Goodbye, Cruel World

One thing I really don’t enjoy about the discourse surrounding the Sabres (and all sports, really) is the constant yammering of people trying to prove a point. Like all human beings I am prey to the instinct to argue, and I have certainly engaged in some arguing over the last few weeks (Teppo’s suspension got me seriously revved up). I like being “right”, and I’m irritated when someone else is loudly proclaiming something I perceive as “wrong”, but at the very core of my personality I don’t enjoy arguing. I never have. I am a Minnesotan, after all. For me, arguing is a lot like eating at McDonald’s: pretty enjoyable while it’s happening, but totally heinous thirty minutes later.

Call me crazy, call me a fair weather fan, call me a girly-girl, but I don’t want to argue about the Sabres. I want to experience the season at face value. Of course I want them to win the Stanley Cup, but I think I can enjoy the season even if they don’t. I want to love the team (even when they suck), and I don’t want to defend, or even discuss my decision to to do so.

I have come to realize that the only way to stay inside of my happy bubble is to avoid the big, cruel world. So, goodbye Buffalo News, goodbye WGR, goodbye Sabres message boards, goodbye to many of the blogs I read. You are like crack, and you know what? Crack is whack.

Hello, Brain of Katebits!

The nice thing about the Brain of Katebits is that even if the Sabres go 0-82, I can still happily entertain myself by analyzing the hair-dos on the bench. I’m still in the phase of my hockey fandom where hockey is a happy thing, and I’d like to prolong this honeymoon for as long as possible. Those who enjoy such things can go right ahead and argue about the next 80 games. I’ll be here, writing fake letters to Toni Lydman (Dear Toni, don’t change a thing), and organizing my fantasy team according to age, height, and “locker room” presence. (The Fancy Bits are going to win it all this year, even if the Sabres don’t.)

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22 Responses to “Goodbye, Cruel World”


  1. 1 Glenn October 7, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    A-fuckin’-men, shugga…..I’m soooooooo right there with you. Call me a cockeyed optimist (pun intended) but I’m all about loving the hockey experience and cheering the team on as they improve. Thec second game was better than the first and it’s only up from here so let the love-fest begin!

  2. 2 Amy October 7, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    I wouldn’t give up so quickly on The Buffalo News. Bucky Gleason aside, you can usually find some pretty choice news tidbits and Lindy-isms in there. I do agree with you on taking the time out on the Sabres message boards. Its only game 2 of 82. There should not be threads about players having compromising photos of management and farm animals.

  3. 3 Katebits October 7, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    You know Amy, you’re right about TBN. (I am super glad, for example, that I read the article about Max, the tight-lipped Russian spy.) At this point I think so little of Bucky that most of what he says bounces right off me, anyway.

    I think that WGR is the one that makes me the craziest. I hate that the grumpy people have an excuse to say “I told you so”. The message boards are REDONKULOUS. Completely devoid of value.

  4. 4 Sam October 7, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    Message boards for all teams in all sports are heinous. The reality is that most sports fans are idiots, and it’s the biggest morons who never realize how much they don’t know and post on message boards. Actually, I don’t think this is restricted to sports, either.

    On a more important note, you have a tight-lipped Russian spy on your team? The hell? I want one…

  5. 5 Patty (in Dallas) October 7, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    I want to love the team (even when they suck), and I don’t want to defend, or even discuss my decision to to do so.

    I so agree with you. And this is something I’ve been thinking about all weekend. Here, there are only a handful of people talking about the Stars, so it seems even more magnified. I was just deciding last night that I will continue to read Heika in the Dallas Morning News and even read their online blog, but I will no longer be reading the comments. I’ve never heard such fury so casually expressed. It makes me want to call all the players and the coaches and Doug Armstrong and tell them not to listen!

    I have a little OCD where I have the argument in my head until I’m distracted by something else. So that can last my whole trip to work. It’s so freeing to just turn off the radio when they start talking about hockey and not even hear it.

  6. 6 HG October 7, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    I’m still in the phase of my hockey fandom where hockey is a happy thing

    I am going back to my happy roots this year… It’s too stressful otherwise. I’m going to say yay hockey! Whoo!

  7. 7 Blitzen October 8, 2007 at 8:23 am

    I’m with you on this one…I avoid all bad press and forums…don’t want to hear about it.

  8. 8 ccomfort October 8, 2007 at 8:48 am

    go sabres…
    Personally, I’m just glad we have a hockey team, if things didn’t work out for the best a few years ago, the closest hockey we’d have would be the Leafs…

    As far as crappy attitudes, I work with a donkey butt who insisted on rubbing it in to me this morning. If I was slightly less professional than I am, he might end up with two flat tires. But, I may have to work with him, noone says I have to like him(or his fav team, the redwings).

    I have to take periodic breaks from WGR too, they start to flame on a topic, and never let it rest, it gets irritating.

    I like blogs like this one, and Top Shelf- You guys add humor, and optimism, its a good thing!!!

    Anxiously waiting for Thursdays Game (Win or Lose)
    Courtney

  9. 9 Pookie October 8, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    I’m still in the phase of my hockey fandom where hockey is a happy thing

    I am going back to my happy roots this year… It’s too stressful otherwise. I’m going to say yay hockey! Whoo!

    I completely inadvertatnly went back to my happy hockey roots last season. I blame Sid. How can you get down about hockey with a guy like Sid around? Hm, how?

