Appreciating The Versatility of David Backes

Posted in Sports, St. Louis Blues with tags , on January 13, 2015 by dbuff82

biopic01My first memory when David Backes comes to mind is from last April. When Backes got rocked by Brent Seabrook in a playoff game with the Blackhawks. Any other player would have laid on the ice stunned and cold. Backes wasn’t having any of that nonsense. He got up like he wanted to exact revenge right there. Sure, he didn’t know what planet he was on but that is beside the point. That particular play, while unfortunate and scary, is what David Backes is all about. Backes is tough as nails, and many fans outside St. Louis forgot that and don’t give it the proper amount of respect.

Being a captain in the NHL creates a level of complexity for certain fans. Seeing the C on the chest, they immediately think the guy should score 40 goals like Alexander Ovechkin or skate around the ice like a rugged angel like Sidney Crosby. David Backes is the quintessential power forward in the NHL. He can score goals, bang skulls and give his teammates a sense of calm and confidence when he touches the ice. For young players like Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz, they look up to Backes like a leader. That is what a captain means to me. Someone who can step on the ice and demonstrate a versatile skill set while being effective in the right areas of the game. The complete, if understated, package. Continue reading

The Gambler Is A Hypnotic Thrill

Posted in Film-Addict Pieces with tags , , , on January 7, 2015 by dbuff82

thegambler1Jim Bennett has a 260,000 dollar trust fund parachute at his disposal. He is a smart college professor. He is good looking. He’s also a degenerate gambler who doesn’t care about owing three different people over 200,000 large each and accepts kicks to the chest and punches to the face as warnings. Bennett, played by a Boogie Nights skinny Mark Wahlberg with a lustful whatever cynicism, is a complete cinematic home run shot. Director Rupert Everett cuts and dices up William Monahan’s script into the middle of this gambler’s drunk salad, and the movie is a pure hypnotic thrill ride.

All I heard about going into the film from critics and other movie fans ran along these lines. Bennett isn’t likable so I can’t like the movie too much. Give me a break and go suck on a paperback Nicholas Sparks novel please. Everybody isn’t a charming sympathetic leading character in films today. The filmmakers took James Caan’s character from the original film in the 1970’s and turned him into a talky English professor philosophy loving gambling poet. I’m all in here. This is the movies, ladies and gents. This IS NOT real life. You want real life. Walk outside and watch traffic go by. I’ll stay here in the theater and bump my hips off the comfy leather seats to The Gambler’s groovy soundtrack(which includes M83, Sixto “Sugar Man” Rodriguez, Ray LaMontague among others). Continue reading

The Bullshit Crowd

Posted in Random Fire on January 6, 2015 by dbuff82

Morning folks,

If you are catching this as you sip the coffee or digest the oatmeal before work, hopefully it will fire you up. Back in the day, a college professor told me writers are needed to inform others not only how to think but to slap some sense into them. We are 90 percent blabbering morons but sometimes a pulse is clicked and a vein is pierced. Here are a few things I need to get off my chest. Call it a bullet round. A head clearing. A roast. Give it a name and I’ll turn it into a stamp.

The Bullshit Police

More like the gossip fucks. The people who must stick their large fucking heads into other people’s business because guess what…their life sucks like spoiled rotten egg nog. Why not? You’ll find these people on social media, in the neighborhood Walmart or at your workplace. They like dirt so much that National Enquirer is their middle name. They don’t care about good things. It bores the shit out of them. All they want is bad dirty info they can spread around to other people and hopefully start a storm cloud of shit. People reading this will know instantly what I am talking about. Others will just think I didn’t get the right amount of coffee this morning. The answer is easy. I’ve always hated people who can’t mind their own business. I ask myself every time I see this happen, what do they have to gain by sticking their fat beaks into other’s lives? What are they getting out of this? Satisfaction? Glee? Misery relief? At the end of the day, it doesn’t make them any less uglier or full of shit. I look at these people a lot. Through their words or right through their temples. I want to know what their purpose is. Are they replacing something they are missing? Gossip hounds are lawyers without a suit or a law degree. They want to investigate but their cases would fail straight up in court. They stink like the shit they dispense. Next time you see one of these people, tell them the next time a person asks about someone else’s personal or wants to know about a matter of business that isn’t privy to their needs, recite these three wonderful words. I DON’T KNOW. Those three words are a godsend. They save you from fucking yourself up and from fucking up lives. If someone asked me about biology or how to fix an engine, I’d tell them I don’t know. I wouldn’t want to lead them down a path that ends with our heads stuck further up our own asses. What good is that? I would tell them I have no clue. It helps. It keeps life moving. It presses go on the escalator. It cycles the bullshit out faster. Next time you feel like leaning into someone else’s business, do everybody a favor and fuck off. Continue reading

