Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Odds and Ends

Odds and ends ahoy!

As much as I love Darcy Regier, I really hate his tendency to respond to building hysteria by calling press gatherings where he gives some variance on "EVERYTHING IS UNDER CONTROL! PLEASE REMAIN CALM!" They don't work. It just feeds into the panic. It's like poking a sleepy but awakening bear with a really pointy stick. I suppose I can understand responding to the masses, but I don't know, I think he'd be better off just leaving it alone. Pick up the phone when the newspaper calls and leave it at that especially since, last I saw, Brian Campbell is still here. I understand fans getting nervous, but geez, nothing has even happened yet. (Note: I actually do NOT understand getting nervous because Brian Campbell is not Chris Drury or Daniel Briere.)

More than a few people have pointed out to me that, regardless of how I feel about Brian Campbell, the market is the market and the Sabres can't expect to pay an offensive defensman less than everyone else is. To them I say... you're right! Ha! Wasn't expecting that, were you? I'll admit that part of my problem on this issue is an overall frustration with how quickly the GM's and owners have let the market spiral out of control post-lockout. Brian Campbell shouldn't be within spitting distance of making what Nicklas Lidstrom makes and he might be when all is said and done. I'm amazed that a group of people with so much knowledge can - time after time - shoot themselves in the collective foot. I give Darcy a lot of credit in this area. He may be cautious, sometimes overly so, but atleast he's attempting to use his brain. Too often I think that puts him in the minority.

For the record, however, I'm not changing my tune on Soupy. Six million plus is too much of the team's cap to sink into a player like him. So there! I am not, however, looking forward to the sure-to-come city-wide freak-out if Soupy moves on.

Quick injury update. I had my first post-op appointment a week or so ago. The doctor said everything looks okay - which was mildly amusing because my foot looked pretty disgusting - but I still can't put any weight on it until the next appointment which is at the beginning of February and that's only if everything still looks good. The staples were taken out and I got a shiny new plaster cast (white - I was so disappointed that I didn't get to choose a color) and I'm getting a little better on the crutches but it's still pretty darn boring sitting around all day which is why I've posted something almost every single day. Apologies in advance if you get tired of me. This isn't my personal x-ray but this is the surgery I had done and pretty much what mine looks like:

Pretty snazzy, eh?

And finally, a few days ago I wondered about Paul Hamilton generally being the only person who speaks in the media scrums after Sabres games. Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News happened to see that and he emailed and elaborated on it a little more. A few of you commented when I mentioned it so I thought you might like to read what Mike had to say because it's pretty interesting. (This is fully with Mike's permission, just in case you're wondering.) I cut out a few sections just so it wasn't quite as long so if it seems to flows funny, that's all on me.

He is very knowledgeable (played in college at Iowa State FYI) and well-respected in the media. When you see a gaggle of microphones around a guy after the game, Paul is usually the only REPORTER there. The local TVs, in what I think is just a ridiculous decision, often do NOT send a reporter into the locker room after a game and just have a cameraman so that guy isn't a journalist and for the most part couldn't ask a question if his life depended on it.

Furthermore, the print guys very rarely go to the same guy Hamilton and the cameras go to. I don't mind Paul using one of my questions but when a station just sends a camera, they're sponging off me and I don't like that. So if Paul goes to say Pommer, the cameras tend to follow and I'll go to maybe Kotalik. Then switch off, etc. So you'll almost NEVER see or hear us on those interviews.

On the road, it might be a little different cuz there's usually no one in the locker room except Paul, me or John Vogl and maybe a local AP guy. You might hear us once in a while there.

At the end of an interview, you'll hear Paul say, "That's Jason Pominville on the postgame show, back up to you." But that's not the end of the interview. Paul is off to the next guy but after that, the player usually talks for another few minutes to us ink-stained print wretches.

Something else to consider: Paul is a rights-holder collecting comments for a live postgame show on the station that broadcasts the game. Professional courtesy dictates you try not to step over his questions too much, especially since his stuff has to get to air within 10 minutes or so. You let him get the first 2-3 questions before you jump in if you're with the same player.

And on the road, Paul is in a major time jam. He flies home on the team charter (because he's on the flagship station). We do not. He has to be on the plane within an hour after the final horn so he has to email his MP3s to the station for air. You gotta let him get done and go.

So as you can see, there are a lot more dynamics to the situation than just people letting Paul ask all the questions.

I had no idea Paul Hamilton played in college. That's totally awesome. Also, I'm really surprised that the TV stations don't send reporters into the dressing room if for no other reason than to build some kind of relationship with the players. Crazy.

