Saturday, February 23, 2008

I Tried to Ignore This, I Swear

Here, in a nutshell, is the difference between what I consider to be the good writers and the bad writers at the Buffalo News.

Yesterday John Vogl posted a short entry at Sabres Edge about whether Chris Drury should be booed or cheered upon his return to Buffalo. In it he said, "For the record, I hope it's overwhelming applause."

Yesterday Jerry Sullivan posted a short entry about whether Chris Drury should be booed or cheered upon his return to Buffalo. In it he said, "It's more convenient for fans to turn on a guy once he's out of town. It's easier than having to grapple with the reality of the situation. Just keep one thing in mind. If you boo Drury, you're cheering for Tom Golisano."

Vogl: This is what I think, how about you?

Sullivan: This is what I think and you're an ignorant idiot if you think otherwise.

Seriously, Jerry, could you be any more condescending? The reality of the situation is that Chris Drury no longer plays for the Sabres. If you read the comments on Vogl's blog, you'd see that while some of them do mention Drury misleading management, a fair amount of them say, "Drury's on the other team, why should I cheer for him and why shouldn't I boo him?" which is, to me, a pretty fair point. For a lot of people this is simply a former Sabre going to play for the Rangers, a conference rival. Can we please stop trying to turn how these guys are greeted into a commentary on truth, justice, and the American way?

The idea that booing Drury is supporting management is ludicrous. Why can't people be upset with Drury for leaving AND be upset with management for mishandling things? Why can't people boo against an opposing player AND dislike Larry Quinn and Tom Golisano? Why the insistence that this is a black and white, good and bad issue that requires taking one side or the other? Golisano screwed up. We get it. He won't answer your phone calls. We get it. I wouldn't answer your phone calls either.

I know that Jerry Sullivan is a columnist and that that means his writing is going to include his opinion. If he thinks Drury shouldn't be booed that's just fine by me. I'm old enough and mature enough to understand that everyone is not going to agree with me. But I really resent how clearly he thinks everyone who doesn't agree with him is not only wrong but stupid. John Vogl may very well think I'm an idiot but at least he's capable of making his opinion clear without calling into question the intelligence of everyone on the other side of the fence.

In closing, Jerry also said this: "If you think Bucky Gleason goes overboard on Drury, think back to his days in Buffalo, when fans gushed about his competitive character at every turn. At least Bucky is consistent and objective about the situation."

Consistent in the sense that he's been writing the same article for the last eight months ("Drury! Briere! 25/5! Sabres suck! Except when they don't and in that case I'll just ignore them and write about something else until they lose again! Or point out all the ways they will lose in the future!"), yes. But objective?

When this season is over, we'll stop hearing about how the Sabres screwed up Drury and Briere, right? Right? Please tell me I'm right.


Stephanie said...

Excellent post. The idea that really resonates with me is your assertion that whether or not we boo Drury isn't exactly a commentary on "truth, justice, or the American way." Regardless of how we feel about Drury playing for the opposing team, when it comes down to it, the vast majority of us simply want to see the Sabres stomp the Rangers (Drury, schmury)!

Anne M said...

Considering that Bucky is still bringing up McKee, Grier, Dumont, Peca, Ted Nolan and even Pat Lafontaine, I think we'll be reading about how the Sabres bungled negotiations with Drury and Briere for years to come. Bucky will be writing about these guys in his retirement home's weekly newsletter in 30 years.

The thing that bugs me the most about Bucky and Sully is their sarcasm and condescension. I don't care if I agree or disagree with them, but the snotty, I know better than these lowly stupid fans attitude pisses me right off. Maybe if they ever wrote something insightful, I could live with it, but every column and blog is the same. Here's a fun thing to do over the next few weeks--watch how they play both sides. They're already having to let go of their certainty that the Sabres won't make the playoffs, so they're moving into "if they do, they'll lose the first round." After that, it's "if they get out of the first round, they aren't getting to the finals." See how they get to be right no matter what? They won't make it, but if they do, they won't be good. But if they are, they won't be really good.

Meg said...

So if I thought that Drury was overrated and not worth 7 million dollars or whatever it is the Rangers are paying him before he left Buffalo does that make me consistent and objective? Does that mean I could boo him? Because really, I think I was mostly just sick of hearing about the Little League World Series and having to constantly hear talk about a guy who was really just not interesting to me. Which isn't the same as being objective.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see what happens if the Sabres make it past the first round this year, and if Vanek continues to grow into a fine specimen of a leader. It certainly won't mean the end of the Briere/Drury commentary, but at least it would force some of these writers to come up with something different than "Buffalo is a devastated team that can't recover from their losses."

I do not blame Golisano for botched negotiations. By his own admission, he knew NOTHING about hockey when he bought the team. He saw it as a unique business opportunity and I saw supported it as a way to keep my club in Buffalo. He does seem to be learning quickly though and if he can continue to ice a team that wins I'm willing to let both mistakes slide, the way I've given passes on McKee, J.P., Mogilny and even Doug Bodger.

Tessa said...

So if I thought that Drury was overrated and not worth 7 million dollars or whatever it is the Rangers are paying him before he left Buffalo does that make me consistent and objective?

Well said Meg...I'm in the same boat. I liked Drury well enough as a player while he was here, but the constant gushing about his "intangibles" and the attitude that he can do no wrong and any lapse in his play is outweighed by said intangibles drove me nuts. I certainly didn't want to see the Sabres shell out $7M for a second-line center, leadership or not.

I'm not much of a boo-er personally, saving that stuff for locker room cancers or players who badmouth the team on the way out. I blame management more than either player in this summer's debacle, anyway. However, I can understand annoyance at Drury misleading management this summer; while he may have had very good reasons to leave and I don't hold that against him, it was a bit slimy the way he apparently went about it - even if management probably should've been less clueless and figured it out.

Ultimately though, as the booing of Briere (whom management didn't even attempt to keep) showed, the booing is not some sophisticated response to what did or did not happen in contract negotiations or an implicit applause for management. It's simply how people respond to a big name player returning to his former team's barn.

Mark B said...

I'm totally on the same page that the "We're smarter than these gullible idiots that are Buffalo fans" mentality that Sullivan and Gleason write with is what totally turns me off. These yahoos need to remember that we are the ones who pay their salaries when it comes down to it. I really wish we had a competing newspaper in town so I wouldn't have to read the News' rubbish. Mike Harrington and to an extent Jon Vogl are really the only reasonable hockey writers at that joke of a newspaper.

How many columnists in other cities would come to a press conference and act like ten-year olds? The sad part is that the News' management turns a blind eye to it and doesn't care that their writers are making their newspaper look second rate.

If I knew how to run these two out of town, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
Any ideas for this? Ha!

By the way, Bucky thinks we're stupid but he's the one who said Derek Roy was maxed out as a player at 24 years old and was severely overpaid. Shall we compare Briere and Roy this season, Buckster? Now tell me who's stupid.

Becky said...

What I wrote on Bfloblog (with the typo fixed):


Same contract offer, but he’s rather go to his new childhood dream team (wipe tear from eye), can’t stay without Danny, and/or craves the anonymity of the Big City? (take your pick)

Because the cost of living is higher there, he actually loses money…So that means it’s not business, it’s personal. Strictly personal…Against the fans of the Buffalo Sabres!

All together now -


And I'm not generally a booer.