Friday, April 29, 2011

Update - ESPN Radio in Syracuse

You'll remember a few weeks ago that I wrote this entry about the general shittiness of Sports coverage in Syracuse.  I realized today that a friend of mine that I play hockey with actually works for 1260 The Score so I jumped on the chance to ask him what happened to ESPN radio.  This is what he told me as best I can remember.

Evidently one day ESPN demanded that they be put on FM radio.  The company that owns 1260 owned three FM stations, two of which, 93Q, and 95X are both the #2 stations in the area for the type of music they play (Top 40s and Rock) so they clearly could not be commandeered.  There was a reason the third couldn't also, but I honestly don't remember.

I guess 1260 is kind of pissed about the entire ordeal because they saw a pretty big ratings drop with the departure of Mike and Mike whose spot was taken by Don Imus (I believe.)  I distinctly remember him saying "no one listens to Imus."  Especially not nappy headed hos.

Learn something new every day.

Arnett Tanner Wants to Die news and discussion


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Worst ESPN NHL "Expert?"

For fun I decided to see how the so-called experts that cover hockey over at ESPN were doing on their playoff picks.  My scoring system is simple enough to be easy to figure out, and compex enough to cut down the number of ties in points as the playoffs wear on.  Contestants pick winners and games earning five points per correct pick minus one point for each game they're off.  Incorrect picks yield no points.

For example a pick of Canucks in five would have yielded 5 points minus 2 points for being two games off for a total of 3 points.  The ESPN standings are as follows:

1). Barry Melrose - 19
1). Matthew Barnaby - 19
3). John Buccigoss - 17
3). Scott Burnside - 17
5). Pierre LeBrun - 15
6). E.J. Hradek - 14
7). Steve Levy - 12
8). Linda Cohn - 10

Well now...what a surprise...

(For the record I'm with LeBrun at 15 points.)

Sabres - Flyers Game 7 Podcast

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sabres Eliminated, Still Winners

So the Sabres yet again find themselves eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  While I am disappointed, I can't say I am surprised.  Philadelphia is a talented team with far better depth both offensively and defensively than the Sabres and you knew they were going to play well.

Yes someone will take home the Stanley Cup and it won't be us, but I think the Sabres will be taking home the next best thing.  Terry Pegula.  In a league where consolation prizes are somewhere between few and none we might be heading away with the best one.  I do believe that we now have the best ownership and management in the league.  Management that is committed to not only fixing the things that keep the team from winning the ultimate prize, but to making the experience more enjoyable for the fans.  Contrast that with the team that just beat us, who has a GM committed to forging blindly ahead with salvation army goaltending no matter how many times it ultimately costs him.


Let's be honest, the winner of this series is spiraling towards an eventual 4-1 or 4-2 elimination at the hands of the Washington Capitals regardless of what city it came from.  But after that we're heading for something better, heading in a direction that not many teams are.  I always say that the whole point of watching this sport is to have fun, and that I'm committed to that goal, especially now since the fun is set to increase in more ways than we ever thought possible.  The atmosphere in Buffalo reached a level that no one could have imagined in mere weeks under Pegula's ownership with changes that were largely cosmetic and superficial.  Imagine what can happen when the new ownership has time and can put in actual effort.  And that doesn't even speak to the moves that are related to hockey, are related to changing the team.

Yes, we may be losers tonight, but I think in the long run we're coming out on top.

Let's Fix the Sex Offender Registry

What do you imagine when the term "sex offender" creeps into your casual conversations?  A child molester?  A rapist?  A creepy guy with a van and a mustache?  I won't lie, I'm just as guilty of such stereotypes, and that makes things even more difficult, that someone like me can still shudder when the term "sex offender," is mentioned.

This all goes back to something I remember from college.  There was an article about how the police had apprehended a "sex offender" from nearby SUNY Potsdam because he had child porn on his computer.  Now, I was put into school early, and thus I was 17 when I went to college.  Since this particular student was a Freshman with a similar late birthday, the most reasonable guess was that the kid had a few risque pictures of his high school (or possibly even college) girlfriend.  I never found out any more details which is a problem in itself, that this kid can have such an ugly term attached to his name without any information being presented on how serious the charges were.  But the bigger issue is that being guilty of being young and stupid with a digital camera is a far cry from being forty and trolling the playgrounds for prepubescent ass.  There is almost no differentiation among sex crimes.  Sure you can go online and figure out what a registered sex offender was convicted of, but how many people take the time to do that, let alone be able to understand what the legalese translates to?

People fail to realize that the net for sex crimes is actually a pretty big one.  In addition to the clear evils of rape, molestation, and pedophilia, one can be convicted of a sex crime in certain states if they:
  • Visit a prostitute.  (Alabama, Michigan, Oregon, Tennessee, West Virginia)
  • Urinate in public.  (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont)
  • Are a teenager and have sex with another teenager.  (19-13 not so good.  17-16, not so bad.)  (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin)
  • Flash or streak.  (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia)
That there is little to no distinction between types of sexual offenses is not the only problem, but it is the root.  The Human Rights Commission's 146 page report from 2007 also claims that the registry is excessive in duration and allows everyone to access it instead of limiting it to those whose jobs are to ensure public safety.  I can agree in principle, but I' not going to shed any tears for a child molester or a rapist on those latter two.  I will however shed many for the 16 year old that's a registered sex offender because they had sex with their 15 year old partner.  What makes it even worse is that states are required to register children as young as 14 for crimes deemed sexual offenses.  Why punish those that the laws are supposed to protect?  No, it all goes back to the lack of distinction.  (And as an aside, doesn't it seem dumb to consider children age fourteen mature enough and knowledgeable enough and responsible enough to be convicted of a sex crime, but not mature, knowledgeable, or responsible enough to actually have sex?  Who makes these fucking laws?)  What makes it even mind numbing is that several states have restrictions regarding where a person can live, typically in relation to children, or places where children congregate.  This might be alright if they applied to those who commited offenses with children...but they don't.  Instead they apply to all registered sex offenders whether their crimes involved a child or not.  Again, who makes these fucking laws?

Jameel N. wrote to the Human Rights Commission:

When people see my picture on the sex offender registry, they assume I am a pedophile.  I have been called a baby rapist by my neighbors; feces have been left on my driveway; a stone with a note wrapped around it telling me to "watch my back" was thrown through my window, almost hitting a guest.  What the registry doesn't tell people is that I was convicted at age 17 for having sex with my 14-year-old girlfriend, that I have been offense free for over a decade, that I have completed my therapy, and that the judge and my probation officer didn't even thing I was at risk of reoffending.

And that isn't even the worst story.  People have been killed or killed themselves because they were forced to register as a sex offender for something stupid and the laws are so black and white.

Like I said, I have a hard time mustering any sympathy for those that have committed legitimate violent sexual crimes.  As much as the violence against them, and being forced to relocate based on proximity laws suck, they are guilty of irreparable despicable acts and should suffer for them.  But beyond that, the system is clearly broken.  What can be done about it?

  • Restrict the registry to those convicted of violent sex crimes, i.e. rape, abuse, or assault.
  • De-retardify the statutory rape laws in every state.  Some states allow for sex among minors if the age gap is small enough.  There is no reason for a 45 year old fucking a 12 year old to be considered the same thing as a 17 year old fucking a 16 year old.
  • Public urination and streaking...really?  Really?!  I hate this country...
The HRC's report, which is where the information for this entry came from, can be found here.

Syracuse is a Rinky Dink Sports City

I've talked about this before, back when AM1260 dumped ESPN radio for The Score (Who?  Exactly.) and replaced a great lineup of Cowherd, Tirico, and Van Pelt with Don Imus and a bunch of local meatheads.  But since it's always relevant and I'm stuck here, I'll talk about it again.  Plus I think I've diagnosed the problem.

You see, the issue is that with Division I college football and basketball, Syracuse does have a tiny bit of a reach out into the national sports scene.  But neither team is consistently good enough or nationally compelling enough for anyone to give a shit outside of New York State.  I'm sorry SU fans, but there are at least ten basketball schools and fifty football schools that are ahead of Syracuse when it comes to discussions about NCAA sports.

This is a problem.  The reason it's a problem is that national sports within Syracuse suffers in the way of orange boners.  (Not the Jersey Shore kind.)  The Orange literally blot out every other interesting story like the big amorphous blob that is their mascot and those that live here, but don't want to follow a failure of a football team and the relatively uninteresting sport of basketball suffer.

