Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bucky Gleason Has Been Abducted By Aliens

(This is my second post in the last 12 or so hours so make sure you read both of them. Please?)

Ummm, Bucky? Is that you? That's your name above the column and that's your deceivingly cheery head shot next to the opening paragraph, but this column sounds... happy? Dare I say, optimistic? Do we need to locate Mulder and Scully?

I do have a few tiny nitpicks to get out of the way. Come on, this is Bucky and me. This is what we do. (Mark, this morning, The Dark Knight still on his mind: "Bucky's your Joker and you're his Batman. You complete each other.")

1. I still think it's a mistake to lump Chris Drury, Daniel Briere, and Brian Campbell into one pile. The Sabres totally screwed up the Drury negotiations, but they made a decision to let Briere walk and they never agreed with Campbell and his agent on what Campbell's worth was. Every single one of the above situations is different.

2. "Jason Pominville is more likely to remain on board rather than join the others who were forced to jump ship." Forced to jump ship? Really, Bucky? Maybe you could make that argument for Briere who definitely got a "Thanks for your time here" offer, but the Sabres wanted to match every offer Drury got including the one he signed with the Rangers and the team negotiated with Campbell all season. FREE agents are FREE to go wherever they want. That's why they're called FREE agents. No one put a gun to anyone's head and forced them to sign elsewhere. Was Drury turned off by the negotiations? I don't know, maybe. That's not the same thing as being chased out of town with torches and pitchforks.

3. "Pommer the Bomber" has to stop. Has there ever been a worse nickname thrown around than that one? It doesn't even make sense for the kind of player Pominville is. Seeing that in print drives me bonkers.

4. The things that Bucky is suddenly excited about - New AHL affiliation! Young core of talent! Long-term contracts! Really good drafting and promising prospects! - are all things that existed a month ago. This is pretty close to the same team we had at the end of the season. A few columns ago the whole organization was happy with mediocrity and now they've suddenly figured out the best way to build a team?

But, even with the above complaints, I do get it. I get that Ryan Miller has become the face of the franchise and is therefore considered a little more important. I get that it was important to get a guy who's come up through the system and gone out of his way to ingrain himself in the community into the fold for a long while. I get that people think the Sabres were forced into signing Thomas Vanek long-term and that Jochen Hecht, as much as I love him, is a (great) complementary piece. I get that it was important for the Sabres to sit down with a player that the national media and national fan base see as a star player and come away with a long-term contract. I get that as important as Vanek and Derek Roy are to the future of the team, it's Ryan Miller's signing who really finally puts some distance between this team and the Drury/Briere team. I get people feeling like Ryan Miller is the big piece in the middle that connects all the preexisting pieces to each other. I really do.

For months, people have been complaining on Sabres Edge that Ryan Miller didn't want to be here and saying they'd believe management was serious about winning when they convinced him to stay. I couldn't believe it when I wandered over there yesterday and found people complaining: it's too many years, it's too much money, he had a terrible season, he never steals games, he's not as good as Lundqvist, he's too old to get better. I should no longer be surprised at people's capacity to move immediately from one complaint to another, but come on. How hard is it to be happy about the one thing you've been demanding for months now even for a few moments? I just don't understand fans who never seem to find any joy in the teams they watch. I usually enjoy a good debate over there - I know, I'm demented - but I had to walk away. I just wanted to be happy.

So I do give Bucky huge props for saying, "This is what will make me happy," and then actually being happy when it happened. If it took signing Ryan Miller to clear the clouds blocking Bucky from seeing all that other good stuff he talked about, hey, whatever. I wasn't sure the ol' Buckster had it in him.

See how easy it can work, Bucky?

Bucky and Heather B. in a moment of uneasy agreement.

15 comments:

Mark B said...

My first thought after you made me read Bucky's column was: he's still an idiot.

I love how he says, "Hey Sabres? See how easy this is?" Yeah, it's simple Buckster. That's why your GM for a day columns are a complete joke. You just don't get the process. Ryan and Goose pretty much said as much recently without naming your name.

But I'll take it for what it's worth. It is a positive Gleason column, so I'm thankful for the mini-miracle. But when I look at Bucky, I see all the bandwagon fans out there. So the Sabres are promising now, huh? Thanks I already noticed.

D.O. said...

I think it's kind of funny how he continues to slam management for previous negotiations when it is crystal clear that somebody had to go. There is no way the Sabres, or most NHL teams, could afford all those players and yet Bucky will not let it go. I have come to know Sabres fans, actually Buffalo fans in general, to be complainers...it doesn't surprise me anymore. Until somebody other than the Bandits win a championship we will continue to think every move is a bad move and the whole world is against us. Honestly that is what makes being a Buffalo sports fan so much fun.

Gambler said...

Has there ever been a worse nickname thrown around than that one? It doesn't even make sense for the kind of player Pominville is.

