The Buffa Dispatch

Let’s throw another clip into the Buffa gun and just start firing.  The latest news and insight begins in an unfortunately familiar arena.  The home of tragedy and despair.   Before anything gets discussed here, I must address the Russia plane crash that claimed the life of 43 hockey players and coaches and goes down as the worst aviation sports casualty of all time.

“Live for today because tomorrow is not guaranteed.”-Chris McHugh

A sad and tragic offseason for hockey continued Wednesday morning when a charter plane carrying KHL Russian hockey league team Lokomotiv crashed shortly after takeoff into a riverbank and tower.  43 men on board perished in the crash, including former NHL players.   The most notable name in the list is Pavol Demitra, a former Blue, Slovakian captain and personal fan favorite here in St. Louis for many seasons.    Demitra was 37 years old and had a wife and kids.   Other NHL players included Ruslan Selei and Alexander Karpestev.   A haunting tragedy that lingered for the entire afternoon yesterday.   That’s the horrible ingredient of sudden death in life.   You instantly find out how important breathing is and how every day is a gift and not a privilege.  This horrible tragedy was the latest blow for a sport that has taken a beating in recent months.   Three NHL players died of sudden causes, including Derek Boogard, Rick Rypien, and Wade Belak.   I can’t stop thinking about the toll this crash is taking on the families.   Demitra’s family as well as other members of the team.  A team official released this statement on the website, “At first we didn’t want to believe it.  Now all hope is lost.  Our team is gone.”   Imagine one of the players leaving their home yesterday morning, meeting at the airport miles outside of Moscow and thinking it was going to be another routine flight.  How many flights had the players been on in their lives?  Hundreds of takeoffs and landings.  Death is a cruel reminder of the ticking clock that exists right next to our heads every waking minute.   This horrible loss is the worst single blow to a sport since The Marshall college football team crashed shortly after a win 30 years ago.   The saddest day in hockey history for sure.  Whether or not it affected every fan, this bruise spreads throughout the entire league because of the different countries affected.   The plane carried players from Russia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Canada and Switzerland as well as the United States.   A brutal offseason.   A drug overdose, two apparent suicides and a deadly plane crash have affected the world of hockey in 2011.  Hopefully, this is the last punch this sport takes.

Rescue Me Series Finale-Rescue Me ended its 7 year run in brutal reliable fashion. A fitting tribute to firefighters and a well blended cocktail of irish whiskey dark humor and blunt drama worked into a symphony of chaos.  Denis Leary’s epicly devilish ode to the lives of firefighters went out with a quiet bang last night, and ended the series on its own terms.  *SPOILER ALERT*As in, the last episode wasn’t washed in sappy melodramatic sentiment and overreaching emotion.   It was cold, hard and to the point the show has drilled into our heads for 7 years.  After the huge fire that put the whole crew in jeopardy at the end of last week’s episode, the finale kicks off with a dream sequence involving a church, bag pipes and a tearful speech.  Tommy wakes up afterwards to remember he is alive and another is no longer breathing, a painful realization that hits the head immediately after you decipher the dream.   What follows are storylines patched up and new beginnings being crafted.  Leary and Peter Tolan don’t let us go without their moments of dark humor(a wake with ash spreading mixed with cake mix) and tough silent moments(Tommy discovering a body, reading a letter to his crew).  They don’t pound us with stories but instead slowly bring several different bits to the finish line and wrap the series up right where it began.  Will Tommy retire or stay on?  What happens to the rest of the crew?  Right when the creators tip toe around a familiar area, they retreat and set off an explosion before they tear open a new wound.   Tommy standing in front of the 343 names shaped like an American Flag honoring the souls who perished in 9/11 and giving a speech to the new recruits.  Instead of soaking the moment with a fake touch, Tommy speaks rather bluntly.  ““This ain’t a job. It ain’t an occupation. It’s a calling, a need, a desire that you feel in your bones and your brains and your nutsack.”   If Rescue Me failed at anything, it failed to conform to other television series norms.  Leary and Tolan had zero interest in making something familiar and flat.  Every effort was made to ensure we didn’t just honor the fallen heroes at 9/11 but the men and women who run into burning buildings on a daily basis.  The finale had a piece of every great quality.  The biting darkly ironic humor.  The poignant restrained drama.  Great acting from it’s all star cast including Leary, John Scurti, Daniel Sunjata, Steve Pasquale, Mike Lombardi, Larenz Tate, Robert Burke, Lenny Clarke and its two lovely ladies, Callie Thorne and Andrea Roth.  While Tommy was the center of attention, every actor had a chance to shine here and take their swings.  Rescue Me was real, hard hitting, powerful consistent entertainment that left a dent in your stomach if you cared to stay awhile in it’s wild unsteady world of anti heroes.