Even though they continually hover between mediocre and terrible, the AHL's Syracuse Crunch are tons more interesting than either incarnation of the Orange.  And the Crunch fill a larger percentage of their building (5,154 out of 6,230) than the Orange (22,152 out of 34,616) with a tenth of the publicity and coverage.  Though to be fair, every game the Crunch plays matters, and SU spends 5-10 games at the beginning of each season dicking around with the likes of Northern Iowa and Canisius so that Boeheim can get his twenty wins.

If the city of Syracuse and it's media outlets spent half the time promoting the Crunch as they do sucking the dicks of the Syracuse Orange, they could probably sell the building out almost every single night.  The Hershey Bears have almost doube the attendance of the Crunch even though nearby Harrisburg actually has a smaller metropolitan population than the City of Syracuse does.

But the Syracuse paper would rather devote between three and five pages to the minutaie of its stupid college teams than spread the love to other sports.  I can't blame them too much since it's a bit of a chicken and egg scenario.  The people trend towards what gets covered, and the papers cover what people trend towards.  I just look around, and think we can do better here.

The Lost Book of the Bible

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sabres - Flyers Game 6 Podcast

Vulgar Stats: Stereotyping the NHL

Upon watching the likes of Clarkson, St. Lawrence, Colgate, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, Harvard, Union, Brown, RPI, and Quinnipiac I realized that on most nights I was watching two teams full of grinders attempting to play hockey.  I couldn’t, for the life of me, pick out a decent goal scorer currently in the NHL that had come out of the ECACHL, though I figured there had to be at least one.  Only recently did I realize…hey…I should actually go and figure that out.

Read more at BBG.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Where The Meek Shall Overrun the Strong

Earlier today on one of the social media outlets in which I post, I stated that an increasing lack of passion amongst professional sports analysts means that the day will eventually come when they'll be overrun by bloggers who will do the same work (often more work), the same research (often more research), and they'll do it all without the promise of a paycheck.

Maybe that will come to pass, maybe it won't, but you can see where I'm coming from as I pour hour after hour into my Vulgar Stats column and Phil works diligently on his analyses and recaps and we come away with a better grasp of hockey than a lot of people who are paid to do it.  However, there are still a few shortcomings to bloggers gaining any sort of a foothold, those being trust and access.

A lot of professional sports personalities are former players and coaches, Matt Barnaby, Keith Jones, Mike Milbury, and Pierre McGuire are a few examples.  The public trusts those guys more because of the amount of time they've spent within, and in close proximity to the game of hockey.  Of course, much of the public also hates those guys, and in spite of those hours spent with hockey, the public thinks those analysts are talking completely out of their asses much of the time.  Who can blame them really?  They know they have virtually no chance of being fired (that Pierre McGuire is still employed is a perfect example), and almost everyone wants to get paid as much as possible for doing as little as possible.  These guys are used to being spoon-fed millions of dollars in salary and endorsement deals.  Stand, hold a shoe, smile, make bank from Nike.  It's only natural that they would want to do the same thing as analysts.  Sit, smile, use old stereotypes and cliches that never seem to get challenged and make bank from NBC, Versus, Yahoo, and company.

Too many analysts are just lazy.  Take Justin Bourne who writes for Yahoo's Puck Daddy who had this exchange with me on twitter. 

ryanwhitney6 (retweeted by Bourne) - NHL playoffs are amazing. Van runs through regular season and first three games and boom they lose 2 in a row and all hell breaks loose.

Me - @ryanwhitney6 @jtbourne Didn't a lot of Vancouver's wins come against bottom feeders? Pretty sure VS. showed a graphic that said they had the fewest wins against playoff teams of anyone in the west.  (The graphic may have been for regulation wins, I honestly don't remember.)

Bourne (who I'm pretty sure only read the first sentence of my tweet) - @CriminallyVu1ga If Chicago's a bottom feeder, than yes.

Me - @jtbourne Vancouver was 17-13-7 against playoff teams this season. That isn't exactly running through regular season. That makes their record 37-6-2 against non playoff teams, exactly what I the point I was making.

(Unsurprisingly Bourne had no answer.)

Maybe Bourne has something going on today that's occupying his mind, but in his initial comment, and reply to me, he was just flat out lazy.  Lazy for not reading my entire tweet, and lazy for not looking at the records of the teams in the playoffs and wondering what they really mean.  Too many analysts look at the win loss column and trot out old stereotypes.  (That Philly's goaltending woes continue to be relevant in no way excuses this.)  I mean come on, it took me a split second to wonder if Vancouver was as good as their record indicated, almost no motivation to click over to ESPN.com's schedule page, and maybe three minutes to scroll through and tally up their games against playoff teams in my head.  And I'm not even getting paid.

Another problem with national media is that we generally expect them to be less biased than the general public, which often isn't the case.  Count how many times you hear a former hockey personality excuse a dangerous hit as a "hockey play."  Another exchange I had on Twitter was with head editor Greg Wyshynski, also of Yahoo's Puck Daddy.

Me - @wyshynski your take on a possible suspension to mike richards?

Wyshynski - @kbojedla @CriminallyVu1ga Suspending Richards would be suspending to injury. I've seen it a bunch of times. Maybe a major; not a suspension

Me - @wyshynski so where do you fall on hits to the head? Penalize, suspend? That's two dangerous hits that Richards has thrown in this series to/around a player's head.

(Unsurprisingly, Wyshynski had no answer, but other twitter users had some good ones.)

UPDATE:
Wyshynski - @CriminallyVu1ga RE: Richards, Don't believe in tallying incidents. Elbow earned 5; boarding 2; if he does smthing worthy of it, suspend him

(I disagree with this, but that's a different issue entirely.)

@CriminallyVu1ga Although I must say I appreciated being treated as a dispassionate, establishment suit on your blog. As did my butler ;)

(And I laughed at this.  One thing positive to say about folks that do this for a living, is that they're far more used to dealing with criticism, and typically better at addressing it than the aforementioned bloggers.)

At least Wyshynski is remaining consistent with a March 9th column in which he wrote: "A two-minute penalty for a previously legal check that involves the head is a green light for Generation Lindros: a League full of players that skate with their heads down, knowing they're untouchable because any contact with their noggin has been legislated out of the game."


This is another instance in which passionate fans far outstrip paid professionals.  The professionals are worried about tinkering with the game they grew up with.  The local fans, while they will wish torture, death, and STDs on opposing players a bit too often, are mostly concerned with their guys getting hurt, exactly where the concern should lie.

I think that the term "legal check that involves the head" is an oxymoron. What kind of contact to the head should be legal? An elbow? A shoulder? This makes absolutely no sense to my (admittedly unpaid) mind. Is it REALLY too much to ask a player to duck down a little and shoulder a guy in the chest when he's laying a hit? I think I could pull that off (Brian Campbell got about 80% of the way), and comparatively I suck at hockey (though my ducking skills are second to none). Are we REALLY telling forwards that it's their job to look up and get out of the way of a projectile aimed at their head rather than the hitter's job to not aim a body part at someone's head?

And the assertion that it will fundamentally change the game is questionable at best. For starters there isn't much open ice hitting in the game anyways. Additionally (and I will use a favorite comparison of mine), we don't judge intent for high sticks, but that certainly hasn't led to a decrease in intensity in fights for the puck. Why do we think that removing any judgment of intent from head shots will lead to a decrease in hockey intensity.

It's baffling that these former players and analysts who have been so close to the game for so long think ANYTHING is going to decrease the intensity of those guys. Look at other sports, the number of guys simply collecting a paycheck is orders of magnitude higher than it is in the NHL. NOTHING is going to get rid of those guys' intensity short of banning physical contact altogether.

So why do we read these guys anyways if their analysis is often superficial at best and their intentions are almost always so thoroughly misplaced?  For starters, they have the name behind their writing (ESPN, NHL, Yahoo, etc.) that suggests an increase objectivity and accuracy.  (You know, except for Linda Cohn.)  They're also easier to find and access (name one sports blog that doesn't cover your own team).  They get data from the Elias Sports Bureau, (something I'd like to bring to BBG if I can, even if it costs some change).  But those things are changing.  More and more fans are turning inward for info, networking across blogs and message boards, and viewing the same for their opponents rather than reading what bland opinion Johnny Box Score and AP Reader over at ESPN is rolling out.  And the bloggers are making up ground in the one area they're lacking, access.  Both Phil and myself have been able to obtain press credentials for professional and amateur sports alike, and we'll continue to make up ground.  Why?  The same reason the Sabres are in their series with Philadelphia.

