Archive for the 'Scenes' Category

The New New NHL

Ryan Miller and Brian Campbell were both named to the NHL Competitions Committee today. Hopefully these appointments will lead to lots of conversations like this:

Soupy: I have an idea for a new rule. Get this. (long pause) Are you ready? (Crunchy gives Soupy a partial death glare) You can……….only…..spin-o-rama………… (dramatically long pause)……overtheblueline. (Throws hands into air in gesture of supreme triumph)
Crunchy: (with squinty eyes) Wait. You can’t spin-o-rama anywhere else on the ice?
Soupy: Good GOD, no! That’s not what I meant! You can ALWAYS spin-o-rama! Geez! Why pass on an opportunity to spin when skating in a straight line will do? No, I meant, when you cross the blue line, you HAVE to spin-o-rama.
Crunchy: Going in or out?
Soupy: Both
Crunchy: Does everyone have to spin-o-rama, or just the puck carrier?
Soupy: Everyone.

(Both guys pause to visualize this rule change.)

Crunchy: I don’t think it’s a good idea.
Soupy: Well, you’re wrong.
Crunchy: Well, you’re drunk, so I win. I have an idea for a new rule too.
Soupy. (rolling his eyes) Lemme guess, you want to make the nets smaller.
Crunchy: (excitedly) I want to make the nets tiny. The nets should only be twice the width of the goalie’s hips. That way, scoring is reduced, AND goalies are encouraged to stay slender.
Soupy: (Obviously not paying attention to Crunchy’s idea.) What if we put the nets in the middle of the ice, back-to-back, facing out? (Tapping index finger on chin while staring dramatically into the distance) IMAGINE all the spinning I could do….
Crunchy: (exasperated) That’s dumb.
Soupy: (using air quotes) “YOU’RE” “dumb”
Crunchy: (shaking head in disgust) That’s it, my boy. You’ve just lost your air quotes privileges.
Soupy: (distraught) (using very small, sad air quotes) “Rats.”

End Scene

Intervention: Brian Campbell

Scene: Katebits and HeatherB. are sitting in folding chairs, facing Brian Campbell who is sitting directly opposite them.

Katebits: Brian, I think you know why we’ve called you here today.

Brian Campbell: (nervously) No, I don’t. Why are you calling me “Brian”? You always call me Soupy. What’s going on?

HeatherB: (gently) Brian, you know exactly what’s going on.

Brian: (laughing derisively) No, Heather, I do NOT know what’s going on.

(Katebits and HeatherB. exchange a meaningful glance.)

Katebits: Brian, this is an intervention. We’ve called you here today because we believe that you are in real trouble, and need help.

Brian: (loudly) What are you talking about?! Why are you calling me Brian?

Katebits: Brian, calm down. We have a few things to say to you. Please. Sit.

(Brian sits reluctantly. Katebits unfolds a piece of paper.)

Katebits: Brian, Heather and I have both prepared some things we think you need to hear. I would like to read my statement to you now. (Katebits takes a deep breath and begins reading from the piece of paper.) Brian, I have recently realized that my dislike of your style of play has been making it less enjoyable to watch the Sabres games. I hate when you screw up defensively, and I resent when you produce offensively. The situation cannot continue. You are, after all, still a Sabre, and I am, now and forever, a Sabres fan. I believe that with a few small changes, you and I can again enjoy a healthy fan/Sabre relationship.

Brian: What?! I don’t have to listen to this! WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME BRIAN?

Katebits: Brian, please. Just let me get through this.

Brian: Fine.

Katebits: Thank you for listening, Brian. (continues reading from the piece of paper). First of all, you need to either sign a contract for a reasonable amount of money, or you need to start playing like a giant contract is on the line. You can’t both hold out, and suck defensively. It’s unbecoming. Secondly, you must never utter the words, “My value goes up every month,” again. In exchange for these small changes in your attitude, I will try to be reasonable and stop blaming you for things that occur when you are not even on the ice.

Brian: (lip quivering) I…I…don’t know what to say. I had no idea you felt this way.

Katebits: Heather? I believe you have something you would also like to tell Brian?

HeatherB: (unfolds a piece of paper and begins reading) Brian, I have given this some real thought. There is only one thing you can do to win me back. You must grow a beard and keep it year round. I can’t continue to watch you throw your life away like this. Please. Listen to reason.

(Brian Campbell is sobbing)

Brian: I’m so sorry! I had no idea! I’ll do everything you ask! I’ll stop handing the puck over in my own defensive zone. I’ll grow the beard, I promise!

(Katebits puts her arms around Brian.)

Katebits: There, there, Soupy. It’s going to be alright. You’re going to be okay from now on. Heather and I are here for you if you ever need to talk. Just stop bitching about your contract and playing like shit, okay? And remember to fluff your hair up periodically. When your hair is dry, it’s actually very attractive.

