Dukes of Awesome

A little time to vent.
May 18, 2009, 1:31 pm
Filed under: Brady Quinn, Buffalo Sports, idiots, linking it up, News around Buffalo | Tags:

Too many things this week have made me say, “REALLY?!?”, so here’s a short list. 

Really? 33 degrees? If my squash plants die it’s gonne get ugly ’round here.

REALLY? A key to the city? Impressively, I am more embarrassed by this move than any other Byron has made thus far.  My favorite comment so far? –  We’ve probably only got a few hours, then, until T.O. claims the key has some sort of secret collusion with another lock.

Really. $13,000 a day is a LOT. As much as I hate the whole, run away and cry about it thing, Golisano is as close to “I can’t blame him” as I’ve ever gotten. So as long as he leaves the Sabres here, I’m not going to complain.

REEEALLY? It’s okay to physically beat activists over the head with signs now (literally)? Take a note from Ghandi, you crazy West Senecans!


How Buffalo Sports Fans Cope: A look into Freud’s Defence Mechanisms, Part 2

This continues a four part series on the way Buffalo fans, and Sports fans in general, cope with the ups, downs, and curveballs that inevitably come with the territory of making sports a priority in your life. Find Part one here.

Part two now addresses the “Level 2 Defence Mechanisms.”

Considered to some as the “teenage” mechanisms, the second level defences  lessen distress and anxiety provoked by threatening people or by uncomfortable reality. In adults, however, they become annoyingly immature and out of touch with reality. This would, therefore, constitute your average participant in a Sunday morning tailgate.

These include:

1. Fantasy

Definition: Tendency to retreat into fantasy in order to resolve inner and outer conflicts
Example: Truly believing that the no-huddle offense is what Edwards was born to do! He”s the next Kelly! 15-1 Baby!

2. Projection

Definition: without becoming consciously aware of them, attributing one’s own unacknowledged unacceptable/unwanted thoughts and emotions to another. Wikipedia’s example includes “severe prejudice, severe jealousy, hypervigilance to external danger, and injustice collecting”
Example: This embodies just about every Bills fan’s reaction to both the Dolphins (severe prejudice anyone?) and the Patriots (severe jealousy anyone?!?). As much as I want to pretend I’m not jealous and the Pats really are evil, let’s be serious. And some of you reading are thinking, “no, the Pats really are evil. They cheat. They suck. Blah blah.” It’s okay. Defense mechanisms are healthy.

3. Hypochondriasis

 Definition: Transforming negative feelings towards others into negative feelings towards yourself, thereby causing pain/illness.
Example: The tailgates at games in which the Bills are almost sure to lose always result in more arrests and hospitalizations. Look it up.

4. Passive aggression

Definition: Aggression towards others expressed indirectly or passively.
Example(s): I’m pretty sure this could be a post in itself. But really, there is so much anger pent up at tailgate parties expressed in “savage brews” and playing “pass the charcoal” it’s ridiculous. The question is, who’s it supposed to be directed at? Ralph Wilson? The NFL? Scott Norwood? Whoever thought it was a good idea to but a thruway on the waterfront? Who knows. But it’s definitely inside us, expressing its ugly head every September.

5. “Acting out”

Definition: Direct expression of an unconscious wish or impulse without conscious awareness of the emotion that drives that expressive behavior.
Example: the viral rumor that Ralph had died. Was this our collective subconscious, wishing for some sort of answers as to what will happen when he does kick the bucket? I am ashamed to say, it was both terrifying and exciting when I first heard the rumor. For those of you who frantically texted and facebooked away once you heard it- knowing full well it was only a rumor- perhaps you were acting out.

6. Idealization

Definition: Subconsciously choosing to perceive another individual as having more positive qualities than he or she may actually have.
Example: just about every player we have signed or drafted in the last 17 years. See, Fantasy, above     

Parts 3 and 4 coming soon. 





Think the Rivalry is Kind of Dead? The Rivalry is NOT Dead.

