Archive for the 'Lacrosse' Category

Spying in PDX

Right now I’m eating breakfast in the same airport restaurant as the Portland LumberJax Lacrosse team. They caught my eye because they’re all tall and carrying the same duffel bag.

I’m eavesdropping, and I just caught a little snippet of conversation…

“….the only other arena that would be as fun to win in is (indecipherable mumbling).  With that crowd? 17,000 silenced people.  It’s awesome.”

I hope they were talking about Buffalo.  (Not the “silencing us” part, the “that crowd?” part.)

Let’s Go BAND-ITS!

WOOOOOOO!!!

Tonight, along with some friends, I had the extremely good fortune of seeing the Buffalo Bandits win the National Lacrosse League Championship. That’s right! World Champions, baby!

Amy at Bandits

Amy works the pom-pom

It was a nearly perfect game from the spectator’s perspective. The Bandits were ahead the entire night, but they were never very far ahead, so the game was never a forgone conclusion. The Portland Lumberjax (I hate those guys. :P) put up a good fight, and came very, very close to tying it up at the end. The final two minutes of the game were absolutely electrifying.

I really have to hand it to the Bandits crowd. The scene was pretty spectacular. It’s a little rough around the edges in comparison to a Sabres crowd, but the spirit and enthusiasm are the same. The Bandits are a good value, and it’s a great product, so I’m happy that so many people come out to support the team. It’s easy to dismiss arena lacrosse because it’s not a “major” sport, but let me assure you, it’s a good sport, and you are missing out if you skip the Bandits altogether.

Remember when I said that Flyers orange is gross? Well, I stand by that. Orange is gross when the Flyers do it, but when we do it, it’s cool.

Bandit's Crowd Horizontal

Bandits orange is beautiful.

Bandettes

The Bandettes are also beautiful, but in a skanky kind of way.

I have a lot to say about how awesome the Bandits are, and how unexpectedly great the sport is, and how much MONEY the Sabres must be making off the Bandits, and how the players are regular guys who all have normal 9-to-5 jobs in addition to being Bandits, and how charming Buffalonians can be in their desire to cheer, but I’ll save all that for another post. For tonight, I just want to write about what it felt like to be a part of a crowd celebrating a championship win.

Listen, obviously this isn’t the Stanley Cup, or the Super Bowl, but it’s still an honest to God championship. We still got to watch men reach the pinnacle of achievement, on the highest level of competition in their sport. There was a Cup, and it was hoisted. There was an MVP (Mark Steenhuis), there was a sold out arena, and they played “We are the Champions” over the loudspeaker at the end. It’s a real championship. It was exciting, and moving to witness. I am certainly not as emotionally invested in the Bandits as I am in the Sabres, but at some point tonight I got swept up in cheering for cheering sake. I cheered out of love for Buffalo, in appreciation for sports, and for the great skill of the guys on the field. This NLL Championship is nothing to scoff at, and I for one, welcome the opportunity to celebrate this team. I got to honk “Let’s Go Buff-a-lo” all the way home. I got to high five strangers. I got to soak up the atmosphere of triumph and celebration. It was a great night.

The Bandits are the World Champs and we are lucky to have them in Buffalo.

Bandits Mullet

(We are also lucky to have this mullet in Buffalo.)

Lacrosse RAWKS!

Okay, that was twenty dollars WELL SPENT. The Bandits are a freaking BLAST, you guys.

Things to love about the Bandits:

1. The crowd! I had NO idea that so many people in Buffalo were so into lacrosse. It was insane. Half the crowd was wearing gigantic orange wigs, and the other half had jerseys on. It was rough and tumble and seriously impressive. There were tons of fun chants (B-O-X, box, box, box, Whoo!), a decent in-game announcer, and the crowd seem fairly well informed. The Bandits have great fans. I seriously had no idea.

2. Lacrosse is a great game! It’s a lot like hockey, only with way more scoring. I didn’t know a single solitary thing about lacrosse, but I had no trouble following the action. The final score was 21-12, Bandits. At first I figured that my presence at the arena had cursed the Bandits, just as it always curses the Sabres, because they went down 6-1 almost immediately, but then they came back with a vengeance. On our way out we were commenting that lacrosse has the perfect amount of scoring: a lot more than hockey, but a lot less than basketball.

3. Bandettes dancing around with multiple costume changes throughout the night! Rax the Racoon mascot! Music during the game! It was a circus! The really funny thing is, they make as big a deal out of every goal at the Bandits game as they do at the Sabres games. So, for every single goal, they do the horn, and the smoke, and the siren, and the crowd leaps up triumphantly…..twenty one times. I am hoarse and giddy from all of the celebration.

4. It’s just as violent as hockey, maybe more. They HIT each other with their sticks. There was a fist fight directly over the unmoving, prone body of a goalie- just like in hockey!

5. The goalies wear a comical amount of padding. They look like they’re wearing those jokey sumo wrestler costumes, but the nets are teeny tiny. I bet Crunchy would love to have a lacrosse net. I don’t really understand why it’s harder to stop a lacrosse ball than it is to stop a hockey puck, but it must be, because both teams were scoring left and right.

6. It’s not hockey! I don’t really care about lacrosse, so I had nothing to lose in this situation. I knew I would have fun because it’s a sport and I had good company, but the experience exceeded my expectations by A LOT. I can highly recommend the Bandits, especially for families as it’s significantly cheaper than hockey. I’m definitely going to the Bandits again.

Go Bandits! Hee!

Surrender

I think I gave up on the Sabres last night. As ugly as that loss was, it just didn’t bother me very much. It was a weird feeling to watch the Sabres and think, “Hm. The Sabres are losing hideously, but this nicoise salad is delicious.” The more I ignored the Sabres, the worse they played, just like little children acting out for attention. Oh, the Sabres tried to upset me, but it turns out I’m dead inside. I didn’t see this crisis of faith coming. I thought I loved them enough to freak out no matter what, win or lose…..but, I dunno, I feel pretty immune to their shenanigans. *shrug*

What do you do when your hockey team no longer has the power to effect your emotions? How do you relight the fire?

Why, you go to a professional lacrosse game of course! I am about to head down to HSBC arena to watch lacrosse. I’ve never seen lacrosse before. It might be fun. Maybe, unlike the Sabres, lacrosse can tear my heart out and provide me with the soul-scorching frustration that I seek.

Sabres, we had a good run, but you’re just not doing it for me anymore.


…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

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

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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.)

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