Entries Tagged as 'buffalo'

Spotting a Buffalo Bills’ Fan in Raleigh, NC

Voice Actor Peter K. O'Connell - Buffalo Bills fanAs the Buffalo Bills prepare to host the Pittsburgh Steelers in a Divisional Playoff game in my old home town of Buffalo, NY (well actually, the stadium is the the suburb of Orchard Park, NY), I felt I should address something that might not get spoken of very often.

My new hometown (well going on 8 years anyway) of Raleigh, NC (well actually I’m the suburb of Cary, NC — turns out in the past two sentences, I’m not terribly good at geography) — any this new place I live in North Carolina is Buffalo, NY SOUTH!!!

Unbeknownst to me and my family when we moved here there are a ton of Western New Yorkers and Buffalonians down here.

So whether I am wearing my Bills, Sabres, Bisons or Bandits shirts (or even an old Buffalo Braves shirt), somebody always says something like “Go Bills” or “Let’s Go Buffalo”.

None the less, as you’ll see in the video…while strolling across Raleigh as a Bills fan, I remain “surprised”. 🙂

#gobills

supporting football in Buffalo

Buffalo Football Calendar 2023It’s not like the Buffalo Bills need my help in supporting football in Buffalo.

But they are my team…I have purchased more jerseys, hats, t-shirts and other stuff than is thoughtfully proper or fiscally responsible. I guarantee you, however, that my family pales in comparison to such purchases by many Bills Mafia members.

I had a fun idea though, which I think is both helpful, respectful of the rules while allowing me to show my support of my football team.

I created my first Buffalo Football Team schedule for the 2023 season. I’m being respectful not to use any trademarks to symbol marks of the team….just sharing out the Buffalo football team’s home and away schedule, times and broadcast outlets (all always subject to change).

It’s free and you can download it HERE.

The one date I did NOT include on the schedule was February 11, 2024….but I feel sure Buffalo will be on the field! #letsgobuffalo

 

gone but not forgotten – hockey (not voiceover) edition

Peter K. O'Connell Voiceover Buffalo Sabres Carolina Hurricanes hockeyNo, despite their annual, horrible, embarrassing losing record, this professional voiceover talent is NOT giving up his primary allegiance to his boyhood team, the Buffalo Sabres. Evidently he IS talking about himself in the 3rd person (what a diva).

But my Buffalo Sabres are gone for this hockey season. Long gone. Like mathematically eliminated sometime last February gone.

However, in my new hometown of Raleigh, NC, the Carolina Hurricanes are playing the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight. And I am supporting the #Canes quite fervently for two reasons.

  1. Boston…almost anything Boston
  2. Don Cherry

Boston I think is pretty obvious…Bruins are a Sabres rival. Patriots are a Bills rival. And the Red Sox…well just never mind, point made.

Don Cherry may not be as clear to everyone but it’s not because he was, at one time, the Bruins Coach.

See old Don…and I mean old and foggy Don…took umbrage (which I guess he does professionally…he’s a professional umbrager) at the Carolina Hurricanes creating an on-ice celebration after their many wins this season AND after the other team has left the ice. Fans love it but old Don says teams can’t entertain after the hockey game is over. It’s a professional sport, he claims…did he not hear about the hockey shoot-out rules?

Don went on Hockey Night in Canada (a show I grew up watching in Buffalo, NY and part of where I got my love of hockey) and called the Carolina Hurricanes a bunch of jerks. Here’s the video.

So as soon as I saw THAT…this life -long, Sabres only and always fan, made the decision to support the Canes by buying the BRILLIANTLY created “Bunch of Jerks” t-shirt produced by the Hurricanes. The Carolina Hurricanes have sold THOUSANDS of these shirts (3 of them to the O’Connells –  we will be wearing them tonight).

Much to his disappointment and likely painfully humbling to Cherry (which he of course would never admit), his comments inadvertently totally rallied the Carolina Hurricanes hockey troops worldwide. The Canes now have my support…unless they play the Sabres and then screw the Canes…it’s all about my Sabres then.

So YES, I want Don Cherry and Hockey Night in Canada to come to Raleigh for a Conference or Finals game…we will wear our shirts and scare the paisley out of old Don Cherry.

Requiescat in pace Patrick Sweeney

Requiescat in pace Pat SweeneyOh Canada. Today you lost a great one.

In the 8+ years that I have been friends with Pat Sweeney, he had become one of those rare fellows of whom I only heard positive, kind words said.

Marking his passing from Cancer this morning, those kind words are being reiterated and certainly shouted from the roof tops. As they should.

Family was first and foremost to Pat, as he would often speak of his wife and sons. They were his everything.

