Making Peace With the Slug

Sunday night after the game I couldn’t resist, and I bought this sweatshirt in the Sabres shop.  I’ve been wearing it all day long, and with every passing hour my love for my new zip-up hoodie deepens.  You know how some stuff just grows on you until you suddenly can’t believe you ever considered your life full and happy without it?  That’s how it’s been with this sweatshirt today.

In the year and a half since I became a Sabres fan, I have purchased almost no Sabres gear.  I don’t naturally gravitate towards logo-ed apparel*, and jerseys just don’t light my fire, so resisting the call of Sabres merchandise has been quite easy.  (Please don’t misunderstand me. I think YOU look extremely foxy in your Sabres jersey.  Extremely foxy.  I just don’t like wearing them myself.)  Add all that to the fact that the Sabres logo is a weird little yellow smear, and I just haven’t been inclined to buy Sabres stuff.

This sweatshirt is the first Sabres item that made me think, “I really HAVE to have that.”  Shockingly, my favorite feature of the sweatshirt is the little slug on the upper left arm.  Part of my problem with the Sabres jersey (on me) is that I hate having a gargantuan slug galloping across my boobs, but in a smaller size on my arm, I find him quite charming!  I don’t know why I never noticed him before.  It’s like I suddenly woke up and realized I’m in love with my best friend.

newsabres

He’s been here all along.

Listen, I’ll be as glad as the next Sabres fan when the organization phases out the slug and returns to the glorious vintage jerseys, but I do have some affection for the slug.  Sure, he’s homely, but he represents one of my favorite things in the world, and that makes me almost kind of like him.  At the game on Sunday I was trying to explain my non-hatred of the slug to Heather and she said, “Well, that makes sense.  You’re a slug-era fan,” and it’s true, I really am.  To me the slug represents the giddy joy of discovering hockey.  People are speculating that the new third jersey is the beginning of the end of the slug, and so I’m going to try to enjoy the little fella while I can.

*I honestly don’t think there is a sweatshirt in the world that could have convinced me to buy something adorned with the old goat head logo.  That guy was hideous.

23 Responses to “Making Peace With the Slug”


  1. 1 Heather B. September 30, 2008 at 7:16 am

    I was trying to explain my non-hatred of the slug to Heather and she said, “Well, that makes sense. You’re a slug-era fan,” and it’s true, I really am.

    On further review, that makes me a goat-head era fan and you don’t see me wearing that ugly thing around town :P And slug-era fan or no, there’s no excuse for the sparkly slug. Thank god I didn’t have to talk you out of that one!

    (Still, slug or no, that hoodie was totally adorable on you. I’m sure the players will be thrilled to see you wearing it next week.)

  2. 2 karen September 30, 2008 at 8:43 am

    I can get behind the slug (although I can’t quite embrace him), if only because he brought back my beloved Blue & Gold. Red and black? What was up with that? I did buy Chris a slug jersey (home) last year and I’m here to tell you he *is* foxy in it!

  3. 3 Pookie September 30, 2008 at 10:11 am

    That sweatshirt is SO CUTE! I’m soopy green jelly.

    What I like about the slug is that it’s tipped just a hair too far forward, so it looks a little like the slug was going to headbutt another bison, but them stumbled over his front feet. A clumsy, furry buffalslug is a pretty unique logo, and that’s pretty cool.

  4. 4 NoththeOriginalSam September 30, 2008 at 10:32 am

    I dig the sweatshirt! I’m not really a slug fan but I do own a jersey- I have a weakness for hockey jerseys.

  5. 5 Matt September 30, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    The best thing I can say about the slug is that it’s not the goat-head. That was an abomination of which I have only 1 good memory… seeing Stu Barnes score the game OT winner. (linkage). Otherwise, Black and Red was a poor decision across the board.

    Oh, and I always thought the best part of logo merch was watching the slug prance across your boobs. Just saying.

  6. 6 Amy September 30, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Kate, that hoodie is adorable. It looks really warm and toasty.

    Otherwise, Black and Red was a poor decision across the board.

    I think it tried too hard to link the team with HSBC and Adelphia.

    But as bad as the goat head was, it still wasn’t as bad as the crossed butterknives that were the third logo at the time.

  7. 7 Matt September 30, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    :^::::::::::::::::

    Oh man, nothing says “We’re gonna kick your a$$!!!” better than flatware.

  8. 8 JB September 30, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Congrats on your purchase!

  9. 9 Erin September 30, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    I’m prepared to take the stones that will be thrown at me when I say this so here is goes: i think the slug is more graphically sophisticated than the vintage logo. So there. I can’t even talk about that goat head thing, I just turn my back on that. But the slug is more a complete logo than the old vintage circle. There are too many elements that are strangley sized in and around that circle. I think the new redesign of the vintage logo is an improvment. It seems like they’ve filled out the sabres and the skinny legs of the buffalo so that they fill the field of the circle better.

