Dukes of Awesome


IIHF World Under-20 Championship by pinkjerseyssuck

Hey-O! If you’re a super cool Sabres Insider like me, then you know Buffalo is a finalist for the super cool 2011 IIHF World Under-20 Championship. The event is pretty (excuse me, super) cool because most of the kids that play, especially for America, Canada, and the Slavic teams, eventually enter the NHL. So it’s like college football to real football but way cooler cause it’s hockey (and translates better, imho)(ha! I used imho. I’m in 2000 on aol IM). There’s 10 countries, 31 games, and 12 days (so some would be played at Niagara U, but all the final games are played in the arena).

The other 2 cities in contention are Minneapolis-St. Paul and Grand Forks. So here’s my breakdown as to why Buffalo should get it.

– I’ve never heard of Grand Forks (is this it?). And I was an American Geography major in fourth grade. So, that’s pretty major.

– Minneapolis-St. Paul and that other city have both hosted the Championship already! So for fairness sake, it’s our turn. Come on.

– Um, newest Hockeytown? Hello?

-Our proximity to Toronto and Montreal ensures the team Canada games will sell out

– Of all the American NHL cities, Buffalo has the most 18-34 year old male fans, the most female fans, AND the most high-income fans, even with our economy and population in a not-so-great spot.  Our fans/residents have a huge passion for Hockey and will indeed attend most games, and definitely sell lots of them out

– We have awesome food and a giant waterfall to offer to everyone who shows up

– We could use the money

-Lots of Sabres have played in the event, 17 at last count, including our boys Stafford, Vanek, Roy, Mair, Connolly, Sekera, Paetsch, and even my man Schutz. So these kids need to start figuring out how to get around town.

-Minneapolis-St.Paul is 2 cities. Not fair.

Please feel free to add more reasons. I’ll keep you updated on the negotiations (meaning once they choose). And there will be no need to thank me when we win, everything I do I do for the sport and the city, not for myself. Thank you.

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Will the Bills Stay in Buffalo? Maybe, but Only With Some Serious Progress by pinkjerseyssuck
June 11, 2008, 4:46 pm
Filed under: Buffalo Bills, NFL News, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

I know my posts are usually riddled with sarcasm and puns, but I’m going to take it down a notch today.

The hot topic around WNY this year has been the gloomy-looking future for the “Buffalo” Bills. I’m not going to claim today that I am totally qualified to answer the question of whether or not they’ll leave. But I do know I have some semi-educated thoughts and ideas (or at least degrees in Economics and Law), so here we go.

Buffalo is not a major city anymore. If the NFL was created tomorrow, there is no way we’d even be in the running. And that’s obvious, but a needed starting point.

Most Buffalo fans feel as though we deserve to keep our team, and I wholeheartedly agree. We have some of the most die-hard, loyal, sports-oriented, amazing fans across any sport. But the NFL has sent the message to us loud and clear that that just isn’t enough. And we as fans, as much as we want to prove we can sell out games, can’t do much to keep them here on our own until there are more of us (or we as a group become exceedingly wealthy). While the lowest ticket prices in the league are super awesome for us, the Man doesn’t see it that way.

The Bills in Toronto is a very touchy subject. I go back and forth on it several times a week, especially on the choice of game this season. But there’s one thing I do know, minus the threat of them packing up and completely moving to Tdot (which in my mind is unlikely, they’d support 2 more hockey teams before they could support an NFL team on their own), sharing our team with the region we’re in can only help right now. Anyone who doubts the economic impact should realize this: the Toronto-based group hosting the series paid the Bills $78 million for the 8 games… more than double the Bills’ calculated 2006 operating income (thestar.com). Some of the tickets on StubHub are listed at $1,250 each for the PRE-season game. You know, the ones you never want to go to so you give the ticket to your neighbor’s nephew? $1,250. The cheapest pre-season game ticket? $89. Not to mention all the huge Tdot companies buying up luxury seats and food at those oh-so-low Sports Service suit prices. ($55 for a nasty cheese pizza. $100 for an order of wings. Trust me, I worked in the Ralph Suites for years.) However, as much help as we’re getting from the Tdot market right now, I’d like to look at them as a welfare program. Just there long enough to get us back on our feet.

Buffalo needs to become a globalized city again for the NFL to stop laughing at us and give us a little credit. That doesn’t mean we have to give up our underdog status, or our blue-collar identity, but we have to be able to compete financially with the big dogs. We need to be a household name as a city, not just a team. A random Chinese citizen needs to be able to point us out on a map. In the mindset of being realistic, we’re never going to be the global power we were before we shot ourselves in the foot by inventing air conditioning (thereby moving industry southwards) and building highways for trucking. But we can be competitive again. I know no one over the age of 35 in this town thinks that’s possible, but it really is.

Plenty of people in this town have plenty of really good ideas on how to accomplish that, too. Take Kevin Gaughan and TheCost, for example. It’s a simple idea- smaller government = less taxes = more investment = more jobs. Not to mention less time spent bickering and more time spent progressing. Easy, right? You’d think so. How about Brian Higgins? After like, 924 years someone is finally doing something about our waterfront. It’s like it’s rocket science or something. Why is everyone around here soooooo afraid of change? The Aud is the perfect example. Who the heck was arguing to keep that big, ugly, asbestos filled block of cement on our waterfront? Why do people want to keep a 30 year old building so badly? Maybe it’s easier for me to say this because I’m young. I have lots of options when it comes to preserving my memories- digital pictures, emails, videos/DVDs, you name it. But whatever. Moving on, Buffalo Homecoming has lots of available jobs listed. And UB 2020 is the next (I think) really good idea. I could handle Buffalo being a college/hospital town. That’s all Boston is, and they have lots of major league teams, and lots of money. And they were broke just like us not too long ago.

