Category Archive:

The Shirt off my Back


Warning: there’s an angry old man at the typewriter today. 512w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />

Now, my story begins in 19-dickety-two. We had to say “dickety” cause that Kaiser had stolen our word “twenty”. I chased that rascal to get it back, but gave up after dickety-six miles…

Let’s talk about “jersey fouls.”

I’m not sure who invented this idea, be it some sports merchandising/marketing demagogue, or be it the simple human tendency to march into the arena of war/sport under one selected banner of names, but I am sure of one thing: it pisses me off.

I could go off on the Bills here for changing jerseys last season before this year’s league-wide switch to Nike, prompting fans to buy a new jersey two years in a row – or the Dolphins planning to switch designs next year, which is even more of a dick move, but for the sake of brevity, I’m going to stick to just one sport, and I’m choosing hockey, dammit, because I am already raging enough over the Bills’ decision to slap their fans in their frost-bitten faces by sticking with blackouts.

The best run-on sentence is an angry one. Moving on.

Brad Riter had a good piece on Trending Buffalo a little while back covering his search for some new Bills threads. I loved his angle of being an older guy looking for a way not to appear awkward with the name of some 20-something’s name plastered across your back, but for me, that search is more than awkward.

The whole jersey phenomenon has gotten strange enough and more than a little slightly cultish – but more on that later. First, I’ll bullet point my thoughts as I read Brad’s pointers (pointers in italics).

  • Don’t wear a jersey of a guy who is younger than you. Well, since the Sabres decided not to sign the 1,000 year old Dominik Hasek, I guess I’m stuck with Alumni #’s. I would be set with that, if only I hadn’t placed a LaFontaine name plate on a modern-era Sabres jersey – that’s apparently a “jersey foul” too, since he never wore that precise version of the Blue and Gold sweater. Whatever, dicks.
  • Be a little creative. Don’t get something that 6 of the 10 guys at your tailgate party will be wearing. Fantastic. That gives us 23 names (off the “active roster”) to be creative with. Hmm. I hear Sekera jersey sales are lagging.
  • Don’t get cute/Ironic. Sorry Andrej, looks like we’re narrowing the field back down to the WNY-preferred North American fold. That’s right: I went there. We hate Euros. Why? “Hockey IQ,” my ass.
  • Plan ahead. Screw this. All these guys are to eventually be traded away for, well, the next hot jersey promotion. Trust me. You’ll see the Sabres tweet the new guys’ threads on Twitter every time.
  • Consider body type – his and yours. I’ve been told I’m too tall for a Gerbe jersey. Screw that. Honey badger fears nothing. Disagree all you want: I’ve seen the body types in line for beer and nachos. How many of us are built like this? Oh, you work out? Shut up.

Brad’s cautionary list stops there. He did not make any of these rules up, and he was certainly not preaching them. But boy, he sure showed how ludicrous the social pitfalls of buying a jersey are like these days. 600w" sizes="(max-width: 224px) 100vw, 224px" />

This and $199.99 can get you mercilessly taunted by your own fan base. Because you are stupid. And the 50,000 guys wearing Miller jerseys are fucking brilliant. Whatever.

There are many other rules to the “jersey foul.” Excuse me while I ragestorm over a few of them.

No Frankenjerseys. For those that don’t know, this is the heretical act of sewing the uniforms of two different teams together. Wear one into the arenas of the NHL, and enjoy the teen paparazzi clicking away at you with their cell phone cameras, each one hoping they might earn their glory – a mention on Yahoo! Sports Puck Daddy’s “Jersey Fouls” feature. Parasites.

The Drury. Did your favorite player leave town? Sorry. Time to put the jersey on Ebay for $2.99 and add it to the $199.99 new jersey fund.

Misspelled name. As a wordaholic, I get this one. It also makes a heckuva lot of sense to get the name right if you’re investing 200 bucks of hard earned cash on your chicken wing/beer bib. This sort of thing has no place in the NHL… oh wait. Those alphabetically challenged should just opt for an Ott jersey.

Your own name. You know what? I’d love to see a section full of Nowikis, Deyoungs, Rinaldis, and whoevers. We don’t all have to be Ryan Miller, or Tyler Myers, or whichever veteran flavor of the day is selling at the Sabres’ store. When did game nite become Halloween? When did watching hockey together begin to require us all to surrender our most basic individuality?