Where does Rescue Me rank all time on my list?  It is my favorite TV series of all time.  Those are big words from a man who has watched many series over the years, but I have reasons and will lay them out as the words roll on.   While this will simply function as an opening of the RM series recap, cement will be laid on opinion here.   Rescue Me is the best to me because unlike The Sopranos, it was consistently brutal and unpredictable in it’s storylines and characters.   Also, RM carried a more fitting poignant ending than Sopranos, the other contender for my favorite series.   A certain amount of space was left open here, but the 62 Truck Firehouse got closure and started a new chapter with its final 80 minutes.  The great thing about Rescue Me is it’s willingless to push its characters to the limit.  They do and say the most horrible things, commit errors and show flaws but the acting carries out the mission every time.  Denis Leary’s Tommy Gavin is the raging bruised moral center, and he hit every obstacle a hero with survivor’s guilt could hit.  RM doesn’t play it safe and never gets sentimental.  It constantly delivers direct doses of dark humor inflicted drama.  This series was limitless.  Men and women acting on realistic intentions yet fueled by dark histories.  Since football is in the air, allow me to use a couple analogies.  Rescue Me is the quarterback that scrambles around in the pocket looking for the riskiest throw.  Instead of kicking field goals for a couple seasons, RM pounds the running game down your throat with a confidence that doesn’t break.  Leary gave himself the darkest, trickiest role of a lifetime and gave an Emmy worthy performance.  His bigger achievement was resisting the urge to conform to regular TV rules.  How is all of this better than HBO and Showtime’s stellar lineups?  Look at the all together success of Rescue Me in establishing a story line, taking the characters to the limit, staying unpredictable and resisting sentimental urges while banging out scenes full of tears of joy and laughter.  It was more powerful and consistent than Sopranos, as edgy and daring as Dexter, and didn’t skip a beat while ending on it’s own terms.  This won’t be the last you hear from me about this series, but for now it will due.

Cardinals School of Economics

After failing over the weekend to gain ground, the Cardinals win their last series with the Brewers at Busch and stand 8.5 games out of first place while only 6.5 games out of the wildcard opening up today.  For the reachers, I’ll confirm some things here  Are we mathematically alive?  Yes.  Is it realistic to catch the Braves?  I’ll tell you on Monday.   Are the Brewers untouchable?  Baring a monumental collapse with 19 games left, yes the division is wrapped up.   The Cardinals are a tragic team for letting fans down this season, failing to sustain winning streak and enduring painful defeats.  It isn’t a strong move to reserve emotional stock in their comeback, so it’s best to stand off to the side and watch baseball and see what happens.   An example.  After coming home from a sweep last week, the Cardinals started the homestand off by losing 4 of 5 and falling back to 10.5 games out of first place.   Right when the interest level spiked, they let us down AGAIN.  In a matter of 5 games, the Cards show their true colors.  Now, they enter a series with the Braves(who play 2 games today before coming to St. Louis) only 6.5 games back.   The interest level is up again, only because this team refuses to die at 76-67.  The Cardinals honestly must go at least 16-3 the rest of the way to hold a single ounce of hope when the season ends.   After playing 3 with the Braves, the Phillies host us for 4 games next weekend.  Things won’t get easier for this team.   Remember, the team did this to themselves, using their own shovels and inconsistent play.  Let’s run down some notes on the club to better point out problems and bright spots.  First, what happened against Milwaukee the past 2 days to bring us a win?

