One of the SBNation terms for the different sites across the network is 'community.' Each community is primarily defined by the team it covers, but has its own character and vibe.
Here at Bull Run Tim has from the start sought to keep a "sports bar" atmosphere here. It's an idea that is well-suited to the SB Nation platform, where you can engage the topics the editors want to write about in the comments section, but also can write about something you want to talk about.
A few months ago we passed five years as a blog covering UB sports, and in the last year or readership and breadth of coverage has elevated us to the go-to source for UB Bulls news, short of the horse's mouth at ubbulls.com. As you can imagine, lots has happened in five years, and while Bull Run is certainly far from the most insular fan community I've been a part of, there's a good number of inside jokes and shared memories - the type of commonality that makes a community a community.
Naturally, we want Bull Run to keep growing and growing and to not become a place where only a few folks understand the in jokes and references. So with readership at an all-time high before the 2014 season, I present to you the Bull Run Glossary.
Not everything in the glossary is a joke, nor is everything universal to all editors and readers, but they are jokes, memories, and nicknames that are occasionally referenced and may not be familiar to you if you weren't a reader when they were coined.
Important note: This is just part 1 of 5. Enjoy.
THE KRAKEN - In simple terms, the Kraken is Javon McCrea, UB's all-time leading scorer who just graduated and is ready to start his pro career in Europe.
The Kraken, though, is more than the player himself. The Kraken first began to take shape in Javon's freshman year:
The first game I saw him play in was his freshman year at Canisius. At one point in the middle of the game he stole the ball at the top of the key and took it to the rim, but not before getting both elbows above the rim before Tomahawking it down. He was only three weeks past his 18th birthday. Our namesake's signature dunk was impressive, but McCrea's was perhaps the most physically frightening I've ever seen live. If I were a judge, all Javon would need to do to win the dunk contest would be go up and Tomahawk one like he did at Koessler.
Initially it was just a nickname that allowed us to have some fun during gamethreads and gawk at McCrea's ability to take over games. Then it got on Twitter:
No points for McCrea in the first half and UB is still tied 30 30 with the Eagles. This is when it gets fun. #ReleaseTheKraken
— Bull Run (@UBBullRun) January 11, 2014
And became a rallying cry in our little corner of the internet during conference play. Now McCrea has graduated and we're left to wonder: is the Kraken gone forever, or is the Kraken a transcendent state that another UB player might one day enter? Either way, we'll always remember last year's basketball season for when UB Released the Kraken.
20XX - Not everything here is going to be a happy memory, but you should have expected that. We're Buffalo. 20XX is what we call a certain dark age in the post-Gill Era. On a timeline, 20XX comes between 2009, when UB's title defense was hampered by a James Starks labrum tear, and 2011, when Branden Oliver came into his own. But we don't talk about what happened in between. Nothing happened in between.
UBFAN - Historically, UBFan.com is the online home for Bulls fans. It's been around for about ten years now and has poaters who jumped aboard at all different points in that time. The four main editors here at Bull Run started as commenters there, and many of our most visible commenters also are UBFan mainstays.
UBFan is still alive and kicking, though we're seeing more readership and participation at Bull Run come from folks who aren't from UBFan. To that we say Welcome!
ADDW - Our shorthand for Athletic Director Danny White, the current head of UB Sports. See also #NYBI, FDW, New York Bulls, and The White Death.
FDW - Our shorthand for Fake Danny White, a Twitter parody account that popped up during the 2013 football season. FDW shares many qualities with his real world counterpart: he has an undying devotion to UB, is interested in getting more money for the program, and will probably never completely adjust to Buffalo'sBuffalo's weather. UNLIKE ADDW, FDW lacks the tact or internal filter that one needs to become a D1 Athletic Director. He was quiet for much of the offseason, but has a good reason:
BRUWPEG - There isn't as much opportunity to gamble on UB as there might be on more high-profile teams, so the UB fanbase created its own. BRUWPEG with its confusing scoring system and variable punctuation started as the UBFan pick-em game before it was taken over by our own Dave Brand, hosted here on Bull Run, and renamed the Bull Run Weekly Pick Em Game. To play is simple: just predict the score of the coming game. To figure out your score: less simple.
JONAS JEREBKO - If Yassin Idbihi showed what benefits there were to Regfie Witherspoon's international recruiting, Jonas Jerebko should have been the kind of guy that changes a program.
Hold up. Let me pause for a minute and say:
Yes. That Jonas Jerebko. Coach Spoon had secured a verbal from the future first rounder but was unable to get the star to Amherst. A huge, often overlooked, what if in Reggie's tenure.
THROWING THE JACKET - Given the tenor of the debates surrounding Reggie Witherspoon towards the end of his career, it's almost opening up a wormhole to bring him up again. But Reggie's signature stress management strategy can't be ignored. More often than not, something was just so goshdarn frustrating that Witherspoon got the vapors and - heaven forbid - removed his suit coat, only to toss it behind the bench.
Unfortunately for our entertainment value, Coach Hurley has different ways of making it through the stresses of coaching a MAC program.
