligible and shook my hand.  I was somewhat confused until I realized that he is/was a poster from the boards whose username is Run.  Mystery solved.

Shelby - I met Puck Over the Glass author Shelby at the Sabres - Sharks game on December 9th.  She was just past the corner on my end of the rink across the ice so I could see her while she was texting her and informed her of this.  (I'm creepy like that.)  She looked behind her up the steps, to which I told her to look the over way, which prompted her to look to her left, also behind her (...).  Finally I gave her my section number and started waving like an idiot.  Sweet.

Michelle - Twas freshamn year and Billings and I had become friends with a girl named Courtney basically because Courtney was a whore, and Billings attracts more whores than coke in Miami.  Two doors down from Courtney on the same floor was a girl named Michelle.  While in calc, Billings and I noticed Courtney sitting with her floor, and among them Michelle.  The prevailing thought was "that girl is hot, therefore we should get to know her."  Which is apparently pretty good logic since Michelle is one of the nicest people I know and one of my best friends.

Mel - No words necessary:

Melissa - A fellow Sabres fan and twitterite, my sister and I were actually about six feet behind her on one of the HSBC escalators on the way to meet up with her, Phil, and other Sabres bloggers/tweeters.  I was positive it was her, but "hey are you that person I know from the internet?" didn't strike me as the best opening line of conversation.

Caroline and Laura - Unfortunately I don't have a good story for either Caroline or Laura.  I think I first spotted Caroline randomly at HSBC arena during a game.  Her blonde hair makes her pretty easy to pick out of a crowd.  Laura I know I met at my first meet and greet.  She brought her mom, gutsy call since hanging out with the message board folks can be harrowing.

Jay and Tom - I honestly have no idea.  My first clear memory of Jay and Tom is the Party in the Plaza which happened less than a year ago.  (My memory sucks.)  Tom had a light up goal light that would have been fun to forcibly insert into a Bruins fan's anus (or the fat bitch that chirped him outside the arena).  Probably the best memory is heckling Melvin Dorta of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs at a Bisons game last year.  My friends are at their best when they have other fans to yell at.

And I'm getting lazy now, so I'm finished.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Remembering Andrew Peters

Andrew Peters was always one of my favorite Sabres, regardless of how he played on the ice.  He was what so many NHLers are not, personable and entertaining.  On Tuesday he announced that he would retire from hockey instead of reporting to the AHL's Manitoba Moose realizing that there is no place in today's NHL for a big body with limited hockey skills.

Tough-guy left winger Andrew Peters cleared waivers and plans to retire.
His agent, Steve Bartlett of Pittsford-based Sports Consulting Group, said the Vancouver Canucks had asked Peters to report to the Manitoba Moose. But, having played only two games with the Amerks in October, and realizing his role would be very limited, he has decided to move on with life after hockey.
Peters, 30, played nine pro seasons, including six in the NHL.

In no particular order, the best of Andrew Peters:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Freedom of Restraint: Freedom of Restraint: Episode 6 - Tara and Evan

Freedom of Restraint: Freedom of Restraint: Episode 6 - Tara and Evan: "Freedom of Restraint Episode 6 Tara and Evan Sunday Tara walked noiselessly up to Evan's fourth floor apartment in Queens, her small feet ..."

The NHL Playoffs Should be Interesting

The NHL playoffs are going to be mighty interesting, especially if the Sabres streak their way in.  Last season parity ruled as the 6th, 7th, and 8th seeds all won their opening round matchups, and the 7th and 8th seeds met in the conference finals.  In the Eastern Conference, it truly is anyone's game.

In spite of their terrible play at times this season, the possibility is still open for them to sneak into a deep playoff run because no one in the east is really that good.  Going from the top to the bottom...

Philadelphia has a good lead on first place in the conference (4 pts with two games in hand), but they're relying on the services of largely unproven goaltender Sergei Bobrovski.  He could pull an Antii Niemi come playoff time and turn stud, or he could pull a Tuukka Rask and cost his team a series.

Tampa Bay is next in line, but as the Sabres proved last night, their defense, goaltending, and mental strength are all suspect.  With the way they lost their composure after Drew Stafford's controvertial goal, one has to question their ability to make a deep playoff run.

Boston is next, and may be among the stronger teams in the conference, but with Savard out, their offensive capabilities are hampered.  Besides, isn't everyone just waiting for Tim Thomas to shit the bed?

