Friday, June 2, 2006


REDNECKS!  See if you can spot the Sabres fans in the crowd (hint: one of them is wearing blue).The Sabres went out with guns ablazin', but they finally ran out of bullets. Actually, it should be with swords a-swinging--no, that sounds stupid. Oh screw it, the Hurricanes blew them out of the playoffs, beating them 4-2 in Game 7, winning the Prince of Tides--er, Wales Trophy and will represent the East in the Stanley Cup Finals. Buffalo played well early and got two quick goals near the end of the 2nd, one of them on a favorable bounce off of Ward's back with :04.9 left, but Carolina was relentless and took control on a PP goal midway through the 3rd (after a stupid 'delay of game' penalty, which I didn't think should have been called). I was rooting for Buffalo, because their fans really deserve it and would savor a Cup win for years to come, whereas it will be forgotten by most people in Carolina the next day. But the Hurricanes are a talented young team, who are playing top notch hockey right now. (Well, they're young except for Rod Bit o' Love, who apparently made a classless comment after the game about Ruff, though I didn't hear it.) And although I'd love to see Edmonton beat them and hope to see the Cup make it back up north, I say it'll be Carolina in 6. But what do I know?

As for the OLN game commentary, I have to be honest: it hasn't been good. Although Doc's calls are always solid, JD sounds distracted (TAKE THE BLUES GM JOB ALREADY!) and the two haven't meshed well. Maybe OLN is trying to "dumb it down" for the non-hockey audience (Carolina, I'm looking at you), but there's no need to have them constantly spew endless stats, make irrelevant mentions of random minor league hockey teams, or what colleges some of the players attended. (Did you know Ryan Miller was a Michigan State Spartan? We'll say it again in 20 minutes, in case you missed it!) Sometimes they go off on tangents and forget to mention a penalty has been called (this has happened more than once), and they obsessively point out how many "one goal games" the Sabres played, which is completely meaningless (last night's Game 7, though technically not a "one goal game" was closer fought than Game 2, in which Buffalo scored a goal with 4 seconds left to make it 4-3). Enough already! Don't insult my intelligence, and don't waste my time with Olympics-style anecdotes, just call the damn game. And yes, we know it's loud in the arena, 18,000 screaming fans in an enclosed space can be noisy, we don't need to see the decibel meter. I'll say it again, and I can't stress this enough: stop exclusively catering to people who DON'T know anything about hockey, and cater to those who DO. Since OLN has Game 1 and 2 EXCLUSIVELY, we're stuck with them.

Although the playoffs have been fun to watch, it's only solidified my opinion that this is truly is the saddest sports radio town. Only one local team was playing, and there were no compelling stories in sports yesterday, yet NO ONE talked about this Game 7. Okay, I obviously only heard a small sampling of it, but this is the closest anyone got to mentioning the NHL yesterday: WFAN's Mad Dog talking to his clueless baseball-loving dad on the phone (I'm not joking here, this made it on the air).

Dog: So are you excited for Game 7 tonight? (baiting him)
Dad: Oh sure, of course. (obviously has no idea)
Dog: What Game 7 am I talking about?
Dad: Well, uhm, er . . .
Dog: I'm talking about Buffalo and Carolina!
Dad: Oh, well I'm not really into basketball.

Ugh. This is what passes for hockey conversation on sports radio around here: a guy who knows nothing about hockey making fun of his dad who knows less than him, if that's possible. It's so fucking pathetic. They only mention hockey when the Rangers are in the playoffs (which has been extremely rare), and they don't spend time on it before or after. Since I don't bother turning on ESPN anymore, since all they offer is NBA, women's softball, and Major League Bondsball, there really is no other alternative. XM Radio appears to be the only place that has a full slate of hockey talk, on theirHome Ice channel. Think about it: actual knowledgable hockey sports talk, and you don't have to live near Canada to pick it up; such a thing would have been unthinkable a few years ago. Anyway, I'm convinced that all of the major TV and radio sports talkers own a major stake in satellite radio, because their complete idiocy is actually driving me towards actually buying one of those fucking satellite receivers.

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I think a comedy movie should be measured by how many times people quote it in their daily lives. That's why the Bravo list is fatally flawed: no one is quoting the South Park movie, Ace Ventura, or Legally Blonde. I can't go a day without hearing someone quote movies like Caddyshack, Airplane!, Old School, Office Space, and Austin Powers. The king of them all, of course, is Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and I overheard two references to it yesterday. Yankees beat reporter Sweeney Murti likened Jeter's attitude toward his injury "like the Black Knight who just had his arms cut off, he insists it's just a flesh wound". I appreciated the joke, but he might have been overstating it since it's only a sprained hand. On OLN a few hours later Doc Emrick made a similar joke, using the same "it's just a flesh wound" line to illustrate how the Sabres didn't use their injuries as an excuse. This led to JD saying, "Who's Monty Python?", and Doc changing the subject by saying "And now for something completely different" and continuing the play-by-play. JD then followed up with the comment, "He's from England, isn't he?" Yikes. He just dropped a few notches in my book with that comment (and Doc went up a notch).

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