Fighting For The Right Causes

Posted in Uncategorized on January 3, 2015 by dbuff82

heforsheSince I can’t literally fight for the causes I care most about, I write about them. If I led with my fists, I would spend time in jail and that doesn’t help anyone. I want to talk about a few things I care about here today and spread this post as far as I possibly can. Words can travel far with the right tools and they need the right push. Social media helps. So when I am done here parading for powerful cool shit, I am going to post it there. If you know of another way to make words fly fast, let me know. I’ve always said if you take the time to write about something or talk about it, that means you care.

Striking Out and Kicking Cancer’s Ass

Diseases suck. What sucks more? People dying young from a disease. People dying old dying from a disease. You know what really fucking sucks. A kid dying from a disease like cancer. My parents work in hospitals and I’ve had the privilege(if that is the right word) to spend quite a decent amount of time in them. Nothing shrinks a person into a human raisin like seeing a kid with cancer. A bald, lifeless, doomed and completely sad kid. I’ve seen it and it made me mad. The kind of mad where you need to take a walk or else you will punch shit mad. Enraged and full of fight. It isn’t right and never will be.

Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jason Motte gets this. He started a foundation to help children with cancer in 2013. You may have seen the shirts…

K-Cancer_Motte_copyMotte met and befriended many kids with the disease and used his name, money and time to start something truly special. You can buy a shirt(they are cool and super soft) with a portion of the proceeds helping kids with the disease.  Continue reading

Guardians Is An Enjoyable Romp

Posted in Film-Addict Pieces with tags , , , , on January 3, 2015 by dbuff82

2014_guardians_of_the_galaxy-wideGoing into Guardians of The Galaxy this week on DVD at home, I felt like the last soul on the planet to watch this flick. I sat in my living room on my couch like a lonely soul in a movie theater. It felt weird and that is something a film-addict should never feel. Imagine getting to a Christmas party and seeing the cake all picked at and eaten and somewhat missing. Sometimes, films come and go without me seeing them in theaters. It happens when you digest so many cinematic treats. Occasionally the cookie jar gets crowded with forgotten fare and I don’t make it a point to see the big blockbusters in theaters.

What did I think of Guardians? Is it the greatest thing since toasted garlic bread or just another fun film to get lost in for two hours? This film wasn’t exactly polarizing but it had its lovers, admirers, and haters.

A few things about the film I liked-

*The soundtrack is kickass. Take some 70’s and 80’s rock and pop classics, blend them in with some forgotten bluesy gems and the movie never feels boring. The tunes selected makes for one great mix and doesn’t feature one original soul. Thankfully, there is no Fall Out Boy or other weak boy band lead song stuck in the end credits. Instead, we get Marvin Gaye singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. On the DVD menu, we get Blue Swede’s unforgettable classic, “Hooked On A Feeling”. At the beginning of the film, Chris Pratt dances around a lost planet in space to Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love”. If there is a sequel, the soundtrack has big shoes to fill. Nicely picked, James Gunn(the writer and director from St. Louis, MO).

