"Totally coup, yo."


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While the mainstream sporting press focuses on such trifles as the quarterback controversies in Washington, Tampa Bay, and San Diego, the BEAST has had its deformed eye on the more important fan issues still developing this preseason. Here’s an overview of some of the trends worth watching as we head toward the regular season:


capers.jpgThe rookie crops of the last four or five years have sharply changed the NFL name dynamic. The “Terrell/Terrelle” skill-position player craze appears to be
petering out, while a whole host of new name trends has been taking hold. Of these, none seems more explosive than the new emphasis on the unnecessary first-name apostrophe. Five years ago, there wasn’t a single player in the NFL with a silent, auxiliary apostrophe at the end of his first name. Now, there are nearly a dozen, including cornerbacks Andre’ Goodman (Lions) and Dre’ Bly (Rams), tight end Daunte’ Finger (Rams), wide receivers Andre’ Davis (Browns) and Donte’ Stallworth (Saints), linebacker Andra’ Davis (Browns; not to be confused with teammate Andre’) and guard Tre’ Johnson (Browns), among others.

In Stallworth and Andre’ Davis, both of whom have been clocked in the 40 at under 4.3 seconds, the NFL now probably boasts the world’s two fastest silent/meaningless apostrophes. There must have been some good weed being passed around in the football breeding grounds about 20 years ago. Keep an eye on this trend, it’s booming…

Another name trend that went from pervasive to completely out of control between last season and this one is the AttenTion-GrabBing capital letter in the middle of the first name. While veterans like LaRoi Glover, LaVar Arrington and Je’Rod Cherry have given NFL fans an opportunity to warm up to the secondary capital letter on a gradual basis, the uninitiated this year might find himself overwhelmed because of newcomers like LeCharles Bentley (Saints), DeShaun Foster (Panthers) DeVeren Johnson (Cowboys), and over a dozen more.

In the pantheon of secondary capital-letter NFL names, Buffalo’s own second-year linebacker DaShon Polk might be one of the tamer entries; on the other hand, the amazingly named DeMarkis Faggins (Texans) looks like an early favorite to win the fourth annual Earthwind Moreland/Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila NFL Name of the Year Award. If he makes the team, that is. Stay tuned for the FiNal TalLy…

Last but not least, it’s time for the yearly update on the spiraling Antoine situation. Three years ago, there were only two or three different spellings of the name “Antoine” on NFL rosters. This year, there are a total of seven. Some examples: Antuan Edwards (Packers), Antwaan Randle-El (Steelers), Buffalo’s own traditionally-spelled Antoine Winfield, Twan Russell (Dolphins), and New England Patriots Antowain Smith, Antwoine Womack, and Antwan Harris. You need 22 to field a full game; at this rate, the NFL will make it by about 2005. Keep an eye on the free agent wire this summer to see if the number gets up to eight or nine before the first kickoff.


All the major NFL cliches have had excellent off-seasons. Just a few games into the exhibition schedule, we’ve already had a player sidelined with “Flu-like symptoms” (linebacker Peter Sirmon, Titans), had “thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family” (numerous coaches and players around the league following the spinal injury to Houston’s Leomont Evans), and seen a strong resurgence in the “and things of that nature” interview sound byte.

SpurrierIn the latter case, the arrival in Washington of Steve Spurrier–who was a notorious “things of that nature” sound-byte baron while at Florida–has triggered a boom in cliche-mongering among new coaches. Here’s Spurrier on Shane
Matthews, in what appears to be his inaugural NFL cliche: “He’s not been real diligent in the weight room and things of that nature.”

Here’s another new coach, Tampa Bay’s Jon Gruden: “We’ve been on the field working our foot work, the terminology and things of that nature.”

San Diego’s Marty Schottenheimer: “You can’t walk in and effectively change 40 percent of the personnel group and add new coaches and things of that nature and expect that after four preseason games, you are going to step in line and start off where you think you can be.”

