Hmm, so the shutdown of the federal government continues, accomplishing nothing, but hurting working Americans. At the heart of all of this are all these folks who profess to love America. I’ve noticed this, this love of America and it makes me wonder why they seem to hate everybody who lives there.

Okay, so you don’t like the Affordable Care Act. Fine, instead of pouting, blustering, obfuscating, and strangling the rest of the people’s business, work on actual ideas on improvement instead of wasting the people’s monies (really good at that) to fix and work together on flaws and shortcomings.

Seems simple.

I had the fortune to be among the staff for the latest appearance in the area of the World Wrestling Federation and their latest pay-per-view program. In a weekend that saw a Bills loss, two Sabres losses, a long term injury to a quarterback star in the making, the choreographed shenanigans was the pinnacle of Buffalo Sports for the weekend.


Those wrasslin fans are some getting up, and getting down people. Attendees of the live action are essentially a really large studio audience and there are a lot of gaps in the action, enough so that I’m sure the concession folks made some serious dollars. I’m not if I was envious of the foodstuffs passing by, or how well financed some folks were to be making so many trips to the bar.

No wonder mom made us eat before leaving home. Stuff’s pricey.

How come apples don’t get the p.r. that pumpkins seem to enjoy?

Just wondering


Pay dirt

Now, wasn’t this nice.


(from the Buffalo News)

A nice reminder that football can be fun. While the first part of the Bills/Panthers game was lacking in much, you certainly couldn’t say that about the end. While one game isn’t indicative of anything (Any Given Sunday), the idea that the Bills have a quarterback to build up and around is a nice thing.

We get a fun season, that would be great. Anything beyond that would be a pleasant surprise. Look at office morale on Monday afterwards. That’s a good thing. Winning probably sold a few of those cool old school jerseys too.

Blacked Out

As a long time Bills fan, the sensation is semi-familiar. I got to admit that it is no surprise that a game against a really awful team when ours isn’t exactly winning friends and influencing people isn’t sold out and available on tv. The Bills have been a bit bewildering lately and the Jaguars are flat out awful. And the way it’s been phrased on the sports reports is that the fans are less than loyal for not selling that game out, that selling out games at the end of another crappy season shows that we are fickle and don’t care.

Craptastic opponents, less than inspiring gameplans, losing more than winning? Do good and folks celebrate, turn out, represent yo, but somebody’s got to take the first step. The Bills chose not to participate in the 85% capacity to lift blackouts and had they done that, the Jaguars game might be on tv, selling ads, gaining viewers, inspiring fans. We ain’t sheep, build something and we will come.

I loved watching Stevie Johnson chase that Indianapolis interception return down last week and force a fumble. That’s soul.

Whole team plays like that and maybe you got something.

Might be good enough to televise

Black out Black Eyes

Buffalo Rising tweeted about there not being enough outrage over tv blackouts in taxpayer subsidized stadiums. There is a valid point there, but I think we’ve all been beaten into submission. While watching my own employer treated like the stinky dinner guest during a Legislative tomfoolery a few weeks ago, I can only imagine the battle royal waiting for when the Buffalo Bills look to various governments for the latest modernizations for the stadium that has inspired no development in its 30 years of existence. The Bills Chief Executive duly noted that the Bills could buy the remaining tickets to end a blackout, but never have and aren’t about to start because “they don’t want to devalue season tickets.”


Since he apparently thinks we’re idiots, let me retort. The lousy product devalues season tickets. An extended losing streak and most of them blowouts tends to temper enthusiasm, slow merchandise, extinguish interest and breed apathy. You put a decent, competitive product forth and everything gets better: players want to play here, attendence (As even the Rob Johnson era Bills demonstrated) goes up, viewership on tv goes up which triggers more ad revenue, and hell, you even sell more merchandise.

But, when the team has been as 1971-era depressing as it has been of late, there should be a little more forward thinking. I mean every Erie County resident already has a little financial skin in the game. If the Bills swooped in at 12:59 on Thursday, I bet nobody going to the Stadium would feel devalued. The team could get a public relations coup with a Christmas ticket giveaway to fans who can’t swing the ticket fee. Channel 4 gets a Tebow game and ad revenues for the team, CBS locally and nationally go up and if they win, some Bills merch might get peddled on all those Boxing week trips to the mall next week.