Anyway, there’s plenty more of these ridiculous “rules,” but I’m already pissed off enough, so if this stuff is so important to you, look up the rest on your own.

I’m done feeding into it.

Still, we are now compelled to spend our money on Millers, Vaneks, and Pominvilles  – after the tickets, the parking, the beer/pop and the food. After the NHL Ticket, after the ballcaps, the garden gnomes, the bobbleheads, trading cards, mini-sticks, socks, team underwear, did I say garden gnomes? The car flags, the stickers, the posters, the license plate frames, the pennants… (hey, remember when the Sabres won the pennant that one time? Good lord). The list goes on.

Here’s my proposal for a new 2 rule system for jersey regulation:

  1. Put whatever you want on your hard earned jersey. Hack it in two, and splice it together with some Amerks threads. Go all out and put your own name on the back. You still won’t be a member of the team. Enjoy the game.
  2. Join the mob. Buy a Name. Be Miller. Be Vanek. Be Pominville. You still won’t be a member of the team. Enjoy the game.

Funny thing is, that’s where the whole “jersey foul” notion seems to begin and end: if you do it wrong, you’re not playing right, you’re not with it, you’re not on the team. Then again, if you follow the rules, YOU ARE STILL NOT ON THE FREAKING TEAM.

You want to know why people put their own names on the backs of their jerseys, or mash them together into Frankenjerseys? Because it’s fun.

No, these people that you see are not idiots, or social outcasts, or deranged in any way. They do not deserve to have pictures of their backs plastered all over the Internet for the rest of the jersey wearing hordes to guffaw at.

You know what’s not fun? An endless sea of Ryan Millers hunched over in their seats backstopping nothing but the serving end of a gigantic beer. Or worse, actually being the fan who fouled up a jersey, and has to put up with a night of cyber stalking and smarmy giggling from the clique that bought into this BS.

Assholes: we’re at a hockey game, not a Nazi revival camp. There’s no need to fucking police each other.

Whoever took this “jersey fouls” shot during the Kings’ Cup parade took “creeper” to another level. Watch your asses out there, folks.

There was once a time when you went to the good old hockey game in jeans and a shirt. Or a suit. It was the folks who came in dressed in jerseys that raised a curious eyebrow back then – those were the ones just a little too much into the game. Now, the NHL and other leagues have the notion of the “jersey foul” a little too much into the heads (and the wallets) of their fans.

Me? I’m done. I’ve been through an Audette, a LaFontaine (again, so egregiously placed on a Blue and Gold version that wasn’t precise enough to his tenure, since those are kinda hard to come by), a Drury, and a possibly soon to be obsolete Stafford.

I’m done buying into the rules. But the rules are going to persist, right? Mob Rules wins every time. I’ve given enough, I’ve spent enough, and I’m done. I’ve given this league – literally – the shirt off my back, and the blood sweat and tears of my dollar. And haven’t we all? If the guy with the fouled up jersey ain’t on the team, neither is anyone else in the stands. We’re all paying for this whole hockey thing to exist.

Again, disagree all you want. You’ve got an army of fellow Millers standing alongside you.

Oh, and whether you do the jersey thing right or do it wrong, a subtle reminder on how the league cares about how we go about this: “lockout.”

Get me the hell outta’ here, Roger Cozier and your well dressed fans.


Classy threads. Those were the DAYS.

Dammit all.

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Bills And Sabres Making All The Right Moves

It’s a pretty great feeling when your favorite sports teams seem to be making all the right moves. As Buffalo sports fans we’ve certainly dealt with a lot of stomach-roiling management over the years and it’s nice to feel like things are finally going well for both the Sabres and the Bills management-wise.

As for the Bills we had to put up with some horrible coaching ever since the Marv Levy days. Wade Phillips, Gregg Williams, Mike Mularkey, Dick Jauron and a brief look at Perry Fewell. Fewell didn’t have enough tenure for us to know much about him but the rest … ugh.

The “Dick Jauron Face”. Passion-inspiring it is not. We had to put up with THREE YEARS of this.

Chan Gailey is such a breath of fresh air form those guys – especially from Dick Jauron. It’s ridiculous to think back on the fact that he fired his offensive coordinator and had Alex Van Pelt install a no-huddle offense mere weeks from the start of the regular season. “Hey build me an awesome offense quickly. It’s easy, right? Hey, you’ve got Trent Edwards so don’t complain.” Er, yeah.

Mismanagement. We’d dealt with it for over a decade.

