Archive for the 'Eff This' Category

Stanley Poop Finals

Apple Hill is in New Hampshire which is deep into Boston sports territory. Before I got here, and as the Stanley Cup Final wore on and ON (seriously, that series was insufferable), I began to get increasingly concerned about the chances of having to watch a game 7 in the company of Celtics/RedSox/Patriots fans who were posing as Bruins fans just because there was a championship on the line. As luck would have it, that is EXACTLY what happened. (THIS MEANS WAR, HOCKEY GODS. W! A! R!)

I wound up basically siding with the Bruins because it was the path of least resistance. I didn’t exactly cheer for them, I mostly just admitted that the Canucks were AT LEAST as revolting, only they don’t even have Tim Thomas being impossibly likable. (No matter how much you hate the Bruins, you have to have a heart of stone to hate Tim Tom.) Plus, I didn’t want to be that person rooting against the home team just for the sake of rooting against the home team. That person is a jerk, and exactly NO fun to be around.

Game 7 was a harrowing experience. Fortunately I had a rehearsal, so I only had to watch the third period, but still. It was rough.

I sort of enjoyed being able show off the Cup and all its traditions to my hockey-newbie friends (“Look! There’s the Cup! See the guy carrying the Cup? Taking care of the Cup is that guy’s full time job.” Then a little bit later… “Now everyone in the arena is going to boo the ever-loving crap out of Bettman. Why? Because that’s what you do.” And later still… “Chara will get the Cup first. The owner doesn’t get the Cup until every single player has hoisted it”), but I was also prone to sudden outbursts like, “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU UNDESERVING BOSTON FANS JUST WON THE CUP! THERE IS NO JUSTICE IN THIS TERRIBLE WORLD. I HATE EVERYTHING.”

My friends were very tolerant of my anti-Bruins tirades because I really tried hard to be comically outraged (as opposed to just outraged-outraged), and because they took pity on me. I mean let’s face it, what’s more pitiful than a diehard Buffalonian being subjected to the half-hearted celebrations of a Bruins Stanley Cup win? Not much.

What I’m trying to tell you is that I’m incredibly relieved hockey has finally gone away for the season, because those playoffs were wicked lame.

We See That Which We Want To See

I’ve seen the Sabres lose in alllll sorts of ways, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them lose quite like that.

It happened so fast, and so inexplicably.  Usually during a meltdown at SOME point I start to have that feeling of dread, but I’m telling you, I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING.  There was NO sense of impending doom.

Here’s my recap: I watched 57 good minutes solid hockey, but then I must have blacked out for about 3 minutes and ten seconds, because suddenly I was standing in my living room with my hands on my head, grasping fistfuls of my own hair, in the international pose of, “WTF JUST HAPPENED?!”  And I was watching Crunchy skate off the ice so fast it was like his little hockey pants were on fire, and my twitter feed was full of people having conniption fits, and I might have been bleeding out of my eyes a little bit.  I dunno.  It was a bad scene.

Even though I watched every minute of that game, I still don’t really understand what happened. (And please, do NOT take that as an invitation to tell me what happened in the comment thread. Ignorance is bliss. I’ll go ahead and assume that some combination of Sabres completely sucked ass for a few very unfortunate minutes.)

So, after the game I was all distraught, befuddled, and sad.  But suddenly, in my darkest hockey-hour, I had a REALLY good idea: I’m NOT going to be distraught and befuddled and sad.  I’m just going to go on living my life in a normal, orderly fashion.

I know!  I’m like Buddha-on-the-mountaintop over here!

That loss was stupid, it made no logical sense, and I do not accept it as part of my reality.  The End.

Punch-Gate Begets Feces-Gates, And Then We All Just Laugh And Laugh And Laugh.

In case you somehow missed it, Tim Connolly got a mysterious black eye at the Catwalk for Charity. Although he later amended the story, at one point, Matt Barnaby of ESPN claimed Roy-Z punched Timmehin the face. In the day 24 hours after the Catwalk, twitter was abuzz with goofy chatter about Roy-Z and Timmy’s big slap fight. (Roy-Z and Lindy both say it never happened, and not a single person has come forward to definitively say, “I saw Roy-Z pop Tim Connolly in the eye, and I liked it,” so I’m inclined to believe that the whole thing is [hilarious] hogwash.)

