That game was wonderful. Pure, cathartic joy.
Let’s Go Buff-a-lo!
That game was wonderful. Pure, cathartic joy.
Let’s Go Buff-a-lo!
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.
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.
Okay, I’m going to interrupt our regularly scheduled Sabres hand wringing to remind you that the the UB Bulls are playing in the MAC Championship tonight. (That’s a football championship, just in case you’re not sure. I, um, might have had to look that up. Maybe.) As the Sabres sink further and further into the smelly abyss, I’m realizing that more than being a Sabres fan, I’m a Buffalo fan. It turns out the Bulls football team is the best thing we’ve got going on around here, and they’re our best opportunity to jump around with joy in the name of our fair city. I’m in.
In other news, The Willful Caboose has recently joined the ranks of the WNYMedia sports blogs. All that my new (super-foxy) title means is that TWC is now on the WNYMedia blog feed and I get to rub blogging elbows with the likes of BfloBlog, USRT, and The Goose’s Roost. I know. I’m so fancy! Over the last few months I’ve gotten in the habit of checking in over on the WNYMedia main page as part of my blog rounds, and I really respect and admire the work that they do on behalf of WNY. I’m honored to be even peripherally associated with these guys.
Tonight, Peter along with Jon Splett will be reporting live from the MAC championship in Detroit. There will be a multi-live-blog extravaganza that you can participate in by visiting WNYMedia, BfloBlog, Goose’s Roost, or Buffalo Pundit during the game. Using the “Cover it Live” software, the same live blog will be updated and presented on several blogs SIMULTANEOUSLY. It’s a marvel of modern technology, folks. I encourage everyone who is watching the UB game within reach of their computer to chickitty-check it out!
(And please let me know about how you feel about this new fangled clicky, scrolly liveblog technology. There has been some talk of using it for a more Sabres oriented gamechat, and I’d like to know how you’d feel about it showing up on TWC someday.)
Huh. I can honestly tell you I didn’t see that game coming. I did not expect the Sabres to play a decent defensive game and get shutout by Marty Biron. When I got home last night I was too tired and cranky to write about the game, but I woke up this morning feeling rejuvenated. Here’s what I was thinking about in the dawn of a new day:
Until last night I had never had a beer at HSBC arena. It’s weird that I never drink at the arena because I have absolutely no objection to drinking, in fact I do it frequently. I attribute my non-drinkyness to a few things (not the least of which is that I’m not much of a beer drinker these days), but I think the number one reason I wasn’t drinking was it just seemed like too much of a hassle. When you don’t eat or drink at games, you’re all settled in for the evening once you get to your seats. Drinking involves dealing with crowds in the concourse, lines at the concession stand, and of course, peeing. Oh, the peeing!
I’ve already been to five games this season, and I’m getting really good at maneuvering around in my little portion of the 300 level concourse. I’ve learned that if I bolt out at the end of a period I can hit the bathroom, hit a concession stand, swing by to wave hello to Anne (and buy some cotton candy from her if I feel so inclined), and still have PLENTY of time to be back in my seat to see the majority of a weirdo interview with Maria Genero and Paul Gaustad on the jumbotron. (Seriously, what was that all about? I couldn’t hear the audio on the clip on the jumbotron. All I gathered from the feature is that Goose went fishing at some point and that, judging from the body language, he and Maria might very well be in love. That was a LOT of bashful giggling. Not that I’m complaining.)
My point here is this: I was totally wrong to not drink beer. Beer helps. A lot. I’m never not drinking beer at a hockey game again.
(Maybe at some point I will investigate those gigantic beers that they pour out of bottles, but maybe not. What’s up with those? Why can’t they pour a gigantic draft at the concession stand? My inclination is to assume draft beer is colder and more delicious, but ENORMOUS beers have their attributes as well. Please advise, dear readers.)
2. The Crowd
The crowd was terrible. I’m not judging, because I was a part of the crowd and Buffalo sports fans have had a real rough week, but MAN, the crowd was flat. I’ve never been to such a subdued game. Granted, the action was very, veeeeery slow, but still. The crowd was skeptical, belligerent, and cranky from beginning to end. As you know, I am PRO booing. I like to boo, and I don’t care who knows it, but…..I’m not a fan of booing just because you have no particular reason to cheer. If I had my say, we’d save our nonsensical booing for the opposition (like Chara! BOOOOOO!), but I fully recognize the crowd is gonna boo when they’re gonna boo. That’s just how it goes.
