Heather B Is So Right

Before you read another word of this blog, I insist that you go read this post that Heather B wrote today. Go on. Git.

Did you read it?

Okay, good. I agree with every word of that post.

Heather put into words a lot of things I’ve been trying to say all season. I’ve been feeling “off” about this season almost from game one. I’ve been frustrated by and overly sensitive to the barrage of opinion that I subject myself to via the MSM, blogs, and twitter. I’m experiencing Sabres overload and I’m finding it to be very unpleasant. It’s my own fault that I wandered too far into the deep end of the, “Sabres opinion” pool, but here I am, and damn do I need to get my head above water.

One thing that Heather wrote about the general state of Sabres fandom really jumped out at me. She wrote:

We seem really, really unhappy.

That sentence just cut through me like a knife. We DO seem unhappy. In my opinion, our unhappiness is way out of step with the reality of the situation. The current tone of Sabres fandom is just off.  There is something unhealthy going on here, at least for me.

I feel like I need to make a confession right now: I like these Sabres. I think they’re fun. I find their struggles interesting, and I find their wins every bit as satisfying as I always have. I truly believe the Sabres are a team on the rise. This might not be their year, but their year is coming. I still love Ryan Miller. Not only do I NOT care if he’s a brat in interviews, I LOVE IT WHEN HE’S A BRAT. I enjoy rooting for Ryan Miller. I love Goose, and I don’t care who he did or did not beat up in Boston. I even kind of like Derek Roy. I refuse to give up on Ville Leino, and I’m telling you, he’s going to be a great Sabre.  I’m STILL psyched that Tim Connolly is gone. Tyler Myers and I have had our struggles this season, but now it looks like we’ll have a few weeks apart, and I fully anticipate rediscovering my love in his absence. I LOVE it when Jason Pominville plays well, which he’s been doing all over the place this year. Jhonas Enroth is INFINITELY interesting, and hobbit-like and all-around wonderful. I’ve even developed an appreciation for Brad Boyes, whose pleasant, open face has finally won me over (it doesn’t hurt that he’s shown occasional bursts of snazziness). And then there’s Thomas Vanek. THOMAS VANEK GREW AN ODDLY FOXY BLOND MUSTACHE, YOU GUYS. A mustache.

I don’t want to be the type of fan who can’t see the mustache through the trees. I enjoy enjoying things. I spend a lot of time and money on the Sabres, and I want to maximize my enjoyment. Being so angry about losing to the Devils than you can’t be joyful about an unexpected blond mustache is NO way to live. You can call me a fangirl all you want. I don’t care. I’m readjusting my Sabres-priorities, and I’m putting “Love the shit out of Vanek’s mustache,” at the top of the list.

I’m going to follow Heather’s lead. I’m taking back control of my Sabres experience. I haven’t decided if I’ll follow Heather’s exact rules, but I’m definitely going to go on a dramatic Sabres-media diet.

What does that mean for this blog? Well, probably nothing much. I still intend to blog, only now instead of being mostly uninformed, I’ll be pretty much TOTALLY uninformed. (Let’s face it, I’m way more fun when I don’t know what I’m talking about, anyway.) Also, I’m scheduled to be in the press box for the three home games right after Thanksgiving, so I’ll have a professional (*shifty eyes*) obligation to blog. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make my time in the press box interesting for my readers, and I think, “having no idea what’s going on,” might be the ticket. Heh.

Let’s go Buff-a-lo!

 

16 Responses to “Heather B Is So Right”


  1. 1 CrotchetyOriginalSam November 21, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    As one who has only dipped a baby toe into the Twitterverse, I have to second Heather’s contention that the post-game Twitter barrage makes sports way less fun. It’s actually one of the main reasons that I haven’t taken the full-on Twitter plunge. (That and the fact that I still don’t own a smart phone, which seems to be the ideal way to interact with it.)

  2. 2 Jim November 21, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Message boards, too. Those people are GROUCHY and make fandom just so unbearable. “They’re awful. Lindy and Darcy need to be fired. Trade Miller. Pegula’s too much of a fan.” As I said over at Heather’s place, it just feels part of an overall desperation with Buffalo fans and the whining is too much. Toss in the Bills nosedive and people are really, truly gripping.

