Brave New World

I can’t TELL you what a shift in perception I’ve gone through with the Sabres in the last two weeks.  It’s amazing!  Basically, I suddenly have this long term view that I really didn’t have before.  Last week, if the Sabres lost, everything was terrible.  That was the beginning and the end of the story.

But now….it’s different.  It’s partly different because I don’t see any easy way out of the current sucky situation (besides firing Lindy, but I seriously doubt that’s going to actually happen).  I think the best we can hope for is that Darcy gets fired, which I just don’t see translating to much change on the ice, at least not for awhile.  No matter what, this team needs big time change.  I’d LOVE to be wrong about this, but unless something pretty drastic happens in the coaching/management arena, we might be looking at a few years of mediocrity.

Oddly, I’m not that freaked out.

Here’s why:

1. It’s kind of a relief to stop worrying about the dumb old Sabres all the time.  For two years we’ve all been pulling our hair out trying to understand this team.  Why aren’t they winning?  WHAT’S wrong with them?  Blah blah blah blah blahblahblah.

They suck!  That’s what’s wrong with them!  The management is kind of sucky, the coaching is kind of sucky, and the players are kind of sucky.  It’s just suckage, all around.

Am I the only one who feels liberated by this?

Remember back before it became a book and a movie, that episode of Sex in the City when Miranda first learned the concept of “He’s just not that into you” and it really DID make sense?  That’s how this feels.  Like, OOOOOOOh, they’re just sucky.  So, I should stop analyzing every single thing they do, because none of it really matters?  They’re just SUCKY.  Huh.  Well, okay then.

2. At the game on Friday, I started thinking about how it would feel to go to games that weren’t sold out.  What if there was lots of room to spread out, and you could sneak into much better seats than you had paid for?   That….might be TOTALLY AWESOME.  I mean, even if the Sabres really suck, they’re still playing hockey, and there will still be big beers at the game.  I really wouldn’t mind being able to put my jacket on the seat next to me and my feet on the chair in front of me.

3. I might actually be able to get season tickets.

4. The playoffs are just so stressful.  It’s kind of nice to have a whole little second hockey season without the Sabres.

5. Okay, I know that last one was a bit of a cop out.  I DO want the Sabres in the playoffs again.  I do.  Which leads me to my next point, which is that the Sabre WON’T suck forever.  They just won’t.  Maybe this group will find a way to pull it together, or maybe it will be the next generation of Sabres who will stop the suckage, but sooner or later, we’re going to get some relief from this mediocrity.  I promise.  There might not be dozens of Cups in the history of the Sabres, but it’s not wall-to-wall suckage, either.  The day will come when the Sabres don’t suck.

6. And when that day comes, and the Sabres stop sucking, it will be sweeter because of this time we are in right now.  I am a new fan, but I am not a bandwagon fan.  I am earning my stripes right now, and so are you.   Someday, when the Sabres are good again, we can pat ourselves on the backs for being badasses who loved the team even when loving them was difficult.  We are hardcore, and we are awesome.

15 Responses to “Brave New World”


  1. 1 radoran March 23, 2009 at 12:07 am

    “I am a new fan, but I am not a bandwagon fan. I am earning my stripes right now, and so are you. Someday, when the Sabres are good again, we can pat ourselves on the backs for being badasses who loved the team even when loving them was difficult. We are hardcore, and we are awesome.”

    Always good to have serious hockey fans around :-)

    The Sabres don’t entirely SUCK – they have a team concept and play a style that can be successful. They’re just not all that GOOD. A little more depth in the top two lines and a real “puck moving defenseman” would help immensely.

    They also need an identity. As good as Vanek is, he doesn’t come off as the dynamic leader (and I don’t think you can look for it from a guy with a nickname of Pomerdoodle, at least not now). Rivet being out as long as he was also didn’t help – he’s a nice piece that might bring that identity to the team.

    Then you lose Miller down the stretch and have to rely on Lalime and, well, there you go. And, yeah, they could have used a little more effort down the stretch.

    But I’m not sure anyone short of God himself could have gotten this team to the playoffs under these conditions. I don’t think it’s Lindy Ruff’s fault. I do think Darcy Reiger needs to go – it might not be all his fault but ownership certainly isn’t changing…

    Good night and good sports.

  2. 2 Katebits March 23, 2009 at 12:20 am

    I agree, the Sabres don’t entirely suck. I was mostly using “suck” a lot because I think it’s a funny word.

    I have NEVER said it was Lindy’s fault, but it doesn’t seem like he’s been helping matters either. I think my main goal around here might to just get used to people hearing him criticized like a normal person. Just like we criticize the Sabres. It’s OKAY to criticize the coach.

    And, yeah, they could have used a little more effort down the stretch.

    They needed a LOT more effort down the stretch. I think that’s on Lindy.

  3. 3 Caroline March 23, 2009 at 1:12 am

    And when that day comes, and the Sabres stop sucking, it will be sweeter because of this time we are in right now.

    I always think this. Whenever the Sabres are playing really poorly (like that terrible 10-game losing streak last season, and um…right now), I sit back and say to myself, “One day, I’ll be able to look back on this and laugh.” So right now I just have to tough it out and keep on keepin’ on.

    God, I’m such a trooper.

