December 04, 2009
Let’s get right down to business, shall we?
1. I took in Thursday night’s Toronto Bills/New York Jets tilt at the trusty SkyDome. I wasn’t planning on attending, but at the last minute found two tickets matching my asking price of $free. The building was packed, and loud. Let nobody tell you otherwise. Not as loud as Ralph Wilson Stadium down in Buffalo, but, well, we’re Canadians. Civilized.
2. Without tailgating, the experience in Toronto will never be like the experience in Buffalo. It will never be drunk enough. Period. I have, unfortunately, seen with my own eyes grown men relieve themselves in the sink in the men’s washroom at the Ralph. Think about that for a second. Peeing. In the sink. Where most regular human beings wash their hands. So let’s stop comparing the Toronto experience with the Buffalo experience, please and thanks.
3. Just last week, I was spewing on and on to a friend of mine about the “authentic” NFL experience down in Buffalo, where the faithful brave the elements to watch their heroes on the gridiron. Well, I’ve had a change of heart. Fuck authenticity. Who wants to sit outside and watch two terrible football teams go at it on a cold and windy December evening? Not fucking me. I’m rather partial to the lid on the SkyDome, thank you very much. I’d rather be toasty, not layered, and not freezing my tail off while I enjoy my grossly overpriced beer.
4. The Bills are fucking awful. Downright painful to watch. Ten first downs, all game. Two forays into the Red Zone, all game. The opposite of efficient on third downs: 1-11. A despicable 36 total yards in the second half. You know, it’s only right that they are ours, even if for only one week a season. Welcome home, Buffalo Bills.
5. “Shout!!1”, the Bills anthem, never gets old. It’s rather amazing.
6. As per my luck, I found myself seated among a row of New York Jets fans. They were mostly good people, except for one Manhattaner, who happened to be a New York Giants fan. He of course brought up the 1991 Super Bowl, but couldn’t remember who missed the infamous field goal. And because I’m a complete fucking idiot, and a gentleman, I helped him out: “Scott Norwood.” For the rest of the night, I was taunted with “Scott Nohhhwood!!! Wide-right!!! Nohhhwood!!!” Even in the washroom, while minding my own business at the urinal, I was subjected to “Nohhhwood, mother fucker!!!” It’s come to this. Bills fans can’t even take a leak without being reminded of the worst of their many humiliations.
7. If you Google “wide right,” the wikipedia entry to Norwood’s missed 47-yard field goal is the first result. That hurts. I was only nine-years-old when it happened, but I’ll never, ever forget Scott Norwood’s name.
8. I wonder what Scott Norwood is up to these days. I wonder if he’s still in therapy. I wonder, when the Buffalo Bills win the Super Bowl next year, if he’ll have his own Bill Buckner-Boston Red Sox moment. I’d love to see that. I’d love for Norwood to know that all is forgiven.
9. Is there a scarier Yahoo! Sports profile picture than Marshawn Lynch’s? There can’t be.
10. Moving on, Joey MacDonald now has as many wins as Vesa Toskala: one. And a .903 save percentage. Considering the Leafs will have paid Toskala upwards of $8 million by the time this season is over, as well as the fact that he is untradeable, was the deal to acquire Toskala and Mark Bell worse than Tuukka Rask for Andrew Raycroft? Was it John Ferguson Jr.’s worst?
11. Jiri Tlusty, whom I had the highest of high hopes for, is no longer a Toronto Maple Leaf. According to Brian Burke: “[Tlusty] did not seem able to do it, despite many opportunities, in a Leafs uniform.” Really? Apart from his rookie season, Tlusty played 14 games in the NHL last season, and two games this season. In those 16 games, Tlusty played more than 15 minutes once: the 2008 season opener in Detroit. Some opportunity. Tlusty, after more than 100 games in the AHL, is a point-per-game player. He’s a helluva lot closer to regular NHL action than “the player” (long-live J.P. Ricciardi) Carolina sent Toronto’s way in return. Therefore, I cannot justify this trade. And don’t give me that “stage fright” bullshit. I don't buy it. This is a kid who sent pictures of his Tlusty to a woman on the internet, and who had the story blow over in Toronto. Having gone through that, I think he might have been fine. I would have liked more of an audition. But it’s all neither here nor there, now. Philippe Paradis, welcome to paradise.
12. Mikhail Grabovski: 18 points. Montreal’s $7,357,143 man Scott Gomez: 14 points. Discuss.
13. Phil Kessel is on pace for 46 goals. He’s also on pace to send the Leafs to the playoffs (!!!1).
14. I’m going to miss yelling “Marco!!1” …(pause)… “Scutaro!!1” at Blue Jays games next season. Here’s hoping Scoots’ 2009 was truly an “outlier” season, and that he’s an utter failure in Boston. Nothing personal, just business.
15. The Red Sox guaranteeing Scutaro $13.5 million is either a bold move, with Theo Epstein recognizing that Scutaro finally got his chance and is a premier shortstop in the American League, or a sign of a team with very, very, very deep pockets. I'll let you come to your own conclusions on which side of that coin I fall. (Hint: fuck the Red Sox and their deep pockets.)
16. If you’re not familiar with the stylings of commenter “Handsome Tony Viner” at The Tao of Stieb, you ought to be. He uses words like "pulchritudinous," and is making the off-season almost enjoyable, the inevitable Roy Halladay trade, Alex Gonzalez and all. In Tony Viner's handsome ways I do trust.
17. A "Roy Halladay Wants Out of Toronto" story drops every few days. We get it. It's not news anymore, regardless of who the new source is; in this case, J.P. Ricciardi. But my man J.P. did offer this gem: "I personally think, move the player and move on because the player is going to leave." And he's right. Miss you, J.P.
18. Imagine Hedo Turkoglu doesn't hit that shot in overtime, and the Raptors go on to lose in Washington. Would it have been enough to fire Jay Triano? I wonder, and will never know.