Archive for the 'Bloggin’ From the Arena' Category

The Press Box: Part One

As most of you are probably aware, this season the Sabres decided to open up the press box to bloggers. (I know. Their funeral.) I’ve decided to take them up on their offer, and tonight will be the first of three home games in a row that I’ll be spending in the press box. I’m basically doing a press box mini-residency this week.

Now, I’m no journalist. In fact, if I had to define my blog by one thing, I might define it by my complete LACK of journalistic standards. I answer to no one, and I say dumb/inaccurate/fanciful/obnoxious thing preeeeetty much every day. When I was deciding whether or not to apply for the press pass, I asked myself, “Self, can you sit in the press box like a grown up? Can you observe the no cheering in the press box rule? Can you guarantee, no matter how boring the game might be, that you will absolutely NOT throw things at Mike Harrington and/or Bill Hoppe?”

The answer to these questions was a resounding, “Um…. probably.”

So, here I am!

This seems like an adequate perch from which to throw myself if the game is truly horrible.

This should be interesting. My plan for the evening is to do what we in the blogging business refer to as, “winging it.” I have no plan. I’m just going to attempt to write like myself and try not to burn the press box down. I figure even if this evening is a total disaster, at the very least, I’ll be able to cross, “Sit in the arena at a desk and watch hockey,” off the Bucket List. This really is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m very grateful to the Sabres for the opportunity.

I’ll have a few things working against me tonight:

  • I’ve never heard of, nor do I recognize at least half the Sabres on the roster. And let’s be honest: No matter how many free press box cookies the Sabres provide, it will never be enough cookies to motivate me to learn how to spell, “Szczhurzhcszhura.”
  • My computer is old and decrepit and it might get press box performance anxiety and refuse to stay connected to the interwebs. If that happens, I’ll do my best to blog from the phone, or I might just give up and watch the game like a normal civilian (albeit without the outwardly visible rage and/or joy).
  • I have a terrrrrrrrible poker face. I’m very curious to see if I can maintain my steely exterior in the immediate aftermath of a Sabres goal. I mean, what if one of the itty-bitty baby Sabres scores a goal? HOW CAN I BE EXPECTED NOT TO SMILE IF SOME CUTE LIL’ SABRE GETS HIS FIRST EVER NHL GOAL? I’ve been practicing looking bored in the mirror all week, but I think there is reason to be concerned.
  • The Sabres game last night can only be described as, “spectacularly poopy” (“spectacularly poopy” is a totally journalist-y expression, FYI. They use it all the time at The Buffalo News), and due to a ridiculous list of injuries, tonight’s game has the potential to be EXPONENTIALLY WORSE. If the game tonight is anything even remotely approaching the poopiness of last night, it’s going to be extremely difficult to find ways to describe it without repetitive swearing in all-caps.

Assuming my computer holds up, check in here tonight for all your totally-useless-information need.

Let’s Go Buff-a-lo! (Uh-oh. Does that count as cheering from the press box? I didn’t say it out loud, and my face remained passive the entire time I was typing it. I need a ruling.)

Pregame

HOLY MOTHER OF LINDY RUFF. IT IS FREAKING FREEZING UP HERE.

Mike Harrington says I should blame this vent for my current debilitating coldness.

I don't like you, vent.

I already saw Rick Jeanneret and I managed not to squeal like a school girl. So far I’m being very professional.

As some sort of perverted, sick joke on the press (good work, Sabres) the Sabres have provided an ice chest full of delectable ice cream treats, which no one in their right mind would eat because it's -45 degrees in here.

I’ve been sitting here a good half hour now, and I don’t think I’ve ever been in the arena this early. I usually don’t even leave my house until 25 minutes before puck drop, so this is all very exciting and new. Did you know the teams stretch their groins and then skate around in circles, shooting pucks at an empty net before the game starts? I sure didn’t.

(Just kidding. I totally knew that.)

Here are some team-provided statbits which I should probably pretend to read. For appearances.

Here's a picture of the press box row. Waaaay down on the end is Mike Harrington and Bill Hoppe pretending they don't notice me taking their picture.

According to Twitter, Drew Stafford is the mysterious injured forward. On one hand… bummer. But on the other hand, at least it’s not Vanek or Pominville. Amiright?

I really can’t believe how many Sabres there are here who I don’t know by number. And just as an aside, the name “Szczechura” reminds me of grilled meat. Is there a “Szczechura region” of China known for their delicious, meaty cuisine?