Tuesday Recap-Kyle Lohse pitches 6 solid innings, Berkman gets two key base hits, Jon Jay and Matt Holliday crank homers late to get the Cards a 4-2 win.  Lohse outduels Yovani Gallardo, who gets battered by the Cards again to put his record against us at 1-7.  Gallardo gave up two home runs in an inning for the third time in three weeks to the Cardinals.  The most important part of the game came in the 9th inning, when Jason Motte gave up 3 hits and hung on for the save.  Tony La Russa’s reluctance to pull Motte was his best move in weeks.   With the hopes barely clinging to life and the Brewers threatening, Motte was in trouble but fulfilled a role he has perfected this season.   Escape danger.  Motte earned his 3rd save.  Cards win.

*Kyle Lohse is 13-8 with a 3.39 ERA this season, quietly holding the best numbers in the rotation.  After a great start and tough two months, Lohse is pitching better and winning again.  Lohse is a frustrating pitcher who prolongs starts, gives up baserunners and gives up big innings.   However, his success is a rebound season from his last two years and sets him up for a walk year explosion in 2012.  While I’d like to see him traded, his performance on par with the rest of the rotation can’t be lost.  I still hate guys named Kyle.

 

*Jason Motte finally allowed an earned run Tuesday night yet stuck in for the save. Facing the top of the Brewers order, Motte gave up 3 singles yet induceda key double play and escaped. While inherited runners allowed is the key statfor a reliever, one can’t totally dismiss ERA. Motte didn’t allow an earned run from June 23rd to September 6th, covering close to 30 innings. Keep in mind he
pitched in many tough tight spots and had to find his way out of trouble. When compared to other relievers, Motte’s feat is solid. Look at Kyle McClellan. He comes into two games over the weekend and gives up a big home run. A reliever’s job is to put out a fire or maintain the current score. Motte did that
perfectly for 2.5 months while the rest of the bullpen was a trainwreck. TLR was right to stick with him and Motte got the job done. He also fooled two hitters on his 88 mph slider, which is improving. I like this kid.

Wednesday Recap-Chris Carpenter put on an economics class and shut the Brewers down.  A night to put the resolve of Chris Carpenter on display.  After struggling against Milwaukee all season, Carpenter put on a clinic.  99 pitches, 5 strikeouts, 2 walks, and zero runs.  In a mixed bag of a season for the Ace, Carpenter righted the ship after two letdown starts.   Working with two runs of support, Carpenter cut up the toughest lineup in the National League.

*Nyjer Morgan is a pest and a trouble maker.  Plain and simple.  Any attempt to defend this fuckstick will be dealt with appropriately on this front.  Let me explain his latest stunt.   After striking out in the 9th inning, Morgan cursed at Carpenter and tossed his tobacco towards the mound, causing Albert Pujols to come at him and empty the benches.  Don’t tell me Morgan is a guy who is enjoying the game.  Brandon Phillips enjoys himself and likes to get the tempers flaring but he doesn’t act like Morgan on a baseball field.  Morgan’s antics sour the performance of a team with a commanding 8.5 game lead.  Play the clip of Morgan causing trouble to little league players and tell them this isn’t how a major league baseball player acts.  Carpenter didn’t say a thing towards Morgan, struck him out and blew a gasket.  It was all a big effort to get into Carp’s head and it was too late.  Getting caught up in the emotions of a game and making plays has nothing to do with looking like a fool.  Don’t forget that Morgan ran his mouth towards Carp in spring training, causing a bench clearing dispute.  Last season, he ran across the plate and threw an elbow into Cards backup catcher Matt Anderson.  Morgan isn’t having fun.   He is crossing the line and needs to be thrown back into his original sport(played college hockey with Barrett Jackman) and get his ass kicked.   The unfortunate aspect of baseball is there isn’t justice on a baseball field.  Just a crowd of men pushing and shouting.  In hockey, the gloves are dropped and the proper action is taken.  Here’s to Morgan pissing off a UFC fighter soon.

