When gleefully entering into a new relationship it’s easy to get caught up the new romance. Terry Pegula is currently overwhelming Sabres fans with tales of his mighty bank account and (alleged) enthusiasm for our beloved team. We’re flush with excitement and trembling with anticipation. Instead of listening during math class, we’re all drawing little heart on our Trapper Keepers, and in those hearts we dreamily spell T-E-R-R-Y.
But to allow ourselves to drift unconsciously into a new affair would be a mistake. It’s important to look back at where we’ve been so that we can honor the past, learn from our mistakes, and ultimately live happier, and more winning lives.
It’s Tom Golisano Appreciation Day! *tosses confetti and blows a kazoo*
Many years ago, while nursing a broken heart (a real one, not a hockey one), I had a brilliant idea to start a dating service called….wait for it….Rebound. The way it would work is this: The broken-hearted fill out a form, detailing how and why their previous relationship failed, and then my team of experts matches that person with an emotionally safe “rebound” relationship. Rebound strives to match people who are in complimentary stages of a break-up.
The underlying premise of Rebound is that rebound relationships are almost always temporary and that the absolute BEST cure for broken-heartedness is to just suffer through it (albeit with the help of lots of mopey music and red wine). But the trouble with a broken heart is that you’re always lonely, and loneliness makes you reach out to inappropriate people. Rebound relationships can be fun, but they can also just make everything messier and create more and MORE broken hearts as innocent bystanders are sucked into the I-need-someone-but-I’m-not-ready-for-anything-real vortex. Loneliness combined with emotional instability can cause all SORTS of problems (I’m pretty sure it’s the reason Rome fell, actually).
This is where Rebound steps in. We’ll hook you up with the person who will leave the LEAST amount of emotional damage while also providing the minimum amount of companionship required to survive the broken heart.
When Tom Golisano showed up on the scene the Sabres were a pathetic mess. Paychecks were bouncing, people were being hauled off to jail, and Gary Bettman (Gary Bettman!) had to take over in order to save the Sabres from themselves. For a while things were so bad that the Sabres were talking about moving to another city (any city) to escape the pain that John Rigas left behind.
And then, just when the Sabres were hitting rock bottom (they were listening to “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia on an endless loop while crying into their boxed wine and posting morose song lyrics to their Facebook page), Tom Golisano showed up.
While the Sabres were with Golisano, everything stabilized. The Sabres got good, everyone stopped talking about moving away from Buffalo, and as a city we remembered how to love (hockey) again. Golisano was a rock. He was there for us. We trusted him not to screw us over by moving the Sabres away, which is a level of emotional stability we desperately needed. Tom Golisano made hockey cheaper and more fun. And, in spite of his shortcomings, he really did do the best he could with the team. People called him cheap, but that was never really true. He wasn’t cheap, he just never felt passionately about winning hockey games. There’s a difference.
Sure, there were problems. His friends kind of suck (we certainly won’t miss having Larry Quinn lounging around the house), and as the relationship wore on, Golisano got increasingly distant. Tom got all wrapped up in politics in a really annoying way, and at one point he made a big stupid show out of “moving to Florida and taking my tax dollars with me!” Inevitably, things had to end, as we always knew they would, and ultimately we’re both ready to move on.
After the Rigas fiasco, we were not ready for Terry Pegula. We needed time to re-discover that hockey is fun, and that we like going to the arena, and that even though we think Darcy and Lindy are mega-awesome we don’t necessarily have to keep them forever. We needed room to make some mistakes (oopsies! Sorry we severely undervalued you, Daniel Briere!), and learn from those mistakes (just because we blew it on Briere does NOT mean we should overcompensate by signing Drew Stafford like we did with Tim Connolly). We’re older and wiser now. We’re ready for the real thing.
That’s the beauty of a good rebound relationship- both parties are leaving the relationship happier and healthier than when we first got together. Tom Golisano has more money, and we have a stable hockey team that will never ever move to Kansas City, Las Vegas, or Hamilton. But even better than stability, we, as a franchise and as a city are ready to embrace the man who might ultimately prove to be the love of our lives, Terry Pegula.
It’s Tom Golisano Appreciation Day!
Tom, we wish you well. We hope you find all the love and happiness you deserve down in Florida. Thanks for showing up and buying the team at just the right time, but even more than that, thanks for selling the team. Thank you for agreeing that it’s time we both move on. We are a better franchise for having loved you.
P.S.- Good luck with Monica Seles. She’s way too young for you and frankly, we’re prettier.