This being the preseason, other coaches are opting for the more traditional exhibition game cliches. To date, only one, however, has opted for the “bullets flying” phrase, use of which traditionally surges in weeks three and four of the exhibition season, as the real season approaches. “I like what I’ve seen from our new corners,” Carolina coach John Fox said, “but until we get out there and the bullets start flying in game conditions and the preseason and training camp, the jury’s still out.”

Oddly enough, not a single “dreaded high ankle sprain” has appeared in the news yet. Bills left tackle Jonas Jennings went down shortly before press time with a high-ankle sprain, but team officials have declined so far to say whether or not it is dreaded. More updates in the following issue on cliche usage this year…


Never before has such utter hair chaos ruled the NFL. In a year in which the sporting world’s most famous haircut repulsively belongs to a soccer player (Brazil’s Ronaldo donned a much-imitated “unicorn shave” for the World Cup), and in which, following Warren Sapp’s amazing decision to shave his cornrows, the most recognizable NFL haircut belongs to draft prognosticator Mel Kiper, Jr., an utter vacuum of personal grooming inspiration now reigns on the gridiron.

What’s next in hair, following last year’s explosive ascension of rows and braids (coupled with black see-through hair-nets)? There’s scarcely the faintest glimmer of a hint this exhibition season. One of last year’s most outstanding hair choices, the braided ponytail of Cincinnati’s elaborately-named seventh-round draft pick T.J. Houshmandzadeh, appeared in the preseason opener to be longer than ever.

warrensapp.jpgPerhaps not coincidentally, Houshmandzadeh looks like’s he’s making a serious run at a starting job over Peter Warrick and Michael Westbrook… And while Sapp has shaved his braids, the other major braid-wearers all seem determined to hold on to the look for at least one more year: Plaxico Burress, Troy Brown, Willie McGinest. Green Bay Packers corner Mike McKenzie even explicitly stated his intention to keep his braids for the immediate future.

“I had the braids back in college,” McKenzie said last month. “The braids were pretty good to me. I did the Afro, the braids and the low fade. I kind of naturally grew into the new look. Chances are they’re going to be with me for a little while.”

Meanwhile, white quarterback hairdos, after the brief scare brought on by the Jon Kitna phenomenon a few years back, appear to have settled back comfortably into anchorman mode.

Only Lions newcomer Joey Harrington offered a whiff of intrigue when he answered a question about his preference between Star Wars princesses Leia and Padme Amidala. “Princess Leia,” answered the former Ducks star during camp. “You’ve got to love the cinnamon-roll hairstyle.”

Could an experiment be in the works? And will Riddell design the helmet to fit the buns? We’ll see as we watch the rest of this preseason.

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pg3clerk.jpgName:   Abner Moria

Age:   41

Turn-ons:   Benedictine Monk chants, rubber hot pants, grainy video, Sally Jesse Raphael.

Turn-offs:   See-thru bags, condoms, broken promises, my father

How I became the BEAST Page 3 Porn Store Clerk:   This guy comes in. As usual I avoid eye contact. But he goes straight to the counter and whips out a Beast. I’m like, wow! He wants to know if he can leave a bunch of ‘em by the door. I look through the thing and see our best customer prominently displayed in the paper. So, I’m like “Sure, Tom will get a kick out of seeing his face in here. I mean he’s always getting picked up in the store by men anyway.” Anyhow I notice The Beast guy just standing there. Finally I go, “What do you need?” He says something about senior citizens. I show him the section. He buys like ten tapes, and tells me about page three.

Future plans:   I still gotta inflate the new dolls for the window display, clean the screens in the video booth, and finish disposing of mother.

How I want to be remembered:   Well hopefully I won’t always be labeled as the Page 3 Porn Store Clerk. I’ll probably be remembered for the time I was caught looking into the girls shower room through a peephole with all my friends. Wait, that was in Porky’s.