We want it more.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Losers GDT - Flyers Game 5

I am very certain the Flyers win this one in convincing fashion.
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Pretty sure the refs cannot allow any more interference on our forwards in front of Miller. In game 4 the 15 foot radius around Miller was a "free cross-checking and interference zone". That won't continue to happen. I'm sure the refs have to review tape and realize just how badly they called that game.
(because that hasn't been happening at both ends...)
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Pronger with one arm is better than syvret with two. This is the must win game. We lose this, we probably lose the series
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The more people talk about Kaleta, the more it shows that he's doing his job. He needs to be ignored...he's small potatoes and just a distraction. If we jump on them and get a lead, he becomes a moot point, so let's do that.
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Am I the only one that wouldn't mind seeing Jody Shelly play and mixing it up with Tyler Myers a bit. I honestly feel we have no one on the roster that can physically stand up to that guy.
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Rinaldo would be chaos..

He hits like a truck.
(He's 170 fucking pounds. For the record so does Gerbe but it doesn't ever amount to anything.)
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OMG rinaldo is starting. This may be one of the worst or best coaching decisions ever.
(Dude only played 1:56 effectively putting the Flyers down a man in a game when they really could have used some extra legs against the depleted Sabres.)
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Rinaldo takes out Miller, breaks him for the rest of the series. Gets suspended. Flyers win.
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Rinaldo is ****ing playing? Oh ****ING NO! NO NO NO!
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I'm starting to think Rinaldo is a mob move: take out someone important and we'll take care of you, regardless of the repercussions. That would pretty much cement our legacy of awesomeness.
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50 percent chance of rinaldo getting thrown out of the game today.
100 percent chance of rinaldo fighting someone
(What about 150% chance of him being as much of a non-factor as you can possibly be while still playing.)
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LOL WTF.

Zherdev gets shrugged off by Ennis
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i'm going out on a limb - but game over.
(wow...)
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Is he drunk?
(Reactions to their goaltending are literally all over the place.)
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Well we lost already. Great job guys. Bob would of had that ****.
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worst goalie ever
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****ing Leighton is on the bench, what a joke
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I still think we can comeback in this one.
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And it said on the ticker on TSN that Carter and Pronger are out for the series.
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I remember. I was at a game where Roman Checkmonik (sp) gave up about 3 weak goals in less than 8 minutes in the playoffs. We were about to start humming batteries at him.
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Come Flyers, it's only Ryan Miller. By HFB logic he has to be awful.

The reasoning:

He has posted 2 shutouts in a playoff series. Impressive on its own but with HFB logic it fails to compare with Leighton's 3. And as we all know Leighton sucks b***s.

Therefore Miller isn't good enough to hold Leightons jock strap.
(makes sense to me...)
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This is so ridiculous. We're not going to score 4 goals on Miller, game over.
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I'm ****ing done, I don't understand how officiating can be this ******* bad game after game...
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What i don't get why anyone is really surprised. This team hasn't really played well in awhile and needs to be taken out of its misery. Buffalo will move on and we still look forward to next year and the offseason. Sure i didn't expect 2 soft goals that quick, but i expected at least one. This team has been playing crap even in the 1-0 losses. Buffalo is a better team and plays a better system with a much better goalie.

(I don't know if I would go that far. I would say that both teams are good, and if anything wins Buffalo the series it will be their coaching, goaltending edge, and momentum.)
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What is with the "i quit," tude here? Bad start, yes. 2 periods left people. Anything can happen in the next 40 minutes!

Miller isn't a god, he can be beaten.
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Anyone hear who thinks this game IS NOT over is retarded... We have MFL in net and Boosh was starting.... I mean come on..... No Carter, which doesn't matter b/c he is a ghost in the PO's and no Pronger.
(good call)
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The PP has looked awesome but jesus christ Miller...
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Please don't tell me because of this quick turnaround, we will be starting Leighton next game.
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I don't care what ****ing idiot is in goals if we win the game. I would put Robert freaking esche in net if it meant we win
(Please for the love of god put Robert Esche in net...)
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Lindy Ruff setting up the excuses for the post game show!
(lol)
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Dammit I don't want to go to OT with Leighton....Miller has been clutch so far
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I don't like the derisive Miller chant. He's been pretty great.
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How good has gaustaud been for buffalo. God damn it flyers, one goal. One more goal!
(Not so much until the last two games)
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Oh ****, I missed that Pominville incident. Ow. Ow. Ow.
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Ennis
(Flyers fan from Vermont calls it)
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series is officially over. There is no way this team will win a game with their backs to the wall.
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lol nice rebound leighton
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We continue to dominate this team and lose.
(yeah okay...)
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how depressing. The Flyers should take this up with the NHL. The reffing has been so once sided it's almost farsical.

How is gerbe allowed to punch a player in the face after the whistle, and not get called for anything. Mike richards gets punched in the face after a whistle, and gets to go to the box.

I'm ****ed off with the NHL. It's a ****ing disgrace. What a fix.
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We couldn't even get the puck out of our own zone. Buffalo was all over us regardless of how bad Boucher was.
(Hey look, logic!)
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Wow... I [feel] like a total d-bag now.
(Guy who called Ennis.)
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85% of teams that win game 5 in a 2-2 series go on to win the series.

Leighton has probably lost us another series.
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Buffalo like Pittsburgh, is a team where the sum is greater than their parts. We are pretty much the complete opposite. Its just ironic that Pittsburgh is probably cruising to the second round while we golf and without their 2 superstars. Its bad enough we get ribbed, but imagine now when we get knocked out?
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It's what's so perplexing to me. The guys that run this team were members of the Cup winning teams of the 70's...where they had a solid goalie.

They just can't see the forest through the trees.
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Who makes a kicking save on a ice level shot unscreened from the point?
Even Devan Dubnyk would have soaked that up with ease.
(lol)
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Disappointing. Outplayed them for 5 games and suffer due to bad bounces, poor officiating and questionable goaltending. Sunday is a day of miracles apparently, so lets hope we get one in Buffalo. This team is too good to not win this series.

And to the haters that are pinning our prediciment on a goalie. You're right. It's all Millers fault.
(Flyers fans have to be the most delusional fans I've seen. Neither team is really outplaying the other. Goals are identical, Hits, Shots, and Faceoffs are all close. The teams just have different strengths which makes the Flyers look like they're playing better than the Sabres. A lot of that supposed domination is the Sabres being content to let the Flyers take all the shitty angle shots they want.)
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We just used our third lifeline on the $1000 question.
(hahahahahahaha)
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you realize BUF is an AHL caliber team with a good goalie?
Um, Miller was pretty much garbage all season.
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Leighton totally ******** on the D in his interview:
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So 4 goals against and all questionable and not one person in the world can come up with a logical choice as to who should start game 6 ?

How is this not finally a red flag to someone high up in this organization ?????
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The folks high up in the organization are color blind, they can't see red flags.
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Buffalo had like 1 scoring chance on Boucher and scored three times.
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We totally deserved this one. It's a shame that Buffalo are leading this serie.
(With extremely rare exceptions, the games you win are the games you deserve.)
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Remember how buffalo smoked us when we had esche in net? Yea it (starting Leighton) will be like that.
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Bloggers on the Flyers beat were implying that Bobrovsky had a serious breakdown. He was despondent after game 1 and, allegedly, has been a zombie after getting pulled in game 2.

From the sounds of it, if he showed any sign of being mentally "together" at all, he would be getting these starts.