*Whether the Cards are mathematically eliminated or not, I will continue to watch.  As long as it’s warm outside, baseball is the sport to watch.   It’s an uncontrollable desire to stay connected to a sport that hasn’t been broken since childhood when it originated.  Until the fire trucks arrive, I stay on the burning ship.  A metaphor many hardcore fans know well.

The Albert Pujols/Cardinals Contract Talks heat up again soon.  USA Today and Sports Illustrated weighed in this week.  Pujols played the usual card and said he hopes to stay here(good), has no control(wrong) and will see what happens.   USA TODAY reports Pujols’ camp wanted 10 years at 23 million per year and the Cards offered 9 years at 22 million.   To me, this is low for both sides.  After getting a bite from a Rant List Member Mark Stangl today, here are my thoughts.

*I would give AP 6-7 years at 25 million per Mark.  If anyone deserves a golden ride Wilmer, its Albert.  He deserves market value and a solid deal.  If the Cards didn’t want to pay Pujols 25 million a year, they waited too long to work this out.   Once Ryan Howard signed for 25 per, the Cards had to pay more because the market went up.  I don’t want to give any player 9 or 10 years.  That’s too long.  However, Pujols deserves a great deal. He has played for 13 million(3 million deferred) for 6 seasons.  His performance(even this season) has reached or heavily eclipsed that salary.
*The one thing I don’t agree with is Albert saying he has no control.  He has complete control.   Questions?  Does he want to change his life and leave his kingdom?  Does he want to move mid-career?  I don’t think so but u never know. Pujols has full control.  He makes the call.  He is the commodity and the result.
*The Cardinals missed a chance to lock up Albert when they signed Matt Holliday.  They gave Holliday(younger) 8 yrs at 17 million per season.  With Pujols’ production, they have to at least give Albert 6-7 years at Howards rate.  If they locked up AP at that time, before Howards game changing deal, the price would be lower.  I liked the Holliday deal but I’d like to see Pujols locked up at the same time to set in stone this match made in pitcher killing heaven.  The Cards waited awhile to talk money with AP and may pay in price.

That’s the situation.  Pujols having control but the Cards needing to open up the vault here.  What happens?  A 7 year deal that starts around 27-28 per year for 2-3 seasons and the annual value dropping around year 4 or 5.   Both sides benefit there.   Remember this.  If the Cards gave Holliday a long ride, they must lock up Albert.   Its going to be 23-27 million per season.   Market value.  Like I said, the dispute between a difference of one year and 2 million is ridiculous on both sides.   However, Albert Pujols is a piece of gold Mark so u don’t want to let it go.   The Cards knew this day was coming so hopefully money is ready.   The Cards sport a 110 million dollar payroll but generate close to 300 million every season in overall merchandise, TV and Radio income and attendance.  My answer-Pujols listens and Cards pay up.  Get it done quick.

That’s my take.

The Official Return of Football starts tonight with the Green Bay Packers opening up their title defense against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field.   Aaron Rodgers against Drew Brees in a classic example of how the NFL is a quarterback powered league.   This is going to be an explosive game that features tons of yards, touchdowns, and huge plays.  Rodgers and Brees are 3 step drop bombers and carry a fleet of weapons.  In an ironic way, this game will come down to a battle of secondaries.  My pick is the Packers.  They are deep, solid on both sides of the ball, carry the best QB in football and are completely healthy.  When they won the Super Bowl in February, they weren’t healthy.  They had 7 Week 1 starters miss significant time in 2010.   They missed two key defensive pieces and didn’t have a legit running back in Ryan Grant behind the line.  The Saints are loaded and furious coming off the playoff upset to the Seahawks.  As long as Drew Brees is playing quarterback and Gregg Williams is working his blitz packages at defensive coordinator, the Saints are going to be tough.   The Packers, though, have the tougher all around defense, the sharper QB in Rodgers and the home field advantage.  Tonight, outside in cold Wisconsin, the Packers will win 31-27.