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This letter comes to me last week from this guy named Burt, who I first thought was kind of a creep but now he seems kinda sweet. Anyway, he said he wanted to make a movie about Velma. No shit. So, I writes back to him and says “Yeah right.” He writes back and says, “No, I’m serious.” So he says all’s I gotta do is write a story about me. He wants me to make a demo tape or something at home. I thought a demo tape was for guys in bands to try and get a record contract but he explains how I can do it at home with a cheap camcorder or whatever. So I told him I’d give it a try and I wrote this story.

It starts out with me in my house just like getting ready to go out. I’m wearing this like really short, satin Japanese robe. It just barely covers me and doesn’t close all the way in the front. And I’m in front of the mirror doing my face when I hear this strange noise downstairs, like somebody’s rustling through stuff. So I go over to the top of the stair rail and say, all scared, “Is there someone down there?” And the noise stops for a second and I go back the john. Then I hear it again and go back the stairs and say again, “Hello? Is someone there?” The noise stops again but I can hear somebody breathing.

Then I creep real slow down the stairs and I don’t even notice that my robe is like totally open in the front now but the light is dim so you can’t see everything, just the outline of my boobs and a little fuzz. And I get halfway down and say, real nervous and girly, “Who is it?” And all I can hear is breathing. So I go down a little bit more and say, “Who are you? What do you want?” And out of the shadows of the front room jumps this being. They are huge, a foot taller than me, and they have a dark hood that comes all the way down and covers their face. This person runs at me and I turn to run up the stairs but they grab my robe from behind and try to pull me back but I can squeeze it against me tight with my arms and then all at once I let go and the robe comes off and the person falls backwards down on the floor. I run up the stairs and into the bedroom and slam the door behind me. I’m breathing heavy now and my heart is racing and I’m naked.

Then I can hear the person breathing again and coming up the stairs very slowly. I back up into the corner and turn the light off and crouch down behind a cedar chest. Finally I can hear them at the door of the room and they turn the knob very slowly. The light from the hallway spreads across the room and the person stops. They are looking for me like that monster from “The Predator.” It senses me in the darkness and comes toward me like a mummy. I’m too wound up to wait so I jump up and shout “What do you want?” and they stop and slowly pull the hood off and it’s a wild, savage, Amazon woman. She has long, frizzy, black hair and she holds out her arms to me. I scream, “Get back you freak!”

But she takes off her long, black robe and she’s wearing an outfit like Zena. She comes toward me and then she pulls this huge dildo out of the band of her bikini shorts. Then she attacks me and throws me on the bed and puts her head between my legs and tries to eat my pussy. She puts the dildo in her self and goes savagely at my mound with her mouth. Then she starts to hurt me and she’s too rough. Then she bites my clit and I fly into a rage.

I rise up and take the dildo from her and just wail on her body. I don’t hit her in the head or anything but I really lay it on her in the arms and ribs and legs. Then she begins to know that she is defeated.

That’s as far as I got but I sent it too Burt and he seemed real excited by it.


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Fellow Sufferers:
As are you, I am new to the Buffalo area and was somewhat relieved when I read your piece about your hardships in the area of scoring. On two occasions I have ventured out into the Buffalo “street life” to get some weed. Both times, I have been ripped off of forty dollars. My strategy was to ask one of the many individuals on Elmwood Ave. if they knew where I could get some weed. I have put trust into people that have no home, nor no source of income other than panhandling and recycling cans and bottles. After tonight’s failed attempt; which can also be described as the second $40 I have been ripped of, or also can be described as a piece of evidence that those who recycle are thieving bastards; my only advice to you in your quest of copping some of natures little treats, don’t use bums as your middle men. Thinking about it, if a quarter is a huge score for a bum, think about how extraordinary forty dollars is. If you have better luck than I, please let me know. I am need of some weed very bad.

Bryan Berry

Dear Bryan,
You have put us in very awkward position. While we know we shouldn’t judge or disdain our readers, you have publicly confessed to handing $80 cash over to total strangers and probably drug addicts, expecting to receive, in exchange, drugs of all things.

Please never refer to or even imagine us as somehow “fellow” to you. Please tell no one that you read The Beast. And above all, next time you’re about to give away forty bones, think about putting it towards gas money back to Canada or wherever the fuck you’re from.