1st Period

7:08 Huh. Sabres look great on their 1st power play but fail to convert. Don’t the Caps realize they’re playing an AHL team? Sssh. Nobody mention it. Maybe they won’t notice!

There’s a guy wearing a Briere Flyers t-shirt right beneath the press box. I might throw some free press box popcorn at him.

7:17 I’m seriously considering stealing some hotdogs out of the hotdog warmer and putting them in my pockets for warmth.

7:26pm I really didn’t think it would be this tricky to figure the game out, but I have no idea who any of these Sabres are. If I didn’t have the line-up right in front of me, I’d be sunk.

7:27pm (1-0, Sabres) HAHAHAHAHA! Luke Adam just scored and I literally raised my arms INVOLUNTARILY. I canNOT believe I just did that. Thank God I didn’t utter any involuntarily “WOOO”s. Seriously, I’m like biggest press box rube EVER. I wonder if anyone noticed. I’m thinking not. Surely I’d’ve been led out in handcuffs by now if someone besides @3rdManIn saw that. Pretty much every blogger that has come before me in the press box has said, “Oh yeah, not cheering is no big deal.” I’m here to tell you, they were either lying or on emotion-dulling drugs. Being in the press box is HARD, you guys.

7:32pm Now I’m scared to move for fear of revealing my apparently-uncontrollable-fan-y ways.

7:33 The Caps are coach killing. There’s no other explanation. I can’t believe how bad they look.

7:37 (2-0, Sabres) Pommerdoodle scores! AND, I didn’t react at ALL. Being in the press box is totally easy.

2nd period

8:03pm Wait what? The Caps look like they are trying to score. That’s no way to kill a coach, you guys.

8:05 Sekera takes a slashing penalty. Thankfully the Caps remember that they are trying to kill their coach and accomplish nothing.

8:12 Blooper reel time.. @3rdManIn is unimpressed.

8:15pm (2-1, Sabres) WHAT? Jason Chimera gets an unjust penalty shot when Ehrhoff trips him up on the way to the net. I miiiight’ve been looking at twitter at the time of this play. I call it “unjust” because the crowd booed. You can always trust the home crowd to make the right call in a situation like this.

8:15:20pm (3-1, Sabres) Zack Kassian is a hero! Not only did I NOT cheer, but I think I furrowed my brow a little bit on that one just to show how much I was NOT cheering.

8:19pm The Amerks are way better at hockey than the Capitals.

8:20 Sabretooth has his little drum right underneath the press box and is leading the crowd in a rousing redition of “Let’s Go Buff-a-lo!” Would that I could, Sabretooth. Would that I could…

8:21pm The Sabres are allowed to take about 15 different slow motion shots while many Caps just stand around. It’s reeeeeally going to be embarrassing when the Sabres find a way to lose to this team.

8:25ish Everyone takes lots of penalties but nothing much happens. Again, I’m stunned by the suckiness of the Caps. (MEMO TO THE HOCKEY GODS: I am well aware that the Caps are capable of getting good at any moment.)

8:36 Semin is a diving diver who dives. Leino is a tripping tripper who trips. 4 on 4 to end the period.

3rd Period

8:57 (4-1, Sabres) Luke Adam again! Is Bruce Boudreau fired yet?

9:04pm My computer is now completely unresponsive. I think it’s watching the Caps and getting ideas about coach killing.

9:05 Ovechkin just missed the net by about 15 feet. I laughed out loud. I have no idea if laughing at the opponent is acceptable press box behavior. I’ll risk it.

9:12 The Sabres keep bring more and more pieces of paper filled with statbits for me to pretend to read.

20111126-211135.jpg

9:16pm The crowd is irate because apparently the Caps are now allowed to tackle the Sabres. But the Amerks are SO GOOD, they just turn the Caps’ non-penalties into scoring chances, no problem.

9:18 Kassian takes a high sticking penalty, but we don’t mind because he’s awesome.

9:19 (5-1, Sabres) WE ALSO DON’T MIND BECAUSE HECHT GETS A BREAKAWAY FOLLOWED BY A SHORTHANDED GOAL. (I might’ve smiled wryly on that one.)

9:23 My eyes are tired from looking from my phone to the ice. Being in the press box is hard.