  4. 4 Juan Torres March 23, 2009 at 5:38 am

    Sadly, with this ownership winning championships is not the focus.Selling those seats and merchandise is more Tom Golisano’ speed and pleasure.Do just enough to keep the fannies in the seats but not enough to win the big enchilada, or in this instance the “Stanley Cup.”

  5. 5 Katebits March 23, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Do just enough to keep the fannies in the seats but not enough to win the big enchilada, or in this instance the “Stanley Cup.”

    I’m not sure I entirely agree with this. Yes, it might be true to some extent, but when they thought they had a chance to win it all in 06-07, the team was maxed out all the way to the cap. They might not be GOOD at winning the big enchilada, but we have to give them credit for genuinely trying as recently as two years ago. (And as long as we’re talking about 06-07, let’s not forget, that team fell short because of laziness, lack of focus, a TERRIBLE power play, lack of effort, and all around suckiness in the playoffs. I’d be comfortable pinning that on some combination of sucky management/coaching/players, but I think ownership should probably get a pass there.) But I do agree with what you are saying to some extent Juan. I think ownership’s repeated public declarations that Darcy and Lindy Ruff’s jobs are essentially untouchable has had an effect throughout the organization. There is not a philosophy of accountability within the Sabres organization on any level.

  6. 6 Grrrreg March 23, 2009 at 9:03 am

    am not a bandwagon fan. I am earning my stripes right now, and so are you. Someday, when the Sabres are good again, we can pat ourselves on the backs for being badasses who loved the team even when loving them was difficult. We are hardcore, and we are awesome.

    Ahahah, I love this! That’s the right attitude, and I like to think that way too! But beware, it’s a fine line between being a badass fan ready to suffer through some bad seasons, and turning into a fan of a perpetually losing franchise. Yeah I’m looking at you leafs fans. :P

  7. 7 Schnookie March 23, 2009 at 9:05 am

    At the game on Friday, I started thinking about how it would feel to go to games that weren’t sold out.

    People laugh at how crappy the Devils fanbase is, but we get the last laugh — there’s ALWAYS room for a heavy winter coat on a seat next to us! Going to games where you have room to spread out is a wonderful thing! :P

  8. 8 piece_of_etc March 23, 2009 at 9:42 am

    let me tell you, as a sox fan and as a celtics fan, the more/longer you lose, the more fun the winning..it sounds obvious and corny, but it’s actually transcendental. One of the best things about sports in general, the learning to be ok with/love losing, it’s all about the game, playing it and watching it/cheering it. That concept, it’s not cherished enough in today’s world.

    CLINCHED THE NE THOUGH BEEYOTCHES

  9. 9 Jonathan March 23, 2009 at 9:58 am

    I have been waiting for them to be sucky and disinteresting. You know before the lockout when, Marty Biron could have killed someone and no one would have known who he was. That way I can get cheap tickets on ebay.

    When they suck you can laugh at them. If you know they are bad, its comical.

    And I am totally for the open seating thing. Its great at Bisons games. When its nice out, its like going to the beach, but you know with a baseball game in front of you.

  10. 10 Phil March 23, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Katebits…LET’S GO BANDITS!

    I know we’ve talked lax in the past – don’t forget our B’s are killing with an 8-3 record and are tops in most major categories.

    They’re at home this weekend against the Titans, who they’ve got bad blood with after last year’s playoff game (a Titan left a penalty box to try and clobber a Bandit again and struck a ref).

  11. 11 elise March 23, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    oh dear, piece of etc….

    kate, i think you have an amazing world view.

  12. 12 CrotchetyOriginalSam March 23, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    I started thinking about how it would feel to go to games that weren’t sold out.

    The Ookies’ bizarr-o-world Devil fan perspective notwithstanding, it sucks. Really, really sucks. Because in today’s pro sports world, even the “sold out” games almost always have empty seats, because of all the soulless corporate morons who buy suites and banks of tickets and then use them less than 50% of the time. So when you’re not sold out, you’re really not sold out, and the atmosphere gets stale, and people don’t cheer as loud, and you miss out on those fun chances to fall into conversation with the drunken fan next to you who’s been coming to all the games since the Carter administration and still wishes they’d go back to calling it the Norris Division…

    …it sucks. That’s all I’m saying. I’ve been there. You don’t want to be.

  13. 13 Amy March 23, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    They suck! That’s what’s wrong with them! The management is kind of sucky, the coaching is kind of sucky, and the players are kind of sucky. It’s just suckage, all around.

    Hee! We just need the Sabres store to start selling “Embrace the Suck” t-shirts.

    I am totally for the open seating thing. Its great at Bisons games.

    Sometimes, the open seating is nice. Other times, it’s downright sad that the Bisons can’t draw enough to fill a stadium on a gorgeous summer night.

  14. 14 Becky March 23, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    There’s lots of by 1 get 2 half price deals when the Sabres suck (maybe because I had little SabreKids then). Plus stores (Delta Sonic anyway)have raffles trying to give tickets away that no one enters, so you have a better chance of winning seats in the rafters (they weren’t quite that desperate yet).

  15. 15 Katebits March 24, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Sam, I think you have missed the point of this post, which is “turn that frown upside down, Sabres fans.” There are obvious downsides to a half empty arena. All I’m saying is having a clean place to put my coat and my purse wouldn’t be half bad.

    piece_of_etc, you’re such an old softie. :)

    Phil, it was at this time last year that the Bandits stole my heart. Unfortunately my schedule is really awful with the lacrosse schedule. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch another game before the end of the season.


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