Archive for May, 2009

The BPO Investigates: Goalie Masks

In the break room on Saturday night, my colleagues and I were discussing goalie masks, and my friend Janz asked a very good question.  Why do goalies wear that full cage?  Wouldn’t it be easier to see and track the puck if they were wearing something made out of a transparent plastic?

At first we figured it was a safety issue (metal cages are stronger?) but then someone pointed out that they make bullet proof glass.  Surely there is some substance in existence that is just as strong as a metal that wouldn’t be as much of an obstruction as the cage.

My friend Roman suggested that the maybe a solid, welder’s-type mask would make it too difficult to breath. I thought that was a good point, except that you could always leave the cage for everything below the nostrils while leaving the bullet proof glass over the eyes.

To demonstrate his point that the cage must make it difficult to see a puck, Janz held one finger about three inches away from his eye saying, “I can still SEE of course, but this is very annoying to see around.”  I conducted his experiment, and had to agree.  It’s more difficult to see when there is a solid object in front of your eye.  For sure.

Janz did a little investigation yesterday on the interwebs, and he couldn’t find the answer to our question, but he DID somehow wind up watching the video of Clint Malarchuk’s gruesome injury as a result of his search.   Janz is very traumatized now, and I’m scared to continue his research.  I once accidentally saw a still photo of that accident, and I couldn’t sleep for a week.  No WAY I’m typing “goalie safety equipment” into google.

I put in a call to Crunchy, but so far he hasn’t responded.  Our investigation has hit a dead end.

4 Things

1.The Spelling Bee, while wonderful, is getting a little too big for its britches.  Erin Andrews?  Silly “use it in a sentence” examples?  I dunno.  The Spelling Bee is supposed to be a celebration of nerds, not some preteen hipster event.  Get off my lawn, Spelling Bee!

2. I’m PSCHYED about a Stanley Cup rematch.  Last year I went into the finals with an open mind, and I wound up cheering vehemently for the Red Wings.  This year, even though I still genuinely like the Wings, I’m pretty certain I’ll be Pens all the way.  I think they’ve got a shot this year, and I ADORE them for picking up the Prince of Wales trophy and skating it all over the place.  I thought Sid looked like a badass with his mitts on that thing.

3. One factor that might make me lean slightly towards the Red Wings is Marion Hossa.  Now, hear me out for a second.  I don’t really care about the fact that he dissed the Penguins to sign with the Red Wings.  I don’t think Hossa was obligated to be loyal to the Pens.  He was traded to them as a rental.  It’s not like, oh say, Chris Drury who ditched us as a free agent after years of being a Sabre.  Hossa had the right to do what he wanted. (So did Chris Drury, of course.)

The reason I’m a little sympathetic to Hossa is because he passed on the opportunity to sign a multi-year contract last summer.  No matter what you think of his decision, that took balls.  The dude risked many TENS of millions of dollars to sign for one year with Detroit.  Yes, it’s kind of dumb, but it’s also kind of gangster.  Most athletes just take the money and run.  It’s a bit puzzling and amazing to see a guy do something other than take the money and run.

I don’t really like or dislike Hossa himself.  I’m “meh” on Hossa, but I guess I wouldn’t mind seeing his gamble pay off.

4. The other day I heard Bulldog ranting about how awful it is that the NHL was having to schedule its Finals around the debut of Conan O’Brien’s new show.  From a scheduling standpoint, I totally agree.  The potential ten day break between the Conference Finals and the Finals was THE DUMBEST THING EVER, but, I also understand why NBC wouldn’t want the headache of trying to deal with a triple overtime (it could happen!) on the week they’re planning to unveil the new Tonight Show.  I think Bulldog was really missing the point by harping on the Conan thing.  It makes perfect sense not to schedule the Finals and Conan’s new show on the same night.  That’s a GOOD decision if we want to avoid another Preakness situation (and I think we all can agree THAT WE DO).