Regardless of the what, something happened to Timmy’s eye, so the local media was rightly intrigued, and the next thing you knew, Lindy Ruff and Roy-Z were being asked about it after practice. Connolly is conveniently nursing a groin injury from the comfort of his home, far away from the prying eyes of the Buffalo News.

THEN, John Vogl got compleeeeeetely asinine and wrote this little gem about how it’s ALL TWITTER’S FAULT!  FECES! GET OFF MY LAWN!

I actually think this post is so poorly argued and utterly ill-informed that I’m not even compelled to respond except to say that if Vogl wants to get his newsie-britches all twisted up into a bunch over misinformation on Twitter, he should take it up with former Sabre and current ESPN employee, Matt Barnaby.

Lost in all of the ruckus were a few bits of juicy information:

1. The story that Lindy Ruff is apparently going with (and sticking to!) is that Tim Connolly fell and hit his head while rehearsing a routine that was to be performed during the catwalk. I find this 100% believable (except by “practicing a routine” I think Lindy meant Timmy was, “flailing about like a drunk baboon”), and at LEAST 70% sympathetic.  Who among us hasn’t sustained a minor injury here or there after a few beverages?  It happens, you know?  Unfortunately for Timmy, he’s a handsomely paid professional athlete, so theoretically he and Roy-Z probably should have understood that reenacting the tricky “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” lift from the end of “Dirty Dancing” while drunk backstage at the Catwalk for Charity is inherently risky.  But can you blame them for wanting to put on a good show?  NO!  You can’t!

2. When I first read the Vogl post I found it so irksome that I wanted to leave a comment on Sabres Edge.  I understood that they’ve recently implemented a commenter verification system which makes leaving anonymous comments impossible, but I was willing to jump through their hoops.  I tried to activate my account.  After I gave them my full name, my address, AND my phone number, I waited for an email confirmation that was like, “If you are who you say you are, press this link,” or possibly a text that was all, “If you’re really Katebits, text “Yes, I’m Katebits” to this number.”

Here’s what I got.

Read it and weep.

Yeah, you read that right.  The Buffalo News is sending me a piece of MAIL, that will be delivered to my MAILBOX (not the inbox in my computer, but the actually physical mailbox I have attached to my house), delivered via the US Postal service using an actual STAMP, so that I can begin “commenting right away”.  This is BEYOND redonk.

Now look, I applaud TBN’s for their efforts to eliminate the racist comments left on their articles.  I think it’s healthy to insist that people attach their actual name to what they write on the interwebs, but seriously, this system is absurd.  There has GOT to be a better, faster way to verify that people actually are who they say they are than sending them a piece of mail MADE OUT OF PAPER.

No wonder John Vogl is so confused and angry about Twitter.  If the TBN commenting policy is any indication of how things go over there, Vogl is working in an office that utilizes the technology we’re used to seeing on “MadMen”.

3. There ARE good, social media-savvy people working at the Buffalo News.  @BNHarrington is one of them.  There are many others, but truthfully, I took a Tylenol PM before I started writing this post, and as a result I’m too tired to be linking all over tarnation right now.

4. Ryan Miller has a sad groin.  :(

That Game Was NOT Good

Now look.  I’ve been to a few bad games in my day.

I’ve seen them lose big, I’ve seen them lose pathetically, and I’ve seen them skate onto the ice, point directly at my chair and say, “Hold on to your hat, because we’re going to break your heart tonight, Katebits”.  But I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a game that was quite that bad in terms of entertainment value.   That game was a. boring, b. stupid, c. lame.

Good thing for big beers.

But the good news is, all of the miners are out of the earth (can you BELIEVE they got all of those guys out?!  That is miraculous.), AND I got to sit in a suite for the third period.   So, all in all, things could be worse.

Small Request

I spent a lot of time trying to write a post today.  I tried a funny one, I tried a serious one, I even tried an angry one.  But all of those posts felt forced and unfocused.   After trying to blog for awhile I realized that, basically, I feel really off-kilter about the Sabres.  Uneasy.  I don’t have a clear sense of what actually happened with Kennedy, nor am I able to use solid, grown-up logic to explain the deep sense of disappointment I feel towards Sabres management.

