It’s Tom Golisano Appreciation Day!

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.

It’s science!

________

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.

9 Responses to “It’s Tom Golisano Appreciation Day!”


  1. 1 Matt Hames January 31, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Exactly right.

    We needed him, he came through, we didn’t win with him, but it was a fun ride. On his way out the door, he’ll make some money.

    Win/win?

    Because now we can get an owner who cares about winning (hopefully). Among other obvious factors that come with an owner who (hopefully) cares about winning is this minor point: it is one more thing to throw in the faces of Leaf fans who are owned by a pension fun that really doesn’t care about winning.

    Nice post.

  2. 2 Kathleen January 31, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Thank you for writing this. Everytime TG gets indiscriminately blasted I want to remind people that in the dark days, he was the right guy at the right time. Perfect? No. But when we needed him most he was the guy on the spot, and that should be the first thing anyone associates with his tenure as owner. But pointing out how Golisano was our cathartic, transition guy is just brilliant. I like how you always remind us that our feelings and experiences shouldn’t be compartmentalized into sportsfan/private individual/community/ categories – it’s all the same emotional stew, regardless.

    I WISH you’d put Rebound into action (or as I see it in my head, Rebound! to punctuate purposeful optimism). When my heart was broken, I didn’t have a rebound(s) so much as a scorched earth campaign. Yikes.

  3. 3 Katebits February 1, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Thanks for your comments, guys!

    Kathleen, I love the idea of “emotional stew”. It’s interesting to see my writing described the way you described it. I’ve actually never really thought of it that way (but I like it), so thanks!

  4. 4 matt February 1, 2011 at 11:13 am

    that was retarded

  5. 5 CDR February 1, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Interesting perspective, matt. You’ve certainly elevated the level of conversation around here.

    Kate, this is a great analogy and it totally works. I see you’ve already disavowed it in your new post, but I suspect that might just be an initial reaction and you will eventually come back around to this view of the situation (or not).

  6. 6 Katebits February 1, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    I’m not reversing my position on BTG, but I am getting increasingly eager to be rid of him.

  7. 7 ende February 3, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Tom Golisano will always be remembered as the man who saved the Buffalo Sabres. Thanks Tom, and best of luck to you in the future!

  8. 8 Danial July 26, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and
    I ended up losing several weeks of hard work due to no
    data backup. Do you have any solutions to protect against hackers?


  1. 1 Pegula, Vanek, and Golisano | Shutdown Pair Trackback on February 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm

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