So if you’re a long time reader you know that a portion of the Dukes went on a Buffalo sports vacation down to sunny overcast Miami. If you’re a first time reader you just found out. The trip opened my eyes to a few things. 
First, if I bring Sahlen’s hotdogs next year I can use them to buy tickets (I am definitely not kidding). 
Second, it is really, really, uncomfortably humid/hot in Miami. 
Third, I do not speak Spanish. 
Fourth, Kent Hull is gigantic and Rolls has a ridiculous hairline. And
Fifth, the rivalry is not dead.
When it was first announced that the game in Toronto last year was the Miami home game some people were angry, but, for the most part, everyone just thought about it and decided they didn’t care that much. Why? Because Miami was *terrible* two years ago, because they hadn’t been serious competition for anyone in several years, and because people claim that the rivalry is “dead” between Miami and the Bills, including some Bills players. 
After a sweltering trip south, I now beg to differ.
I now hate Miami, and I hate their fans. None of them individually, but as a group. (Individually some of them were actually good-hearted, but I chaulk that up to the female presence in our group). It was painfully obvious that these fans could care less about their football team when a Bills jersey isn’t nearby. Here are a few examples:
1. The fly-over.
Look real close, it's there.
Look real close, it’s there.
2. The dedicated fans take their seats in the middle of the second quarter. 
THAT is dedication.
THAT is dedication.
3. You could recognize their fans by their pink shirts.
does torquiose + orange = pink?
does torquiose + orange = pink?
4. This guy was in the running to win a prize – because they give a prize to people who show up simply if they have dolphins colors on. Not the “best” outfit, just any. They bribe their fans to support the team. 
Fan of the Game
Fan of the Game
5. Half of the Dolphins attendance was jazzercising women in pink shirts who left as soon as their show was over. Once they left there were more Bills fans.
Bye, bye.
Bye, bye.
6. The WORST, and I mean WORST theme song ever. Ever. Terrible.
7. Even their cheering sucked. The most obnoxious man boy “Dolphan” I’ve ever seen tried rallying the 2 rows behind him when the Dolphins managed to get a safety, to no avail. A safety? Come on, dude. 
Now, after soaking in all the above information, realize that I have never been trashed talked so much in my life… and it wasn’t even good trash talk. You don’t see the celebration that you see at the Ralph when the Bills win. No. You see people walking, talking about their trailer homes, and then when they catch a glimpse of blue and red, attempting to trash talk by saying “it’s cold in Buffalo!” and “you lost to the worst team in the division!” and then going back to their conversations about how fun it is to excessively sweat 364 days of the year.
Really? That’s the best you’ve got? Ugh. 
And so now I have come to realize why people continue to fly to these games year after year. The Rivalry is alive and well, even if it is only with the fans of each team. I now officially hate the Dolphins, and I hate the Dolphans. And I can’t wait until next year when I go down there and watch us WIN. It will feel so sweat sweet. 

How Buffalo Sports Fans Cope – A look into Freud’s Defence Mechanisms

This starts a four part series on the way Buffalo fans, and Sports fans in general, cope with the ups, downs, and curveballs that inevitably come with the territory of making sports a priority in your life.  

Part one addresses, appropriately, the “Level 1 Defence Mechanisms.”

There are three DMs at this level, which educationally speaking are almost always severely pathological.  These three defences, in conjunction, permit one to effectively rearrange external reality and eliminate the need to cope with reality. 

These are the DMs that cause non-sports fans tho view us sports fans as “crazy” or “insane.”  In other words, these are the “psychotic” defences.  While they are considered healthy mechanisms when occuring in dreams or childhood, I think most would agree that, when employed in an alert state, “nightmare” is probably the more accurate term.  These defences include:

1.   Denial.

Definition: Refusal to accept external reality because it is too threatening; arguing against an anxiety-provoking stimulus by stating it doesn’t exist; resolution of emotional conflict and reduction of anxiety by refusing to perceive or consciously acknowledge the more unpleasant aspects of external reality.

Example: The Bills would have lost Superbowl XXV anyways.

2.   Distortion.

Definition: A gross reshaping of external reality to meet internal needs.

Example: Dick Jauron isn’t that bad of a coach.

3.   Delusional Projection

Definition: Grossly frank delusions about external reality, usually of a persecutory nature.

Example: The plain and simple truth is, the Refs are out to get us

Stay tuned for Parts 2-4 in the coming week. 



I Knew Canada Loved Hockey, But…

I had no idea how much they loved the Sabres.

While I was glad MSG finally figured out it was a terrible idea to not broadcast this West Coast stretch of games, I was still aggravated to find out that MSG would only be showing the opposite team’s feed.  I’m annoyed enough when I have to watch the games on NBC, how was I going to put up with even more constant stroking of the other team’s ego? And to top it off, I have a satellite dish, so listening to wgr was not an option. 