All I know is that after Darcy’s press conference I felt really, genuinely icky about the Sabres.

Maybe this is just one of those times when the business of sports is difficult to swallow as a fan, or maybe something much more gross and/or pathetic is going on with the Sabres, but honestly, I’m not sure I care.  The bottom line is this: I love the Sabres, but I don’t want to be losing faith in them in August. If I’m going to lose faith, I want it to be during the season, in person, while I’m paying perfectly good money to sit in my seats at the arena.

So, please do me a favor, Darcy.  I’m begging you.  No more press conferences until October.  I’m TRYING to suspend my disbelief over here, and you’re making it really difficult.

I’m BACK, and I’m Better Than Ever

Hello, Dear Readers!

You may or may not have noticed this, but I haven’t written on this blog in, oh, ten million years, give or take a few millennium.  I can’t remember a time in the three years I’ve been writing this blog when I’ve thought so little about hockey or blogging.  I went on hiatus.

I also went out of town- to Apple Hill.  You may remember Apple Hill from such posts as Too Much Nature (that post was written entirely on my cell phone), Charming Pictures of Young People Playing Music in the BarnThe Bat in the Shack Story, and the time it would NOT stop raining.  If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you’ve actually read quite a bit about Apple Hill.  (Isn’t it weird that I’ve been writing this blog long enough to have written about Apple Hill THREE times already?  I think that’s weird.  Also kind of cool.)

shackThis year I lived down in the swamp (as opposed to up on the hill) in Cabin A.  No bats, but I did live with at least one lunatic mouse who wasn’t even remotely afraid of me.

I decided I didn’t want to pay ANY attention to hockey while I was at Apple Hill, and I think it was a good choice.  Instead of paying any attention to the draft, I paid full attention to skit night.  Instead of spending my day off catching up on hockey blogs, I spent my day off watching multiple World Cup games with fun and attractive people.  Instead of spending even one minute of my time and energy thinking about Darcy Regier, I was happy.

I had a wonderful time at Apple Hill this year.  I feel refreshed and invigorated and newly inspired to be as awesome as possible.

So, in the spirit of trying to be as awesome as possible I sat down and said to myself, “Self, free agency starts TOMORROW.  What are you going to write about it on your blog?  You have to write something, and, for the love of Lindy Ruff, make it awesome.”

Here’s what I came up with: Diddly poo.

I’m still not ready to think seriously about the Sabres.  I just don’t care that much about them right now.  I almost never think about them, and when I DO think about them all I really feel is a shoulder-shrugging sense of “Well, something will happen eventually….is it really worth thinking about this?”

And honestly, do we really want to think too hard about the likes of Tim Connolly and Drew Stafford right now?  No!  We do not!  It’s beautiful outside!  We’re young, and we still have good hair and strong backs.  We can spend our time doing almost anything.  Gardening, practicing, flirting, painting rooms bright green, drinking and more drinking, cooking, sewing small squares of fabric together!  The world is our oyster.  This is no time to think about the Sabres.   No time at all.

So, let’s just not.

Tomorrow, the Sabres will sign someone  It probably won’t be too exciting, but it will be someone.  If Darcy trades anyone from the “top six” I’ll eat my hat and I’ll also jump for joy.  Let’s just wait and see what happens.  If the Sabres want us to write about them more, maybe they should try being sassier.  If they can’t be sassier I’m more than willing to make my own sass.

We’ll meet back here tomorrow night and see if we’re feeling any more inspired to discuss the Sabres.  If not, we’ll just think of something better to talk about.

Life is short, you know?

Right After the Game Ended I Wrote A Post, But It Was Full Of Swearing And Misery. I Don’t Want To See That Cranky Post In the Morning, So I Took It Down. Sadly, Blobby Is Going To Be Here In the Morning No Matter What, So I Figured, “What the Hell.” :(

*sob*


Injury Report

My biggest concern going into the Olympics was that someone was going to get injured.  As much as I enjoyed these last two weeks, if Crunchy had come home all gimpy I never never never would have forgiven the Olympics.  NEVER!  And while the Sabres appear to have escaped the Olympic in good health, one thing I absolutely did not consider was a potential injury to myself.

Yes, my name is Katebits, and I managed to injure myself while watching the gold medal game.