9:26 Roy-Z closes his hand on the puck like no one has ever closed his hand on the puck before. Caps on the power play. The Amerks yawn in terror.

9:27pm Hecht ALMOST scores another shorty. Press box or no, I would’ve had to throw my bra onto the ice if he had been successful.

9:29pm Game over. The Amerks are never losing again! (And the Caps are the worst team in the history of time and space.)

After the game

I’m now sitting in Lindy’s press conference room waiting for something to happen. Bloggers are not allowed in the locker room, which as a general policy I think is lame, but in my particular case, I think is a wise decision on the part of the Sabres. The last thing anyone wants to see is me asking Szecszhurazrachura, “So, has anyone ever mentioned that your name looks a lot like the word Szechuan? And as a follow up to that: what’s your favorite kind of meat? And as a follow up to THAT: How awesome is Zack Kassian?”

Highlights from Lindy’s press conference: The team is calling him “Chewy” because literally no one wants to try to say, “Szchzschszhura.” Understandable if you ask me.

In conclusion

Being in the press box is a hoot and the Sabres are never going to lose again.

The Locker Room Tour

I’ve been EXTREMELY lucky to have been offered some incredibly cool Sabres experiences in the last few weeks. Honestly, my head is still spinning, and the season has barely even started.

Yesterday, along with the traditional media and a bunch of other bloggers, I was invited to tour the new locker room facilities at the First Niagara Center. As luck would have it, my schedule was free on short notice and I was able to take the tour. While this was obviously an enticing offer from the onset, the experience wound up being so much more interesting than the initial email invitation indicated it might be. In the end, this opportunity was practically a dream-come-true for me, because we were allowed to literally wander around the locker room area, looking at whatever struck our fancy. As this INCREDIBLY LONG post will show, quite a bit about the locker room facilities ending up striking my fancy.

Basically, yesterday was a little like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for me. I got a golden ticket. (Sadly, if there are Oompa-Loompas in FNC, they’re keeping them well hidden.)

Looking good, F'NC! I took this photo as I was walking up to the arena for the tour. As you can see, there is a new outdoor ribbon board, and the old "HSBC ARENA" sign is gone, replaced by... a single "R". I'm assuming the workers who are installing a new "First Niagara Center" sign were rained out yesterday, but personally I think the "R" is whimsical and fun. I think they should leave it like this!

Before I get too far into the description of the arena, I feel compelled to admit that I was pretty intimidated by the idea of joining what I figured would be a well attended media event. I’ve always worn the label “fan blogger” with pride, but that doesn’t mean I feel totally comfortable waltzing into a room full of journalists all, “HEY Y’ALL! NICE TO MEET YOU. I’M A FAN BLOGGER.” When I first arrived at the arena, things actually were a little awkward. Instructed to head to the media room, I didn’t know where to go, and I wandered around a little aimlessly for awhile before walking into a room full of all the Buffalo sports media types. It was weird, and I can’t lie, a little scary.

But then it quickly became apparent that the people who didn’t know me (most people) weren’t going to pay much attention to me, and the guys who did already know me were going to be their usual nice selves. A sincere thanks to Andrew, Jeremy, and Mike for helping to ease me into the world of media access by being friendly and welcoming.

After a few comments from Ted Black, the tour was turned over to Stan Makowski, Jr. (the Sabres VP of Arena Operations) and
Frank Cravotta (Sabres Director of Creative Services), who, from what I gathered, were the two guys most responsible for executing the locker room plans. They were both excellent guides, but the thing that really pinged my attention at this point was the news that after the guided tour, we were going to get to “wander around, check the place out, and stay as long as we like.” THIS, was extremely interesting and welcome news. I’d been anticipating a very controlled tour through the locker rooms, and the news that I’d be welcome to poke around was music to my ears.

The first thing we saw was Lindy’s office, which sadly, I didn’t take a picture of. (I was still trying to get my sea legs with the “media hoard” scene, and I wasn’t sure about taking pictures with my phone. It took me about 2 more minutes before I started taking pictures of EVERYTHING.) Lindy’s office is behind glass, visible from the hallway, and apparently all the players have to walk past him to get into work. Harsh, Lindy.

After Lindy’s office, you enter the player’s lounge.

The Player’s Lounge:

This is a terrible picture, but you get the idea. This is the view of the player's lounge from behind the bar. This room has lots of comfortable looking furniture and a cozy fireplace. I was trying to describe this room to a BPO coworker, and I said, "Imagine they took our break room, and totally swankified it to the degree that you never wanted to leave."

