I hope your summer is going as jazzy as mine.
Now that the UFA frenzy is officially behind us, we have all the time in the world to propose Sabres line combinations (well, Lindy will change those up 18 times a game, so that’s pointless), head over to Capgeek.com’s Cap Calculator to see which players we would put to the axe (but that’s already getting out of hand), check out the Sabres section of HF Boards to see what the hottest topic is (to insult each other’s mothers over), discuss the Bills…
…OK, forget the Bills for now.
So what to do? The choice is clear! It’s time to celebrate a triumphant return to BSN’s “Summer Awards.”
I know you’re sweatin’, so let’s jump right in the fun pool. Today’s award is called “The BizNasty,” named for everyone’s favorite NHL Twitterer, Paul Bisonnette. If you like pictures of PT Cruisers, emphatic and random homeless person updates, and the occasional insight into “chicks,” then follow him at @BizNasty2point0. He’s quite the sensation, and so was the Twitter for Sabres fans last season.
Sabres Game Chat was a revelation for a lot of folks last season, and there were some Twit-related events that really took this fan base to a higher level. I am not sure exactly what that level is, but it is somewhere between “stronger union” and “angry mob” (depending on whether the Sabres win or lose, but more on that later).
The award goes to the Twitter event that entertained us the most. The winner receives a free Groupon for some hair salon or whatever, so please, take your vote seriously – we don’t give away free coupons for nothing.
Without further ado, here are our candidates:
1. Sabres’ “Fan Tunes” backfires, fans tortured via very non-elaborate Twitter hoax: we’ll tell the brunt of this story in pictures:
If that title made your stomach tighten a little bit, then you know what we’re onto here.
Relax. Let that boo go. Feel better now? Good. That’s what we’re here for.
Yes, the venerable Gary Bettman, commissioner of our NHL since 1993 (and thus being a symbolic part of the NHL94 alumni), is the namesake behind this award, given to the folk(s) with the firmest mastery of their Napoleon complexes and the talent to make us want to heckle them.
As for Bettman’s curious leadership of one of the most historied sports leagues in the world, fans needs not look any further than 1996. That’s when the Fox Network introduced the “glow puck,” which was supposed to make the puck easier to see on the primitive tv screens of the day. (We’ve come a long way since those ridiculous cathode-ray tubes, kids.) The problem, of course, with the “glow puck,” was that instead of making the puck easier to see, it just reinforced the idea that watching hockey on TV was impossibly difficult.
Indeed, Bettman was quick to preserve the reputation of the league when he emerged from his Penguins’ Lair to orate the following strong message to a concerned fan base:
“I don’t need it, [but] it doesn’t bother me. “I don’t like the blue dot – but if it makes it easier for [TV] fans, that’s fine.”
Bettman in his NBA days.
Since then, Bettman has employed the same resolute determination when guiding the NHL with his incredibly consistent NHL discipline plan, for injuries and scandals. (A flowchart.)
This season, there was plenty of nasty stuff out there that drew our ire. Here are our nominees; the winner receives a free platter of those heart-attack nachos, (glow-puck coaster not included), so vote wisely.
1. The Green Men and the City of Vancouver – The louder that hockey traditionalists cried foul over these green-skinned freaks, the more butt (or package) the Green Men pressed up against the penalty box glass. Loved by some, loathed by many, the Green Men set a wacko fan precedent that will lead only to god knows what in the stands next year, as circus-themed populations such as Montreal will undoubtedly try to outdo them. I would say that they were a “riot,” but what happened in the city of Vancouver after their team collapsed out of the Stanley Cup Final put the “I don’t care if I’m a sports star of my own, losing just makes me wanna’ smash stuff and blow up police cars” back into that word.
Take THAT, Boston!
2. Mario Lemieux – It’s no secret that the NHL greatly misses Mario’s
talents whining since he retired, but he was kind enough to remind us all that he still has it. After a dirty hockey game against the Islanders, Lemieux was prompted to release a statement whining doctrine masterpiece in which he warned, “If the events relating to Friday night reflect the state of the league, I need to re-think whether I want to be a part of it.” Mario conveniently left out the fact that he employs the dirtiest little cheap shot artist in the league (who is also the most hated player in the league).
3. The Thrashers’ Atlanta “Spirit” Group – There is nothing funny about this at all, so we’re going to skip the jokes. Instead, here’s a punch-in-the-gut quote from former co-owner Michael Gearon, who “broke down several times” when he assured Thrashers fans “I’ve been focused on trying to avoid this day. I spent time with possible investors going back four years ago, because I was concerned this day would come. I made a desperate plea in February. Unfortunately, that didn’t lead to any real prospects. To be sitting here today is just awful for me.” To which the disgusted fans of Atlanta responded, “Sitting there? Sit and spin, (expletive)!”
Probably shouldn’t have ended this on such a downer. Ugh. Anyway, those are our candidates. Make sure you vote with a heavy dose of spleen. I assure you, hitting one of these buttons is going to make you feel at least a little bit better.
See also: “BSN Summer Awards: The Envelopes (and Brooke Shields) are IN!“
Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please!
