Archive for November, 2010

Terry Pegula is a Hero and a Fox

We here at The Willful Caboose have spent the morning making calls and shaking our sources in an effort to bring you up-to-the-minute information about the potential sale of the Buffalo Sabres to kazillionaire Terry Pegula.

TWC has obtained two photographs of Pegula:

Pegula likes to swim in his cash, sans-pants. He’s a mega-rich freaky-deak, which is what we like to hear.

He also looks exactly like Clive Owens, which is great news for obvious reasons.  Golisano saved the Sabres from bankruptcy, and for that we are grateful, but let’s face it, he was never much to look at.

UPDATE: I finally got a hold of Pegula!

Update II: New text from Pegula!

So, basically this is the best day EVER.



State of the Onion

I was originally going to write a post about the Sabres, inspired by the Bills, titled “State of the Union”.

The post was probably going to be totally lame because the plan was to talk about how my relationship with the Sabres feels different this season and blah blah blah whine whine blah blah blah shut up Katebits blah blah.  It was all planned out.

But then, I sat down to write this emo post, and when I was writing the title, I accidentally wrote “State of the Onion” instead of “State of the Union,” which made me giggle.  Then, figuring that the Blogging Gods had intervened in order to prevent me from writing a lame emo post, I realized that maybe I have the strength to forge ahead as a Buffalo sports fan after all.

So, I guess that’s the state of the union.  I’m listing towards mopey-ness, but I’m easily distracted by other, happier things.  Like funny typos about onions.

(When is Festivus, by the way?  I think we might all benefit from some organized, “airing of the grievances”.)

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.  :(

Catwalk For Charity

I had the great pleasure of going to the Catwalk for Charity last night with my friend Glenn.  It was a hoot.  I think I speak for everyone in attendance (including the Sabres) when I say, “Ouch. I’m hungover.”

I would love to tell you all about the Catwalk for Charity, but unfortunately, the first rule of Catwalk for Charity is, don’t talk about Catwalk for Charity.  The second rule of the Catwalk for Charity is what happens at the Catwalk for Charity stays at the Catwalk for Charity.   So basically, Catwalk for Charity is like if Fight Club went to Vegas, which is to say, it’s VERY hardcore and extremely top-secret.   I’d tell you what happened there (and believe me, it would blow your mind), but then I’d have to kill you.

The most important thing to realize about the Catwalk for Charity is that Glenn is INCREDIBLY awesome for bringing me and for being such an awesome date.


As fun as the evening was, I think my favorite thing about the Catwalk for Charity is that Lindy MADE THEM PRACTICE THIS MORNING.  This amuses me greatly. Participating in this event is sort of a team requirement, so I figured that Lindy would give them a break and let them sleep it off this morning, but NO!  He’s such a crusty old crankpot that he was all, “GET YOUR ASSES ON THE ICE, YOU LITTLE PUNKS.”  I absolutely adore Lindy for being such a curmudgeon, and in honor of his extreme awesomeness, I promise not to call for him to be fired for at least a month.

As far as all of the supposed injuries go, I’m not too worried.  I’m pretty sure that everyone was just hung over today and that their groins will all feel a lot better in the morning.


At first it seemed like they were not going to win, and then it was like, “Well, maaaaybe they can win.  I mean…they’re not losing right now.”  And then they won!


The End.


My worldview is being ROCKED TO THE CORE.

Everything about this video is fascinating to me.   Is Ryan Miller being….funny?

Ordinarily when I laugh at Crunchy it’s because he’s doing something unintentionally hilarious by being the most serious person imaginable.  This here?  This is something new.

I’ve never seen Caddyshack (I know, I know, it’s a classic blah blah blah. I’ve also never seen Slap Shot.  YES, YOU HEARD ME RIGHT), so I only have a vague understanding of the character Crunchy is playing here, but still.  I’m amused that a. Ryan Miller’s love of Caddyshack is apparently very genuine, and b. he’s wearing a funny hat and and lugging around a big hose, and c. HE’S OBVIOUSLY LOVING THIS GIG.

I really truly don’t know what to make of this.

Honestly, it’s almost impossible for me to believe that Crunchy is capable of this type of lighthearted tomfoolery.  Maybe the video is CGI?  It has to be CGI, right?  RIGHT?!