Now the Sabres have fans thinking that it’s possible they could pick up any player in the NHL. Rick Nash? Certainly possible. One source said they had $100 million offers in on both Parise and Suter. They’re willing to spend money and do anything – absolutely ANYTHING – that is necessary to make the team better.

The Bills got Mario freaking Williams to come to Buffalo. They’re signing great talent at every position and appear to be on the cusp of better-than-average-ness (I won’t say greatness because it’s been too damn long since we could say that and I don’t want to jinx it.)

There’s a disturbance in the force. Great players are being attracted to Western New York. Maybe it’s the prevalence of chicken wings across the country. Perhaps it’s a decades-long plot finally coming to fruition where scientists figured out a way to inject hot sauce with a mind-controlling substance that calls atheletes home to the wing mecca that is Buffalo.

Whatever the reason for it, it’s awesome. The Bills and Sabres may not reach their expectations this season but it’s still a great feeling to know that the organizations are willing to do the right things. That they’re willing to spend money and be aggressive. That they don’t just follow someone else’s script, but instead blaze trails with their own gameplans.

Another thought is that I used to give bad coaches the benefit of the doubt. After a year of guys like Williams/Mularkey/Jauron I’m usually like, “chill people, let’s give them a couple of years and see what they can do when they’ve established their system”. I used to think that 3 years was what it took for a new coaching regime to get their things going.

That’s bull. A new coach’s presence should be felt immediately. The team might not start winning right away, but you should be able to see their affect on the team. We saw that early on with Chan Gailey. He was willing to switch from Trent Edwards to Fitzpatrick within weeks of the regular season starting. He recognized that Edwards’ brain didn’t work at the game speed required at the NFL level while Fitzy’s did. Chan pulled the trigger and reversed his decision while other coaches (*couch*Jauron*cough*) just stay stuck in the mire of the decision they made in the past.

Thank goodness for Chan, Nix, Lindy, Darcy and perhaps most of all the Pegula clan. They may not make ALL the right moves, but you can’t be perfect. At least they’re sticking to their blueprint for success and being unabashedly aggressive about it. I love it. And it bodes well for an exciting 2012-2013 for both franchises.

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Buffalo Sabres First 10 Years: Vintage Video


Greetings, offseason Sabres fan friends.

Here’s a quick little vintage video of the Sabres’ first 10 years, to help you cope as NHL teams are prepping for the second round of the playoffs. It’s a bunch of snippets, but they’re fun little snippets.


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And of course, it’s always nice to see the Knoxes.

Go Sabres.

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Sabres New Years Resolutions: Part One


It’s that time of year, again. When we all make New Years resolutions that have the shelf life of a dairy product. Going to the gym, eating more vegetables, spending more time with the in laws. We all make them, and we’re all lying to ourselves between now and somewhere around Valentines Day. 150w, 400w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />

Don’t lie, yes you are.

Buffalo Sabres Nation has gotten a sneak preview into the Sabres 2012 New Years Resolutions, and are sharing them exclusively with our readers. Please keep in mind, these are hand written by the players themselves, and should not be taken seriously in any way, shape, or form.

Brad Boyes

Start letting others do more on this team. I’m just one guy, it isn’t all about me

Luke Adam

Smile more, there’s so much in life that one can make goofy faces at

Zack Kassian

Stay on the team until I’m 21, don’t get arrested in the time following birthday

Marc- Andre Gragnani

 Keep Mikey off the healthy scratch list. Buddy deserves to play, even if I must sacrifice myself

Christian Ehrhoff

Learn Russian while injured

Brayden McNabb

Resolve the MSG and Time Warner Cable dispute. That will keep me on the team!

Robyn Regehr

Adopt all of Sarah McLachlan’s kitties and puppies. Maybe a few children, too

TJ Brennan

Challenge Tyler Myers to more arm wrestles using his bad arm. That will keep me on the team!

Thomas Vanek 

Do more for this team, I am simply not doing enough

Stay reading to see what the other boys are planning for a happier and brighter 2012.

Happy New Year!

Posted in: Sabres, Uncategorized

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The Best “Sabre Dance” Rendition Ever is also the Creepiest


Make that magically creepy.

Indeed, the Xmas spirit this year is all about layaway at Walmart traditional Xmas magic, so in spirit of that I present to you this gift. Sit back, turn your speakers on high, and enjoy. 462w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />


You’re welcome.

And don’t forget those applause.

Go Sabres.

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