The winners of the first 3 of our “Summer Awards” are in. Thanks to all of you who participated in the voting process. For those that read the posts and curiously did not vote, well, what can I say besides “how difficult is it to press a button on your screen?”
Then again, the voting wasn’t the sole determining factor with these things, so… oh wait, did I forget to tell everyone that? Oopsy. Ok, for those of you who did not vote: “Well played. Well played, indeed.”
But let us not let this voting controversy spoil our summer of awards love.
Let’s get it on. (For best results, upsize that video and keep it playing as you read on.)
First up: “The Sully.”
This award goes to the member/player in the Sabres organization most enthusiastically loathed by a certain member of the Buffalo News (who just may just bear a name somewhat similar to the actual namesake of this award – the other destroyer in Buffalo – which is docked at the waterfront). I know, right? It’s just a total coincidence.
Our nominees were:
- Tim Connolly. Connolly may have never have lived up to his contract extension, but there are no worries as to if he ever knew about it.
- Terry Pegula. It didn’t take long for Pegula to get raked over the coals in this one newspaper town – during an on air rant at WGR55, our certain news writer spoke so vehemently about the new ownership’s decisions that Schopp and the Bulldog were actually rendered speechless for ten seconds. (Click on the 2/28 “Part 1″ feed – the 12:13 mark starts off the tirade that leads to the dead silence at 13:02.)
- Ryan Miller. Nothing like cornering an angry netminder in the locker room after a tough night – after he walks away from you. Nope, there is no escape from the wrath of the “Sabres’ Critic,” not even for the team’s all-world goaltender. Heck, there’s always time for name-calling and f-bomb dropping, even if it takes place in front of a bunch of little kids touring the facilities – it’s about staying objective, folks!
You (well some of you) voted for:
- Timmy – 66%
- Miller – 22%
- Pegula – 12%
Sorry folks, I know and understand the level of hate that many of you share towards Connolly, so I suspect this voting process was doomed from the start. Aside from that, the fireworks that shot out of Sullivan’s brain on WGR were spectacular. When’s the last time Schopp and the Bulldog have been
dumbstruck silent for more than 5 seconds? This broke new ground in the Sullivan tirade timeline. Terry, congratulations, you’re our winner, and will be receiving that vintage Sabres blue and red cotton candy soon (possibly at your next birthday serenade).
We’re unashamedly going to ride the publicity that is the recent Brooke Shields Tony Awards train wreck for our next announcement. Brooke, take it away!
“Ok, no pressure! Ha ha!”
“The next award is “The Rayzor,” and was named I think for some guy named Robert Ray? Is that right? (Random expletive.) (Awkward laughter.)”
Just read the cue card, Brooke.
“This con…ten…tious award goes to the Sabres member/player, is that member ‘slash’ player or just ‘member/player?’ Um, the one who unleashed the most endearing tirade/emotional meltdown during the 2010-11 season. ‘Slash.’ Oh, (expletive).”
Excellent job, Brooke! I’ll take it from here.
Our nominees were:
In the Endearing Tirade category:
- Ryan Miller: who can forget his wild confrontation with John Vogl and Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo news? F-bombs, name-calling, and wild accusations fly – all while a group of young children is being ushered through a tour of the facilities.
- Lindy Ruff: nominated for his infamous stick waving tirade – I’d describe it, but a gif file says a thousand angry words.
In the Endearing Emotional Meltdown category:
- Terry Pegula: Aww, Terry… who will ever be able to get over you choking up and coming to tears during your first official press conference for the team, for when you finally mustered up the gusto to actually look over to where Gilbert Perreault was seated and stammered “Where’s Perreault? Sniff.You’re my hero.” Terry, you even had me tearing up. (Well, trying to tear up.)
- Mike Grier: Mike, Mike, Mike – it just can’t end this way! You single-handedly pawed in the Game Seven goal against Philadelphia that crushed whatever shred of a hope the Sabres had with 18.5 seconds left in the 1st period, who were otherwise just being out-shot 16-2. After the loss, in tears, you told reporters “It’s just disappointing. I don’t know how much longer I have to play. Sniff. If I play again, it’ll be here. If not, that’ll probably be it.” Dang. Please, please, do come back, Mike. We’re all rooting for you.
You voted for:
- Ryan Miller – 34%
- Lindy Ruff – 28%
- Terry Pegula – 25%
- Mike Grier – 13%
Now that’s a horse race! Nice to see Miller actually winning something. It’s a nice change of pace, lately. I would hate to take any kind of winning streak away from him, so we’ll go with the voters here. Congratulations, Ryan! Your slightly worn copy of “The Razor’s Edge” will be arriving soon (I’ll probably just chuck it at the arena today when I drive by later.)
Our last award is “The Dirty Brett.” For those of you who saw that post and immediately felt inclined to go to the Urban Dictionary and type that in, I am soooo sorry. Well, not really. Anyone who goes there deserves what’s coming to them.
But no one deserved what Brett Hull did to us in ’99, the namesake behind this award.