    If I wanted the Sabres to roll over everyone, I’d just play NHL 12 on the ol’ PlayStation and do it that way.

  3. 3 Mike November 21, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    It’s expectations. Buffalo fans really think the Sabres are good and that they should beat everyone. Of course it’s theoretically possible. The Sabres can beat everyone in the league. But the flip side of that is that everyone can beat them. With these unrealistic expectations, there’s no joy if they win because, well, they should. There is profound disappointment when they lose because they should win.
    Quite honestly, I think people are getting a little punchy because of the two consecutive first round exits more than anything else. The Sabres haven’t won a playoff series since 2007. We saw a little of this in the early 90s, which is why May Day was so important. Years and years of losing to the Bruins or Canadiens in the first round with no end in sight. Then finally finally, improbably, that changes. The Sabres had a great team that year as well, but they were different than this team. They scored ALL THE TIME. It seemed like whenever LaFontaine and Mogilny were on the ice, they were scoring. It was more exciting than “the system.” Not to criticize Lindy, just making a comparison. But because the Sabres exceeded expectations that year, people were having fun again. I think if the Sabres make it out of the first round, fans will settle down and start to have fun again. That’s actually better than 06-07; Buffalo fans were expecting the Cup that year and nothing short was going to suffice. I feel like expectations are slightly less high this year.

  4. 4 James Weise (@JimBobv2) November 22, 2011 at 9:32 am

    As a Sabres fan who isn’t a Bills fan (I’m a Washington Redskins fan…), it’s always annoyed me that Bills fans and the media seem to give the Bills waaaaay more slack than the Sabres ever get.

    Just look at this season.

    When the Bills were 5-2, everyone seemed to overlook the lack of overall talent on the team, and they were on board.

    The Sabres lead their division and are a few pts out of the Conference lead and people are killing them.

    It doesn’t make sense to me…..

    • 5 Jim November 22, 2011 at 4:59 pm

      Perspective, probably. The Bills have been terrible for so long, the whole thing has felt like a breath of fresh air. After all, Ralph Wilson hasn’t thrown money around and said Super Bowl or bust.

      The Sabres have been there and done that.

      (Like the radio show, by the way.)

      • 6 James Weise November 23, 2011 at 9:34 am

        This isn’t a new thing, though.

        Just look at 2008 when the Bills started off 5-1 and everyone went nuts.

        Or even a few other years where the Bills did nothing in FA and the Sabres looked a lot better on paper and the Bills STILL got more love than the Sabres did from media and the fans in form of crazy season ticket sales.

        I get that Bills games are more of a party/event. But, it’s still annoying when it seems like the Bills are getting a pass and the Sabres get garbage when they are in 1st place in the division.

        [Thanks on liking the show]

        • 7 Jim November 24, 2011 at 11:14 pm

          I agree. It probably just goes back to that argument of ‘is Buffalo a football or hockey town?’ or comparing the NHL to the NFL. Apples to oranges, I guess.

          While it doesn’t make sense here, I’m guessing there aren’t very many markets where the local NHL team has more pressure on it to win from the media than the local NFL team.

  5. 8 trevor November 22, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Is this what happens when chicks watch too much hockey? :)

    I’m not really sure I can relate exactly to what you/HB are talking about because I don’t do twitter and only read TBN w/ frivolity.

    That said, I think Mike has a good point about fans expecting a lot this year – fo good reason, yo – and that they might take wins for granted while still fuming over losses.

    KB, as you’ve mentioned – and I have recently on MY VERY OWN NEW WONDERFUL SABRES BLOG! – it’s EARLY. Standings mean very little. We’re second in the conf but still only TWO points away from 8th.

    But Buf fans are anxious, so I think we can also cut ‘em a little slack too. This team has been hyped and we expect them to win – all in all not a bad thing – so it’s natural that people are gonna get a little antsy when they don’t immediately live up to the hype.

    I don’t have nearly the emotional attachment (none, really) to the players that others have, so while I rolled my eyes when the team failed to react to Lucic’s hit and called it like I saw it, that doesn’t mean a whole lot of other fans weren’t REALLY unhappy with the team starting exactly then.