Lots of bowls of healthy snacks, and fancy single-serving coffee makers, and a slick-looking bar. If I'd had more time (and more privacy) I would've gone back behind the bar, opened all the drawers, and seriously investigated what's in a "Sabres" kitchen. For example, I feel a little ashamed that I don't know what kind of knives are in that knife block behind the bar. In retrospect, this seems like important information.

This table was a little suspicious to me. Do they honestly have a tray of cookies available to the Sabres at all times? Cookies are delicious, and young men (in my experience) certainly enjoy them, but they're not a very healthy snack. I suspect these cookies are a prop, put there to inspire jealousy in the journalists. Note that the cookie tray is FULL. No Sabres have sampled those cookies.

Here's where the Sabres can send some emails if, for some reason, their phones/ipads/laptops are all broken. I like this feature a lot, mostly for sentimental reasons. It reminds me of the computer labs at college. I like the idea of Ryan Miller sending sappy emails to his lady love from these computers, because, if I recall, that's all anyone ever writes from computer lab computers. "Dear Noreen, today was a good day at practice. I doubt we'll ever lose again. But, I miss you terribly..."

The Video Room

This is an absurdly bad photo, but this is the video screening room. It's basically a small movie theater where the Sabres can go to study their opponents and also get yelled at about what they did wrong the night before. I like these little desks, where I imagine Lindy will occasionally make them sit and write, "I will not try to get too fancy in front of the home crowd" a hundred times in a row.

Here's another area for plotting and studying. I love those dry erase boards. One of my favorite jokes during a game is to talk in my Lindy voice during a timeout. "Okay. What I want you to do is skate down to the net, and shoot the puck INTO their net. Does everyone understand the plan?" I imagine a lot of those schemes will be planned in this little room.

The Dressing Room

This is the area that we’ll see a lot of on television. It’s round, and opulent, and it’s dimly lit in a way that makes everyone look attractive. In the center is a large Sabres light fixture and directly below that is a light box in the floor with the Sabres logo. This is no mere “carpet logo”. You’d have to be pretty spectacularly unaware of your surroundings to step on this logo.

After the tour was over, during the time when we were invited to wander around and look at whatever we liked, I caught a few moments alone in this room, and I gotta say, it was pretty awe-inspiring. This area is really, REALLY well done, and standing there alone, surrounded by the stalls, I wanted to pledge my allegiance to the Sabres, forever, and ever.

This picture doesn't really do justice to the light box in the floor. One neat feature of the light box is that it's removable, meaning, the image can be swapped out depending on the occasion or situation. For example, if the Sabres are in the playoffs, they might put the number of wins necessary to win the Stanley Cup in the light box. To honor Rick Martin, they would've put a "7" in the light box. This is a very artful and cool feature of the locker room

The pictures above the stalls do not correspond with the individual lockers, mostly because the players move their stalls around a lot. All of the photos in this room are of current Sabres. There is a lot of Sabres history represented in the hallway leading to the ice, but the dressing room belongs entirely to the current Sabres.

Here's Vanek's stall. It's worth mentioning that while we were in there, the dressing room was at LEAST 45,000 degrees. This is because they were "drying the equipment". The whole extreme-heat-thing was explained, but honestly, I wasn't paying very close attention because I was too busy trying to surreptitiously snoop in the stalls. Something about the heat being forced over the equipment, and state-of-the-art technology, and blah blah blah... Some of the more seasoned sports journalists in the room commented that it doesn't stink in there... yet.

Every stall has one of these cool looking pouches. I don't know what that Sabres keep in those pouches, but if I had one of those, that's where I'd keep my most prized keepsakes and trinkets. I covet these Sabres pouches. I covet them HARD. (Also, if I hadn't been afraid I'd be thrown out for excessive nosiness, I'd have opened up one of the hatches in the bench.)

Those are Crunchy's pads in the front of the photo, and Enroth's in the back. They were just laying there on the floor in front of the stalls. I resisted the urge to try the pads on.

I think these skate hooks above the stalls are kind of nifty. I also like how their little blade cozies have their jersey numbers on them.