HeatherB: Now, get out there are win us some hockey games, okay Soupy? While you’re at it, go sign that totally reasonable contract Darcy has been asking you to sign.

Brian: You got it guys! (Soupy begins to leave the room)

HeatherB: Oh, Soupy. Could you tell Timmy we need to speak to him please….

End Scene


Scene: Sabres lockerroom

Brian Campbell: Listen guys, I want you all to know that I’ve decided to break off negotiations with the Sabres until the end of the season. I just felt all of the uncertainty surrounding my contract was a real distraction for the team.

Tim Connolly: Distraction from what? Our nine game losing streak?

BC: Well, yeah. Now that you all know that I’ll be gone one way or another by end of the season, hopefully we can all focus a little bit better. I’m just trying to do what’s right for the team, okay?

Ryan Miller: Our team? The Buffalo Sabres?

BC: Or, you know…..whatever team I end up playing on next year. Listen, this is all a little confusing. I’m just doing what my agent says. I’m confused too. All I know is that I’m dedicated to leading the Sabres to my best year ever.

Derek Roy: Whatever, Soupy.

BC: I totally want to stay a Sabre. I do! I just want what’s fair.

(stony silence)

BC: I’m really looking forward to seeing Dru in a few days, aren’t you guys? (does spinorama out of the lockerroom)

Pommers: *whimper*

Goose: Honk!

Toni Lydman: This shit is getting old.

Trying Times

If I were the Sabres’ GM, I would force the players to go to one of those trust building seminars where they would have to do teamwork exercises, and fall backwards into each other’s arms. After a full day of irritating physical tasks designed to promote “togetherness”, I’d make all the Sabres sit in a big circle and talk about their feelings, using only “I” statements.

Crunchy: Thomas, if you keep playing like shit, I’m going to kill you in your sleep.
Mediator Katebits: Ryan, I think what you mean to say is, “Thomas, I feel confused and hurt when I don’t get the support I need from you on the ice.”
Crunchy: That is not what I meant to say.
Mediator Katebits: Hmm, Ryan, it sounds like you have a lot of anger about things you can’t control. Thomas, how does it make you feel to hear Ryan saying these things?
Vanek: (yawning) I know it’s up to me to start being more productive. The team needs me to step up my game. (Gets out his diamond encrusted PSP and starts playing video games.)
Mediator Katebits: Thomas, your obvious disinterest in this conversation is upsetting Ryan.
Soupy: (balancing on the back two legs of his chair) I have an “I” statement! I feel like if I had a contract in place, I might be playing better. (fall down backwards onto the floor.)
Goose: (angrily) Hooo-oonk! Honk! HONK!
Mediator Katebits: (sigh) “I” statements, Paul! “I” statements!
Crunchy: I feel like I hate Brian Campbell.
Mediator Katebits: Yeah, that’s totally fair.

I would be an incredibly ineffectual GM.

The Solution

Scene: Lindy Ruff’s hotel room. Lindy and Darcy Regier are sitting with Ryan Miller. Lindy and Darcy are sitting on one side of the desk, and Ryan Miller is sitting on the other.

Crunchy: What are we doing here, guys? I’m exhausted. Tonight was supposed to be my night off and instead I get dragged into the worst game I’ve ever been a part of. I just want to go to sleep and try to forget about the L.A. Kings.

Regier: I know that tonight was not the game we were hoping for.

Crunchy: (death glare)

Regier: Listen, Ryan, I’m going to cut right to the chase. We want to talk about your contract.  I realize that the team, as it currently stands….is not necessarily appealing for you. We want to find out what it would take, to make you happy.

Crunchy: (raising his eyebrow [the whompy one]) Listen, I’m not going to negotiate my contract without my agent, plus I’m really pissed off. I can’t deal with this right now.  This isn’t even legal.  We can’t discuss my contract until next season….and you better fucking believe you are going to pay top dollar if you want to keep me.  Top. Dollar.

Lindy: (gently) No, you don’t understand son.

Regier: (leaning in towards Crunchy) Ryan, we want to know which of the Sabres you feel comfortable having in front of you. We want you to sign this piece of paper, legally binding you to the team, and in exchange, you can tell us which of your teammates you want to keep, and which you want to get rid of.

Crunchy: (perking up with surprise) Wait. I can tell you who to fire?

Regier: All you have to do is sign this paper. (slides a piece of paper across the table) Simple as that. We’ll fire whoever you want.

(Crunchy immediately picks up the pen and signs the paper)

Crunchy: Now, here’s how I want the team to look by next seas-

Regier: (interrupting) No, wait. We can’t do it like this. This room might be bugged. (whispering) Afinogenov has been bugging our offices for years. What we need you to do is write the names of the guys you want us to fire on this piece of paper. Just write the names of the guys you want gone. Do you understand?