I feel awful for him. On a team full of North American meatheads, he is on an island because of the language barrier. It's impossible for a veteran to have a heart to heart with him when he's low.
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I agree, I think they'll start Boucher and say the old "everyone has a bad night"
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The soaps One Life to Live and All my Children are being cancelled yet we keep seeing reruns of ALL MY GOALTENDING EFF UPS by Holmgren and this organization. Again...two career backup goalies and a rookie going into the playoffs...I swear you have better odds playing Powerball...
I prefer "As the Goalies Turn"
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Also, Michael Leighton blames the defense for that goal publically? I hope Zherdev has a few Russian mobsters come and garrote that stupid ****, and his body is found floating somewhere in the north end of the Delaware, buoyed by his freebound-generating RBK pads. Moron.
(Stay classy)
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i cant believe this. i look at our lineup up and down and i just wonder how...

how are we losing to this team

the mother****ing buffalo sabres

a team filled with call ups and injuries, and yet they relentlessly **** us into submission seemingly every night

im going into a coma, no one wake me up
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I agree with you fully on all points but your suggestion that the Sabres may be leading the scoring chances. I'd tend more towards equal with a slight edge over the Flyers. All of our puck possession and zone time has not translated to a lot of GOOD chances, but rather mostly perimeter/bad angle chances on Miller (even close chances can be more or less easy saves if they're not right in the slot).

That said, I think the edge on really good opportunities falls to the Flyers; Miller has had to make a lot more big saves than any of the Flyers goalies have, but as you mentioned, goaltending is the great equalizer.


I also don't think the Flyers are that hungry. I think for the last few months they figured that they'd just show up and what happened last year would happen again. They seem too content.
(More logic!)
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Why dress Rinaldo to play a minute? Surely Shelley could have done that and provided a bit more veteran presence/locker room mojo than Rinaldo. Or play Gus or Holmstrom... not a deciding factor but seems bizarre.
(My pondering exactly)
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OFFTOPIC:
they really need to stop the kate smith thing
it was better when they used it in ' pressure, backs against the wall ' type games ( like game 6 / 7 will be.)
its losing it impact in games now
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These number 1 goalies are pretty hard to find, so how will the Flyers magically get one after 20 years of not having one? I just want a competent goalie who wont lose a series for you, not exactly be the reason you won. im not good with the salary cap but the only goalie I know that is out there is Bryzgalov.
(Which is funny because Bryzgalov completely lost the series for Phoenix. Do these people watch hockey?)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sabres - Flyers Game 5 Podcast

I Take Offense To Your Offense

There's an article on my Facebook feed titled NYS Senator 'Deeply Offended' by Governor's Pro-Gay Marriage Efforts.  My opinions on gay marriage are pretty played out, and while I may post on that in the future, I feel no real need to do so at this time.

But it got me thinking about offense in general.  We hear that word and iterations of it so often.  People are offended by God, or by a lack of God, or by bigotry or homophobia, or apparently a lack of that too.  Sometimes they're offended by specific words, like cancer, sometimes they're offended by jokes on serious matters like death and rape.  The whole thing seems really complicated to me, especially since when considering what offends me, I have a hard time coming up with anything.  The dictionary.com definition of offense is merely something that displeases, which seems overly simplistic.

I think I'm offended by very few things.  I'm fiercely in favor of Gay rights, but I throw the word faggot out as often as anyone.  I have interests that are...not mainstream, but I'm quick to use words like dork and nerd as well.  I think rape and death and cancer and dead babies are awful things...but I still joke about them.  I've had people call me funny looking, socially retarded, a loser, and been more amused than anything.

I think it's such a difficult concept to grasp because offense seems so fluid.  No stoic person is completely unoffended by anything, and no politically correct person is devoid of their fair share of dirty or tasteless comments.

It's weird, I am well aware of my faults, such as being prone to isolation and being less than socially adept.  Being called out on these things doesn't bother me too much.  Honestly, when I get offended at such insults, the offense is more directed at the fact those insulters think those things matter, or that they make them better than me, not at the insults themselves, but maybe that's the same thing.

One of the things I was highly offended by was the constant remarks by my old bosses that I needed to be "more engaging," or "more talkative," or that I "didn't look excited enough."  (That last one still boggles my mind.  That someone could be so stupid to utter such a thing is nothing short of incredible to me.  That has to be the dumbest comment I've ever heard in my life.)  Mostly I was annoyed by their extremely crude grasp of people and how they thought that it was simply a matter of altering my personality.  Annoyed by how they couldn't understand that I wasn't like them, that I didn't like making small-talk, or going to company functions, or being around people at all.

Maybe that's what offends me more than anything, the all too often instances in which people fail to consider that those around them have conflicting viewpoints, different impressions, or that there are multiple ways of looking at things.  "Perception is reality," was another favorite quote thrown out by my old bosses, and to me that seemed like such a cop out.  I accept that appearances do matter to a certain extent and am okay with conforming to them.  But I feel like that phrase is an excuse to avoid any critical thinking, to bully your way through an interaction with a subordinate, or to tenderly stoke the fires of your own confirmation bias.  If you believe that perception is reality to that much of a degree, then you don't really need to explore anything with any depth, do you?  You can just continue to rely on your own flawed perceptions and pat yourself on the back for it because you'll never even think about exploring the possibility that you might be wrong.

The NHL - What Teams You Should Hate

I'll start off by saying that I tired to look at this from an objective perspective. I know specifics are going to be different based on who you root for, what those rivalries are, and what qualities you find to be distasteful. So I tried to take off my fan hat and look at this from perspectives around the league.  And obviously I can't possibly know everything about every team so some of these will be more accurate than others.

That having been said, I determined hate by summing the rankings in six categories. Those categories and the basis for them are below:

Talent (out of 5) - Because we hate teams that are better than our team.
Dirtiness (out of 5) - Because we hate teams that injure other players.
Fan Douchery (out of 5) - Because we hate assholes.
Fan Bandwagonry (out of 5) - Because we hate teams with fair weather fans.
Recent History (out of 5) - Because we hate teams that have won cups recently.
Hatable Players (1+ number of hatable players) - Because the biggest factor in hating a team is the douchebags they employ. (Whether we hate them because they're dirty, because they're good, because they fight, or because they just look like a royal asshole.)

Counting down...

#30 - Edmonton Oilers

Talent (1) - The Oilers suck.
Dirtiness (5) - But they do rack up a ton of penalties.
Fan Douchery (3) - This is a passionate Canadian fanbase...they have their fair share.
Recent History (2) - They lost a cup because their goalie got hurt. Ouch.
Fan Bandwagonry (1) - It's Canada. Enough said.
Hatable Players (2) - Theo Peckham racking up the fighting majors.

Total - 14

#29 - Nashville Predators
Talent (4) - While not flashy, Pekka Rinne and their defense make them a contender.
Dirtiness (1) - Among the fewest penalty minutes in the league.
Fan Douchery (2) - Relatively harmless southern market.
Recent History (3) - A few playoff years, nothing awful, nothing spectacular.
Fan Bandwagonry (2) - The attendance is growing and the diehards are a force. One of the very few southern markets that doesn't see it's numbers greatly bolstered by transplants and travelers when they play northern teams.
Hatable Players (2) - Jordin Tootoo

Total - 14

#28 - Florida Panthers
Talent (2) - Florida sucks.
Dirtiness (1) - Another team that had very few PIM.
Fan Douchery (2) - What fans?
Recent History (1) - About that...
Fan Bandwagonry (5) - I don't know if it's bandwagonry or just plain sucking.
Hatable Players (3) - Marty Reasoner, Darcy Hordichuk

Total - 14

#27 - Minnesota Wild
Talent (3) - Always capable of just missing the playoffs.
Dirtiness (3) - Not a lot of penalties but...Cal Clutterbuck.
Fan Douchery (3) - A northern market, but by all accounts a decently benign one.
Recent History (2) - Not much to cheer about.
Fan Bandwagonry (1) - Legit.
Hatable Players (3) - Cal Clutterbuck, Brad Staubitz.

Total - 15

#26 - Atlanta Thrashers
Talent (3) - Better than I gave them credit for...but not by much.
Dirtiness (2) - Shrug.
Fan Douchery (2) - Every team got a two or above because every team has asshole fans. Some just have more assholes than others.
Recent History (1) - See Panthers, Florida.
Fan Bandwagonry (5) - I feel like this should have been bandwagonry/suckitude.
Hatable Players (2) - Patrice Cormier (unless you're in the KKK then there's like five more).

Total - 15

#25 - Calgary Flames
Talent (3) - Iginla and meh.
Dirtiness (2) - Would be a 1 if Iginla would remove his fag visor when he fights.
Fan Douchery (3) - Lambert is only one guy...
Recent History (4) - Recent cup finals appearance and a few playoff seasons bumps this up.
Fan Bandwagonry (1) - One of the best Canadian markets.
Hatable Players (3) - Tim Jackman, Cory Sarich.