Rams-Eagles Preview-3 Keys to the Game

1.Sam Bradford against the Eagles secondary.   If Sam can’t find holes in this all star secondary powered by Nmandi Asmongna, the Rams offense is doomed.  The secondary puts pressure on Bradford, which hurts the run.  It’s a trickle down offense that is running up against a Pro Bowl defense.  Antonio Cromartie and Nnamdi will create complexities and disruption for Bradford.  A huge test for the rookie will come in his ability to audible, check down and limit his mistakes.

2. The Rams defense against Michael Vick and his fleet of receivers.   The whole attack centers around putting pressure on Vick and forcing him to make mistakes and leave the game with an injury.  Vick is quick and talented, but he is brittle.  If Chris Long and James Hall throw a body into Vick and mess up his timing, good things happen.  If not, Vick runs wild, throws deep bombs to Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson and Kevin Curtis all day long and this game turns into a route.  While I won’t claim the Eagles as Super Bowl bound, they are deep in scoring attacks and will challenge a defense to make plays.   Vick isn’t a guaranteed repeat for MVP performance, but he will take advantage of an average secondary if he has the chance.  The Rams secondary has to make plays, get contact up front with Jackson and Maclin, and hinge on the defensive line moving Vick into their zones of trap.

3. The Rams running backs attacking a weak Eagles linebacking and defensive line crew.   Steven Jackson, Cadillac Williams and Jerius Norwood have to push the Eagles back, gain the tough yards, wear down the front 7 and open up space for the receivers.  The Eagles will stack 8 in the box at first and force Bradford to beat them deep.   A strategy that works well unless the trio of backs starts to break up the linebackers and force help to come down in the safety.   Hit the Eagles where they are weak and ram the ball down their throat.  Get Jackson 10 carries in the first quarter and start to mix in Williams and Norwood.  There is depth at this position so take advantage.

The Rams have a tough first 6 games.   Playing the Giants, Ravens, Cowboys, Packers and Redskins after the Eagles lines the Rams up for a make or break run.  However, this team wins 2-3 games in this bunch and we are doing just fine.  After the first 6 games, the Rams play within the division 6 out of the next 8 weeks and have a chance to make up ground.  Unless the Cardinals and Seahawks play above their potential, the division will be wide open in mid season.   A tough first part is good because we get to see what the Rams are made of and how real they are after a solid preseason.   The middle part of the schedule is the breathing room in 2011 and if the Rams make it there 3-3, their chances for playoff activity are very good.   The ride begins this Sunday.

NFL Topics-

Peyton Manning is done folks.   Today, Peyton Manning underwent his third surgery in the past year on his neck, as a cervical neck fusion was performed this morning.   An invasive procedure that requires 2-3 months of rehab places Manning’s season in serious jeopardy.  We are talking about football players here.  Football requires a player to go through an entire rehab because of the severe contact in the sport.  To me, this kills the Colts chances for a quality season.   The creeping suspicion since May that Peyton was in worse shape than most wanted to think has come full circle.   This Sunday, a different QB will stand behind center for the Colts for the first time since 1997.   Manning’s 227 straight starts are the most since Brett Favre’s unbreakable streak.   That ended yesterday when he was officially put down for a week.  After several meetings with doctors around the country, Peyton is going to miss serious time for the first time in his career.   How long will his body take to recover?  Take Peyton off the team and you have a broke ship.   Imagine taking Joe Montana off the 49ers and think about how many trophies Bill Walsh’s San Fran destructive squad has?  Peyton Manning is indespensible to this team.  He makes also ran receivers like Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie Pro Bowl potential catchers.   He is everything.  Think about it.  What does Manning do before every snap?  He walks up the huddle, examines the defense and calls an audible.  While some calls are pure bluffs, Manning is running the field like a computer system.  Ask teammates and coaches and he has full rein over the plays that get called.  He is the captain of the ship.  He is the most valuable player in the league to his team.  He is indespensible to the Colts.  That doesn’t make him the best QB in the league. He is the most valuable to his team.   When Tom Brady missed a full season two years ago, Matt Cassel came in and took the Patriots to a 11-5 record.   Kerry Collins, 39 years old and retired last month, can’t walk into Peyton’s cathedral(and yes its a church of football knowledge) and turn in 11 wins.  It won’t happen.  The Colts will be lucky to win 8 games if Peyton misses more than 6 games.  Under Manning, The Colts were going to get 10 wins.   Under Collins, they won’t win more than 8 games.   Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark and Joseph Addai all shined under Manning.  How good are they on their own?  We will see.  Same goes for the Colts.  Good luck.  This is a huge blow.  It’s everything the Colts fanbase worried about all summer.  What’s wrong with Peyton?  Take Albert off the Cardinals for 4 months and see how well they do.