This might be a decent time to mention that I don’t think I touched a single thing the entire time I was in the arena. Like, I literally don’t think I touched anything. Later, I thought about why this was, and I have two explanations: 1. I guess I’m a little superstitious. I mean, why risk jinxing the whole place by running my grubby hands over everything? Better to be safe than sorry.  2. I sort of felt like I was in a Sabres-themed museum. You don’t walk into the Albright Knox and touch the art, so why would I touch the stuff in the Sabres museum?

In the end, it just felt more respectful to their space to keep my hands to myself, but still, it’s kind of funny that I don’t think I left a single fingerprint in the hour and a half I spent at the arena.

Laundry Room


The laundry room is where I realized that this would be no ordinary “locker room tour.” This was where it really sunk in that the Sabres were basically being all, “Hey, come on in, Katebits! Look at whatever you’d like.”  For as long as I’ve been blogging, I’ve been joking about trying to get an interview with the folks that do the Sabres laundry. I want to know everything there is to know about jersey maintenance.

One of the only things I asked Vanek and Ehrhoff in the limo was if they feel any sort of attachment to specific jerseys, or if they’d prefer a fresh new jersey every day. (Disappointingly, they both answered that they could not care less. I believe Vanek’s actual words were, “As long as it doesn’t stink, I’ll wear it.”)

So, the laundry room held a bit of mystic for me, if only because it represented a very-modest-dream realized.

Look! It's a stack of freshly laundered Sabres' socks!

Stacks of towels!

I don't know what this thing is, but it was in the laundry room, and I took a picture of it. It seems to be a little suitcase-type thing with a bunch of pouches. Stain stick organizer? Special detergents for the guys with allergies? Who knows.

Behind those people is a RACK OF JERSEYS! I KNOW. Try to contain your excitement. You don't want to look like a total goober in front of the journalists, do you?

The Medical Area

The Sabres have a little mini-hospital at the rink.

Here's where the Sabres hang out getting fixed up if they get injured during a game. There are three (maybe four?) tables like this. It kind of gives me the willies to imagine the Sabres hospital all filled up with injured Sabres.

Across from the medical tables is this medical station full of gauze, and Alka-Seltzer, and Tylenol. You can't see it in this picture, but on top of the cupboards are little medical models of spines and other hockey-related body bits.

Snippers

I have no idea what this is. It's a whirlpool, but it's too tiny for a Sabre. If a Sabre were to climb into this thing, he'd only be covered up to his thighs. (Exception: Gerbe might be waist-high.)

Here's a stack of weird Sabres towels that were next to the weird tiny whirlpool in the medical area. These towels sort reminded me of the blankets they put over you when you get x-rays at the dentist, but they're clearly too small and fluffy for that job. These are mystery towels.

The medical area was full of oddities. This is a bin full of soapy water, and in it is a strange-looking rack. What's up with this?

The Bathroom/Locker Room

This is room is adjacent to the bathrooms and showers. This area contains actual lockable lockers and a place for the Sabres to change out of their street clothes and into their Sabre-y stuff. I wish I'd taken more pictures of this area, but unfortunately I was distracted by the rows of toiletries on the counters by the sinks. Katebits: "Who cares about mega-fancy new lockers! There are bottles of Listerine and Lubriderm over here!"

Here are various team-provided products that the Sabres use to keep themselves sweet-smelling and their skin satiny-soft. Also, someone's hairbrush. Right behind these sinks are the toilets and urinals, which I briefly considered photographing but decided against in the interest of "acting like I've been there before."

The Sabres had, not one, but TWO, giant bottles of Listerine in the bathroom. I guess good breath and the prevention of gingivitis is an important team priority.

Here's the Sabres shower.

The Gym

The workout room is long and decorated by this cool astroturf carpet. You can't see it well in this photo, but there's a logo in the middle of this carpet. There was some discussion among the journalists about whether they were allowed to step on THAT logo. Personally, I don't understand the confusion about this issue. The rules are simple, guys. Play it safe, don't step on ANY logos, and Goose won't yell at you. It's easy!

Here are some balance balls and various stretchy exercise-y things.

At the end of the astroturf carpet are a couple of small rooms and offices, and in one of the rooms is this. It's a Bod Pod. I didn't get the details on this contraption, but I think it's some sort of horrible body fat calculator. I'm inherently afraid of the Bod Pod because, first of all, it's a crazy looking POD and if science fiction movies have taught me anything it's, "steer clear of pods," and second of all, I have noooooo interest in an ultra-accurate body fat measurement. When I look at this photo, I can easily picture the faces of various unhappy Sabres, forlornly looking out of the Bod Pod window, hands pressed to the glass in despair. Poor Sabres!