You know, now that I think about it, I bet this project has been meticulously planned for years.  At some point, years ago, ESPN magazine contacted Ryan Miller’s agent and told him that they’d like to reenact some scenes from Caddyshack. Ryan agreed to do it, but only on the condition that he be given the proper chance to prepare.  He then hired an acting coach, and spent years researching the role and rehearsing his “improvised” lines.  Crunchy has spent countless hours trying to capture the essence of this character, driving everyone around him insane with the constant and relentless pursuit of Caddyshack-recitation perfection.  Finally, when the conditions were right (when Ryan was feeling well rested, well hydrated, and during a period of time when he and his team of performance psychologists felt his self-esteem was at it’s highest), he was willing to perform his impressions in front of an ESPN camera crew.

Crunchy just wants to be the best impressionist he can be.  With hard work, plus a schedule of short AND longterm goals, Ryan Miller believes he’s got what it takes to do a good Carl Spackler.

Okay, phew.  Worldview restored.


So, we can all agree that the Sabres are good at hockey again, right?  This is the real team, and whatever was going on with them in October was just a weird, extremely unfortunate phase.

Okay, good.  I’m glad that’s settled.


10 Things


2. That overtime was RIDICULOUSLY fun.  That game was ridiculously fun.  I haven’t been that bonkers during a regular season game, well, possibly ever.  The arena had a GREAT buzz tonight, and the overtime period was incredible.  Great, great entertainment.  That was my first win in the arena this year, and IT FELT GOOD.  More please.  I’m home now, and I’m bouncing off the walls, filled with big beers and warm fuzzies.

3. At some point during the Rangers game last week, I got so frustrated with Thomas Vanek that I got a little temper tantrum-y.  If I weren’t such a lazy blogger I would’ve written a post in which I declared that Darcy should have taken the draft picks from Edmonton.  This was a new low in my relationship with Thomas Vanek.  As much as I’ve bitched about him in the past, I’d never actually given up on him before.  But I gave up on him last week.  I really did.

Thomas Vanek is never going to be the guy we thought he would be when the Sabres signed him to the seven year contract, but, he’s never going to let us give up on him either.  He’s got “it”.  He may not have access to it all the time, but when he’s got it, he’s got it.

I’ve said this before, but to me, the game looks different, and it really feels like anything is possible when Thomas Vanek is hot.  There are no other Sabres that make me feel this way, including Ryan Miller. (Maybe I just take Crunchy for granted.)  Somehow Thomas Vanek alone perfectly represents my vast array of feelings about this team.  As low as I was about him last week, that’s how high watching him made me feel tonight.

Thomas mother effing Vanek.  I want him to be awesome.  I love it when he’s awesome.

4. Tyler Myers had the overtime game winning goal, which makes him a hot, hot bitch.  Sekera (a guy who Lindy has always been more than happy to bench) hit the jackpot by being the guy playing with Myers when he started to take baby steps out of his slump.  If Sekera and Myers develop any type of lasting chemistry, Darcy better roll out the lifetime contract for Sekera, because I don’t want to see, “My Name Is Tyler Myers And I Miss My Defensive Partner, Part II”.   I’m glad Myers is starting to look like himself again, and if Sekera can help Myers forget about Hank, all the power to him.

5. At the start of OT, when the Sabres had about 30 seconds left to kill on the PK, Lindy sent out Myers, Connolly, and Morrisonn.  I thought it was pretty interesting (and more than a little bonkers) that those were the three guys Lindy trusted most in that situation.  Lindy was right.  It was an admirable PK, start to finish.

6. Damn it’s good to have Ryan Miller back.

7. I sat up in the 300s tonight with my buddies from work (I was playing the role of “one of the guys” this evening), and I’ve got to say, the 300s are VERY fun.  Granted, this was a particularly exciting game, so maybe my regular seats would’ve been just as boisterous….but I kind of doubt it.  I really have to hand it to the 300s, it’s a hoot up there, and the view is great.

8. The Sabres have done something INCREDIBLY clever.  (I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking, “‘Clever’ and ‘Sabres’?  Those words do not belong together,” but bear with me here.)  By sucking beyond our scariest nightmares in October, they absolutely convinced us that they were a terrible team.  They were so bad, that we had no choice but to believe in their shittiness.  And now?  When they don’t suck?  We all think, “EEEEEEEEEEEE!  The Sabres are so scrappy and over-achieving and wonderful!  I want to marry them all!”  This is an astonishing feat.  I think I might love the Sabres more because they don’t suck than I would have had they never sucked in the first place.  Well played, Sabres.  Well.  Played.