-Ndamukong Suh and James Harrison are the fiercest most feared and destructive defensive players in football.  These are two guys quarterbacks, receivers and running backs do not want to run into.   Suh may be fined 100,000 dollars by Christmas but he isn’t a dirty football player.  He is a real old school hitter.   Same goes for Harrison, who isn’t a dirty player.  Harrison and Suh hit every player the same.   They are bone crunching football players and the most feared.   My picks for defensive player of the year candidates.

-Will Tony Romo ever leave Chokeville and take hold of the Dallas Cowboys and make them his team and lead them to the promise land?  Ever since he fumbled the snap in the playoffs, Romo hasn’t performed well, crashing and burning in the playoffs, and getting hurt last year.   Romo is full of talent and carries even more potential.   He is a stat king when he is on, but his attitude needs to be strengthened.  Coming off a serious injury, Romo has to adjust his attitude and lead the criminally clown class in Dallas back to the win column or forever be known as a talented QB who couldn’t cut it in Jones dome.

-Super Bowl Pick Before Any Football Action.   A rematch of last year’s Super Bowl.  Green Bay against Pittsburgh.   That’s all.  Respond and I will give more.

Blues Hockey Clips

As the season nears and the roster forms and this team comes together here are some quick takes on familiar topics.   This may sound repeatable from my side but until moves are made, they can be brought up and discussed.  Lets get to it.

-The acquisitions of Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott are the biggest moves of the offseason and a head turner.   Scott Nichol and Kent Huskins can impress me all they want but bringing in Stanley Cup Champions who still have years left and can instantly beef up the 3rd-4th line is huge for a team that entered last year with an average age of 28 years old.   Langenbrunner and Arnott are old hands but they can both score points and are moving into supporting roles in this system loaded with young talent like David Backes, Chris Stewart, Tj Oshie, Patrik Berglund, Alex Pietrangelo and Andy McDonald.   These two are hardnosed offensive players who can also play fine defense.  They bring years of experience and a fearless attitude.  Experience is the gain here.

-Jaroslav Halak is the X-Factor here.   Last season, when Halak went down, the Blues went into free fall and their two backups, Ty Conklin and Ben Bishop, performed horribly.   The loss of Halak was the last injury cut this team could handle and it broke their season.   Halak returned and played well but needs to produce over an entire season because this team isn’t stacked enough to shoulder average goaltending. Halak was brought in as the young savior.  His first year was a mixed bag.  What happens in Year #2?  It doesn’t take a passionate Blues fan like myself(followed them from age 8) to tell you the playoff chances  hinge on Halak.

-Give David Backes the captain patch.   Do it now.  Let’s not slice it up into 3 alternate captains.  How many teams with 3 ALTERNATE captains win the Stanley Cup?  Not many folks.   Backes embodies everything a team needs in a captain.  On ice presence, a brutal edge to his play, an ability to make a game changing score, hit or pass.   Backes waited for this responsibility.  Give it to him.   Tell me all day about Barrett Jackman’s leadership and I will tell you he is the other teams best scorer at times.   Pietro is too young to take the captain job.  He deserves an “A”.   Oshie is a favorite among fans, but also with the local pubs who serve him lots of alcohol.   “Furnace Face” is a good player but needs to mature.  Backes is the man in my opinion.  Annoit him.  Hey, just for kicks, he takes care of dogs.