The gym has two fleets of bikes. The white bikes...

...and the black bikes. I'd like to think that one set of bikes is somehow more difficult and torturous than the other. Lindy: "DEREK, YOU WERE TOO SLOW TO THE BENCH AFTER YOUR SHIFTS TODAY. GET YOUR BUTT ON THE BIKE."" Roy-Z: (sheepishly) "Black bike?" Lindy: "NO. WHITE BIKE." Roy-Z: (cries)

Back behind all the bikes is a bunch of weight-lifting equipment that I didn't photograph for some reason. In the middle of the weight area, were these two boxes, one of which has the old red "B" on it. I took this photo because it was literally the only thing in the entire place where I noticed an old logo. The "B" with the sword through it is still alive and well in the locker room (all of the other B's I saw were gold), but I seriously don't think I saw a slug the entire time I was there. F'NC really HAS been de-slugged.

Here's a pull-y arm machine. I think this is where Staffy does his hissing cat exercises.

I don't know what a "stabilizer" is, but the Sabres have one.

The Visitor’s Locker Room

The Visitor’s locker room is predictably less awesome than the Sabres locker room. It’s long, rectangular, and utilitarian. While I was in the visitor’s locker room Paul Hamilton mentioned that he’s always thought that you should make the visitors as comfortable as possible. Give them comfy chairs and keep the room just a liiiiittle too warm. I have to say, I agree with Paul on this one. Do what you can to make the visitors sleepy, that’s what I say. Hell, give them fluffy cots to lay down on between periods and pipe in meditational music.

Apparently, the Sabres take an opposite philosophy: provide the visitors with exactly what they need, and not much more.

If the visitor's locker room could talk, it would say, "Visitors, you guys are lame, and the Sabres are going to win this game."

If the visitor's shower could talk it would say, "Visitors, you guys are lame, and now you're about to take a tepid, unpleasant shower."

This was one of the funnest things I saw all day. It's a dry erase board! With the names of Leafs on it! And Sabres power play units! One of the reasons I love this dry erase board is because I found it in a closet-like room in the visitor's area. (I can't TELL you how fun it was to wander around the bowels of the arena, opening whatever door I thought I could safely get away with opening.) I also love this dry erase board because it's just so behind-the-scene-y. After Heather B. saw this photo she wanted to know if I'd asked anyone whose handwriting this is. I didn't ask about that, but I think this demonstrates well why Heather and I are BFFS.

Here's the visitor's bench.

My Seriously Inept Attempt at Documenting the Artistic Touches Designed to Honor the History of the Franchise and Inspire the Current Sabres

I did a COMICALLY BAD job of documenting the hallways of the new locker room facilities at First Niagara Center. There are two areas of really neat artwork that the Sabres will walk by every single workday. One is the wall of names and retired numbers, and the other is a wall of pucks, which commemorate important events in Sabres history. Here’s the only picture I took of ALL of that.

There is a spot for the Stanley Cup on this very cool wall.

My excuse for not spending more time on these genuinely SPECTACULAR features is that I figured the professional media outlets would cover these features well. If I was invited on the media tour for a “reason” it wasn’t to mimic The Buffalo News (poorly), it was to find the dry erase boards and other assorted arena oddities that Harrington or Vogl might not be inclined to fuss over. Also, during the period of time when the tour group was looking at the hallways, I took the opportunity to slip back into the locker room and steal a few minutes alone, soaking up the vibe in there. That is a memory from the day that I’ll cherish for a long time.

However, I really wish that I’d had enough time to really take a long, long look at these artful hallways. After the guided part of the tour was over, the Sabres graciously said, “Stay as long as you’d like,” but since I knew they didn’t really mean that (especially since “as long as I’d like” actually equaled, “Can I sleep over? Those lounge couches look pretty comfortable, and I see you have plenty of snacks to tide me over for dinner”), I knew I had to strategically pick my spots. If I ever have another opportunity to walk through the locker rooms, the first thing I’m going to do is head towards those hallways, and read every single name, and every single word.

Tool, Sticks, and other Equipment-type stuff!

Seeing things like racks of sticks and skate sharpeners was by FAR my favorite part of the tour. I desperately wanted to pick up all the little tools, and open all the drawers of assorted hockey-related knick-knacks. I’m not sure why these things hold such interest for me, but they do.