#WECKing IT - In earlier days when UB didn't have the widespread media footprint it now enjoys, the alternative to a hard-to-find video feed was to dial up the internet radio. At the time, UB was on WECK, and the first couple posts of most game threads were a shared exercise in searching for a video feed before collective resignation to listening to WECK - #WECKing it.
WILLY TO ROOSEVELT - Look, by now if you don't know that 2008 was a pretty great season for UB football, you need to go read some other posts and come back to this. Willy to Roosevelt came against Temple, and it was the first taste of a rash of game that came down to the final play in 2008:
BoDOZER - The BOdozer is Branden Oliver. After taking the reins of the starting RB job in 20XX, Oliver used the last three years of his eligibility to become one of the top rushers in the MAC, a mainstay on the UB record books, and a member of the San Deigo Chargers. Oh, and he runs like a very-in-control, very powerful piece of heavy machinery. Hence the bulldozer comparison. It's apt because 'BO' sounds like 'bull'.
DADDY'S PRINCESS - This is a basketball one that calls back a few years and that we owe to some brilliant minds in True Blue during a MAC playoff game. I'll quote myself from an earlier post to explain the situation:
Some years ago, there was a man in the MAC named Ernie Zeigler who coached the Central Michigan Chippewas, coached his son into a 4-star prospect out of Michigan, and then (shocker!) successfully recruiting his son to Mount Pleasant. Mr. Trey Zeigler had a successful-ish time at CMU, but when you looked past the points totals, you noticed that he was a bit of a ball hog and wasted a lot of possessions on missed shots and turnovers. Somewhere on that team there was a kid ordered to bunt down the first base line time and time again so that Trey Ziegler could dribble a ball off his foot and score 23 points on 20 shots from the field (that's not a good number, for the record).
Anyway, it turns out that when you chant "Daddy's Princess" at Trey Zeigler during a first round MAC playoff game, Ernie Zeigler gets upset at you and spends lots of time glowering at students instead of coaching basketball. One of True Blue's finer moments, if I do say so myself.
When Zeigler was fired from CMU, he Zach Maynard'd his way to an Assistant Coach gig at Pittsburgh and brought Princess Trey along with him. Somehow, someway, Pitt and Trey got the NCAA to grant a hardship waiver to allow him to play immediately. This is not all that uncommon when a player wants to move closer to home due to family tragedy or something like that, but in this case, it seemed that the waiver was granted simply because Trey's father was moving. Stay with me here: Ernie was probably fired because he let Trey play too much, but then when he moved, it constituted as a "hardship" and Trey didn't have to sit out a year. On second thought, given Ernie's resume, maybe it would have been a hardship to spend more time under his tutelage.
#PECKing IT - Since UB has left WECK and found a new radio home, fans have been lucky enough to keep Paul Peck as the voice of the Bulls football team despite a few moves around the airwaves. #PECKing it is a convenient way to beat the joke to death years after the fact.
THE WATER TOWER - Believe it or not, we have something to say about Eastern Michigan! There's a water tower in Ypsilanti. It looks like a penis and we think it's funny:
THE ONTARIO SANDWICH - TWO things to say about Eastern Michigan. The Ontario Sandwich is a rivalry trophy created right here on Bull Run and recognized only by Bull Run that commemorates the victor in games between Buffalo and Eastern Michigan. The idea is that the two schools are pieces of bread and Southern Ontario is the meat in a hypothetical sandwich.
Despite MAC fans often picking on EMU for its poor attendance, UB hasn't actually done all that well in the Ontario Sandwich. The Bulls only recently beat EMU for the first time in football, and lost to the Eagles in their first game of the MAC Men's Basketball Tournament in 2014.
HOT MIC - The hot mic is a happy side effect of UB not being a 'power five' school, though I'm sure it's not unique to mid-majordom. It certainly seems, however, that UB fans benefit from hot mics more often than they should.
The skinny: Hot mics are an aspect of piecemeal broadcasting practices, when the audio feed is just the audio from the video feed, or the video feed is the radio audio and the video being used from the scoreboard in house. Either way, the audio we hear is not the intended audio that gets broadcast as commercials over the airwaves or is interrupted by timeout promotions in the building.
Hot mics are a look into your play by play guy's head. Maybe he's even more of a homer for the opposition than you thought. Maybe he hates the refs just as much as you do. Maybe he just wants to ask the color guy about his upcoming dentist's appointment.
THE WHITE DEATH - It's less of a surprise when it happens now, now that ADDW has been around for a couple of years, but for a while it seemed like the new guy was turning over the UB coaching ranks pretty quickly and installing his own guys. At some point, probably around with ADDW's people crossed the 50% threshhold we decided to call this phenomenon 'The White Death'.
Fortunately, many of the programs affected by The White Death are benefiting from the turnover, most notably softball under Trena Peel.
THE QUINN REAPER - The spiritual equivalent to the White Death, the Quinn Reaper's mission is simple: You lose to Coach Quinn and the Bulls, and you lose your job. Doesn't matter if you're Paul Pasqualoni, Charley Molnar, or Ron English.