Total - 16

#24 - Columbus Blue Jackets
Talent (3) - Rick Nash and a cesspool.
Dirtiness (4) - Columbus likes penalties.
Fan Douchery (3) - It's Ohio...but they just don't have that many...
Recent History (1) - As abortive as their past logos.
Fan Bandwagonry (2) - Columbus fans are passionate, see Ohio State, but even they don't want to watch the shitty Blue Jackets.
Hatable Players (3) - Jared Boll, Scottie Upshall. Having a former Flyer does not help your case.

Total - 16

#23 - St. Louis Blues
Talent (3) - Outside of Backes, how many Blues can you name?
Dirtiness (5) - This team likes to fuck you up.
Fan Douchery (3) - Better support than their latitude indicates.
Recent History (1) - Yeah...
Fan Bandwagonry (1) - Suprisingly passionate.
Hatable Players (4) - Cam Janssen, B.J. Crombeen, Brad Winchester

Total - 17

#22 - Colorado
Talent (2) - Honestly I feel like this should be higher, but they sucked pretty out of control this year.
Dirtiness (3) - Nothing special here.
Fan Douchery (3) - Meh.
Recent History (5) - Patrick Roy and the garage full of cups...
Fan Bandwagonry (3) - Definitely not the hottest ticket in town if they aren't winning trophies.
Hatable Players (2) - Cody McLeod. Honestly I have no idea, but McLeod had a bunch of fights.

Total - 18

#21 - Buffalo Sabres
Talent (4) - Just a cut below the cup contenders.
Dirtiness (2) - High on minor penalties, but one of a very few teams to log zero game misconducts.
Fan Douchery (3) - Despite what Canes fans will to tell you, Buffalo has a pretty average amount of drunk idiots.
Recent History (3) - Some playoff appearances and a few decent runs, but no hardware.
Fan Bandwagonry (1) - Best American fanbase.
Hatable Players (5) - Look, everyone hates Patrick Kaleta and a lot find Nathan Gerbe to be really annoying and Tyler Myers to be brutish. I don't really know if people hate Cody McCormick, but I figured I'd let him join the party.

Total - 18

#20 - Dallas Stars
Talent (3) - Until Brad Richards leaves.
Dirtiness (3) - Run of the mill.
Fan Douchery (2) - Probably should be higher because it's Texas...
Recent History (5) - No Goal.
Fan Bandwagonry (3) - One of the better southern draws, but nothing spectacular.
Hatable Players (3) - Steve Ott, Krys Barch.

Total - 19

#19 - Toronto Maple Leafs (I know, I know, but they're hard to hate because they suck so bad.)
Talent (3) - Never as high as Leafs fans think.
Dirtiness (2) - Not good enough to be dirty.
Fan Douchery (5) - They'd be the apex of fan douchery if Pennsylvania and Quebec didn't exist.
Recent History (2) - Losers since '47.
Fan Bandwagonry (1) - Their fans get screwed so hard the entire operation might as well be considered a scam...and yet they still show up.
Hatable Players (6) - Mike Brown, Colby Armstrong, Phil Kessel, Colron Orr, Dion Phaneuf.

Total - 19

#18 - Phoenix Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets
Talent (4) - Not good enough to beat Detroit plus two officials.
Dirtiness (2) - Doan is a prick, but they still don't take too many penalties.
Fan Douchery (2) - Ask me in Winnipeg.
Recent History (3) - Maybe this should be a one because of the ownership issues?
Fan Bandwagonry (5) - Sorry.
Hatable Players (4) - Shane Doan, Ryan Hollweg, Ed Jovanovski

Total - 20

#17 - Chicago Blackhawks
Talent (4) - Last year it was a five.
Dirtiness (1) - Among the fewest penalties in the league.
Fan Douchery (4) - Plenty of assholes.
Recent History (4) - No explanation necessary.
Fan Bandwagonry (3) - Cup win saw huge boon.
Hatable Players (3) - Patrick Kane, Maid Marian Hossa. A rare instance in which neither is hated because they play dirty. They're hated because people think they're assholes. They probably are.

Total - 20

#16 - Ottawa Senators
Talent (2) - Where goaltending goes to die.
Dirtiness (4) - They have Chris Neil...
Fan Douchery (3) - Probably one of the more pleasant Canadian fanbases.
Recent History (4) - Tough call. Cup finals appearance and loads of talented teams.
Fan Bandwagonry (3) - The worst Canadian market.
Hatable Players (4) - Daniel Alfredsson, Chris Neil, Matt Carkner.

Total - 20

#15 - Los Angeles Kings
Talent (4) - I still think Quick sucks.
Dirtiness (3) - Meh.
Fan Douchery (4) - LA is rife with douchebags. Just playing the odds here.
Recent History (3) - Nothing special.
Fan Bandwagonry (3) - Better than Anaheim...not saying much.
Hatable Players (4) - Ryan Smyth, Justin Williams, Kyle Clifford. Buy a goddamn vowel for your last name Smyth.

Total - 21

#14 - Detroit Red Wings
Talent (5) - Kind of obvious here...
Dirtiness (1) - Hard to be dirty when your team has seven testicles distributed between 25 players.
Fan Douchery (5) - That Hockeytown bullshit has given them a huge entitlement/superiority complex.
Recent History (5) - Wahh, we have too many cups, wahhh.
Fan Bandwagonry (1) - Good ratings, good attendance. Not the best, but good.
Hatable Players (4) - Tomas Holmstrom, Todd Bertuzzi, Niklas Kronwall. I don't like their Smart Car full of Euros either, but I doubt many people share my hatred of Datsyuk.

Total - 21

#13 - Tampa Bay Lightning
Talent (4) - Hi my name is Vinny Lecavalier and my contract almost single handedly destroyed my team. In a few years I will be passing that torch to my buddy Stamkos.
Dirtiness (2) - Not a lot of penalties, Downie aside.
Fan Douchery (2) - Know a few Lightning fans by association. They seem cool.
Recent History (5) - Making Lambert weep is kind of delightful.
Fan Bandwagonry (5) - Strongest hockey market in Florda!
Hatable Players (3) - Vincent Lecavalier, Steve Downie. Some people might question Lecavalier, and I like him, but he does a lot of things that are dirty as fuck.

Total - 21

#12 - Montreal Canadiens
Talent (4) - If the team was a little better and their last cup didn't come almost twenty years ago they might be higher.
Dirtiness (4) - One of the dirtiest teams in the league that no one knows about.
Fan Douchery (5) - LET'S BURN THINGS!
Recent History (4) - A bunch of playoff appearances. I could knock this down since Patrick Roy took a big shit on their city....but I won't.
Fan Bandwagonry (1) - No explanation necessary.
Hatable Players (3) - Scott Gomez, Pernell Subban. I'm sure Boston fans can come up with twenty more, but I was looking over their roster and shrugging a lot.

Total - 21

#11 - New Jersey Devils
Talent (4) - Way better than they showed for half the season.
Dirtiness (1) - Patrick Elias is so nice. I'd let him babysit my dog.
Fan Douchery (3) - Echo...echo...echo... The Prudential Center on game night.
Recent History (5) - Killing hockey and winning since 1990-something.
Fan Bandwagonry (5) - If a bunch of Cups won't fill the seats, nothing will.
Hatable Players (3) - Ilya Kovalchuk, David Clarkson. It's too bad Kovalchuk doesn't have the intensity of, say, everyone on the Penguins. Dude would be unstoppable. Instead he has the intensity of Mr. Rogers.

Total - 21

Ah the top ten. The biggest shitbag teams in the NHL. Fuck these guys.

#10 - San Jose Sharks
Talent (5) - Ridiculous longevity as a good team.
Dirtiness (3) - Kind of have to be a little bit if you play Anaheim six times a year.
Fan Douchery (3) - Throwing a dead Shark eating an Octopus onto the ice against Detroit was an awesome kind of douchery.
Recent History (4) - Eventual choking does not erase the fact that you've made the playoffs as a high seed each of the last eleventy million years.
Fan Bandwagonry (4) - Almost always a top ten market.
Hatable Players (6) - Ben Eager, Dany Heatley, Dan Boyle, Kyle Westgarth, Jamal Mayers.

Total - 22

Final Thoughts: I don't hate San Jose personally, but I know they're hated. They have to be. They're the best fanbase in their division by such a ridiculous margin, I just know that Phoenix, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Anaheim have serious Shark rage that is only sated by the fact that they're a perennial playoff failure.


