BY RANDY SCHULTZ –
I had the honor of recently attending a book signing with author Paul Wieland with his new book, “Taro Lives! Confessions of the Sabres Hoaxter.”
This book details the early days of the Buffalo Sabres when it’s PR (and later TV) Director (Wieland) pulled off yearly April fools Day pranks that fooled fans, management and even sometimes NHL and US Government Officials! It’s also a great inside look at life behind the scenes of a pro sports team. A fun read for all fans of hockey and sports (and elaborately conceived hoaxes).
The Forward to the book (written by Wieland) sums up his style:
“In 1974 the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League drafted a Japanese center named Taro Tsujimoto in the seventh round of the league’s annual selection of amateur players from throughout the world. Tsujimoto was the first player from Japan selected in league history and was expected to attend the Sabres training camp in the fall. Buffalo’s move made national news across Canada and in the U.S. There’s one little element I forgot to mention.
“Taro didn’t exist. I made him up, and he’ll be the lead to any obituary about me.
“I am a hoaxer and am proud of my calling.”
Wieland’s book is a great read. It deals with a different time in NHL history.
(Pictured above are l-r, Budd Bailey, Paul Wieland, Seymour Knox IV)