We hope this version of Smart Things brings a smile, or a little piece of sanity, back to your screens.

Since the tragedy and trauma of Newtown hit our Internet and TV feeds, my heart, like all of yours, has been on a heavy string, walloping itself against a suddenly very fragile feeling cage of ribs. And we are fragile animals: such is life as it is given to us, by mother or by Creator.

But our human hope makes us stronger, so long as we heal – and work – together, for a better future.

Prayers and thoughts go out to all those affected in CT and beyond.

I hope this version of Smart Things brings a smile, or a little piece of sanity, back to your screens.


Smart Thing 1: The Buffalo News Paywall

The paywalls are going up in around the castles of print media. Our own Buffalo News recently adopted the pay-for-play policy online. Newsweek recently announced a complete digital format, abandoning print entirely.  Heck even books  – in the classroom and in the library – are an endangered species.

A moat of Paywalls will help keep the old castle walls of print media from being breached, for a while. Meanwhile, the invading hordes are camped outside, not in siege, but building more and more digital presses. The peasants are expanding the power of “print” and the “pen,” and while not all of it is good, some of it is great. Much of it, some would argue, is just as good, or better, than what can be found in the good old Sunday Read.

More and more (likely a lot more since the paywall), Buffalonians are discovering Buffalo based blogs – sports blogs, in particular, are catching a lot of attention.

The errant/arrogant perception of the “basement blogger” is a thing of the past. Still, I could use a sammich. Or a beer. Excuse me for a moment.

The errant/arrogant perception of the “basement blogger” is a thing of the past. Still, I could use a sammich. Or a beer. Excuse me for a moment.

The Goose’s Roost immediately springs to mind (you’ll find Ryan’s glorious Bills GIF recaps here on TB). If you’re not a regular visitor at the Roost, you might want to make it one of your new “dailies.” Eloquence, insight, metaphor and humor help to bring great clarity to the confusion that is Buffalo sport.

Dear God Why us Sports is possibly the most aptly named Buffalo sports blog out there, and it’s also one of the best written. Staffed by a crew of sailor-mouthed mad geniuses, it brings wit, emotion, and a deep understanding of our Sabres and Bills, as well as updates on the EPL, NBA, and NASCAR. Oh, and it also helps that they have a sailor-mouthed lawyer on the beat, who recently had a chat with Jeremy White of WGR on the issues of the NHL lockout. It was fantastic (link above); it was a great example of the better angels of our brainiac sports nature coming together to talk real sports talk, not just sports banter (I’m wagging my finger at you, Whiner Line callers). Bear in mind, the site is NSFW.

Buffalo Wins has seen a surge in growth since Joe Pinzone decided to invite/conscript many of the area’s finest bloggers into his Buffalo sports Brain Trust. It was brilliant maneuvering, as Buffalo Wins now provides game breakdowns, reviews, and other analysis to rival any media out there right now – print or electronic. Being sourced by the New York Times was certainly a nice feather in the cap (scroll down to the Roger Kochman photo).

There are so many more – Buffalo.com had a nice write up of many of these blogs after one of the more recent Sabres Blogger Summits, but there are even more out there. Check the “blogrolls” on each site, and enjoy the journey.

I’m not saying the journey of print is at an end, but it is certainly changing. For now, Buffalonians have the best quantity and quality of sports content they have ever seen.


Smart Thing 2: 30,000 mouths:Fed.


From “The Good Neighborhood:”

“With preparations in place for this packaging program, new Elmwood Village religious institution Village Church has organized a FEED 30,000 meal packaging event this Sunday morning, December 16th, in the high school gym of Nardin Academy (135 Cleveland Ave, 10am-noon).”

“Village Church Lead and Teaching Pastor Jeremy Hazelton, a Buffalo newpat who was schooled in Michigan and Kentucky, explained that he was hipped to the cause by pastors in other cities. ‘As a church one of our main desires is serve others, with no strings attached,’ he explained. ‘We do that locally, regionally, and internationally with both financial contributions and service projects. The vision of Stop Hunger Now to eliminate hunger is in keeping with our desire to serve others, and we are happy to participate with them. It is my hope that this will become annual event, and that we will be able to package even more meals next year.’”

Tidings of joy.

Thanks to all who participated.


Smart Thing 3: Kegworks’ Mediocre Gift Upgrades

Because who the heck really wants socks on Xmas – the “Mediocre Gift Upgrades” is a fun, and quite useful infographic featuring gift giving ideas that will thankfully knock those stupid Xmas socks right off. Need last minute gift giving ideas? Hit the link. Meanwhile, follow Kegworks on Twitter for more info and store hours. (Shop local!)

As for me, I’ll take the Guinness hockey jersey (from their Guinness section). Yes, I know – it’s in Boston Bruins colors. Whatever. There’s no NHL this Xmas anyway, and Boston is pretty Irish. Don’t razz me if you see me wearing this at the FNC (someday). It doesn’t call out “Boo me.” It calls out “Beer me.”


Stay safe for the rest of the holidays, friends.




  • Note: “3 Smartest Things” is being produced to go along with the “5 Dumbest Things” series here on TB. “Why three,” you ask? Well – far be it from me to break our time honored tradition of berating each other on the progress of our fair Queen City. Tell you what, when the new Peace Bridge goes up, we’ll go up to five. And of course, feel free to follow me on Twitter to discuss all things trending in Buffalo, and check out my blog “Buffalo Sabres Nation” when you’re bored at work. Your boss will appreciate your increased productivity afterwards.


1 Comment

  1. Scotty, you are too kind. If not for our godforsaken website, we’d probably get into far too much trouble after a couple too many adult pops while rambling on to New Yorkers who don’t care about how much we hate Chan Gailey, wish Gary Bettman physical harm, or desire to give Matt Ellis a long, comforting embrace.

    It’s therapeutic, is what I mean. Glad other people seem to agree.

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