Mr. & Mrs. Beast,
Every time I go someplace that is supposed to be happening there was that ball of snot Tom S. Who the hell is this guy? You know one thing that is missing [from The Beast] is a DJ review of the bars you are showing. I know just from being in a place for 10 minutes that the DJ is bad, bad, bad. I want some of the local bar owners to know how bad the DJ’s are and maybe you will get some more quality people in the bar, before you’re listed under the dive category of this rag.

Buffalo Bikers

Dear RM,
Boy, are you missing the point. The “Dive” category is the most coveted rating placement an establishment can attain. The selection process for being listed under that heading is grueling and few bars cut the mustard. Sadly, after weeding out the candidates through our very thorough scrutinization system, even fewer can afford our exorbitant fee for being designated a “Dive”.

As to your problem with hack DJs, we have a little technique that we employ in just that emergency. Before you leave the house for a night out, get a lilty, little ditty stuck in your head, like the theme from The Andy Griffith Show or the early ’70′s instrumental smash “Popcorn”. You will find refuge in these comforting tunes as they waft through the immense and vacant recesses of your blank mind.



The last World war against Japan, Germany, and Italy, would have gone a lot differently if we would have waited just few months longer. If not for the cowardly attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7th, 1941 we wouldn’t have jumped into the war until it was too late for all of Europe and Asia, and maybe even the world. Nazi Germany, and Japan were both working on their own atomic bomb. The Nazi’s has jet planes, and ballistic missiles already. With the bomb they would have won the war, and the whole world. That’s the reason we must strike Saddam Hussein. We’re not out to destroy Iraq, and its people. We want to get rid of Hussein. Who is a fanatical nut who is bent on getting weapons of mass destruction. Once Saddam does, he will use them against us and Israel. He wants to control the whole Middle East and all of the oil reserves. For the ignorant, that would mean total chaos here, and around the world. Just stop and think about the consequences of it. We just wouldn’t be paying more for gas. We’d be paying more for everything. Plus he would hold the whole area hostage with his weapons. Can you imagine Saddam Hussein with nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that could reach thousand of miles once he gets ballistic missiles. Saddam wouldn’t even need that. Saddam would find another way to deliver the weapons. Saddam might just give them to a terrorists group, and let them do his dirty work. If you want to see New York, Los Angeles, or your city ravaged by one of these weapons, just sit back and close your eyes. Soon you will be dead and so will be your whole family, along with all of us. I don’t think that anyone with any intelligence would wait for that to happen.


Dear Zklws,
We were just about asleep, but then you got to the part about some kind of doomsday bomb or something hitting New York and LA. Tell us again about the ratio of 6 or 7 women–selected for their sexually stimulating natures–to every man. And how we would need to re-populate an entire species…Hey, isn’t this the part where you stand up and scream, “MEIN FUeHRER, I CAN VALK!!”



You kick so much ass, your foot stinks.

I.M. Jealous [Brett Gillespie]

Dear Brett,

We feel certain, once you consider your old lady’s foot fetish, you will realize full well that the stink on our foot is most decidedly not “ass”.



The following is an excerpt of a quite lengthy piece we received from a one Katherine Willbern. It is apparently titled “Nowhere Fast” and written by someone named Frank V. Coppola:

i’m puking and the regurgitated matter is bouncing off the ground and running wildly about. a riot of little elves were having a convention in my stomach and following the formal proceedings got drunk, went nuts and stampeded toward the nearest exit. up and out of my mouth like lemmings in a suicide leap. but the fall didn’t kill them it only made them very angry. some were attacking my shoes and ankles. others were clinging desperately to the hairs of my beard. all were shouting violently at me- vital pieces of information that i am still gathering evidence to decipher. so i am looking to enroll in a class that teaches Truth as a second language.