-Ryan Reaves needs to share time with Bj Crombeen because every team needs an enforcer out there.   Someone who can be called on to get off the bench, hit the ice, and serve justice.   Reaves is a solid 4th line player.  He can handle the puck and make a play but he is a young talented fighter who made a claim to the throne last season and made it easy to release Cam Janssen.  Crombeen can kill penalties and score goals but so can the first 3 lines.  The 4th line is an aggressive pressing line that needs to employ a tough guy.   Reaves needs to play.

-Tj Oshie is at a crossroads.  A contract delay led to one thing for a Oshie. A wakeup call from the team. asking him to step up and show what he can do.   Oshie wanted a 3 year deal but the Blues offered 1 and told him to put up the numbers to claim the longer contract.  A challenge from talented GM Doug Armstrong, who showed a Mozelaik like flare to bring in the right talent for the right price.  Oshie is a versatile threat but can he stay healthy and give the 100 percent effort all year long?  This is a big year for Oshie.

Ready or not, The Blues season is right around the corner and there’s more hope this year with the growing maturity of the younger players, the additions of the vets and the second year of Halak.   Is this the year?  That’s a question for later but I will say the Blues will be an entertaining team to watch and will challenge for one of the 8 spots in the Western Conference.

The Music Pick of The Day

Alison Mosshart-What a Wonderful World

Mosshart is the voice of the Kills and The Dead Weather.  A gothic Queen with the pipes, look and skill level to take a classic from Louis Armstrong and put her own spin on it.  A slow moving burner used in Sons of Anarchy’s Season 4 Premiere on Wednesday, Mosshart makes the song her own here.

http://youtu.be/PsWXE6Itvms

Movies Blitz

Warrior-Film to See This Weekend

I know when there is a film for me to see when I heavily anticipate the reviews on it from my select group of critics.  Warrior is a film I have waited for since Tom Hardy announced he was taking the role of a MMA fighter named Tommy who trains for a tournament only to find out his brother awaits him in the ring for the championship.   Joel Edgerton co-stars with Hardy in this heartfelt film from Gavin O’Connor, who directs from the chest every time he steps behind a camera.   A film about two brothers getting involved in a brutal sport to balance out the chaos in their lives.   Count me in for the first time in 40 days.

Also, Contagion, released this weekend-A Steven Soderbergh dream cast about a airborne virus contracted through germs that turns the world into a sea of victims and every moment into a fear induced coma.   Matt Damon, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, Gweyth Paltrow flood the cast but the only drawback here is the plot involving a virus and a good idea of how it ends.   Familiar plot, great cast and director collide with a fine idea but make this the second choice.

Television Opening Act-

The Return of Sons of Anarchy.   The 4th season finds the brotherhood just released from jail after a 14 month stint for gun running.   Jax(Charles Hunman) comes out wanting to find a way out of the club.   Clay(the steely presence, Ron Perlman) is wearing down and his hands are getting worse with severe arthritis.   The rest of the gang is intact and the gun running continues with the Irish and the Russians.  A new drug cartel is coming into Charming and things get hotter with a new sheriff in town wanting to lock the sons up and a district attorney mounting a case against them.   The season premiere ends with a classic music induced montage.  Any time you see a montage in television, something big is going to happen and a plot will unfold.   This is going to be another explosive season of biker wars or as I call it Sopranos on Bikes.  Another great FX show, the new great network.