    Seriously, though, this is one advantage to being a Devils fan. There is never any dialog at all about the team. You get Devils fans agreeing that the team rocks, and the rest of the MSM saying “please Lord, don’t let this team win the Cup again”, and nothing in between. If you turn on the radio here, all you hear, 12 months a year, is Yankees talk. I can’t really even fathom the thought of sports radio talking about hockey. I remember being stunned when on my first trip to Canada, the sports radio people reported on who was the League-wide 3 stars of the week with their 20-20 score reports.

  10. 10 Schnookie October 8, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Keeping hockey fun is the most important thing you can do for yourself as a fan! I let it get not fun for many years (from 2001 until the lockout), so when hockey went away for a full season I almost didn’t care. That’s not a healthy way to be! Hockey is TOTALLY about the haircuts and the open letters and the enjoying your team. Sure, they’ll be annoying at times, and maybe even maddening, or even, on occasion, they’ll rip your still-beating heart out of your chest so you can watch it bleed out in your lap. But it should still be fun! (I think it must be a lot harder for hockey to remain all fun, all the time when you’re a new fan in the age of the interwebs. When I first got on board with this game, I was like you and wanting to soak up everything I could find about it… but “everything I could find” was basically just “watching lots of hockey on TV and reading the NHL record book from cover to cover”.)

  11. 11 Katebits October 8, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    This weekend I learned that there is definitely such a thing as too much hockey. I know it sounds weird to people who don’t live here, but WGR basically has hockey talk all day long. On Friday they were sort of trying to steer the conversation to football (Monday Night Football is here today), but all anyone wanted to talk about was hockey. It’s nearly irresistible, but for the first time since I started following hockey I decided that I’d had enough this weekend. Even during the free agency mess this summer, I bitched about the tone of the dialog, but I never got mad enough to turn the radio off. This weekend, after the second game I really had to say, “You know what? This is disrupting my ability to enjoy hockey.” Even the people who were taking a more optimistic approach were pissing me off. Why can’t we just let this unfold?! Everyone was just trying to defend their “position”. I had to turn it off.

  12. 12 MikeP October 8, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    I dumped a lot of blogs and stopped reading oilfans and the Hockey’s Future forums about a year ago. I don’t regret the decision. I still read “smart” weblogs (Lowetide is where I look first for new posts, but there’s others), and I like “fun” weblogs (wish I’d found Pookie and Schnookie earlier), but for the most part, that’s it. Oh, I generally avoid comments threads on the “smart” ones too. I wish there was a way to just Not See comments made by particular people.

    This is not to say, of course, that I don’t find you or Interchangeable Parts smart :) – I think staying in touch with what makes hockey what it is can be smarter than arguing over the even strength time of Joe Bloggins ought to be.

    I fell in love with hockey as an 8 year old boy living in Edmonton in 1980; parts of me still are that same boy.

  13. 13 Schnookie October 8, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    I think staying in touch with what makes hockey what it is can be smarter than arguing over the even strength time of Joe Bloggins ought to be.

    I fell in love with hockey as an 8 year old boy living in Edmonton in 1980; parts of me still are that same boy.

    I think you just put it perfectly, MikeP!

  14. 14 Katebits October 8, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    Totally, MikeP! Thanks for your comment! I’m going to try to adopt your discerning blog habits. :D

  15. 16 Sam October 8, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    Not to dismiss your sports-talk-radio-related pain, but I would kill for a sports talk station that talks hockey all day while there’s football going on! Here in the spiritual home of US hockey, KFAN has a grand total of one host who knows anything at all about hockey, and even he would rather obsess over the Vikings defensive line than spend an hour on the Wild. (Honestly, the Vikings cannot move to LA fast enough for me.)

    On the other hand, while I’m not familiar with the concept of “too much hockey,” I am more than familiar with the concept of “too much talk radio.” I find that a few hours of podcast editions of This American Life are a fine salve…

  16. 17 will October 8, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    “I fell in love with hockey as an 8 year old boy living in Edmonton in 1980; parts of me still are that same boy.”

    so many directions one could go with this statement, but i won’t be the one to break THAT ice here in the comments. ;)

    sam, it’s so strange what you said…i work with a guy named sam who also listens to TAL podcasts. although, he absolutely loathes hockey, so that’s where the similarities end.

    but i’m with you, katebits…i haven’t gone near sabrespace since saturday night. after the collective knee-jerk reactions during the playoffs and the entire off-season, i already know what’s going on there without having to read. i’ll check back once this year’s team finally gels and starts climbing back up the standings…for the most part, they’re a lovable bunch.

  17. 18 Katebits October 8, 2007 at 6:52 pm

    Not to dismiss your sports-talk-radio-related pain, but I would kill for a sports talk station that talks hockey all day while there’s football going on!

    Sam, I know! That’s why it’s kind of hard to resist. I mean, I want to listen to hockey talk all day. But resist I must, because those people are crazy, yo. They are crazy and they are very, very WEIRDLY enraged. Hopefully once we win a few, people will chill out, but for now, it’s mass pandemonium. Panic in the streets and on the air waves.

    will, when the team starts gelling we can all meet back here and pat ourselves on the back for being such good, patient fans. (Um, hopefully we’ve already been patient enough and the Sabres will now begin the long journey out of this devastating two game deficit. Heh.)

  18. 19 MikeP October 10, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    will, you’re mean. :( See, you made me make a sadface.

    Thanks for the compliments though. :)


  1. 1 Devils @ Senators 10/08/07 « Interchangeable Parts Trackback on October 8, 2007 at 10:23 pm
  2. 2 Hockey is fun. Let’s keep that in mind. « Penalty Killing Trackback on October 9, 2007 at 12:26 am
  3. 3 Buffalo Bill Fan Appreciation Day « The Willful Caboose Trackback on October 9, 2007 at 8:44 am

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