    I think it goes without saying that I am Slug era fan. I’m reading to take my whipping.

  10. 10 Katebits September 30, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Oh, and I always thought the best part of logo merch was watching the slug prance across your boobs. Just saying.

    Well, obvi. :P I’ve got no problem with the little slugs prancing coquettishly about, it’s those HUGE slugs GALLOPING across the jerseys that do no favors to any boobs.

    Thanks for liking the sweatshirt everyone!

    If anyone has a link to the goat-head era third jerseys, now you’ve got me all curious. A cursory Google search has yielded nothing.

    Erin, I actually agree with you that as a stand alone logo the slug is more balanced than the vintage buffalo….but he’s also a goofy looking cartoon character. The old logo conveys a very dignified sense of history- combine that with the fact that it’s attached to a much MUCH more attractive uniform, and I strongly prefer the vintage look.

  11. 11 Amy September 30, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    If anyone has a link to the goat-head era third jerseys, now you’ve got me all curious. A cursory Google search has yielded nothing.

    I can’t get the link to the image, but search “buffalo sabres third jersey” in Google Images. It should be one of the first couple that comes up.

  12. 12 Katebits September 30, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Hee. I was being too specific with my search. Thanks Amy. Yeah, that thing is hideous.

  13. 13 Matt September 30, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    But the slug is more a complete logo than the old vintage circle. There are too many elements that are strangley sized in and around that circle.

    But that’s a big part of why I prefer the vintage logo. It doesn’t look like a big fancy corporation is trying to pass of a slick, half-assed product on me. Hockey should not feel like buying a bottle of Coke. The new logo looks way too much like every other animal-based logo out there… head and shoulders, facing right, with a swooping curve thing going on. The old logo was no-nonsense. We are Sabres, so here **rubber stamp** are some sabres. We’re from Buffalo, so **rubber stamp** here’s a buffalo. It’s a perfectly simple and endearing design that doesn’t carry the fetid stench of PR companies and focus groups.

    Third jersey linkage here. Sportslogos.net is awesome for…well… sports logos.

  14. 14 Matt September 30, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Oh no, did my comment get caught in your spam filter?

  15. 15 Matt September 30, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Sure looks like it did. I promise it wasn’t an ad! It was insightful and witty! (That’s a lie, btw).

  16. 16 Katebits September 30, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Your comment is now FREE from the filter! (and excellent) I agree that the there is something very corporate about the slug.

  17. 17 mcguffers September 30, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    I was being too specific with my search

    I’m picturing your google search bar with “intimidating flatware” or “goats and butterknives”

    My biggest beef with the goat was the color choice. Blue and gold were my high school colors, so I always felt a bond with the Sabres. Red was the color of the enemy.

  18. 18 Matt September 30, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Red was the color of the enemy.

    It used to drive me nuts that the Sabres jumped on the dark color bandwagon that was driving through pro sports at that time. I understand that black is supposed to be mean and intimidating, but aren’t the Sabres the good guys? Didn’t we always think of them as the lovable underdogs and not some faceless hockey juggernaut bent on world domination?

  19. 19 Shari September 30, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    I was never a big fan of slug but I suppose he’s better than Blobby for you. I personally like bad boy goat head. But that’s jut me!

  20. 20 JBo October 1, 2008 at 1:52 am

    Okay so I’m in love with that website you gave me and I totally bookmarked it for much use in the future. BTW – you’re going to the season opener, and my friend Kristina and I would love to meet you – is that possible? Let me know!

  21. 21 Charlie October 21, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    I must admit, I am on the extreme polar opposite and say with supreme confidence that I will never like that logo. However, I totally repsect your reasons for your slug purchase. Nice read, what is your opinion on the new third jerseys?

    http://sabresnotslugs.blogspot.com/2008/09/i-felt-compelled-to-vandalize-my-mid.html

  22. 22 Katebits October 21, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Hey Charlie! Sorry you got trapped in the spam filter there. ( i don’t know why but WordPress has been really aggressive about filtering everything out lately. BOO!)

    I LOVE the new third jersey (except for the piping). Please don’t misunderstand. While I have some affection for the little slug, I much MUCH prefer the vintage logo.


  1. 1 4 Things « The Willful Caboose Trackback on December 1, 2008 at 4:15 pm

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In accordance with the Fair Use Copyright Law, The Willful Caboose uses logos and registered trademarks of the National Hockey League to convey my criticism and inform the public of the Sabres' suckitude/badassitude (whatever the case may be). Photos on The Willful Caboose are used without permission, but do not interfere with said owner's profit. If you own a specific image on this site and want it removed, please e-mail me (willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com) and I will be more than happy willing to oblige. (Special thanks to The Pensblog for their help with this disclaimer.)

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