FX’s LIneup of Quality Shows-Just in case you or I lost track

Rescue Me(retired, 7 seasons)

Justified

Sons of Anarchy

The League(if you love sports and fantasy football, watch this show)

Archer

Lights Out(retired, one season)

Parting Shots

  • The Cardinals need to stop complaining about the shadows affecting them during 3pm games.   If the Brewers have no problems scoring 4 runs and winning the game, why can’t Pujols and Holliday hit well enough to help their team win?  It’s only a problem if affects both sides.
  • Barack Obama is introducing a new economic package to help our country out.   One day, Washington DC will get it right the first time.   How many strikes does a President get?
  • The Rams can beat the Giants, Cowboys and Redskins.   The Eagles, Ravens and Packers will be harder than ever.  3-3 is good enough.
  • Sam Bradford’s expectation will continue to rise and the seat will get warmer.   The better the Rams get, the more pressure sits on Bradford’s shoulders.  It’s a good thing he handles it very well and doesn’t crack.   Super Bowl Winning Quarterbacks are supreme condition performers.
  • Up All Night, a new NBC comedy with Will Arnett and Christina Applegate as new parents, is something I must watch because it’s like adult entertainment for new fathers and mothers.
  • Watch the new promo for Madden2012, with Ben Affleck narrating about the rivalry between two brothers.   “The hatred you have for him is biblical”. Affleck’s words come from experience.
  • New Albums to look forward to this fall.   Coldplay, Florence and the Machine and hopefully, the Dead Weather.
  • Status Update on Vincent Buffa development.   After a visit with the Doctor on Tuesday, the little Buffa is looking like he is coming closer to the original birth date, September 18th.   At this point, I’m ready to be a dad.  Too much drama for a pregnancy.   Bring on the midget fury.  The waiting room for fatherhood is getting old for a few reasons.  You can only read so much about being a dad before actually doing it.   How long does a nursery stay empty?  The wife drives you nuts by telling you how much she wants it out.   The time has come.  The car is packed, my blog is full, and we are ready.   We got 9 years to build a home for a child and set things up.   The previews are over.  The movie starts soon.  Let’s hope.

One more thing…

Appreciate every single day folks.  If the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, the KHL plane crash and the many sudden deaths around the country have taught us anything, it’s to be prepared to go at any moment.   The only way you can do that is to suck in every moment life gives you.  A sentimental if true word of advice.  Don’t waste a pitch my friends.   Make them all count.  When those 44 hockey players boarded the plane, they thought it was a regular day.  Same for the 2,983 souls who perished on September 11th, 2001.    Regular days could turn into the last ones quick.   We don’t think about this because we don’t want to believe tragedy can find us.   It’s like playing a hide and seek game with the Reaper.   You’ll lose the game.   Here’s the idea.

This is a life changing event for anyone who sinks their teeth into it.   Here’s the deal.   Some of us choose to not pay attention to the news, details and stories because the fear of our mortality having a few bullet holes ripped through it is too much to bear.   Think about it.   Get up, wash, brush teeth, work, home, dinner, internet activity and a little time for…….I MAY FUCKING DIE TOMORROW.  That’s always been my way of sight here.  Go one day at a time while you pencil in the future.   Next year may not happen and while on paper we are here until a projected age, anyday may be our last.   To most, its a tough realization that is avoided in order to enjoy the party.  To me and the few who read here, including the great Irish one McHugh, life is a gift and a moving one. Spread the story around.

Movie or not, the impact is blunt here.  A horrible tragedy that affects the entire world because hockey is a sport but life is vital to everyone.  It’s like I am standing in a field and I just saw 44 men fall around me but I am still standing because I don’t play hockey in a Russian league and didn’t jump on that plane that day.  Moral of the story.   Death sucks and gives no escape unless you care elsewhere.

That’s all for now folks.  Thanks for reading and have a good night.   The time has come to pull the curtain down on this latest Buffa Blast.   At this moment, my mind is at ease.

Take care and keep your head up,

Dan L. Buffa

P.S.-Here’s a link to a story on the WordPress site from a writer who carried a rather special perspective of the KHL Plane Crash Tragedy.  Read the entire story because its best I don’t give details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: D. Buffa

A regular guy who feels a journalistic hunger to tell the news. I blog because its wired into my brain to write what I think in print. I offer an opinion. A solo tour here. Take regular stories and offer my spin on them. Sports, film, television, music, fatherhood, culture, food, and so on. Commentary on everything. A St. Louis native and Little Rock resident who wants to write just to keep the hands fresh and ready.

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