Last week on Sports Talk Sunday, Stu Boyar said that I seemed uncommonly positive, even optimistic, about the Sabres.
This has to stop. I can't have people thinking I've gone soft. It's bad for my reputation as a skeptic and curmudgeon.
Surely, Sunny Stu wasn't aware that I had been compiling a list of things that drive me crazy. Sure, I have a nice side, but it's generally obscured by the avalanche of dumb and annoying things I encounter on a daily basis in life.
There's lots to despise, believe me, and this is only a partial list:
• I hate it when MLB pitchers throw at batters because the previous hitter hit a home run, or because someone was a little too demonstrative after hitting a bomb. You know, "showing them up." Baseball players are the absolute worst when it comes to phony indignance.
• I can't stand hockey announcers who provide the score about once every half hour, even though it's a TV-radio simulcast. They seem to forget there are people listening in their cars. And some of them are legends who got their start in radio, if you catch my drift.
• I'm disappointed that more NFL players don't skip those "voluntary" offseason training activities, if only to remind each other that they're a union and they negotiated these vital practices to be voluntary.
• I can't stand the notion – pushed mainly by young hoop writers – that post play doesn't matter in basketball anymore. Go watch the 30 for 30 documentary on the Lakers and Celtics and tell me those guys couldn't make the inside game matter today.
• I hate bunting, unless it's some pitcher who hasn't hit a ball out of the infield in months. I especially hate it in the postseason, when managers who rarely use the bunt suddenly overthink things when the nation is watching.
• I hate the musical "Cats." And I love the theater. It's the only show I've ever walked out of before it was finished.
• I hate cats, period.
• I can't stand slow play on the golf course. My motto has always been, it's OK to stink, but stink fast. Don't act like you're putting to force a playoff in the Masters, people.
• "I'm amused when people meet me and say, "I love it when you argue with Jeremy White on the radio." I miss it, too. But it's been four years. You'd think people would be a little more up to date if they were such avid followers.
• I'm revolted by the sight of former athletes on pregame shows, running through plays on simulated fields in their suits and ties.
• I don't like the fact that they can't put Pete Rose on the Hall of Fame ballot and let the voters decide, the way they do with the steroid bums.
• I can't stand guys (I can't see a woman doing it) who park diagonally across two spaces because their vehicles are so damned precious.
• I'm sick of people saying it was OK to play Rob Johnson over Doug Flutie in the Music City Miracle because he "left the field with the lead" near the end. Johnson was 10 for 22 for 131 yards. He got sacked six times. They were scoreless at half. Wade Phillips kicked the field goal too soon because he was afraid of a sack.
• I hate it when the Bills punt on fourth-and-1 near midfield, like everybody else.
• I hate that pro golfers are starting to blow off the main interview room, even after shooting the low round on Day One of a major. Skipping the interview room didn't prevent Rickie Fowler from choking in another major.
• I shake my head at the continual oversinging of the National Anthem at sporting events, often by overzealous young females.
• I can't stand people who say baseball is boring. Boring people think it's boring. But I do hate the fact that at a time where there are so many extraordinary, acrobatic fielders, the ball is being put into play less than ever before.
• It makes me nuts how players in college basketball find it necessary to shake the hands of every teammate between foul shots. When did this start, exactly? When players began getting worse at shooting free throws?
• I hate it when players celebrate routine tackles when their team is trailing by four touchdowns late in a game. If Sean McDermott is serious about this "one team" thing, such self-serving displays should be out.
• I hate the phrase "It is what it is." Also, "race card," "fake news" and "to be completely honest." Why do they have to tell you're they're being honest? Does that mean they're lying the rest of the time?
• I can't stand it when baseball teams congratulate a teammate for grounding out to the right side and "giving himself up" for the team by advancing the runner. The best thing for the team is trying to get a hit in the conventional manner.
• I hate it when I'm looking for a story online and get a video instead. Call me old school, but when I'm looking to be informed, I prefer the written word. I like the feeling of a newspaper in my hands, too.
• I'm baffled by the obsession with jerseys. At times, I think fans are more interested in jersey changes than roster changes. It's right up there with people's silly infatuation with Super Bowl commercials.
• I can't stand the interminable commercial delays during NFL games. That's why I record the games and watch them in a half hour. And I know it's worse when you're sitting in the stands.
• I hate the rule that prohibits coffee cups at courtside of NCAA Tournament games unless they have the NCAA logo on them. Which for me is the same as hating the NCAA itself.
• I hate athletes' apologies that are clearly written by their agents or other representatives. Sorry.
• I hate the fact that fighting is a five-minute penalty in hockey. It's archaic and should be outlawed altogether.
• I can't stand bars that have a dozen TVs, but bartenders and wait staff who don't have a clue what station the game is on.
• I don't hate it when summer arrives and we're a month from Bills training camp. That means vacation and the golf trip are right around the corner.