(Thanks, Mike! Tell Bucky I said hi!)


amy said...

Heather, thanks for sharing Mike's email (and Mike, if you're reading this, thanks for explaining how the post-game press gaggle works). I can kind of understand how a TV station wouldn't send a reporter to cover a game, since games end at 930-10ish, and if that reporter has to be back at the station for an 11pm broadcast, its tight timing. And in this age of station cutbacks, sports is one of the first things to get cut, so staffing is at skeleton crew levels. I don't necessarily agree with this thinking, but I saw the TV reporters at the open practice I went to, so they are developing relationships with the players through that avenue.

Yay for the ankle healing!

Heather B. said...

Amy, Mike did mention TV guys going to practices in the original email so you're right about that definitely. And I didn't think about them getting back for the broadcasts... That makes sense too.

Sara and Anne said...

That was interesting to read, I always wonder how things like that work out. It also answers my question of "Why does only 1 person seem to ask questions, yet there are 10+ tape recorders and mics there"?

A friend of mine used to work for the Sabres in their video production department, occasionally she was forced to go down to the locker room with a camera and a microphone, and sometimes even had to ask questions, she absolutely hated doing it because she felt so awkward and didn't really know what questions to ask. She was like "I just do the replays and the pre-game crowd hype boosting videos, don't make me ask questions!" Now she works for the Islanders doing the same thing.


Sabrebull said...

Heather, I have read your blog for the past season and enjoy it immensely. It seems like we both think the same exact thing on MOST things. I am glad you are doing better with your ankle, I can't imagine not being able to do things I normally do.

Onto other things . . . I have a theory on Ryan Miller's poor play as of late. Not real sure it is even a viable theory. At the beginning of the season he was notably effected by the passing of his cousin, Matt, as he should have been. It seemed like after a while he got it together and he played better. I recently read he got a new mask with a halo over the bulldog in memory of his cousin, could this have brought the grief back up for him and he is distracted by it again? Just a thought. He really is not playing well but I think he will come out of it. On the same note, I have no idea why the team is sucking so bad.

Heather keep up the good work. I really look forward to your posts and Katebits too.

Anne - your friend has my dream job. I have been trying to break into sports video and am not having any luck. I would feel awkward being in the locker room too but I would really love being around all the guys, for their personalities of course. Nothing at all to do with several partially naked professional athletes around, not at all. (Come on who wouldn't want to see Paul Gaustad with no shirt on, no matter what you think of his looks, 6"4" 229 all muscle and perfectly built, I'd jump at the chance.)

Ok, enough about that. I will need a cold shower if I don't stop.

Here's to a win tonight, fingers crossed.

Take care,
Jennifer Anderson

Heather B. said...

Jennifer, thanks so much for reading and finally commenting! I'm glad you're finding something to enjoy here.

It's definitely possible that Ryan is still distracted by Matt's death. I know from experience that long after outsiders have moved on, the people who've actually experienced the loss are still thinking about and dealing with it. I don't know! It is truly bizarre how he's gone from being awesome in shootouts to looking terrible though.

The worst thing about the ankle is not being able to carry stuff which I never considered. I can pour myself a glass of milk for example, but then I have to either stand at the counter and drink it or sit at the table (by sliding the glass around the counter until it's within reach of the table) which is still a little uncomfortable. It stinks!

Sabrebull said...

Heather, I guess I never thought of that. That does stink!

But at least you are not in my office building right now, they are laying carpet in the office next to mine and it really stinks, literally!

I am starting to get a really big high here. Starting to think the Sabres might win, even if we go to a shootout. I am really loopy!
Take care,

Pookie said...

That's a) so cool that Mike emailed you and b) so fascinating to see a peek behind the post-game curtain! One of the Devils beat-writers is writing a blog this season; occassionally we'll see him at the fringes of the post-game scrums and it's like seeing a celebrity!

coolman856 said...

Heather, I think that you and I maybe one of the few minority that do not want to see Campbell back at six million, or even five million. I think though that if we resign Campbell at those prices it causes a huge problem for us to resign Miller next year because of the cap and the fact that the team does not want to spend as much. And we all know that Miller is going to be asking for a pay raise.

Anonymous said...

Hey, that ankle looks pretty good. Those were some pretty wicked breaks you had there. (I like to think I've gotten really good at reading my own x-rays.)Here's hoping it continues to heal well!

**toasts you with a glass of milk**