    Just my two cents.. but I agree, people take sports too seriously (I used to, now I’m too old to care, which I hope makes for a better blog). These guys don’t give S half the time. It’s their JOB, and unless you’re, like, lucky enough to play the viola professionally and shit, most of us probably hate and don’t give a crap about ours 2/3 of the time either.

    That’s just hard to stomach sometimes when you’re a sports fan living vicariously through other people.

  6. 9 Kathee November 22, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    LOVE this idea! Time to look for what we DO like and focus on it. Even if it is a mustache. (which I don’t dig, but whatevs) When we were new fans to the sport, did we gripe about non-calls by the ref? Nope. I remember being amazed that these enormous guys could stay upright on skates AND manage to do anything else. Good for you, Kate and Heather, for wanting a little bit of your innocence back! <3

  7. 10 facefirstintotheboardsSam November 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    “Being so angry about losing to the Devils than you can’t be joyful about an unexpected blond mustache is NO way to live. You can call me a fangirl all you want. I don’t care. I’m readjusting my Sabres-priorities, and I’m putting “Love the shit out of Vanek’s mustache,” at the top of the list.”

    hahahaha I think the mustache is creepy but I love the sentiment behind this.

    media is for dummies and statbits-aholics. Let’s make hockey fun again!

    (I have found that when NHL hockey gets old, a trip to the minors reminds me why the game is awesome and fun… and Rochester is just an hour away!) Also, college hockey (Canisius, Buff State and Niagara all have teams right here in the Buffalo area) is another cure for the hockey blahs. :)

  8. 11 Matt November 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Can I make a request for your posts from the press box? Can you take a picture, but not of the ice? I’d like a pic looking down on the heads of all the people who are NOT in the press box. You never get to see that view…

  9. 13 Mikey B November 22, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I never thought I’d say this, but I think I might actually be *fortunate* to be a non-local Sabres fan. I don’t get inundated with all of the negative rhetoric that seems to be floating around.

    I think I’ve found an interesting zen with sports in general, too. I used to be ecstatic when the Sabres won,and grumpy all night when they lost. Now I’m ecstatic when they win, and when they lose, I just turn the TV off and go do something else for awhile. I have no idea how I found that balance, but I’m glad I did.

    When I was in Buffalo a couple weeks ago and got to see the Philly game, my girlfriend said she felt so bad that they were losing and that it was gonna ruin my first game on Sabres home ice in over 20 years. She felt better when I told her, “We’re in Buffalo, and I’m watching the Sabres play with my girlfriend and my best friend. Nothing that happens on the ice is gonna ruin this.”

    Here’s how I remember that game: Philly scored 3 times and I was sort of stunned, Crunchy got pulled, then the Sabres woke up and played a pretty good game. They made it interesting, scored a couple goals, there was a fight, I had some Labatt and beef on weck. Can’t get that experience in Orlando, folks! I had an absolute blast. (Also I might post about my going to that game every time I post at all. It left an impression!)

    I think somewhere in the last couple years I managed to find a blissful combination of caring about stats, paying attention to individual players details, and getting back the pure blissful fun of being a fan when I was a kid. I don’t know how I got there, but I’m glad I am. I’ve had loads of fun this season!

    Next time you guys are in the F’N Center, have a beef on weck and a Labatt for Mikey, and enjoy the mustaches…because really, being at a game with your friends is WAY more important than 2 points. =)

  10. 14 Katebits November 22, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Mikey B, I canNOT tell you how much this comment means to me. I just erased my Twitter bookmarks and deleted the Twitter apps from my phone. I was just sitting down to write a post about how out of sorts I feel about the game tomorrow, but I think I’m just going to take your advice. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Eve! It’s practically the best day of the year. I WILL have a big beer and a beef on weck for you tomorrow night! And dammit, I’m going to have fun tomorrow, no matter what happens.

  11. 15 cdr November 22, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    I look forward to your uninformed blogging!

    • 16 Mikey B November 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm

      Man, I can almost taste that beef on weck now…

      I’ll be there in spirit, Katebits! After many errands today including washing my Miller jersey, (it has lots of italian greyhound fur all over it, thanks a lot Doozer), I am going to park my butt in front of the TV and tune into Center Ice. I’ll see if I can find the 8th row on the shoot twice side.You should wave, it’ll TOTALLY work. ;)

      Also, WOO Sabres game tonight!


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