Wesley Snipes responds:

Dear Katherine,
Lucky you came to us with this when you did. We’ve seen this kind of thing before. An only child with scatological issues goes away to college. He becomes disgusted with the formality of it all. He drops all classes where there will be any references to living people. He becomes withdrawn and despondent. He can’t put a decent look together for making the coffeehouse rounds so he isn’t even able to find a low self-esteem, ratty-haired, baggy-clothed, Goth-feminist to be his girlfriend. He retreats to his room thinking, “I’ll show them”. Rather than drop out of school, the very institution he loathes with every fiber of his soul, he sucks it up, swallows the bitter pill of compromise and endeavors to use the institution as a tool against their establishment. He becomes so adept at this that four years is not enough. He needs to delve deeper into the workings and trappings of their diabolical machinery. Two more years of study prove to not be enough. To really get to the source of the problem, to get near enough to the heart of the matter he needs a few more years and then when he’s finally close enough to smell the heaving innards, the lungs, the fetid fluids of the heart of this monstrous menace he can stab it right in its life source and bring the whole evil, bestial monolith crumbling down. But now much time has passed. His years of dogged study have made him a top figure in his field. He has, like Winston Smith, learned to embrace the rasping reptile that he so deeply feared and despised. He is a professor now, a tentacle of the beast. And he is trying to seduce you Katherine, you his protege apparent, with swirling prose that takes no direction or references anything tangible or relevant. He hopes to deceive you with his zany chicanery. Turn from him and his doctrine of deviance. Put down his writings and go get a Chester Himes novel or something.

Oh and could you put Frank in touch with that guy Bryan. There’s like forty bucks in it for him.

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Iraq or Arachnophobia?




Iraq or Arachnophobia? Iraq or Arachnophobia?

  • Invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990, to worldwide condemnation
  • Released in theaters July 18, 1990, to commercial success and modest critical acclaim
  • Operation Desert Storm cost the U.S. military an estimated $61 billion
  • Ticket prices cost U.S. moviegoers an estimated $51 million
  • Evil dictator Saddam Hussein fears secularism and the “poisons” of Western culture
  • Bright young doctor Jeff Daniels has a paralyzing fear of spiders
  • Hussein has 6 children by two different wives
  • Never spawned a sequel
  • U.S. resumed air attacks on Irag in December 1998
  • DVD version released in June 1999
  • UN inspection team head Richard Butler faced Iraqi resistance in his attempt to uncover Saddam’s chemical and biological weapons facilities
  • Friendly local exterminator John Goodman forced to use dangerous chemicals to battle the deadly spiders

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BILLS DIARY:THE ROAD TO SAN DIEGO 2002 Drew Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman

bills_logo_small.jpgI felt a need to write this column because I have something important to share with sports fans in this city. That is this: aside from Drew Bledsoe himself, I probably know Drew Bledsoe better than anyone in this city.

Why? I’m from Boston and for the past ten years or so was one of the most pathologically desperate New England Patriots fans on the planet. In that time I have followed Bledsoe’s career with the kind of insane attention to detail normally reserved for stalkers or organized crime investigators.

I moved to Buffalo in April. Less than two weeks later, Bledsoe was traded to the Bills. It was the purest demonstration of fate I have encountered in my life. From that moment, it was obvious that I would need to switch my allegiances.

The recurring theme of Bledsoe’s career in New England was that he was never able to catch up to his critics. After his Pro Bowl sophomore season, there was a lot of hand-wringing in Boston about Bledsoe’s interceptions. That year he threw 25 touchdown passes, but 27 picks. It didn’t seem to matter at the time, since he was putting so many points up on the board, but Bledsoe’s tendency to try to score touchdowns on every single play and throw the ball through defenders—not through their coverage, but physically through their bodies—really had New England fans nervous.

So what does he do? The next year he throws just 16 picks, but only 13 TD passes. A year later, he breaks out with a great season, throwing 27 TDs and only 15 interceptions. The following year, he was even better, with 28 TDs and 15 interceptions. By then, no one is talking about his field judgement. Instead, they have a new criticism: that he “has no heart” and doesn’t win big games (a gruesome 7-6 playoff loss against the Steelers is the chief evidence against).