Pittsburgh is in fourth, but they've lost Malkin (and potentially Crosby) for the year.  They have a solid lead on ninth place (14 points), but they could tank hard, especially if Staal gets injured again or Fleury doesn't play well.

Washington has been terrible for stretches this season and it's hard to figure out just what is going on.  Ovechkin has only been good, Semin has been hurt and streaky, and the defense is somewhat suspect.  Plus they're notorious for underachieving in the playoffs.

Montreal is missing Markov and Gorges for the year and can't seem to stay completely healthy for more than a few games at a time.  I'm a little surprised they've got such a good hold on the 6th position, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Sabres catch them for it.  In the playoffs, the absence of Gorges and Markov on defense will be doubly apparent.

New York has been brutal for stretches and one has to wonder what Dubinsky will be like when he returns.  Does anyone think they have the offensive output to win a playoff series if Lundqvist's GAA goes above 1.00?

Carolina has managed to step ahead of Atlanta, but they suffer from lapses on defense as well.  Will Skinner be able to carry his Calder nominee season into the postseason, or will he disappear like so many rookies before hom.

Atlanta is on the outside looking in for the first time in a while.  Honestly, I thought they'd get there sooner.  The team just flat out suffers from a lack of talent and they're getting to the point in the season where they can't make up for it with a superior effort every night.  Not to mention they're allowing the most goals in the east by a sizable amount, and that's with Ondrej Pavelec playing well.

Buffalo is in tenth, and roaring.  They have one of the easier schedules down the home stretch, which bodes well for them getting into the playoffs, but doesn't say anything about how they might perform.  The most likely opponents are Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, and Boston who they are 4-5-1 against this season.  (And how poetic would it be to bounce Boston as a 6 seed?)

I know people will say that regular season games don't matter and that the standings show that the better teams will beat the weaker teams in a seven game series, but I don't buy it for a minute.  There is no team in the eastern conference playoff picture that is significantly better than any other, and no team that doesn't have at least one major flaw.  Like last season, I think this year, anything can happen.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sabres - Lightning Podcast

Random Hockey Diagram

Hockey Fight of the Week: Clarkson Alumni Edition

Rough Idea for Next Novel

As I was watching my girlfriend order a pizza for the two of us on Saturday without having to interact with a human being at all (via Papa John's iphone app), I began to wonder where current technology is taking us.  There are a lot of jobs nowadays where human interaction has been minimized due to technology.  Meetings have transitioned from being able to take place in person, to being able to take place in multiple groups of people via conference calling and speaker phone to being able to take place in each individual workstation through VOIP.  Sometimes they don't happen at all thanks to the faceless, voiceless wonders of e-mail and text messaging.

While it may never actually happen, given people insecurities and passive aggressiveness, there is a possibility for the perversion of these abilities.  That is the world I seek to create and explore, one where human interaction is all but eliminated, where the introvert thrives, and have been replaced as sociable human beings and extroverts become the new outcasts.

Writing it will be a different journey than writing Arnett Tanner Wants to Die.  With ATWtD, I had the story first without having fully formed the world around it, and here I have the opposite.  I can see a digitized and largely silent culture, but I'm not sure what kind of story I have.  I may wind up creating a Ted Kazinsky-like character (the technology averse unabomber) and following them in their misguided path through life, or pursing something similar to the novel Feed by M.T. Anderson in which a human being is born with an allergy or inability to use modern technology.  (Or some combination of the two ideas with the former leading to the latter.)

The formatting should be interesting as dialogue will be minimal with snippets of IM-type conversations littered throughout the novel.  It should be interesting to find ways to replace common day-to-day interactions with technological equivalents, and to create an extroverted protagonist (a quality I definitely do not have).

I don't know when I'll find the time to write it as working on this blog, writing FoR, and editing ATWtD and Skankarella have kept me pretty busy, but it will be up somewhere down the line.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Classic Rock Sucks

Okay, not really, but it definitely isn't my thing.  One of the things that annoys me in the way the older generation regards more modern music is that they so often delve into the same arguments.  A new artist is a "whore/sellout", they "can't sing," and that older person "has no idea why they're famous."  I don't understand the need to paint an artist as untalented or some kind of blight on society just because they simply aren't your taste.

It's probably the third comment that gets to me most, because I think it's hyperbole, and I hate hyperbole.  I have a difficult time believing that someone has no idea why a given artist is famous regardless of how much they hate that particular artist.  It just seems like a lie told for dramatic effect.  I could take a number of artists that I don't like, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and Led Zeppelin for example (since they're basically the same thing), and even though I have no desire to listen to any of their music, I can understand their appeal and why they've made fistfuls of cash.