But second, I think, was his love of the voiceover industry and of the community that Patrick Sweeney helped foster in Toronto and pretty much everywhere else he went.

Before I moved to Raleigh, NC, I lived most of my life in Buffalo, NY, nearby to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where Pat and his family live. My affinity for Canada is well known (my Grandmother was born there and I spent my summers in Fort Erie, Ontario for decades). So I was especially happy to hear many years ago that a pair of my voiceover friends had gotten together in Toronto to create a local Voiceover Meetup Group called VO in TO.

One of the group’s founders was female voice talent Jodi Krangle. The other (and to hear Jodi tell it, a driving force behind the group) was Pat Sweeney.

To watch Pat navigate the room at a VO in TO meetup was a thing of beauty. If you didn’t know Pat before you walked through the door, you would know him by the time you left. And he would introduce you to one or two other people there who he thought you should know, so you could have someone to say hi to at the next meeting. Pat was a wonderful community builder.

Another voiceover group where we shared many happy times together was at an annual event called FaffCon. This is a wonderful group of talents from all over the world who would come together to share best practices in a very inclusive and welcoming format. It was an event tailor made for Pat, who certainly learned a great deal from his fellow voice talents but possibly shared even more, especially in one on one conversations. Pat’s supportive and encouraging spirit, attitude and actions positively impacted more people than he may have ever realized.

All of this ignores when Pat and I would chat about his visits to Buffalo or mine to TO. Or when we worked together as part of a voiceover marketing collective called MVO: The Voice-Over Guys. Or when he would commiserate with me on the phone about my (usually losing) Buffalo sports teams.

You always left a conversation with Pat feeling better.

All of this kindness and help from Pat made it so challenging for us (his VO pals) when Pat got sick and we couldn’t help the guy who had always helped us. There wasn’t much we could do but support and pray for Pat and his family.

Hard as we’d pray, it never felt like enough of a repayment for a gentleman who so positively impacted so many people. We are deeply sorry for his family’s loss but are grateful for their many family memories and for Pat’s final peace.

Me? I’m selfish. I will miss my friend.

Eternal rest grant to your servant Patrick, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

past presidents gather in raleigh, nc

Peter K. O'Connell and Timothy O'Shea Raleigh, NC 2017

Tim O’Shea of Timothy O’Shea Photography was visiting Raleigh Thursday which gave me a chance to visit with my old friend.

Tim and I were both past presidents of the Buffalo Niagara Sales and Marketing Executives, a professional sales association for top marketing and sales folks in Western New York.

This is the first BNSME Past Presidents meeting in Raleigh but hopefully it will not be the last.

There is now an open invitation to all BNSME Past Presidents to call me if they will be in Raleigh and I will let you buy me lunch or dinner or both. Because I am just that generous! 😉

 

hurricanes are not blizzards and other lessons from hurricane matthew

hurricane flags

People are nice. Mother Nature, sometimes not so much.

People have been calling and texting us during the weekend and in these past few days making sure we are OK in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, which started last Friday and moved up the east coast over the weekend. Many states were hit but it seems North Carolina got more than it’s fair share of damage. Worse, fatalities here are in the teens and may still rise.

Our experience was misty rain all day Friday. Significant and steady rain ALL day Saturday (around 5″ in Cary to a high of about 9″ in Wake County, where we live). Sunday was sunny, cool and breezy, like nothing ever happened — Mother Nature’s way of clearing up the atmosphere.

We did not see much TV over the weekend so we didn’t see how the national news was portraying the storm in our area. It seems much of the talk was about eastern North Carolina so I can understand people’s concerns about us. We are in Cary, NC, just outside of Raleigh.

Hurricane Matthew 2016

As you can see by the amateurish graphic (made by this amateur) we were on what turned out to be the safer side of the storm. But as you can see, safe by not much. People nearer to I-95 and east were hit much harder and some rivers have yet to crest but will almost assuredly to do so, causing still more damage in those areas.

Knowing that hurricanes are much more damaging than Blizzards (especially in areas built to combat and recover from blizzards like Buffalo) doesn’t prepare you for the uncertainty that hurricanes bring. Indeed, the weather folks were often citing the hurricane’s ‘cone of uncertainty’ — which follows not only the expected track of the storm but also a significant area around the track where the storm could unexpectedly alter its course.

We are fine and we are glad. But we are also thought-filled about the folks to the east, STILL dealing with mess, destruction and even death. It’s just another day for us.

Not for them. Not for a while.

Here’s one place you might be able to offer some help to those folks who need it in eastern North Carolina.

Thanks for checking in.