(Crunchy nods. Regier slides a second piece of paper across the table. Crunchy picks up the pen and begins writing. The room falls silent except for the sound of the pen as Crunchy furiously scribbles. The clock ticks symbolically as Crunchy writes and writes. After several minutes, Lindy and Darcy exchange a concerned glance. Crunchy’s hand begins to cramp from all of the writing. Soon, his pen runs out of ink, so he grabs a fresh one off the desk. He turns the paper over and begins to write on the back. When both sides of the paper are full, he writes in the margins. His second pen runs out of ink. Fifteen minutes pass, and finally, Crunchy slides the paper back across the table.)

Lindy: (glancing warily at the completely filled sheet of paper) I don’t think you understand, son. We want you to write the names of the players you want to fire.

Crunchy: Yeah. (with wry smile) That’s what I did.

(Lindy and Darcy exchange a meaningful glance)

Regier: But, this is everybody.

Crunchy: No, not everybody. Just most. It probably would have been easier to ask me to write the names of the guys you want me to keep. (picks up second piece of paper and writes for exactly 1.5 seconds) Here, I want you to keep these guys.

Regier: (picks up the list of players to “keep”) There are only two names on this list, and one of them is “Sabretooth”. You have put us in a tricky spot here. I mean we knew we were going to have to fire Max, Campbell, and probably Vanek, We were prepared even for Roy-Z, but now we are legally obligated to fire the entire team……by Saturday. I’m not sure we can get new guys in here in time. (looking at “to be fired” list again) What?! Ryan, we can’t fire Drury from the Rangers, and I hardly think Mike Robitaille can be blamed for any of this.

Crunchy: Whatever. (grinning) Listen, I’m getting a second wind here. Do either of you guys want to grab a drink?

(Crunchy stands up and stretches his arms above his head with a yawn. A peaceful smile spreads across his face.)

Lindy: Um, no. We were hoping you would be willing to stay here tonight and discuss the plans. I mean, this wasn’t exactly what we thoug-

Crunchy: No. I’m going out. I’m good. Thanks though. You were right, Darcy. This was a good idea.

Regier: You realize you just signed on with the Sabres for the next seven years for the league minimum, don’t you?

Crunchy: Really? Oh, well, that’s cool. Just make sure to change the locks on HSBC arena before we get home.

(Crunchy leaves the room whistling.)

I Knew It!

Thanks to Liz, a super internet sleuth and eagle-eyed TWC reader, my attention was drawn to a delightful interview with Ryan Miller. Crunchy is, without question, our most interesting Sabre, and I thought this interview was rather revealing. He talks about what a couple of slag-faced whores Drury and Briere are (Okay, I might be paraphrasing a bit here. He mostly said “I respect them, but we’re moving on, blah blah blah”, but he also said that he was pretty surprised when they left based on the way they were talking. Heh.), he talks about his first NHL game, and he talks about how he “makes” his teammates participate in his annual fashion show.

But one thing really grabbed my attention:

Q: I know how superstitious hockey players are. Did you touch the Cup at all when Drew had his day with it?

A: [Laughs] He hit me in the hip with it by accident. I am pretty superstitious. I touched it when I was a kid. I was 15 years old when Dan Cole, a former Michigan State player, won it with the Devils. But when Drew had the Cup for a day, I stayed away from it. I’ll take my chances at winning that thing on my own, so I’ll wait.

I knew it!

I knew he touched the Cup! Granted, if what he says is true, then Crunchy certainly can’t be blamed for the transgression, by me or (more importantly) by the Hockey Gods, but STILL such careless behavior around the Cup is redonkulous.

I love how breezily he relays this story. Yeah right, Crunchy. You expect us to believe you were all, “Ha ha! Drew, you silly pants! You just hit me in the hip with the Cup! Be more careful, you Stanley Cup Winner, you!”


Scene: The four Miller siblings are in front of the fireplace, posing for pictures for the family Christmas card with the Stanley Cup. Drew is exuberant, standing in the center of the picture holding the Cup. Crunchy is sullen and is only reluctantly participating in the activity.

Mrs. Miller: Get closer boys! Ryan, you’re barely in the picture! Drew, hold the Cup up higher.

Drew: (grinning) Mom, this Cup is heavier than it looks you know. I can’t hold it up all day long. (smiling coying) Ryan, why don’t you hold it for a few minute.

Ryan: *death glare*

Mr. Miller: (eying Ryan warily) Drew, don’t be a jerk! We just want to get a good picture for the Christmas Card.

(Drew makes a big spectacle out of hoisting the Cup up higher.)

Drew: (mumbling)…it’s just really heavy. That’s all I’m saying.

(Mr. Miller takes a few more pictures)

Mr. Miller: Okay, I think we’ve got enough. We’re done.