If you televise it, they will still come.

First full week

The first full work week of the new year felt like everybody was getting repatrioted to their desks. I wasn’t completely off for the holidays like some folks, but still it felt like the five days were 12 days long.

We have all the snow that everybody was pining for, enough so that I went to kick a little off the back of my car, a small continental shelf of ice and snow dropped out of my wheel well. The persistent cold does alter your reality. After a string of days in the teens, I saw a forecast for a day in the twenties and it seemed downright balmy. Skipped the hat, left the second scarf at home and turned the heat in the car down a notch. That brings me to one of Murphy’s automotive laws, you never lose a headlight when the temp is over 40. It is always bitterly cold and you have to move some metal parts in that cold that cannot be manipulated with gloves on. Somewhere, the automotive gods chuckle.

I occasionally get Mitch Albom’s column through a variety of sources and his recent “new rules” column cracked me up, sort of a practical nod to Bill Maher’s feature, however indirectly. I didn’t agree with every tenet, but he did give a lot of food for thought. Here’s what I’d like to see:

Politicos have to know what the word “reform” actually means. Many use it like something is going to change, but most often for them it just means “we’ll be the ones screwing you now.” Reading about shenanigans in the Erie County Legislature from thursday, no fewer than four speakers used that word in dubious context. And so it goes.

I’d like the Buffalo Bills to quit playing with us. I know Bill Cowher is positioning himself for his optimal next job, and the Bills quest is still in its early stages. While Cowher to the Bills would be great, I don’t think it’s going to happen. But on the upside, the last winning Bills Coach, Wade Phillips, will probably be available the moment the Cowboys lose. So there are always options. I got a feeling, some coordinator somewhere will be the next guy.

Good thing the Sabres are doing well. They have been a lot more fun this year than in the past two seasons, but they make me nervous still when trying to sit on a lead. Our guys took the third period against the Leafs off and played defense, decent defense, but the Laffs nearly got back into it. The goalie situation is fine, defensively life is good, but Darcy should find the team another offensive threat and who knows where things can go.

Albom mentioned something in his column about Fox, MSNBC, and CNN going off the air at 6. I think they can stay on, but they need to just keep covering news. Rachel Maddow can keep her show since she’s smarter than all of the others collectively, but I think the prison hologram in Superman II can accommodate Hannity, King, O’Reilly, Olbermann, Matthews, and even Wolf (as any professional broadcaster who uses “UM” as much as he does could use some downtime.

NBC screwed up with Jay Leno and Conan O’brien. And they continue to screw up, by not figuring this out. Who couldn’t see that coming? Dragging out the “what’s next?” only makes the Law and Order network (since they will be showing a lot of that soon) look even dumber. I’m thinking it’s ultimately going to mean Conan going to Fox as Jay won’t want just 30 minutes. Can’t see that as an answer as that would mean the Jimmy Fallon show, which has become pretty good, would get blasted to 1:05 am, making it worth a little less.

The local company bought all the tickets to a meaningless football game last week, then announced it was raising rates. That’s timing for you.

Snowy Exhibition Games

I am so glad I don’t usher anymore.

As I write this, it is 10 degrees outside and lake effecting all over Delaware Ave. The Bills are finishing up a miserable season against the Indianapolis Colts who will go deep in the playoffs, so much so that today doesn’t matter for them. It matters so little that the Colts Coach Jim Caldwell pulled most of his starters last week during a loss to the Jets, when they were winning at the time. The Colts were undefeated till then. If I’m a Colts player, fan or semi-interested bystander, that still wrankles me. I’m none of those things, but even still the coach muffed the call. A perfect regular season, a potential Super Bowl run and you can one up Bill Bellichick in the annals of NFL history. NFL Countdown is on in the other room and Chris Berman just finished summing up the game by saying there is a chance that if the Jets win, and take their first playoff game, they could meet up with the Colts once more.

Anyhow, I’m just glad I’m looking at it from the comfort of my living room, as today’s game at the Ralph will be the equivalent of a pre-season game for the Colts and speculation that Terrell Owens had his Buffalo residence packed during last week’s Atlanta game. Watch the Bills fool around and win against the Colts’ JV squad just to tease us all a little more.