Here is my tale of woe:

First of all, you should know that unless I’m going somewhere very fancy, I almost always wear Dansko clogs.  (I know.  I’m so sexy.  Try not to lose your head over it.)  Anyone who’s ever worn a pair of Danskos knows that while they are the MOST comfortable shoes in the world….they are also oddly tippy.  Every once in awhile, Danskos just screw you.  (In fact, some of you who were at the blogger gathering a few weeks ago may recall me practically falling for no apparent reason. You probably all thought to yourself, “Wow.  Kate is a total drunken mess.”  BUT NO.  That incident was because of my Danskos, not because of excessive drinking.  I swear on the souls of my future children with Steve Montador, it was the shoes. [I'm not kidding about these shoes- they EFF YOU UP sometimes.  My sister broke her foot while wearing them, and my friend Debby fell to the ground while holding her toddler.  THESE SHOES ARE HARDCORE.])

Anyway, when Zach Parise (who I assume Darcy is feverishly trying to trade for as we speak) scored the uber-exciting tie goal in the waning seconds of the third period, I did what any fan would do.  I leapt into the air, while screaming at the top of my lungs.  Then, I did what only fans wearing Danskos would EVER do, which is land, tip, and immediately roll my left foot awkwardly inward.

That hockey game hobbled me.  I’m limping, and sore, and all around pathetic.  The worst thing about of all is that I’m STILL WEARING THESE DEVIL SHOES (because I don’t even own any other shoes [except heels], and because I love them, and seriously, when they’re not trying to kill me they are just so so so comfortable).

And that’s my story.  I’m married to the Blobby of footwear and everything is terrible.

Passageway

When I was in college, and things seemed more stressful/horrible/dramatic than we could handle, my friends and I would remind one another that, “All of this,” and then we’d wave our hand indicating the entire college campus, “is just a passageway to bigger and better things.”

Sabres fans, this (*waves hand at the six game losing streak and the horrible train wreck that is the Buffalo Sabres*) is just a passageway to bigger and better things.

I certainly can’t guarantee that this passageway leads to the Cup or even A SINGLE WIN EVER IN THE FUTURE OF THE SABRES EVER EVER EVER AGAIN, but I can promise that we have some good things in the future.  Namely, the Olympics.

Thankfully we’re about to get a break.  We’re getting a break, and during this break we can obsess over far, far stranger sports, and we can find new heroes, and best of all, we won’t have to watch the Sabres lose.  (Actually, I assume we’ll be seeing LOTS of Sabres losing, but they’ll be losing for other teams, so who gives a rip.)

Just hold on Sabres fans.  We’re almost there.  Just one more loss game to go, and then we’re HOME FREE.  Soon it’s all figure skating, and bobsledding, and that weird sport where they ski and then shoot things.

We can worry about this unsightly mess (*waves hand at the Sabres*) later.

Sudden Death Chipotle Challenge, and Other Disgusting Atrocities: A Story in Two Parts

Part One: Last night, Crotchety Original Sam and I tromped out into the icy mess that is St. Paul for our annual Minnesota Wild game at the Xcel Center.  In past years this trip has ended in despair and tears.  (Just kidding, Sam and I ALWAYS have fun, even when the home team sucks rhino ass.)  Guess what?  THE WILD WON!  I’m pretty sure that they were so impressed with my new North Stars t-shirt that they played extra hard.  The Wild are QUITE zippy and fun.

Anyhooch, there we were, wearing sassy retro NHL t-shirts and watching the Wild win, when suddenly during the second intermission, came the “Sudden Death Chipotle Challenge.”  The jokes immediately started flying about the name of this competition and the fate you would suffer if you ate a Chipotle burrito.  (Worst name of intermission game EVER.)  The game involved contestants rapidly identifying pictures of celebrities up on the jumbotron.  The winner would win free burritos for a lucky row in the arena.   I was immediately preoccupied with imagining the meeting at Chipotle headquarters that created this game (“I know, let’s call it “The Sudden Death Chipotle Challenge!”  “Do you really think it’s a good idea to associate our burritos with sudden death, boss?”  “Oh SURE!  Sudden death refers to the GAME, not the food!  I like the name!  It’s folksy!”) to pay much attention to the contestants, and Sam was busy recounting a South Park episode which graphically detailed the terrible fate that would happen to your digestive system if you ate a Chipotle burrito.