Little did I know how much Edmonton and Calgary respects and, apparently, loves the Sabres.  I can’t say I’ve heard their feed while playing other teams, so it’s probably just that their undying love for the sport makes them respectful and impressed with every team, not just Buffalo.  But they almost seemed to focus more on Buffalo than their own teams.  They talked about how great our players are, how awesome Ryan Miller is, how good of a coach Lindy Ruff is, and they even mentioned the pigeon.  It wasn’t simple stats and news, it was genuine compliments and stories.  Even the Oiler’s fans were cheering for them at the end (NOT sarcastically, in my opinion).  I’m assuming they figured – “hey, there is no way we’re winning this game.  Let’s at least see a team score 10 goals.” 

It’s a weird concept to me.  I don’t at all think that Rick, Harry and Kevin are disrespectful to visiting teams.  But I do think that they definitely don’t make them a priority like Edmonton and Calgary did.  It sort of reminded me of the way a Buffalonian treats a tourist… “oh, you like it here?!? you want to spend money here?! you’re awesome! look how awesome our town is!”  It’s also the same reaction one receives when they tell a Canadian that they love Canada.  But do you think a New Yorker cares that much when someone from Dallas says they like it there?  Probably not.

I’ve both heard and experienced how polite and hospitable Canadians are (driving on the QEW aside).  In fact, I would be shocked if I didn’t make another new friend in Toronto next time I visit.  So maybe it’s the culture I’ve grown up in in America of hating your opponent and his mother.  More likely than not, it’s also because Buffalonians are bred as the underdogs and we react with an underdog mentality.  Yet taking all these things into consideration, I’m still pleasantly surprised with how highly the Sabres were regarded in these towns, especially for a team who this season has been, at best, average.  

I’m glad this whole fiasco with MSG went down, or I would not have experienced this shining illustration of the camaraderie and kinship that is so much a part of hockey in Canada.  No offense to Rick, of course, as his job is to announce for the fans in Buffalo – and we all know he does the best job in NHL.  But it’s always nice to get a dose of Canada.

Bills Season Ticket Price Remains Constant – But the Cost Rises

The Bills announced last week that Season Ticket prices will not be going up.  (This is where you are all expected to applaud and give honor and adulation to Mr. Wilson.)

My first reaction to this?  “Duh.”

It’s common knowledge by now that we as Bills fans are indeed stuck between a rock and a hard place- either we support the team no matter what or we will feel partly responsible if it leaves-  and the front office DEFINITELY knows we all feel that way.  

Yet, not only did the Bills fail to make the playoffs yet again, despite promises to the contrary– but we fans are stuck purchasing not 1, but 2 completely terrible pre-season games again.  The only upside of this Toronto thing to the average season ticket holder was that he or she didn’t have to pay regular season ticket price for TWO pointless, unentertaining, and underskilled football games.  Honestly, a STH (look I used a cool abbreviation for “season ticket holder”) is lucky if he can get $10 for one of those tickets.  Personally, we donate ours to our Church’s youth group.  So while the ticket price has not gone up, my bank account will be taking a bigger hit this year.  I know I’m getting “another game” out of it, but the simple truth is I’m paying more money and getting less utility per dollar, which, as a staunch utilitarian, is disappointing to say the least.

Now I know that preseason ticket prices are all the NFL’s fault and blah blah blah but the simple solution is that the Bills should have made Toronto take a yearly preseason game.  Let the rich guys take those of our hands.  Why not?  That way when no one came to the games, it would have looked like a normal pre-season game and not like there’s absolutely no hope in Canada for the NFL.  That’s the quintessence of win-win.

By the way everyone… although somewhat off topic I feel compelled to tell you that the Ralph accepts Canadian dollars AT PAR.  Depending on how many beers and hotdogs you buy each season, this is practically currency trading. 


Look, its a Canadian Rainbow

Look, it's a Canadian Rainbow

So yes, I’m going to buy the seasons again.  But I’m stocking up on Candaian change and I’m not sending old Ralphie a thank you note.  



NHL CBA Stays Closed… Yeah!!

The NHL Players Association 30 member executive board voted unanimously today not to reopen the collective bargaining agreement with the league.  Although the terms of the CBA allow the players to open it up for renegotiation by May 18th of this year, the players have notified the league of no intention to do so.

Many players have commented that the national economy is in too bad a place for them to start renegotiating their CBA.  Another thing I love about hockey.  Maturity (Ruutu excluded).   

That means Hockey is safe again from the dreaded lock-out (not from skyrocketing salaries and low revenues, but a lock-out) until September of 2011.  Sleep tight, everybody.