*Chris Pratt is very good here. The guy has serious comedic chops and keeps the action light and moving. He has spent his career hanging around the movie stars and taking the supporting helpings. Here, he is the main guy and his “Starlord” routine is hilarious. He anchors the action. Continue reading

The End of the Year RANT

Posted in Random Fire on December 24, 2014 by dbuff82

Dan and VinGreetings from Little Rock(that still hurts to say),

To your left is a fine picture of Vin and I during his last week at preschool in St. Louis last month. It felt good to throw in a pic of the Buffa’s for this end of the year post. A dose without pictures would only leave a lot of lonely words.

It’s time to let it all hang out. Grievances, surprises, good, bad, ugly and the rest of the things that rattled around my head. You won’t get a lot of sports or film here. I spread that around often in other places that it would be rather predictable for me to talk much about those two lovers of mine here. For the most part, I’ll choose the scope that turns around and reflects on me and the world I live in. The things that happened. Things I learned. The things I need help learning about. So here we go. Don’t expect a well established order to the following topics. I’m going old school here and just unplugging the drain. Shedding the dead with a few ounces of lead from the head.

(Warning-There may be spelling or punctuation errors in this dose. It is a rant after all. Apologies to the keyboard mafia in advance.)

Working Overnights Isn’t Ideal

In February, I worked overnights at Conway and hated it. I lasted four weeks before throwing in the towel and going back to Ronnoco. Why? Well, Conway is located in EASSTTTTT St. Louis city. Like “The Wire” of my hometown. It’s not safe and the farther you drive down on Hall Street, you feel like Rambo should be riding shotgun. It’s a dead end job full of tedious paperwork and robotic like movements. This confirmed the fact that overnights aren’t great unless you are a zombie who likes to function outside the house at night in a working environment. I am a night owl unlike any other, but this job made me realize that when it comes to making money in a 9-5 fashion, overnights aren’t cool. Yeah, and Conway sucks.

Writing Exposure’s Ups and Downs

This year, I wrote for a total of 5 websites. I wrote over 220 articles on the Cardinals this season. I wrote for Arch City Sports the most, and by November, I would be separated from them for one simple reason. Integrity. There was a time and place where everything(sports, movies, ramblings) went out of this site. In the past year and a half, I joined a few new sites. I became serious in social networking on Twitter and Facebook. I broadened my horizons from my personal friend list to people across the world. In that time, I got serious backlash, found good readers, and also learned a lesson about where to put your work. Arch City Sports broke a few ethical rules in my book. I was called out for patting myself on the back when I wrote about it here last month. In reality, I was clearing my head and trying to instruct other young writers that a scribe should never fall in love with page views and forget about ethics. I’ll admit. I got lost in the page views this past year. It’s part of dipping your abilities in deeper waters. At the end of the day, I was able to realize that ACS did things I didn’t like and I had to separate myself from there. There are good people at that site but you have to choose wisely where you set up shop in this internet driven journalism world. Continue reading

Take A Ride With 1917 Soundtrack

Posted in Music Spotlight on December 20, 2014 by dbuff82

1917 2

A year or so ago, I got to know an old high school friend Mario Mathon. He was an ambitious young man and fellow Italian. As young wise guys, we shoot for the stars and wait for permission later. Mario and I were admirers of the sweet science of boxing and slaves to a good cup of coffee, and he asked me to write something up about a band he was starting up. Along with Amonte Henry on drums and Jordan Mays on guitar, Mathon wanted to take the world by storm by plunging listeners into a world of soul, R&B and storytelling. The kind of music where you forget that your feet have to touch the ground and you literally take flight. It’s hard to find a single genre for Mathon’s band, 1917 Soundtrack. His band doesn’t settle for one sound. They take a road trip through the different floors of music and don’t need an elevator. If you have the chance to be in a studio recording room with Henry’s mad drums and Mays’ electric guitar streaks, you don’t need to worry about stopping. On December 26th on Channel 11 in St. Louis, Missouri, 1917 Soundtrack gets a spotlight. What the hell am I talking about? Let the man behind the idea, Mario himself, sell it to you. Continue reading

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