#9 - Carolina Hurricanes
Talent (3) - It's Eric Staal, Cam Ward, Jeff Skinner, and a bunch of girl scout skating badge failures.
Dirtiness (2) - Unless you're talking about their fans.
Fan Douchery (5) - I'm white so they treat me pretty well.
Recent History (5) - One cup erases a lot of crappy seasons.
Fan Bandwagonry (5) - Show the fuck up losers.
Hatable Players (3) - Eric Staal, Troy Brodie. I have no idea who Brodie is, I just saw his name on hockeyfights.com. It's funny because everyone hates Eric Staal and aside from the blatant unforgivable diving the only real reason is that he just looks like a shitbag. All the Staal brothers do. They have the kind of face that says "punch me right now, I deserve it."

Total - 22

Final thoughts: The Hurricanes couple the most undeserved Stanley Cup in the history of hockey with the most randomly unlikable player in the league with fans that have a huge jealousy boner because they suck too much to be able to fill up their building and keep opposing fans out. Their place on this list is well earned.


#8 - New York Rangers
Talent (4) - Store bought, often defective.
Dirtiness (4) - The Rangers play like dicks, most likely a product of their division.
Fan Douchery (5) - I've only seen fans get kicked out of a hockey game twice, and one of those instances involved Rangers fans.
Recent History (3) - They won a cup a while ago or something, I don't know.
Fan Bandwagonry (2) - The history of the building is as much a draw as the team itself. If there weren't simply a billion goddamn people in NYC, they wouldn't sell out.
Hatable Players (4) - Sean Avery, Maid Marian II Gaborik, Brandon Prust

Total - 22

Final Thoughts: The Rangers are like the New York Yankees of the NHL if the Yankees sucked. Not only do they waste time chasing high profile free agents, but anyone that goes to their team immediately becomes at least 30% less likable just because of the jersey they put on.

#7 - Vancouver Canucks
Talent (5) - There are TWO WHOLE SEDINS!
Dirtiness (3) - They only picked up Lapierre at the trade deadline.
Fan Douchery (3) - The green men are awesome, but I'm sure their rivals hate them.
Recent History (4) - Trying to out choke San Jose every year is hard work.
Fan Bandwagonry (1) - Strong market.
Hatable Players (7) - Alex Burrows, Raffi Torres, Maxim Lapierre, Jannik Hansen, Roberto Luongo, Tanner Glass. The Canucks were hurt by the fact that they seem to be massing shitbags at a frightening rate. First Raffi Torres, then Maxim Lapierre? Who's next, Chris Neil?

Total - 23

Final Thoughts: I'm not sure if I find the Sedins' disturbing need to play together endearing, creepy, or a little douchey. Like the Staals, they get some ire because they look like they're going to kidnap your child and Eiffel Tower them, but I don't think they're really hated as players. Another team that seems to have slid into the perfect spot.

#6 - Washington Capitals
Talent (5) - How do you say talent in Russian?
Dirtiness (2) - Even with Ovechkin's annual ejection the Caps don't really do a lot.
Fan Douchery (4) - Meh.
Recent History (4) - Sucking before they got Ovechkin does not cancel out them having Ovechkin. Being one of the NHL's darlings bumps this up.
Fan Bandwagonry (4) - T'was crickets in the Verizon Center until #8 arrived.
Hatable Players (6) - Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Mike Green, Matt Hendricks, Matt Bradley. I'm sure Green is an okay guy, he just looks like such an asshole.

Total - 25

Final Thoughts: I have days where I'm like "that guy is awesome" and days where I'm like "that guy is a bag of chode-like dicks" with both Ovechkin and Semin. I'm sure there are plenty of people that want to plant a boot in the ugly mug of #8, or are hoping he cheapshots another Sabre and there isn't a ref to stop Paul Gaustad from murdering him.

Down to the top five. If you see a fan in any of the following colors walking on the street, take a dump on them and their dog.

#5 - New York Islanders
Talent (2) - Maybe if Rick Dipietro wasn't made out of paper mache and old newspapers.
Dirtiness (5) - One of the top two dirtiest teams in the league, and perhaps #1.
Fan Douchery (5) - The only thing that doesn't make the suckitude of these people more apparent is the fact that there aren't that many of them.
Recent History (1) - And probably getting worse.
Fan Bandwagonry (2) - They just don't show up.
Hatable Players (10) - Pretty much everyone. Josh Bailey, Michael Haley, Zenon Konopka, Trevor Gillies, Matt Martin, Travis Hamonic, Trent Hunter... poor Michael Grabner.  Grabner being on the Islanders is like dropping Mr. Rogers off at the Westboro Baptist Church.

Total - 25

Final Thoughts: Islanders fans are disgusting, but luckily an endangered species. I feel for them in that they had a juggernaut of a team destroyed by Mike Milbury (even Rangers fans shed a tear for this), but that was a long time ago. Hey, at least Matt Moulson's mom is relatively nice.

#4 - Philadelphia Flyers
Talent (5) - Goaltending notwithstanding.
Dirtiness (4) - They're bad, but there are a few teams that are just a cut above. Sorry Philly, you're slipping.
Fan Douchery (5) - Those guys are pricks, luckily they probably can't read this.
Recent History (4) - Sucking for a year does not excuse all the playoff teams.
Fan Bandwagonry (1) - Probably the second or third best American fanbase in terms of loyalty. Too bad they're assholes.
Hatable Players (7) - Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Scott Hartnell, Daniel Briere, Chris Pronger, Daniel Carcillo.

Total - 26

Final Thoughts: I hate the Philly fans way more than I hate the team. Those people are so despicable they need to be euthanised, and yet they're not the worst fans in the league, which is kind of amazing. The team overall might be a little low at number four, but I am okay with the three teams above them.

#3 - Anaheim Ducks
Talent (4) - Poor Jonas Hiller.
Dirtiness (5) - When your top line is your asshole line and not your fourth line...
Fan Douchery (4) - I've had a few of shitty experiences with Ducks fans, which is kind of surprising because there are like four of them.
Recent History (5) - Beating Ottawa and exposing Ray Emery was poetic, but I still hate you.
Fan Bandwagonry (5) - Didn't even get enough fans to hold a Stanley Cup parade. Sad.
Hatable Players (5) - Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Jarkko Ruutu, Jesse Winchester.

Total - 28

Final Thoughts: In addition to being a team full of shitbags in a city that doesn't appreciate hockey, the Ducks also boast the most obnoxious and biased announcing duo and yes I am aware that Jack Edwards exists. I don't even know their names, but I'm pretty sure they're Rectal St. Cock-warbler, and Hymen von Smellslikeass. And now back to you Hymen...

#2 - Boston Bruins
Talent - (4) - Just a smidge below greatness.
Dirtiness (5) - Ask Max Pacioretty.
Fan Douchery (5) - The Bruins fans I know personally are great guys, but I'm pretty well traveled among team sites and message boards, and NOBODY complains as much as Bruins fans do. It's probably because of the overlap with bandwagon Red Sox fans and whiney Patriots fans. And Bill Simmons.
Recent History (4) - Last year's collapse was hilarious. Come on, they made history! That's good, right?
Fan Bandwagonry (2) - Good fanbase, but they're no Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Detroit, or Philadelphia.
Hatable Players (9) - Zdeno Chara, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Nathan Horton, The Crappy Thornton, Johnny Boychuk, Adam McQuaid, Gregory Campbell. Chara's ugly face alone is worth ten guys. What's the over under on Chara-Lucic combined IQ? 29?

Total - 29

Final Thoughts: Another team that, like Anaheim, boast an incredibly obnoxious announcing team. I mean really how can you think of Boston and not be filled with blinding hate? LEARN TO SAY THE GODDAMNED LETTER 'R!' Jesus Christ, it's like the Jersey Shore accent, but worse.

AND NOW, YOUR NUMBER ONE MOST HATE WORTHY TEAM IN THE ENTIRE NHL...

#1 - THE PITTSBURGH PENGUINS! Holy shit, where to begin?

Talent (5) - It definitely doesn't help that they sucked for a million years and got a bajillion number one draft picks. I'm all for league parity, but that's kind of ridiculous.