The Bills go out of our misery while our new GM, Hank Hill’s Dad, gets to work and if you hear a sound, it will be the mass clicking of WNY television sets to the 3:00 p.m. Sabres game.

Monday footnotes

Didn’t have to be anywhere yesterday, so I wasn’t. The weather was so god awful, I didn’t feel real guilty about it. Thought that if the laundry facilities in the basement were free, church was going to have to wait. It did. I came, I saw, I laundered. It was good thing, got caught up on some the hard work that my DVR had been doing during the week.

With the local professional football team having me consider becoming a CFL fan with their epic badness, I appreciated the BBC showing a handful of episodes of “Top Gear,” easily the most fun car show ever. Between laundry loads, I caught the pilot for “Eastwick” which shows a little promise. The people who used to make “Scrubs” are split between “Cougartown” and something with Patricia Heaton, which was so memorable I dove back into my book pile for save my intellect while the Bills continued to hurt my feelings. The Mets are done, but they at least took all season. The Bills took new efficiency to their ineptness, destroying all hope in just 25% of the schedule.

Got a reminder about age this weekend. I went with a friend to support her daughter bartending at a bar on Chippewa. The idea of me on Chippewa on a Saturday night is pretty comical now. Chippewa needs an old man bar back to balance the trade and a well-poured pint for those of us watching the people fest. Anyway The bar’s owners are depending on the bartenders to bring in the trade. There’s a recipe for long term success (please note sarcasm). She did fine, only problem was an owner giving her cues as to when to this or that. Dude, let the employees do the jobs you hired them for, there is plenty of time to run the bar into the ground. She has the right attitude, get some experience and bolt for better surroundings with time. The bar itself caters to the early drinker/just out of college crowd, so I felt a little out of place, not nearly as much as the skeevy perv who sat at the bar all night, eyeing the bartenders, but a merry time was had. It gave me a renewed sense of appreciation for the Old Pink.

got a twitter account and some of the followers make sense (including some of you nice folk), others I have no idea who the hell some of them are. That along with the fact that “Follow Friday” is all the rage and I don’t know the point of that have left me a little bumfuzzled. If I’m to be collected, there better be something in it for me. Am I endanger of not “Getting” a trend in all things dorklike? The horror

Maybe it was because summer was such a nonstarter, but it seems like comfort food season got here quicker than usual.

I think it is great Rio got the 2016 Olympics. It’s good for it to move around as that is the true Olympic spirit. I’m a little confused at the amount of people who rooted for Chicago’s failure simply because the President tried to help the cause (like leaders too). I understand, hell I respect, polite disagreement, but this sniveling resentment is a crappy lesson to exhibit. It’s a crappy example to set and makes me think Maureen O’dowd had a point a few weeks ago in writing that there is a faction of the population that had just lost its collective shit about the current office holder. Lousy state of affairs.

Where my head is at the moment.

Jerry Seinfeld was right when it comes to sports…

We are all just rooting for laundry. As soon as a guy takes off the right shirt, we hate him. The only added variable to this is if our guys look silly. This might be part of the problem with the Sabres. In an effort to take part of the easy money grab, they rolled out something that looks like Barney Rubble’s hairdo instead of the Buffalo and crossed swords held in reverence around this parts.

The Bills have similar issues. They redesigned themselves at the beginning of the Tom Donahue/Drew Bledsoe era and have looked a little funky (in a bad way) ever since. A few years ago, they introduced a light blue jersey (for part of the NFL money grab that is merchandising) and I’ll readily admit to falling for it. It was meant to pay heed to when the Bills were, you know, good and it was such an improvement of the dark blue mismatched striped exercises our guys wear now. Those coincidentally say “CFL” in my eyes.

Last night, they introduced the “away” jersey equivalent for the NFL calls “legacy games,” for when old AFL teams meet up. NFL preseason is a little tough to watch as you hope the stars don’t get hurt, backups emerge, and the future AFL stars show their stuff. Being a less that thorough fan, I don’t pay them much heed till we get a little closer to the regular slate. I did tune in a little last night to see what the Bills looks like for a series. They lost, but they looked good doing it.


It’s probably wrong for me to want one, but I do.