This award goes to the player “most hated by Sabres fans, and who causes the most anger and/or sadness through their distasteful decision to continue to exist.”
Our nominees were:
In the “Reproachable Act” category:
- Daniel Briere. We could have included Chris Drury’s name here, if he hadn’t fallen off the face of the hockey world since skipping town, but Briere has done his best to continue to cause Sabres fans to revisit the whole July 1st, 2007 debacle, and tweet things such as “We should totally trade to get Briere back for next season!” No, we shouldn’t. Don’t be fooled by Briere’s boyish charm and classy act off the ice – while on it, he is still gutting us like an executioner cherub. In the 2010-11 playoffs, he lead the Flyers in points as they eliminated the Sabres in 7 games (though, technically, one could argue it ended in 6). As the Buffalo News was so quickly kind to point out the day after elimination:“Briere, much like he did a year ago, is leading the postseason charge. He scored a whopping six goals in seven games and tormented his former team from the opening faceoff. He won a clutch faceoff early in Game 7 that led to Philadelphia’s first goal. Briere, one of the top free-agent signings in team history, has 94 points (41-53-94) in 93 career playoff games.” Excuse me while I solemnly weep for a moment.
- Daniel Carcillo.
Surprise! We have another Flyer to deal with. Though Daniel Carcillo’s “head pat” of Nathan Gerbe lead to one of Buffalo’s most spectacular goals of the season, it is this kind of condescending act that Buffalonians have had to endure, and will continue to endure, until a Cup or Lombardi is finally delivered to Main Street. A contact watching Game Seven from a Jacksonville, FL sports bar informed me that he was mockingly patted on the head after the game was over by a grinning Philly fan, who followed up the gesture by saying, “And don’t bother trying. You aren’t scoring on me.” Yes, the Philly fan was a girl. All my empathy goes out to you, Jim from Jacksonville – and I promise you, if Carcillo wins, this Philly fan gets in on the curse, and it’s going to involve a lot of cheese steak.
In the “Permanently Loathed” category:
- Zdeno Chara. Tormenting Buffalo while he played in Ottawa for 4 seasons apparently wasn’t enough, as this Czech troglodyte dragged his knuckles on to Boston, where he has been a devastating force since the 2006-07 season. His timeline-o-ugly goes back quite a ways, so in order to make this quick, I consulted the oracle known as “Yahoo! Answers.” Here are some of the remarks inspired by the Bruins’ captain. ”(Expletive) Chara!” ”He sucks at life.” ”We want to make him cry and run off the ice.” Really? Run? Moving on… “Gorillas shouldn’t be playing hockey.” (Editors note: but, as we all know, smaller primates are more than acceptable.) ”His big schnozz.” ”Canadian fans feel he sold out and left Canada for more money.” ”Stanchions!!!” Finally, there was also the quizzical “It’s nothing personal.” Oh, yes it is.
- Eric Staal. Forget the fact that this pre-convict seems to have his face permanently flexed into a position that makes it seem as if he is constantly debating who he wants to murder on the ice. Staal was a member of the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2005-06 season that ousted Buffalo in the Conference Finals in Game Seven (through that herculean effort of waiting until almost every starting defenseman for the Sabres was injured before finally finishing Buffalo off). Staal had 2 goals and 3 assists in the series before moving on with his team to beat the lowly Oilers for the Cup.
You voted for:
- Briere – 42%
- Chara – 32%
- Carcillo – 16%
- Staal – 10%
Oh, c’mon folks, really? You’re still not over that 2007 debacle? Get over it! Besides, I am not over the 2005-06 debacle, so Staal is our winner in a landslide (of a whole 2 votes that he received). Congratulations, Eric! You’ll have just received a sweet curse courtesy of “HockeyJobu.com.” Enjoy next season, (expletive). (Bang the link to see the curse – it might take a little while for it to appear.)
Well, that was fun! More awards are forthcoming, so please, get ready to actually vote this time. Thanks to all who participated, and to Brooke Shields, my first childhood crush. And yes, that song was for you.
Yeah, yeah, we could’ve gone with Adam Mair for this trophy’s name.
Mair, if you recall
anything if at all about him, was fined $2500 bucks for a 2008 tirade in Buffalo, when he tried to pummel Chris Neil of the Ottawa Senators with f-bombs. In a hallway between locker rooms. That was pretty awesome, Mairsy – a tirade fit for the ages. However, in the spirit of nobody caring about Mair anymore, this award will be named after the legendary pugilist of the Blue and Gold and Bloody Red, Rob Ray.
So, sports fans, if you haven’t figured it out for yourselves yet, this contentious award goes to the Sabres member/player who unleashed the most endearing tirade/emotional meltdown during the 2010-11 season.
The winner receives my very own slightly scratched up copy of “The Razor’s Edge.” Vote responsibly!
Before we get to the nominees, let us pause to consider a little bit of the legacy behind this award. Over the years dressed in a Sabres uniform, Rob Ray became highly regarded for his
huge humanitarian efforts with WNY charities powerful influence on the Sabres bench ability to sit on the bench undaunted until the crowd got bored and started chanting “WE WANT RAY”