Dirtiness (5) - The dirtiest team in the league pretty easily. When your star player is not above ganging up on a guy with a teammate and punching him in the sack, this title is well earned. Watching the Islanders kick the shit out of them was HILARIOUS because the Penguins were pulling the same bush league garbage game in and game out and they made the asinine mistake of pulling it on a team that was just as full of assholes as they are, awful enough so that they wouldn't give two shits if half their team got suspended, AND run by Garth Snow who probably had to be restrained from jumping onto the ice and kicking the shit out of several Penguins himself. Amazing.

Fan Douchery (5) - The most ignorant, classless, white trash fans in the entire league. They eclipse Philly fans by a country mile. It must be something in the water because I can count the number of pleasant experiences I've had with Pittsburgh sports fans on my penis. I've seen them vandalize HSBC Arena, try to destroy the team's flag, throw beer cans, and fight other fans. They're the only other team that I've seen have fans ejected from a hockey game. I've been verbally assaulted by Penguins fans at HSBC arena when the Sabres weren't even playing them. They are nothing short of a pox on humanity and it is a DAMN SHAME that the team didn't move when it was a possibility, tradition, and history, and ratings be damned. Not only are their fans intolerable, but they have a sanctimonious hypocrite owner who should shut his goddamn mouth, send Matt Cooke packing, and duct tape Evgeni Malkin's elbows to his ribcage before complains about other team's dirty players.

Recent History (5) - Seeing the Red Wings, who are completely boring to watch outside of Kronwall if they're not in the shootout, and the Penguins who are unlikable in every way imaginable play in the cup finals two years in a row was almost as bad as just not watching hockey in 04-05.

Fan Bandwagonry (1) - I have to give credit where credit is due. After several years of having two of the top five best players in the game, and possibly the most clutch goalie, AND two straight years of Stanley Cup Finals appearances, PLUS being pimped by the league at every conceivable opportunity, they FINALLY jumped ahead in the TV ratings of a team who has been half and half on making the playoff, played for a cup twice in its existence, and might as well not exist in the eyes of the NHL.  Congrats.

Hatable Players (10) - The entire goddamn team. You want me to name names? Fine. Tyler Kennedy, Jordan Staal, Maxime Talbot, Matt Cooke, Chris Kunitz, Mike Rupp, Alexei Kovalev, Deryk Engelland, Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, and Brooks Orpik.

Total - 31

Final Thoughts: The Penguins literally have every unlikable thing imaginable going for them. Not only are they talented, but they play cheaper and dirtier than everyone, their captain (Crosby) and star player (Malkin) look like an all star cock sucker and a crack baby respectively, they have one of the worst cheap shot artists in the game (Cooke), one of the laziest players in the game (Kovalev), an annoying owner who every time he opens his mouth spews farts made out of dicks, a fan base that would murder your dog for amusement, gross colors, a stupid logo, AND they even boast the god damned Staal face, albeit the most attractive one.  Which is kind of like saying that small dogs leave the most tolerable dog shit.

If you're not from Pittsburgh and you don't hate the Penguins, something has gone very, very wrong somewhere in your life and you should almost certainly seek therapy. They have drugs that can erase pretty much any emotion these days.  Go take care of it, and may whatever God there is have mercy on your pathetic, probably beyond saving soul.

Ways Daniel Briere Can Give You Aids

Looking at you for too long.

Don't.  Touch.  His.  Stick.

Aidstache

Calling your mom on the phone.

Liking your facebook page.

Eating the same brand of oranges as you do.

Mentioning you on twitter.

Grunting really loudly.

Farting in your general direction.

Logging into his Barbie.com account.

Having a wet dream about you.

Doing the robot.

Lip syncing to "What, What, in the Butt."




Octopus porn.

Wearing a purple hat.

Yawning.

Masturbating to Justin Bieber in a tutu.

Playing his music too loud.

Hitting you with his purse.

and finally by Daniel Briere can give you aids by not wearing a bra.

Learning a New Sport

Two years ago in 2009 I decided that I wanted to, and was finally financially able to play inline hockey.  I wasn't sure how it would go since there were factors pushing me in both directions.  Working for me was the fact that I was and am a pretty athletic guy.  I've played pretty much every other sport in an organized sense so I figured I could adapt to hockey eventually.  Working against me was the sheer difficulty level in hockey.  It is harder and more complicated than any other sport.  Nothing combines balance, endurance, and dexterity like hockey does.

So I guess it made sense that my first performances were a mixed bag.  I tried hard so I had my fair share of moments, but I couldn't quite put everything together, and was bad to average on a fairly consistent basis.  The first few games I played I didn't touch the puck much, and when I did it was a disaster.  I remember getting three breakaway passes in one shift and screwing them all up.  Not a "defenseman came back" type of screw-up, or a" mishandled a bad pass" kind of screw-up, they were "I was by myself with no one around me and I lost the puck completely on my own" types of screw-ups.  They weren't pretty.  Still through sheer force of will I managed to tally over a point per game in the six preseason games.

That was pretty much my goal heading into the season, to put up over a point per game (the average inline score is probably around 9-8), and chip in as many goals as I could.  It was tough at times, especially when we played games against teams that were much, much better.  We got shut out on a few occasions and I had my share of pointless games.  With my efforts though I was able to at least contribute in other ways, by blocking shots, and by being pretty defensively responsible.  We were 2-14-0 on the season but I would guess that I was closer to having a positive rating than anyone else.  I was also pretty solid on faceoffs and I never let in a goal killing penalties all season.  I ended the season with 4 goals and 13 assists in 16 regular season games, and 1 goal and 2 assists in our lone 5-3 playoff loss.  I was pretty happy to be putting in a good effort and contributing more than other players in the league who had much more experience.

My initial skillset was pretty simple.  I was able to do things that other players didn't want to do, to take faceoffs, to block shots, and to play the swing spot (inline is 4 on 4) that is responsible for being both the third guy in on the rush and the second defender back.  My ability to receive passes was god awful, my shot wasn't much better, and my puck-handling was very underwhelming (though looking back this may have been as much of a confidence issue as a skill issue).  My hockey-sense was improving...but still far behind.  On the plus side I had my effort, my toughness, my willingness to play physical, and I was an okay passer.   Good, but not enough for me.

The only way to get better at a sport is to expose yourself to it over and over and over again so that's basically what I did.  I watched game after game in the NHL, I made a hockey net and skated over and over in my driveway and I signed up for the preseason again in 2010.  My first goal was to get better with the puck, to pick up on the tips and tricks for handling it and receiving passes, especially while moving, and to improve my hockey sense, to slow the game down, and to know where to go with the puck.

I'm not entirely sure where it came from, but I think the thing that helped me the most was an increase in confidence.  I realized that I was much, much better carrying the puck up ice than I thought and could often lead the rush.  In one of my first games of the 2010 preseason I scored four goals, equaling my total for the previous preseason.  Playing in the preseason helped my game out a lot, not just because it helped me get in shape, but because there aren't very many people so the A, B, and C guys are all thrown into a mishmash of teams and it's more of a pick-up environment.  Playing both with and against some of the better players helped me elevate my game, both seeing what they do with the puck, and seeing what I could use against them.

During the regular season I was the leading scorer on my team for a few stretches, and the assists leader for a few others.  It only took me a little while to figure out that I could use my speed and agility to deke the pants off bigger defensemen and I got a lot of good chances.  I probably should have scored more, but tallying 6 goals and 19 assists in only 14 games was a nice improvement.  I added another goal, a meaningless tally at the end of a 9-3 blowout in the playoffs to cap off the season.  Midway through the season I started to see the first flashes that told me I was picking up the game.  In our fourth game I had 1 goal and 4 assists in a blowout win where my vision was miles better than everyone else and I ended the season on an 8 game point streak.  My efforts didn't go unnoticed as I took home the League Grinder award for being the hardest working player.



Luckily the commisioner wanted to get more out of the inline surface so there was a fall session and also a floor hockey league, both of which ended up following a pick-up format.  Of course I signed right up looking for another opportunity to improve and genuinely loving playing hockey.  I played well in both leagues and started to come into my own as someone who could carry the puck and be a consistent force offensively.  In with a lot of players that had great shots and where I was willing to try harder than everyone else, I racked up a ton of goals and assists just flat out beating guys to pucks and letting the more talented players do their jobs.  My skillset actually started to morph out of the grinder mold and into something with a bit more offensive talent.  I still wasn't great at receiving passes, or shooting, but I steadily became very good with the puck, a threat to make defensemen look stupid and deceptively strong for my small stature.  Most importantly I started seeing the game much better.  I knew where to go with the puck, what guys would be open, and didn't have to rely solely on my speed and sheer will as much.

