Archive for the 'Buffalo' Category

If he floats, he’s a witch; Trent Edwards and the Bills

How can you tell if a witch is a witch? Toss one in the water. If it floats, it’s a witch. If it drowns, it’s not a witch.

How can you tell if a Buffalo Bills quarterback is worthy of a starting position? Play him in a few regular season games. If he stinks, then you know he stinks. So goes the ill-fated history of Trent Edwards’ tenure with the Bills.

The Buffalo Bills don’t seem to understand that there are other ways of evaluating quarterbacks. They also don’t seem to understand basic economic principles like supply and demand. When there was a demand for quarterbacks in the offseason, they didn’t want to sell. And once they found out they were stuck with some bad inventory, they just threw it out on the curb for anyone to grab. Another write off in the endless “bad quarterback debts” account.

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Pinching pennies, wasting millions

A history of lackluster on-ice performance in the playoffs has moved me from a die-hard Buffalo Sabres fan into the realm of a knowledgable follower.

But recent management and ownership decisions that make New York State look fiscally innovative have left me baffled and disaffected.

Yesterday, shortly after Sabres forward Tim Kennedy was awarded $1 million in arbitration, the team waived him. All things told, the difference between what they were looking to offer him and what was awarded in arbitration was about $200,000. A native Buffalonian, Kennedy’s local appeal likely brings in that much money in ticket and jersey sales each year.

I understand that is a business and all about money, but is it worth pinching pennies on a popular product when you waste millions on less popular (and productive) products such as say, another Tim on the team?

Granted, Kennedy’s numbers were middle-of-the-pack, but the guy has a huge heart and plays every shift. Good luck dangling that $200,000 in front of some of the other multi-million dollar half-hearted “marquee” players.

 Oh, and that $200,000? Well if nobody claims Kennedy off waivers, the Sabres can buy out his contract, which can be done at a bargain rate of $333,333. Add in the lost revenue from fans who stop caring, sprinkle in some Enronesque bookkeeping, and you’ve got some real savings.

Cowboys game or a car?

After looking at a recent report detailing the costs of attending NFL games in 2009, economists might want to reexamine foreclosure and bankrupcy data in Dallas.

At about $760 for a family of four to attend a game (food, souvenirs, parking included), you wonder how many second and third mortgages people took out for a few hours of Sunday entertainment. The $5 hot dogs and sodas aren’t as disconcerting as the $159.65 average ticket. Granted, NFL teams only have eight regular season home games per season, but for the price of a ticket, you could feed a family of four … for a week or two.

The Cowboys were the priciest show in the league, while the Buffalo Bills were at the other end of the spectrum. For $303.96, you could entertain a family of four on a Sunday, although the entertainment factor is questionable. The tickets, at an average of $51.24 a pop, were below the league average from 2004, but then again you were mostly paying to watch one team play (the visitors).

Another fine Buffalo outing

Does the heartbreak lessen each year? It’s tough to say, but with a degree of certainly, I can say the misery never subsides. Enter the world of a Buffalo sports fan.

The Buffalo Sabres have once again let down their loyal fan base and embarrassed themselves. Now, let me mitigate that by saying some of the Sabres have besmirched the good name of hockey by putting in as much effort as Randy Moss during a run play. Any Sabres fan certainly can identify the guilty parties. As for those who give their heart and soul each night, like Ryan Miller, Patrick Kaleta (who gives blood), Mike Grier, Tyler Myers and a few others, I have nothing but respect for you. But to the others, I would only hope that you put in as much effort into your golf game this spring.

To those who say, “There is always next year,” such a trite adage is about as comforting as a porcupine snuggie. If I had my druthers, we would be able to hold a hearing in City Hall, lining out the aggrieved – the loyal fans – and allowing them to question the good-for-nothing playoff waste-of-space players a la Goldman in Congress. But one can only dream …

Chara’s Jail Break

In a scene that was reminiscent of the movies “Slapshot” and Woody Allen’s “Take the Money and Run,” Boston Bruins’ Captain Zdeno Chara was involved in a jail break during last night’s Round 1 Game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Buffalo Sabres.

According to Chara and others,  the  penalty box official was at fault for the early parole (I still contend it was an NHL pardon). Still, when the warden unlocks the cell doors, isn’t it incumbent on the aggressors to serve their time?

Even if he didn’t serve his full time, his Noriegan-like extradition gave the home crowd plenty about which to cheer.

On a side note, is it just me or does Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta have a bloodletting quota? At least once a game, you can count on him heading to the bench with blood flowing from some part of his face.

New Jersey’s (not the state)

In the style of Bill Maher, I am espousing a New Rule:

Third jerseys should only be donned by established hockey teams with a loyal fan base.

Buffalo's new alternate jersey

As recently reported by icethetics.com, several NHL teams are looking to change their third jerseys.

Some teams, like the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers, should be allowed to don their tradition sweaters every now and again. And yes, newer teams like Buffalo and Pittsburgh should also have some leeway in bringing back some of their old-school threads.

But when teams like Columbus or Atlanta start messing around with third jersey’s, I start to cringe. Instead of trying to look hip, vintage or whatever style they may be going for, these new kids on the block should focus on things like, say, winning or putting butts in seats. There’s something to be said for minimalism and tradition. I don’t care if my grandfather’s old Member’s Only jacket smells like mothballs and isn’t handcrafted by Marc Jacobs – it’s tried and true.

While the NHL doesn’t have a formula or litmus test that would dictate whether a team can or can’t don a third jersey, I think a safe measure is that if the team is Canadian, part of the Original Six or has attendance rates in the high 90’s for the past decade, they can do a throwback.

Sled Champs

OK, so maybe Canada won what it considered the most coveted gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, but the U.S brought home gold in the paramount event at the 2010 Paralympics.

The U.S. sledge hockey goalie Steve Cash followed up the great performance of U.S. Hockey Team’s Ryan Miller with a shutout in the gold medal game Saturday in his team’s 2-0 win over Japan.

While we may have been favored to win, we did so with great aplomb. And much like the men’s U.S. hockey squad was replete with Western New Yorkers – Patrick Kane, Brooks Orpik and Ryan Callahan –  the sled team represented the region quite well.

Sochi can’t come soon enough for the red, white and blue.