I might not have taken any photographs of the gorgeous hallways, but I DID take about 45 pictures of these drying racks for skates and gloves.

It looks like something from a nightmare.

All of the tools are shiny new and red.

Here's some stuff for fixing other stuff.

I really like this. Small cubbys full of skate blades.

Along with the dry erase board, this was my other favorite find from the day. It's where they keep the skate laces! THIS IS IMPORTANT SABRES INFORMATION, YOU GUYS!

Sticks! And lots of them! Like I said earlier, I don't think I touched a single thing while I was in the arena, but this was DEFINITELY the hardest place to keep my hands to myself.

For some reason I think it's cute that someone has used a Sharpie to change the number on Regehr's sticks.

 __________

So, 3900 words later, we have FINALLY reached the end of my tour of the Sabres tour. If you’d like to read more about the locker room and look at photos much, much better than the ones I took with my phone, I recommend going here.

A heartfelt thanks to the Sabres for inviting me to this event and for being so welcoming while I was there. It was an incredibly fun afternoon. And, of course, thanks to the Pegulas for buying the Sabres, being generally awesome, and building a new locker room for us to tour.

Let’s go Buff-a-lo!

Live From Sabres vs St. Louis 11/12/08

I’m going to check in tonight from the arena (unless I get distracted, bored, cranky, drunk, frustrated, wooed, disgusted, elated, or lazy) , so stay tuned!

-I should start this blog post out by admitting that I refuse to acknowledge that the Blue Jackets and the Blues are two separate teams. I can’t wait to see Rick Nash!

After the 1st (3-1, Sabres)

That period was quite to my liking.

Heather and I had the following text exchange during that period:

Kate: Peters is the worst.

Heather: TOTES!

Kate: BUT THE REST OF THEM ROCK! More importantly, the Blues suck balls without Rick Nash.

Heather: We must be sticking to the SYSTEM!! :P

Kate: Admit it. You want to marry The System.

Heather: I do. I adore the system.

During the 2nd (3-2, Sabres)

Kate: Someone is fired. I’m not sure who. Perhaps the System.

Heather: DON’T YOU DARE BLAME THE SYSTEM! THIS IS NOT THE SYSTEM’S FAULT!

Kate: Hm.

During the 3rd Period (4-3, Sabres)

Heather: HAAAAANK

Kate: Hank scored just for you!  Cutest goal celebration ever!

Heather:  He really can’t help but be the cutest thing ever.

Kate: I’m scared.

Heather: This period is going way too slowly for my tastes.

Kate: Go clock, GO!

Kate: Worst win ever!  But, WOOOOOOOOOO!!

Heather: who cares?!  Hank had the game winner, and was the 1st star.  The rest is just details.

Kate: Hm.

At the End (4-3, Sabres)

I’m home now, and I have a confession to make.  It’s totally my fault that the game was that close.  I take full responsibility.  When the score was 3-0 about 5 minutes into the game, I turned to Robin and said, “Cool!  We’ve never seen a blowout game before!”  As soon as that statement was out of my mouth, I knew that I had angered the Hockey Gods.  I apologize to the good people of Buffalo for my carelessness, and I thank the Sabres for hanging on to win despite having to deal with such a blatant jinx.  My bad.  It won’t happen again.

First Travesty Of the Season

No, not the game! So far so good there! Is it just me and my “new season” shine, or is Vanek looking a lot less slag-faced-whore and a lot more Mr. Fancy-pant?

The first travesty of the year is this:

The Dippin’ Dots are gone and their place are imposters called “itzy bitzies”. IT’S JUST NOT RIGHT!

Look at how disgusted and offended Robin is by itzy bitzies. I can’t say I blame her.


…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

Observations 2
I can be reached at: willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com

For All Your Facebook “Needs”

Categories

puck goggles
In accordance with the Fair Use Copyright Law, The Willful Caboose uses logos and registered trademarks of the National Hockey League to convey my criticism and inform the public of the Sabres' suckitude/badassitude (whatever the case may be). Photos on The Willful Caboose are used without permission, but do not interfere with said owner's profit. If you own a specific image on this site and want it removed, please e-mail me (willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com) and I will be more than happy willing to oblige. (Special thanks to The Pensblog for their help with this disclaimer.)

Pages


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 67 other followers