Maybe I'm not bitter enough in my distaste and disrespect for things I don't like, maybe I'm not selfish enough in thinking my tastes are the pinnacle of talent, or maybe I'm just an exclusive member of a remarkably intelligent few who can see the other side of things and can see the appeal to others in things that might not necessarily appeal to me.  Yeah, that has to be it.

Christina Aguilera and the National Anthem of DOOOOOOMMMM!!!

I didn't see it when it happened, so I had no idea how bad her mistake was until about a minute before writing this.  My whole thought was (and is) "that's kind of funny, it sucks to be her, let's move on."  In the past I've been annoyed at pop singers butchering or making the National Anthem "their own," but lately I've become pretty apathetic.  It's a two minute song, it sounds alright when some people (Doug Allen) sing it, and no one should care much about any one particular performance after it's over.  Certainly not this much.

NFL Picks: Year in Review

As many of you know, I was in the Syracuse Post-Standard Newspaper picking NFL games for the NFL regular season and playoffs.  The rules were we had to pick the one New York and two New Jersey teams along with a predetermined game of the week and two other games of our choosing (provided the spread was less than ten).  The competition pitted six PS employees (Us) against six paper subscribers (them) for the duration of the season.

The subscribers finished with a record of 412-266 and defeated the employees who had a record of 408-270.  These were the final standings (employees underlined):

  1. Bud Poliquin - 76-37
  2. Alex Bauer - 74-39
  3. Remi Depeche - 72-41
  4. Sarah Moses - 71-42
  5. Jacquelyn Aversa - 70-43
  6. Jeff King - 68-45
  7. Christian Jackson - 68-45
  8. Bob Siuda - 68-45
  9. John Rhode - 67-46
  10. Emily Kulkus - 63-50
  11. Jason Murray - 62-51
  12. Ben Rivers - 61-52
And following are each week's comments.
Figured I'd start off with a little bio just so people would know what to expect.

Initially my goal was to mention both the Bills and Sabres every week.

Hey man, if you're going to be a fan...  (Bob Siuda was the only other Bills fan picking games.)

One of the many weeks I mentioned hockey instead of football.

The stupid 25-word limit fucked me a lot of weeks.  The comment I wanted to run was "If an NFL game is played in Jacksonville and no one is around to see it, did it really happen?"

I started off pretty slowly evening out most weeks and then roared through the second half of the season.

It's true, NCAA kickers are the best.

Poliquin is known for being a perennial cellar dweller in the NFL picks column, but at this point in the season he was like 5 games ahead in first at like 31-11.

The beginning of my fiery streak.  The person across from me in the paper, Sarah Moses, is a huge Giants fan and was kind of annoying about it, so I took my shots at the Giants when I could.

I think this was the week I went 6-0.  I managed to fit bashing the Giants and Cowboys, complimenting the Sabres, and mentioning my birthday all within 25 words.  I picked the Giants blowout loss purely out of spite and then it actually happened...awesome.

This one is tagged on my facebook and came on the heel's of Vanek's OT winner on 11-13 against the Capitals.  (We had to have our picks in by Thursday so I couldn't mention it the previous week.  Note that every score somehow involves a '26.'

I was actually pretty nice despite the temptation to be an asshole with such a large audience.  Everytime someone bashed the Bills (usually Remi or Ben because they're children...literally), instead of taking a shot back, I simply talked about hockey over football.

If you use a simple alphanumeric code where a=1, b=2... then the scores on the right hand side spell out RIP JIM.  I was suprised the Post-Standard didn't mention Kelley's passing, but not a lot.

Guessing this came on the heels of someone bashing Buffalo or the Bills the previous week.

Merry Christmas, Sabres style.  I hope at least one P-S reader enjoyed these.

Yeah, I decided to pkay the asshole card.  Hey, the Bills won like four games, I'm going to enjoy them.

It's true, I finished first in the league, and then lost in the first round because I was in Buffalo and was unable to set my lineup.  However, since I had the most points overall in the playoffs, and the most points combined between the regular season and playoffs, I believe I was the true fantasy champion.

I sucked hard picking games in the playoffs.

Probably shouldn't have picked against Pittsburgh.  I was getting tired of the NFL at this point, so I decided to shit on it.

Not so clever foot joke!

I saved my best comment for last.

Packers - 31
Steelers - 25

Capitals - 3
Penguins - 0

Fuck yea!