9. I like it when guys wear jerseys that fit with their body-type.  Like, if you’re tall and skinny, I think you should wear a Myers or a Miller.  If you’re mega cute and cuddly, you should wear a Pominville.  If you’re just basically dude-shaped, not too tall and not too short, you should wear a Vanek or a Connolly.  If you’re short and kind of a punk, I think you should wear a Roy.  I thought of this tonight because I saw a tall skinny guy in a Myers jersey standing next to a short guy in a Roy jersey and I thought, “Well, that just looks right.

10.I really, really loved that game.  Sometimes you just have to go ahead and blow the 3rd period lead in order to set up the best OT ever.  Hockey is great.

You Wily Bastard

Just like that.  I love you again.

7 Things: Special HAHAHAHAHA Kovalchuk Edition

1. That game was awesome. It was sloppy and fun and both teams looked like they were really trying even though both teams looked liked they’re not that good at hockey. Great fun. I know it’s easy to say after a win, but I SWEAR (on the head of Lindy Ruff) that I would’ve been raving about that game even if the Sabres had lost.

2. But they DIDN’T lose! They won! Which means the Sabres are now streaking and that they will never lose again (as long as they always play the Devils and that Kovalchuk is always inexplicably mesmerized by Enroth’s steely gaze and he always totally whiffs on the puck in the shootout). Somewhere, Darcy Regier just smiled wryly and mumbled, “I love it when a super-mega-patient plan comes together.”

3. Can we PLEASE stop talking about how great Lindy is now? Congratulations on 1,000 games, Lindy Ruff!

Okay, okay. 1,000 games with one team is a major accomplishment, and seriously, congrats Lindy. For all the smack I’ve talked about him on this blog, you have to be deaf, blind, AND mean-spirited not to see that Lindy is a pretty cool dude.

However, I’m sure I’m not the only Sabres fan who has found this day a little *sing-song voice* awwwkwaaaard. For the first time in his tenure, Lindy’s effectiveness is being called into question, and then today we all had to stop the, “WHY have the Sabres had the same coach for 13 years?!” conversation and celebrate Lindy’s (very real) achievement. It was just kind of bad timing. I made a joke on Twitter today that if Lindy was really such a great coach he would have found a way to coach his 1,000th game LAST season, when the team spent the whole year at the top of the standings, instead of this season, when Sabres fans are so desperate for wins we’re jumping for joy just because Kovalchuk can’t keep his eye on the puck in the shootout. Instead, we spent the whole day hearing and reading “1000 games” and thinking, “Yeeeeeah, I’m not so sure those 1,000 games were the most healthy thing for the organization, but…okay….Yay Lindy!”

I’m not saying that Lindy doesn’t deserve to be honored, and I’m not saying he’s not the Truest True Sabre that ever was, I’m just saying this would have been a LOT more fun if the Sabres weren’t so stinky.

4. But the Sabres aren’t stinky anymore. Now they rock! WOOOOOO! TWO WINS IN A ROW!!!!

5. The following people seem like nice guys, but I’m not sure they should ever get to play hockey as Sabres again: Patrick Lalime and Craig Rivet

6. I’m not sure if it’s the Sabres fault, or MSG’s fault, but it is absolutely atrocious that we have to watch the Devils feed during intermissions. WHAT ARE WE, ANIMALS?

7. This has nothing to do with that game, but I’ve been on a weeks-long hunt for the perfect apple, and I believe I’ve found it. The perfect apple is……an EMPIRE APPLE! Empire apples have all of the qualities of a good apple. Not too huge, nice and sweet, and most importantly, very crunchy. (By “crunchy” I mean texturally crunchy, not reminiscent of Ryan Miller.)

I’ve had this problem for years where I can’t ever remember which apples I like, and so this year I very methodically purchased lots of different apples and then kept NOTES (like an apple-nerd) on which ones I liked. So, I feel confident that Empire apples actually ARE the best apples in the world. 1st Runner up: Fujis. I also loved the texture and crunch of the Honey Crisp, but sadly, it didn’t have enough flavor. (So close, Honey Crisp. Keep trying! Maybe next year.)

I’m pretty sure there are a bunch of hideously gross red apples that I didn’t even bother trying because when I poked them with my thumb at Wegmans they were obviously too soft, but the worst apple I tried was a Granny Smith. Those green grannies are waaaay too sour. I’m not really into “sour” as a flavor, but maybe that’s just me.

Congratulations, Empire. You win.

…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

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