Our section did have one nice crowd moment: In the third period when it was 2-0 and the arena seemed library-level quiet, a guy about five rows back from us screamed out in a very clear, loud voice, “WE WANT MAX!” He yelled it at just the right time and it seemed to boom over the entire arena. There was lots of giggling in response. Then, a guy in front of us yelled, “I TOTALLY DISAGREE!” And I then I yelled, “ME TOO!” And someone else yelled “ME THREE!” I’m sorry to say that this exchange might have been the highlight of the evening. I like the idea of an orderly discussion occurring in the middle of the game. I was tempted to shout, “I’M CONCERNED THAT LINDY’S THREATENING INSISTENCE ON DEFENSIVE PLAY IS BACKFIRING! THE SABRES SEEM AFRAID OF MAKING MISTAKES. THEY ARE NOT PLAYING AGGRESSIVE OFFENSE!,” just to see if some else would shout, “SOLID DEFENSIVE PLAY LEADS TO OFFENSIVE OPPORTUNITIES! THEY JUST HAVE TO STICK TO THE SYSTEM AND BURY THEIR CHANCES. THE GOALS WILL COME!”
3. The Sabres aren’t that bad, but they’re also not that good.
If the Bruins game was when I lost all perspective, last night’s game was when I got it back. Listen, it’s still early in the season. There is LOTS of Brahms hockey left to be played. After the Bruins game I reached a level of unhappiness with the Sabres and sports in general that crossed a line I have drawn for myself. There is only so much angst I am willing to tolerate in the name of sports. It’s a long season, with a lot more annoying-ness yet to come, so I realized I need to dial it down a bit if I am going to survive with my sanity intact.
These Sabres are just not dominant and we need to stop expecting them to be dominant. They have lots of potential to dramatically improve, so I guess we just hope for the best. They tricked us by coming out of the gate so strong, but it’s time to accept that those first six games were a bit of an anomaly.
4. Thank GOD I have to work tonight.
I love my job, but it’s a drag that it so frequently conflicts with the Sabres schedule. Usually I’m sorry to miss the Saturday games, but not tonight. I need a break. To make matter even better, we’re playing a REALLY cool concert at the BPO this weekend. The concert involves a lot of great music, but there is also some truly dazzling acrobatics that will steal the spotlight. We’re playing a full concert with the acrobats tonight, and then a truncated version tomorrow afternoon as part of our Family Series. I can’t get comp tickets for tonight, but if you are interested in coming to the show (for free) tomorrow afternoon, shoot me an email. I have four tickets set aside for anyone who would like to use them. I can’t imagine anyone not liking this show, and I think kids will LOVE it. Our family shows are usually about an hour long, without intermission. Yes, it conflicts with the Bills game.
Another super neat thing going on in Buffalo this weekend is the opening of the Burchfield-Penney Art Center. In the middle of a terrible economy, in an already economically depressed community, Buffalonians managed to get a brand new, state-of-the art, museum built. This is an accomplishment that really really needs to be celebrated. The museum is opening today, AND it’s going to be open ALL NIGHT. That means, that you can go out, do whatever, and check out the museum at FOUR IN THE MORNING AFTER YOU GO TO JIM’S FOR A CHICKEN FINGER SUB! I’m SO there. I really encourage everyone to check out the Burchfield-Penney Art Center tonight.
I love Buffalo sports, but sports are not all we’ve got around here. When sports are getting you down, try something else!
Let’s Go Buff-a-lo!
I’m doing a little happy dance of hockey right now. Join me!
tra laa la tiptaptap, sashay sashay, shuffleshuffle tralalallalalalaaaaa!
Tiptap tippity taptaptaptaptaptap
Maybe it’s the conclusion of the Olympics, or the fact that September is now within sight, or maybe it’s because last night I had a dream in which Toni Lydman and I were watching football and debating the merits of popsicles versus fudgesicles, but I woke up this morning with the sudden realization that it’s time to start getting excited about hockey.
I know it’s a bit early to get all wound up, but I can’t help it anymore. I don’t care if my early enthusiasm winds up biting me in the ass when I find myself ravenous for hockey with WEEKS left to go. I don’t care! I’m feeling excited and happy for hockey! There is a distinct feeling of Fall in the air! I refuse to see reason!
HOCKEY IS COMING BACK!
I’ve been on the fence, but I think I’m going to do Kate’s Favorite Sabre again. KFS will get me back into the habit of thinking about hockey and making fun of the Sabres. With all this blogging about the Olympics and woolen eggs I’m feeling a bit rusty on the hockey front. Do I still have what it takes to carefully rank the Sabres based on a ridiculous and ever shifting list of criteria that has little or nothing to do with hockey? I don’t know! I guess we’ll find out. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read the entire KFS series from last year here.)
I’ll wile away the next month on TWC whimsically ranking the Sabres for Kate’s Favorite Sabre Competion Part II, and then before we know it, training camp will be upon us and it’s all down hill after that. Soon we’ll have a wonderful, unblemished, hopeful, fresh, agonizing, shiny new, hilarious, infuriating, looong, fantabulous, FULL season of Sabres hockey stretched out before us! WOOOOOOOOOO!!!
HOCKEY IS COMING BACK!!!
beep beep beepbeepbeep!