So what does he do then? In his next season, he wins two spectacular games with a broken finger on his throwing hand, one against the Dolphins and one against the Bills (in the notorious Hail-Mary interference games). Bledsoe in these games can’t even grip the ball with his index finger: he has it in a splint. Suddenly no one is questioning his heart and his leadership.

But soon after, a new set of criticisms has hit him. Critics suddenly notice after all those years that Bledsoe is not mobile and can’t get himself out of trouble. What has really happened is that Pro Bowl left tackle Bruce Armstrong has torn his ACL (and kept playing) and is no longer able to keep people from hitting Bledsoe’s blindside.

Worse, Bledsoe in 1999 has the very worst starting running back in the league, the miniature Kevin Faulk, handling his every-down back duties. His receivers that year are the clearly insane Terry Glenn and the aging Shawn Jefferson. Pro Bowl tight end Ben Coates that year also suddenly decides to stop blocking.

In a crucial game against the Dolphins that season, an uncovered Coates drops a perfectly thrown pass on the final drive, ending the game and beginning a long losing streak. Soon after, Bledsoe begins to be accused of “not being able to win games on his own,” like a Brett Farve or a Steve Young. The following year, Coates, Armstrong, and Jefferson are all gone, and Bledsoe is left basically alone to shoulder the blame for a miserable season in which the Patriots field 20 rookies on their roster.

Bills fans probably think the Buffalo media is tough, but no sportswriters in the country are as mean and exacting as the Boston contingent. Spoiled by the experience of sports gods like Larry Bird and Bobby Orr, writers continually hounded Bledsoe for not being able to take his team to the promised land all by himself. He entered the 2000 season hounded by press criticism, and was even booed after the Patriots were pounded in the season opener against Tampa Bay—despite the fact that the Pats’ starting offensive line in that game featured two guards (Joe Andruzzi and Sale Isaia) who had not even been on the team two weeks before.

Enter Bill Belichick. He’s a great coach, but his offensive strategy clashes violently with Bledsoe’s skill package. Belichick favors ball control, smashmouth football. Bledsoe likes to air it out and look for the big play, risking the occasional mistake. At times under Belichick, it was clear Bledsoe simply refused his orders and looked down the field when there was nobody there. He took a lot of sacks and looked very bad at times during the 2000 season. Belichick refused to deflect criticism from his quarterback. He had another kind of guy in mind, as was dramatically demonstrated last season.

All of which brings us to this season with the Bills. I went to the game against the Bengals last week and can report: Buffalo has Drew Bledsoe at his best.

Bledsoe has always seemed to throw better to big receivers. Maybe it’s because he’s big himself, but when there’s a big target to hit, he always seems to ram it in there, while he sometimes can’t seem to find the little guys. Even a great receiver like Terry Glenn never caught more than 6 touchdowns in a season from Bledsoe. On the other hand, Bledsoe threw 45 touchdowns to Ben Coates in his career. When Coates went down, Bledsoe had nobody over six feet to throw to for years.

That said, he clearly already has a thing going with Eric Moulds. He was looking at Moulds first on almost every play. He hit him on a slant, on a nice blitz read, and on a strike down the sideline. In three possessions, Moulds had 4 catches for 64 yards. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t catch a hundred balls this year.

Another Bledsoe feature: he likes fullbacks who can run deep routes. Keith Byars and Kevin Turner had huge seasons playing with Bledsoe. Here again, he clearly has a thing going with Larry Centers. The 25-yard fade route to Centers in the Bengals game was classic Bledsoe: looking out over the pocket and flicking a deep route to a secondary receiver over coverage.

Bledsoe is an odd character. His press conferences sound like introductory speeches at political fund-raisers. They’re filled with cast-iron cliches lobbed out in an obligatory manner one after the other, and steeped in a sort of neutral, military tone. He can be amusing, but never funny. He is smart and aware, but hard to warm up to. In Boston, that mattered for some reason. Here, who cares. The guy can throw the hell out of the football. I’m through with the Pats. Go Bills!

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