I would say "Hank the Tank" is probably worse, only because it's pretty much the opposite of the truth. But yeah, I'm not even sure what a "bomber" is, so that nickname needs to go. What's wrong with Pommerdoodle, Bucky?

Heather B. said...

I have come to know Sabres fans, actually Buffalo fans in general, to be complainers...it doesn't surprise me anymore.

D.O. you make a good point, and it shouldn't surprise me anymore. But it kind of does I guess because I don't share that frame of mind. I'm an outcast :P

Gambler, I have no idea if this is based on real hockey lingo or not, but I think of a bomber as someone with a huge shot, like maybe Kotalik, and that's not Pominville to me. You're right though about "Hank the Tank" since one, he's not built like a tank and two, tanks are hard to destroy and Hank... not so much at least for a couple of years there. Basically, both nicknames rhyme and that's about it.

amy said...

I still think it's a mistake to lump Chris Drury, Daniel Briere, and Brian Campbell into one pile.

If we would have kept all three of those guys, we probably wouldn't have been able to keep Miller. The complaining would have been delayed a year, that's all.

I'm not even sure what a "bomber" is, so that nickname needs to go.

A plane? A sub/hoagie? Neither one is the first thing I think of when I hear Pommer's name.

twoeightnine said...

Most of the time when I think of a bomber in hockey I'd think of someone like Kaleta, a suicide bomber per se.

Lee "Widepockets" Andrew said...

I don't know what type of player he is but I think "the bomber" would be a better name for Nolan Baumgartner, except spelled "The Baumer", so it's more about his name than what type of player he is. And in my rule book nobody can have the same nickname so nobody else can have Bomber, even though its spelled differently

If this rule was enforced then it would get rid of the worst nickname in all of pro sports (courtesy of Chris Berman) and that's "Grandma Ma" for Larry Johnson the FOOTBALL player. What?? Grandma Ma has NOTHING to do with the football Larry Johnson. Does Chris Berman think that the football Larry Johnson IS the basketball Larry Johnson and he just decided to run for thousands of yards in the NFL for the heck of it because his NBA career was over?

My favorite nickname in sports history? George "Highpockets" Kelly. Most tall people get lame nicknames "Big such and such" but Highpockets was original. See he's taller than everybody else so his waist is higher, which means his pants are higher and therefore his pockets are higher than everybody else. Hence the name "Highpockets".

This is a good topic for your blog. The best nicknames in sports, or I guess hockey if you want to do that...

Heather B. said...

"Grandma Ma" for football Larry Johnson is pretty dumb. This is why I quit listening to Chris Berman a good decade or so ago.

The best nicknames in sports, or I guess hockey if you want to do that...

It's early and I'm on my way out the door, but off the top of my head I can't think of a single good league-wide nickname in the NHL. The Sabres are particularly bad at nicknames since they tend to just slap "sie/zy" (not sure what the official spelling is) at the end of the first syllable of a guy's last name and call it a day. (Ryan Miller is "Millsie," Derek Roy is "Roysie" etc.) Terrible. I like "Yo-Yo" for Jochen Hecht, "Tally" for Henrik Tallinder, and "Goose for Paul Gaustad but none of them are especially creative, they just sound better than "sie." I do like "Reggie" for Andrej Sekera. I'm assuming it's taken from the "rej" at the end of his name which is actually pronounced "ray" so it's at least a little creative. But yeah, that's about it.

Heather B. said...

Also, someone just used "Pommer the Bomber" on Sabres Edge. If this catches on I'm going to be very unhappy.

Jennifer said...

Also, someone just used "Pommer the Bomber" on Sabres Edge. If this catches on I'm going to be very unhappy.

I have removed Sabres Edge from my favorites. I hate that site.

Vanek's Hair said...

Best nickname in sports may have been Chocolate Thunder for Daryl Dawkins. Plus, how can you not support an athlete that believes he comes from Planet Lovetron.

Heather B. said...

Jennifer, I love Sabres Edge. I tried to pretend I didn't really for a long time, but I'm giving it up. It drives me crazy, a lot of the people there are bonkers, I disagree with 97% of the commenters, but I love it. DO YOU HEAR ME? I LOVE SABRES EDGE AND I'M NOT ASHAMED TO ADMIT IT!

Something about the name "Chocolate Thunder" creeps me out although it is theoretically a good nickname.

Chaz said...

Umm...we used to say our dog would "drop bombs" in our back yard. We do refer to Pommers as Pommerdoodle....

That's the only connection I could come up with. Either way Pommer the Bomber needs to just go away. (The name, not the person. Pommer needs to stay right where he is.)

Jennifer said...

I LOVE SABRES EDGE AND I'M NOT ASHAMED TO ADMIT IT!

Maybe I should try to read Sabres Edge and just NOT read the comments. I can deal with difference of opinions, but some of those commenters are just bonkers (I prefer the term idiot).

Lee Andrew said...

We should come up with nicknames for all the Sabres (and other hockey players). I'm sure as popular as this blog is everybody will be using them in no time!