Drew: Finally!

(Drew let’s the Cup drop from it’s “posed” position at the exact moment Ryan begins to storm out of the room. As the Cup is in motion it grazes Ryan’s hip.)

(The family freezes in horror….and terror.)

Mrs. Miller: (nervous high pitched voice) Sweetie, did you just hit your brother with the Cup?

Drew: (still frozen in place along with the entire family) I d-d’ont…know. I didn’t mean- It was an accide-

Mr. Miller: (slowly) Ryan, are you okay?

(Ryan is breathing heavily out of his nose. He is beginning to shake.)

(The room is deadly silent except for the sound of Ryan’s ragged breathing.)

Mr. Miller: Kids, you need to leave now. Slowly. Slowly leave the room.

Drew: I’m sorry! I didn’t mea-

(Smoke is starting to seep out of Ryan’s ears. His face is getting red. His eyes are spinning in cartoonish spirals.)

Mr. Miller: Be quiet, Drew. Just leave. Quickly. He’s going to blow.

(The family slowly backs out of the room. Ryan is vibrating with rage, a tortured hum emanating from his throat.)

Mr. Miller: Drew! Bring me the tranq gun!

(Drew returns to the room with a tranquilizer gun. Mr. Miller quickly grabs the gun and shoots Ryan in the thigh.)

Ryan: (with his eyes rolling back in his head as he passes out) Drew, I’m gooooing to kill yoooou.

(Ryan collapses onto the ground.)

(The world is saved.)

(For now.)


Big Week

Scene: The Sabres and the Bills are sitting in a cramped room filled with folding chairs. The Bills are sitting on one side of the room in straight lines, patiently waiting for the meeting to begin. The Sabres are sitting on the other half of the room, spread out messily. Many Sabres are leaning back in their chairs. Tim Connolly has his feet up on the folding chair in front of him. Drew Stafford has turned his chair around so that he can play cards with Paetsch who is sitting behind him. The room is filled with chatter and laughter. Katebits enters the room and the noise dies down as she walks up to a podium.

Katebits: You’re probably all wondering why I’ve gathered you here today. You represent the two professional sports teams of Buffalo, the Bills and the Sabres. I have some rather disconcerting news and I wanted to deliver it to you as a group.

(mummer of interest in the room)

Katebits: Please try not to panic as you hear the news. First of all, Bills, congratulations on your four-game winning streak. You’ve exceeded expectations in recent weeks…..which is why I regret to inform you that you have to play…..the New England Patriots this Sunday. On prime time television.

(silence) (The Bills sit quietly, glancing nervously at one another.)

J.P Losman: Yeah, we know. We’ve been preparing for it all week.

(Bills nod in general agreement.)

J.P. Losman: It will be a big challenge, but we’ve been working hard, and our schedule after this game is pretty favorable. We’re excited about the rest of the season!

Katebits: Oh! I’m so glad to hear it!……Well, good. I guess you already knew. (turning to the side of the room where the Sabres are sitting) Unfortunately, I have some bad news for you as well, Sabres.

(Pominville and Roy cling to each other in fear. Crunchy closes his eyes. Vanek pulls his baseball hat down lower over his face.)

Katebits: I am very sorry to have to tell you this….but on Thursday, you have to play the Ottawa Senators.

(Pandemonium erupts. The Sabres leap to their feet in alarm. Toni Lydman kicks over a folding chair. Pommers and Roy start running in panicked circles, knocking heads and freaking out. Brian Campbell puts his head in his hands. Everyone is shouting.)

Pommers: (wailing and rubbing his head which he just knocked into Derek Roy) I DON’T WAAAAANNA PLAY THE SENATORS!

Katebits: (soothingly) And believe me, we don’t want to see you play the Senators, but sadly at this point there is no alternative. Actually, this is a great opportunity for you guys to turn the season around. I know it’s scary, but you can do it. We, the people of Buffalo, believe in you guys. Just try to stay calm, and remember, you’ve beaten the Senators before, you can beat them again.

(The Sabres stare blankly back at Katebits)

Katebits: Seriously. You can do it. Either way, win or lose, you have no choice. You’re playing the Senators. Look at how bravely the Bills are facing the Patriots! (Gestures towards the Bills who are sitting, staring smugly at the Sabres.)

Toni Lydman: As the captain of this team, I accept your challenge, Katebits.

Katebits: Wait. What? This isn’t a challenge. It’s just how the schedule works. You’re scheduled to play the Senators.

Toni Lydman: Whatever. I hate being captain.

Katebits: (with loud dramatic sigh) Listen, just play hard on Thursday, alright?

Toni Lydman: Do you see the stitches on my face, Katebits?

Katebits: (with wry smile) Point taken, Toni Lydman. Good luck, boys.


…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

Observations 2
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