But I’ve been noticing something lately as an avid Buffalo-promoter. There are two types of Buffalonians, generally broken up by age group. One, the 35 & uppers. They are convinced that nothing can and ever will change, and are content sitting around being negative all day. They are annoying. But then there’s the second group, us youngins. We are a little more positive, and less adverse to change. Yet… we don’t do anything about it. Which is even more annoying. We complain just as much. When someone tries to fix something, we want to know why they aren’t fixing 10 other things, or why they didn’t choose to fix something else first. Want proof other than the way we’re dealing with the Bills situation? Take a look at half of the comments on this Buffalo Rising post. Why doesn’t anyone around here step up? I’ve never been one to picket or parade, but it isn’t hard to get involved with some of these community efforts. Thankfully, there are several human exceptions to these rules and maybe some change will happen around here soon. And maybe everyone will prove me wrong.

What I’d really like to see is another Green Bay situation so I could own a piece of the team. But that’s impossible, so the next best thing would be for a group of investors to get together and give us a chance to rebound. I’m thinking Jim Kelly, Tom Golisano, Jack Kemp, Thurman Thomas, maybe a Knox or two, maybe even a Toronto investor. Obviously this is not a new idea, as Jim Kelly has talked openly about it. But even Jim Kelly will want to make some kind of money on such a large investment. Most importantly though, we should all really hope and pray that those snots that are Ralphie’s heirs don’t get a hold of the team, or we can say goodbye.

Last but not least, I want the league to recognize that there would be no league without Ralph Wilson and the Buffalo Bills. Not only did he lend money to the Raiders and offer to lend it to (blegh) the Patriots in order to keep the AFL afloat, but he spear-headed the idea of revenue sharing. (Gasp!) Our owner’s ideas shouldn’t be what shoots us in the foot. We’ve done that enough to ourselves.

No one left?



Hasek Finally Retires, Stephane Beauregard Gets Last Laugh by pinkjerseyssuck

So he’s finally gone. No matter your feelings on him (Dominator or Domitraitor) you have to admit he was one of the best goalies, best players, and best Sabre to ever step foot on the ice. Which kinda sucks, considering lots of us in Buffalo love to hate him.

Some people call Hasek’s initial trade to Buffalo a “lop-sided” deal, considering we gave Chicago 1. Stephane Beauregard and 2. some future cosiderations. Sure Hasek won 6 Vezina Trophies, 2 William Jennings Trophies, and a couple of Harts while he was with the Sabres, but last I checked he never matched Beauregard’s “James Gatschene Memorial Trophy” he won while playing for the San Fran Spiders. So who really got the short end of the stick here?

Plus, when we finally dropped him, we got possibly one of the top-ten sounding names in the game, “Slava Kozlov.” If that doesn’t make you feel better about Hasek being “traded” in 2001, how about that fateful day in the late spring of 1999? He couldn’t even keep Hull out of the crease long enough to keep him from not-really-scoring. 96-97 was his fault too. What a baby. AND his nasty attitude caused the lock-out. But don’t quote me on that.

And yet, I feel best about getting rid of the league’s best goalie simply because he really was a toolbag, and we like nice guys around here. If you ever doubted his toolbag status, here’s a list of proof.

  • He essentially forced Ted Nolan out. (I love Lindy more than anyone but that was still tooly)
  • He then claimed to want to leave Buffalo to go to a “winning team” and before he even played his first game with Detroit said he only wanted to retire in that jersey.
  • He looks like a tool
  • He lied to Senators fans constantly during his post-Olympic injury about coming back, and never did (not that i feel bad for those fans, but again, still tooly)
  • He thinks he can fight
  • He already retired once
  • He’s a whiny baby

If you’re still not convinced, read this wonderful quote from gabeandizzy, promoters of his new clothing line.

  • “Although the company bears my nickname, and a lot of people will associate my hockey career with it because of this, Dominator Clothing is really about making great quality clothes for active people of all kinds, and encouraging them to challenge themselves with new “goals” [get it?!?!]. You can be 12 years old or a 55-year-old grandmother. We are all Dominators in one way or another.”

Tool.

That was pretty off topic. So I’ll move on.

Now, we all know that Hasek may indeed return within 14 months of today to the NHL. His last retirement, of course, was only to “re-charge his batteries.” I think he was disappointed to return home to the CR only to find he wasn’t half as big as his own ego. Either way, I wouldn’t bet the house on this one. Considering he holds just about every other record a goalie or player can hold, I’m surprised he didn’t opt to go with “oldest player.” Course, Chris Chelios seems to be gunning for that one, and I don’t think even the great and wonderful Dominik Hasek would give him a hard time. However, on the day Hasek retired he was the oldest ‘active’ goaltender… if you want to call Chris Osgood making all your saves for you “active.”

So let’s all take a picture to remember the day Dominik Hasek retired. Again.