In the past offseason I've had a chance to play floor hockey over at the Cicero YMCA a bunch of times.  It's a different game on feet, but I've tried to use it to continue to improve.  I've spent a lot of time working on my shot and have evolved into a decent goal scorer.  Now instead of just blindly firing away my mind is starting to consider the situation and what the goalie is giving me.  I've also been seeing the game extremely well and my mistakes are usually physical and not mental.  That's carried over into inline hockey a lot more than I thought it would as I'm actually capable of scoring goal-scorers goals.  In my first night of play I had 3 goals and 4 assists in 2 games of hockey.

More importantly I was talking with one of the guys that had been on my team for that first season of play and received praise for how I'd come along as a player.  I know that first year, being vastly more talented, he was frusterated with me several times.  I flat out wasn't very good skill-wise and I frequently made the wrong play due to inexperience.  Now though I still have my moments of ineptitude, I feel like I'm seeing the game as good as anyone out there.  He made the comment, "you're like Ryan Callahan, great effort from the beginning, and the skills started to catch up eventually."

I still have plenty of things I can improve on, though I'm sure I'll plateau eventually.  Still, it's nice to see how far I've come along, and even nicer to get noticed for it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Losers GDT - Flyers Game 4

Pronger is good at stopping star players, may not see one of those till the conf finals...
(moron)
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I was reading something over on the Sabres board yesterday and they have resorted to bad mouthing Kate Smith, saying something like "I'm just glad we don't have to hear whoever that was sing God Bless America."
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Lets see some killer instinct and put Buffalo on the brink!! IMO, Miller stole them the only game their gunna get this series.
(This guy is the Canadian fan I mentioned a few days ago, and he is an idiot.)
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not worried, let them have their welfare goal. Carle needs to know we have a goalie in the net, no need for him to try and cut off that pass just play the man.
(lol welfare goal)
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Up yours Lindy
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great play on myers there
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Come out for the 2nd like we went in and we should be fine as the goals will come.

Buffalo have hit 2 posts, so maybe the hockey gods aren't smiling on them tonight
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you have to be absolutely kidding me. these refs are getting worse as each game goes on
(on carcillo roughing Miller)
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UGH, are we getting shutout YET again ...
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A ****ing 5 minute major!? ARE YOU KIDDING!?
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the NHL is a fixed league with corrupted refs.
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Flyers tie this trust me
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We already killed off a 5 minute major... run Miller over already
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I really dislike Tyler Myers....Like a lot.
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**** off Miller.
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Miller pisses me off. I hope you guys light his ass up next game.
(Canadian fan.)
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Tyler Myers is a scum. Enough said.
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I am so ****ing sick of ther Buffalo Sabres. 1-0 again and we outplayed them yet again. Montador is garbage, Myers is garbage, Gerbe is garbage, the entire Sabres team looks awful except for Miller. Miller just won them single handedly 2 games. Just so ****ING annoying to watch. **** the Sabres. Garbage team.
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I hate Kaleta as much as anyone, but he's a tough guy...he yaps and what not, but he's not Max Lapierre or anything in the sense that he can't back up his talk if it comes down to it.
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Tyler Myers is playing incredibly well, and is bullying the **** out of us. We have no one that can answer him physically. We need someone to put him in his place.
(Nahhhh)

Sabres - Flyers Game 4 Podcast

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Why Logan Couture Deserves the Calder over Jeff Skinner

1). Couture played in a division with Phoenix, Anaheim, Los Angeles and Dallas, and with that, Bryzgalov, Hiller, Quick, and Lehtonen.  Plus the Western Conference was much, much stronger than the East this year.  Skinner?  He had the traditionally weak Florida, and Atlanta, the defensively underwhelming Tampa Bay and the legitimately talented Washington.  Vokoun, Pavelec/Mason, Smith/Roloson, and Neuvirth/Holtby/Varlamov.  Ouch.

2). Couture took faceoffs...and was good at them.  Even though both are centers, Couture's 53.4% mark (474-414) was head and shoulders better than Skinner's mark of 36.9% (58-99).

3). Couture was a more timely scorer eclipsing Skinner in overtime goals (1-0), game winning goals (8-2), and empty net goals (1-0).  Simply put, Couture's scoring mattered more.

4). Couture was a better all around player coming in at +18 to Skinner's +3 against far stiffer competition.

5). Couture was grittier, racking up more blocked shots (66-28) and he also logged one fight on the year.



7). Couture was trusted more logging over a minute more (17:49-16:43) per game than Skinner both overall and short handed (1:04-0:01).

Advantage: Couture.

I'm in a Dark Place Right Now.

Last night I couldn't sleep.  I don't know if it was something heavy like the sense of dread that has been slowly filling me lately, or something light like the trivial fact that I had to wake up "early" to pick some things up from the store for my sick mother.  I always have trouble sleeping if I know my sleep is limited because I have to get up for something.  Either way, I didn't sleep at all.  I tried for a couple hours, but I quickly grew bored with lying in bed so I wasted the hours I normally would have slept by playing video games.

There was a strange sort of oscillation as I played for about five and a half hours.  My head would slowly creep into mindlessness as I neared a state where I felt like I could almost doze off and then rise again.  My memory is a little fuzzy, but I have a vague recollection of the world dimming around me as this happened like some kind of sunrise-sunset confined to my tiny little room.

So I didn't sleep, which I tried to offset with eating carbs in the form of toast, and then at four I went to the store to pick up the necessary supplies which basically amounted to cat food, medicine and some Jello I assumed she needed for teaching or something.  I found when I returned that I got the wrong kind of Jello.  I claimed that she had never specified which kind, but that was a lie.  I remembered her telling me, but in driving the few short minutes to the store I found that it was incresingly possible that my brain had concocted the entire conversation.

It's happened before when I've been sleep deprived.  One of two things happens.  I either begin to hallucinate and shapes move around me, or my brain has trouble filtering the thoughts and images that occur in my head with the ones that occur in front of my eyes.  At first it tends to be somewhat amusing, but it quickly turns terrifying.

There was a redheaded cashier manning the self-checkout lines whom I had never seen before.  She made me happy, because while Tops is suffering no shortage of cute cashiers, they had started to get a little stale.  Frusterated with the Jello error that had come about due to my tenuous grip on reality, I intended to use said checkout lines to get out of Tops as fast as possible with the correct Jello.  The only problem with my plan is that I found that tops does not have self-checkout lines.  Or a redheaded cashier.

In spite of my building frustration and the still present feelings of impending doom, I drove home carefully.  It was strange because at that point I had only been awake a little over twenty-six hours, not exactly a long stretch of time, especially by my standards.  The drive home was uneventful aside from the fact that I kept thinking the road signs were leaning towards my car and going thirty felt like I was going eighty.  I think I was going thirty.

It was kind of a pain in the ass to carry in three bags of cat food along with cat litter, gatorade, and the new boxes of Jello when the paradoxical nature of my situation struck me.  If I hadn't actually brought the groceries inside, there was no real way of knowing that I got the wrong Jello.  I managed to get everything inside without dropping anything, but upon attempting setting them down, I realized there was a mess all over the counter, and that it was blood.  My blood.  I wasn't sure what had happened, but the fact that there was no butter to be found in the house, a crimson-stained half eaten piece of bread on the counter, and a messy pain in my arm gave me a good idea.  That explained the redhead I think.

I think I cleaned it up pretty well without having any idea if I cleaned anything up at all.  Right now it's pretty close to hour forty if my math is right, which it often is, and I've still felt no desire to lay down.  In fact I'm rather terrified as the building feeling of dread has all but consumed me now.  It's like approaching the aftermath of a car accident, shielded from any gore, hoping someone is still alive, but knowing what you're going to eventually stumble upon...and with no release of finding the body, just the constant inexorable building of disgust and terror.  But I need sleep and sleep I shall.  Whatever is wrong with me, if it can't be killed by logic and reason, than it shall be killed by alcohol.







Edit - Making this more obvious since people are apparently incapable of scrolling...or reading...
No reason.  Just felt like writing something completely random.  Pretty much the only truth in the above is that I went to the store and fucked up the Jello.

Sabres - Flyers Podcast - Game 2