My Tuesday 5¢: Haseoke, Jim Schwartz, Harborcenter, Pet Peeve and more Hasek

My 5¢



Anyone who was a fan of the Sabres during the years they were on WNSA/Empire Sports has to remember Haseoke. For the those who don’t remember, Haseoke is what Dominik Hasek would sound like like singing karaoke. It is genius and hillarious.

Haseoke came from the brain of the very talented and creative Steve Cichon. And today he has all of Haseoke available for download on his website.

From Steve Cichon’s website:

Sometimes spending a half hour on one knee waiting for Hasek to come out, I can clearly remember doing quiet Hasek impressions– lips pressed close to the microphone I was holding ready for Hasek. I was just loud enough so that the videographers I was working with, usually Jeff Helmick or Scott Swenson, could hear it in their earpieces but no one else could.

Those impressions continued in the car and back at the station, and often involved a liberal sprinkling of classic Hasek terms like “groin”, “butterfly” (the sprawling move which he had a hard time doing because of his groin injury), and “I nono”, which is how it sounded when he started most sentences with a negative headshake and the words “I don’t know.”

A few years later, impression refined, I was working at WNSA Radio and The Empire Sports Network producing the Mike Schopp Show. Our stations were owned by Rigas Family, who also owned the Sabres. Once, we were supposed to have a St. Louis Cardinals beat writer on, and he stiffed. On the air, Mike asked if Dom could come on and talk about the Cardinals, so only identified as “Dom,” I did the interview with Mike. I knew very little about the Cardinals, which made it even better.

Hasek was still a Sabre at this point, and Mike and I were told to never have “Dom” on the show again. But as luck would have it, he was soon traded, and the ban was lifted. Mike had the lyrics of “Lady Marmalade,” the LaBelle classic which was enjoying a resurgence with a Christina Aguilera cover on the charts.

“What would it sound like if ‘Dom’ was doing karaoke and sang ‘Lady Marmalade,'” asked Schopp. “That would be like ‘Haseoke,'” said program drector and sports update guy Chris Atkins. Haseoke was born.

I loved hearing Haseoke back in the day and I loved hearing it again today. It is a great way to remember Hasek today as his number goes up in the rafters at the First Niagara Center.

One of personal favorites from the Haseoke collection is the theme from Cheers.


To read more from Steve Cichon on Hasek and to listen more Haseoke, visit his site->

I Feel a Disturbance in the Schwartz

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I figure the Bills had a 50/50 chance in retaining Jim Schwartz as their defensive coordinator. It has to be tough for a guy to interview for the head coaching job with team he is already a big part of and not get the job–even harder to be asked to stay on under the new coach being brought in ahead of him.

Jim Schwartz is a good coach and inherited a great defense when he came here last year. How much of an impact him leaving will have on the Bills defense? Don’t know. You have to remember that people were worried last year when Mike Pettine left for his head coaching gig in Cleveland. The Bills still have the talent to be great next year defensively. We will find out come September.

USA Women Win Gold in Buffalo and the Harborcenter Shines

The USA U18 women winning hockey gold in Buffalo is just plain cool. What is equally cool is that this was the unofficial coming out party for the Harborcenter.


I attended a preliminary game in the tournament when USA took on Russia. The Harborcenter is a great place to see a game and gives Buffalo’s a great secondary hockey venue downtown. And the entire complex isn’t fully open yet.

The concept of Harborcenter and what it will bring to downtown and Canalside is something I loved when it was first announced. The place will be a year-round destination attracting the locals and people from outside of the area.

Amy Moritz from the Buffalo News wrote an excellent piece about the Harborcenter and Buffalo post tournament.

From it:

There are many ways to measure success: the experience, the atmosphere, the numbers.

Congratulations, Buffalo. You’ve hit every marker set by USA Hockey this week.

Before the medal games Monday afternoon, USA Hockey and HarborCenter discussed the success of this IIHF Women’s U18 World Championship.

And the event hit one big tangible marker – attendance.

This is the second largest attended U18 championship in the eight-year history of the event. Attendance for the six-day tournament was 13,523. That soared passed Calgary 2008, the inaugural year, which drew 9,872 fans.

The record remains 2012 when 17,480 fans watched the games in the Czech Republic.

“We want to be known as one of the best federations in hockey for hosting these events and the City of Buffalo has made that happen once again,” said Mike Bertsch, the assistant executive director of marketing and communications at USA Hockey.

And it’s not just the numbers that were impressive.

It was the engagement of the fans in the building.

“The pleasant surprise was the fans and the enthusiasm the fans showed at the game,” Bertsch said. “You can tell if fans are engaged in the game. If you watch the game, sometimes when the shots are little lopsided, the fans kind of lose perspective of what’s going on. These fans were totally engaged in everything that was going on on the ice. They are hockey fans. You can see that over the years they’ve developed a great understanding for the game.”

Don’t just take the official marketing guy’s word for it.

“Even just our round robin games were unbelievable,” said U.S. forward Melissa Samoskevich. “I did not expect to have that many people. It’s been great.”

Buffalo loves hockey and loves the Harborcenter and the outsiders agree.

Pet Peeve Number 1789

Why is it that people, media, etc. feel the need to remind us when it is cold and snowy out that we need to brush our cars off, not leave our pets outside, dress our kids warm and insert your own warning?

I know I am not the smartest Byrd in the tree. But come on…even the level of my and others dumbness is not that low.

Speaking of Dominik Hasek

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My favorite Dominik Hasek performance as a Sabre is the Buffalo Sabres/New Jersey Devils game six four overtime thriller in the 1994 playoffs. He had seventy saves that night in a 1-0 victory. He was beyond brilliant.

I went to the Hard Times Inn on Broadway in Buffalo to watch the game. It is one of those sport moments in life they I remember vividly.

Here is the box score from the game—>

Here is story about the game in the New York Times—>

And here is the goal that won it.

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