But that’s right!  You guess it!  At the end of the contest, section 202, row 9, OUR ROW, was the lucky recipient of the Sudden Death Burritos!   Of all the hundreds of rows in the arena, we had won!  Now, I hate sudden death as much as the next gal, but I LOVE free burritos, so needless to say, I was PSYCHED.  A few minutes later, a pleasant Minnesotan came by and handed out our burrito coupons.  It was joyful.  We were triumphant.

But that’s where the fun ended.

The Sudden Death Chipotle Challenge is a SHAM, people.  First of all, it’s NOT a free burrito, it’s a “buy one get one free”.  It’s HALF of a free burrito.  Second of all, THE COUPON EXPIRES AT THE END OF 12/09.   So, after all of that rigmarole, all I got was a “buy on get one free” coupon that I have to use in the next fifteen minutes before it expires.  I think this is WRONG.

I think this is SO wrong, that I intend to give this coupon to my most hated enemy so that he/she will first have to BUY a burrito only so that he/she will suffer from the SUDDEN DEATH caused by the free one.

(Truthfully, the whole thing was hilarious.  Loudly complaining about our prize brought our row together for lots of laughs.  I suggested that we all throw our Sudden Death Chipotle Challenge Buy-One-Get-One-Free credit card gift certificates onto the ice in protest, but sadly we decided that it would be difficult to hit the ice with a coupon from the upper bowl.)

Moral of the story: Eff you, Chipotle.  Eff you right in the ear.

Part Two: At the end of the Wild game, we scurried back to Sam’s house to watch the Sabres game on DVR delay.  I changed out of my North Stars t-shirt and into a Sabres sweatshirt (I really did this), and we settled in.  Sam got to see my oh-so-delightful-I’m-sure transformation from a happy-go-lucky Wild fan to a nearly-abusive-to-the-players Sabres fan.

A few thoughts on the game:

I think it’s okay to be legitimately concerned about the following things:

1. The overall  lack of energy.  At no point did the Sabres seem pissed at Ruutu.  At no point did anyone seem to care that Roy took an elbow to the head.  At no point did coming from behind seem to create any legitimate momentum.  The Sabres might be better this year, but they’re still lacking in the “fiery passion” department.

2. Tim Connolly and Drew Stafford.  Remember when we all used to wring our hands and saying things like, “Oh, if only Tim Connolly could stay healthy THE SABRES WOULD BE UNSTOPPABLE.”  Did anyone ever stop to consider that someday Timmeh would be able to stay healthy and that he would simply….suck? I don’t even know what to say about Staffy.

3. I know that they got a power play goal, but the power play still looks like a half-eaten Sudden Death Chipotle burrito.  Which is to say, very bad.

4. I’m pretty sure that Lindy put Vanek first in the shootout to reward him for playing a good game, but it was ill-advised.   I know, hindsight is 20/20, but Lindy OBVIOUSLY flew too close to the sun on that one.  Sadly, all the confidence-building good of the game was probably erased when Thomas failed (for the 50 millionth time) to score in the shootout.  Very unfortunate.

The following things are legitimately good:

1. At the start of the game, I said to Sam, “The following players MUST have a good game: Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville” and then they both scored!  I will try this trick again today.

2. Steve Montador is getting hotter by the day.  Is it just me, or does he always seem to be charging around creating offensive chances and being generally foxy?  Private to Monty: My car mats ALWAYS need shaking.  IfyouknowwhatImean.

3. We should be happy they got a point. That was a bad game, but they’re still leading the division.  I have no experience with the ebb and flow of a successful season.  As a result, I think my spazziness after the bad games is probably a tish excessive, and for that I apologize.  Being a Negative Nellie is not my real-life style, so, let’s be thankful for this point.  Let’s love this point like it’s the best point in the world.  Last year the Sabres missed the playoffs by two points. Maybe this point that we inexplicably squeezed out the Ottawa game was one of those points that we will really need later on.

Moral of the story: There is another Sabres game in a few hours.  I’m going to forgive them for yesterday, but if they look like disinterested poo again, I’m sending my Sudden Death Chipotle Buy-One-Get-One-Free credit card coupon to the Sabres locker room.  That’ll teach ‘em.


…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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