I’ve said this before, but it’s worth saying again.  I’m really starting to think the NHL should just say “eff it” to network television.  Seriously.  Network television is simply not a good format for the NHL product.  It’s okay.  Let’s embrace our niche-iness.

And you know what else?  I kind of like Versus.  I think they do a decent job.  I think they do a WAY better job than NBC.  They’re not perfect, but Versus treats hockey with respect.  At least they want the NHL.

Love the one you’re with, yo.

Kate Gosselin’s Hair

After years of total indifference, I am suddenly obsessed with Jon and Kate Plus 8.  It probably says a lot about me that when it was just a show about a seemingly wholesome (albeit redonkulously huge) family, my attitude was pretty much, “Eh.  Whatevs,” but now that it’s a creepy exploration of how fame ruins everything, I’m all, “THESE PEOPLE ARE SO DISGUSTING AND THIS SHOW IS SO WRONG……hold on while I set my DVR.”


My friend (and stupendous kanjam partner) Christina (she of Colonel Mustard fame) put a link on my Facebook page this morning to a photoset of celebrities with Kate Gosselin’s hair.  It’s pretty much hilarious.

More hilarious?  The following photos which she emailed to me later on in the day:




Christina is my hero, both on the kanjam field, and in the photoshopping booth.  Just for good measure, here’s what her dog Lulu would look like with Kate Gosselin’s hair.


If Christina’s output this morning is any indication of the zeal with which America returned to the workforce after the long holiday weekend, I think we can rest easy knowing that the terrorist will never, EVER win.

I’m not watching the game tonight, so this post represents the entirety of TWC’s hockey content for the day.  You’re welcome.

Still Funny

I really have no idea why I revisited this video tonight, but before I knew it I had watched it ten more times.  The screen captures are almost funnier than the video.  Every moment of Rob Ray’s shock and horror is just so special, you know?

Picture 27

Picture 11

Picture 12

Picture 13

Picture 14

Picture 15

Picture 16

Picture 19

Picture 20

Picture 22

Picture 24

Picture 26

I will NEVER believe Ray’s story about this incident.  There is no way a pushy journalist caused this reaction.  No way at all. 

(The joke of this post is in the rollover captions.)

TWC Top-To-Bottom Review: Chris Butler

(This is the sixth post in a series which will evaluate the Sabres organization, one man at a time.  Larry’s Quinn’s internal review is the Official Worst Top-To-Bottom Review EVER.  I’m conducting my own review, to show Larry how it’s done.)

Name: Chris Butler

2008/9 Grade: Five gold stars, two warm fuzzies, and four construction paper hearts.

Best Quality: adorkability


Areas of strength: Being awesome, unflappability, interviews, woodworking, not celebrating a personal achievement in the middle of a team failure, good manners, inspiring ChrisButlerNation

Areas of weakness: Chris Butler has unusually keen hearing.  It’s a blessing and a curse.  He can hear high pitches that normally only dogs can hear.  This makes him vulnerable to dog whistles.

General Comments:

Katebits: Butts, you’re the best.

Butts: Thank you, Katebits.  That’s very kind of you to say.

Katebits: I totally meant it, Butts.

Butts: So, I can count on your vote in November?

Katebits: November, December, January, next thursday, or whenevs.  You’ve got my vote.

Butts: Word.


2 Things

1. You know what commercial I’ve seen WAY more than enough of?  The one for a men’s deodorant where the voiceover asks, “What’s your armpit type?  Sweaty?  Hairy?  Sensitive?”  That commercial is gross.  I understand that men have armpits, and that those armpits need deodorant, but frankly, I don’t like thinking about armpit types.

2. Speaking of armpits and other slightly gross things, I have to make a confession:

I have a crush on Evgeni Malkin.

I know.

I wish I could just say “I’m in awe of his playing,” but sadly, it’s more than just that.  It’s all very unseemly and disturbing, but I can’t keep it bottled up inside any longer…I’m…hot for Evgeni Malkin.

I’m admitting this tonight because tonight he scored a hat trick, and “I’m hot for Evgeni Malkin” makes a LOT more sense when you’ve just seen him score a goal like this, but I’ve been nursing this crush for awhile now.


Let’s never speak of this again.

It’s Got To Be At LEAST August By Now

When are the Sabres coming back?

I’m bored.

Buck Up, Buffalo.

I really think everyone needs to calm the eff down about the Terrell Owens stuff.

If you are honestly surprised/shocked/upset by any of this, well, then this is more of a “shame on you” situation.

Let’s just let this silliness role off our backs.  This doesn’t have to be a sign of the end of civilization as we know it.  This the T.O. Show.  It’s nothing.   It’s nonsense.  It’s absolutely nothing new, and we knew it was coming.

Buffalo needs to buck up, because it’s only going to get worse.  People in far away places are going to make fun of us, and we will have the choice to get all worked up, and act all insecure, or, we can have a sense of humor and let it go.

Look, Buffalo is an easy target.  We’re easy to make fun of.  WHO CARES?  They were making fun of us before Terrell Owens got here too.  It’s no biggie.

Here are the things that are NOT going to happen:

1. People in the media are not going to stop pushing this.  This is money in the bank.

2. Certain Buffalonians are NOT going to stop eating this up.  I’m too lazy to do ANY research, but I’m willing to bet that T.O. has caused a big, undignified scene in every town he’s ever played.  We are not being uniquely stupid.  This stupidity is a worldwide epidemic.

3.  T.O. is not going to be a quiet teammate.

This is the circus we signed up for when we said, “Yay!  Terrell Owens!”  It doesn’t have to consume us and it doesn’t have to make us feel badly about who we are.  It’s show business.

Either ignore it, or embrace it, but please don’t act like this is a surprise.

Deep Thoughts

Whenever you have four women in a room together, you have NO CHOICE but to assign them Sex and the City characters.  It doesn’t matter if everyone you know is really a Miranda,  someone has to be Samantha. Thems the rules.

So, without further ado, here are the remaining NHL teams, and their corresponding Sex and the City characters:

Red Wings-Miranda

The Red Wings are devoid of all the frilly bullhonky.  You may not always like them, but damn it, they get the job done.  The Red Wings have no time for your bullshit, but they are surprisingly appealing when you really start looking at them.  Sure, they seem a little cold and defensive on the surface, but there is a ton of passion when you look underneath.

The Red Wings will totally have sympathy sex with you after you lose one of your balls to testicular cancer.

Blackhawks- Charlotte

The Blackhawks are just so gosh darn sweet.  They’re so chock-full of hope and optimism that they don’t even understand what they’re up against.  The Red Wings may seem brutally efficient, but don’t underestimate the Blackhawks ability to bat their eyelashes and skate right past those big old meanies.

The Blackhawks believe in love miracles.

Penguins- Carrie

The Penguins are the star of the show.  Everything revolves around them and their quest for Mr. Cup.  Most of the time they are basically likable, but a lot of the time you want to slap them off their Manolo Blahniks.  If someone has to win Mr. Cup, you wouldn’t mind if it was her them.

The Penguins are going to end up with Mr. Cup eventually.  Just go with it.

Hurricanes- Samantha

The Hurricanes are filthy ho-bags.


Okay, this seems to be my weekend to catch up on pop cultural phenomena that I have managed to thus far avoid.

Today, I watched the Real Housewives of New York.  It made me embarrassed to be a human being.

Thank GOD the NHL conference finals are starting today.   Without hockey I’m adrift (at least as far as television goes).

…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

Observations 2
I can be reached at: willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com

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In accordance with the Fair Use Copyright Law, The Willful Caboose uses logos and registered trademarks of the National Hockey League to convey my criticism and inform the public of the Sabres' suckitude/badassitude (whatever the case may be). Photos on The Willful Caboose are used without permission, but do not interfere with said owner's profit. If you own a specific image on this site and want it removed, please e-mail me (willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com) and I will be more than happy willing to oblige. (Special thanks to The Pensblog for their help with this disclaimer.)



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