Archive for the 'Trepidation' Category

Unease

I feel terrible for fans of the Coyotes.  Maybe there aren’t enough fans in Arizona to make an NHL team profitable, but no matter how you slice it, for individual fans, this is a heart breaker.  I would be devastated if the Sabres left Buffalo.

I understand that there is still a LOT that would need to happen in order to move the team to Hamilton.  The more I’ve read about the situation, the more confused I’ve become.

picture-91

To me, the idea of a team in Hamilton is scary, but I’m not sure how much of this fear is just a symptom of the nearly constant message we receive in Buffalo that the things around here are eroding.  I’ll admit, I’m not sure I would have had the stomach for the relocation scare that Sabres fans had to live through before the lockout.  The totally irrational fear that the Sabres might never be Cup contenders again is certainly unpleasant, but that unpleasantness absolutely pales in comparison to how I feel when I allow myself to consider that the Sabres might not always be in Buffalo.

One of the things I love about following the Sabres right now (certainly in contrast to the Bills) is that we ARE a good hockey market.  Or, a least we’re good enough. Hamilton scares me though, because as passionate as we are about hockey, the underlying threat in Buffalo (BUFFALO IS IN DECLINE) is constant.

Whether the fear is reality-based or not, sometimes in Buffalo it feels like we’re just one bad turn away from getting permanently lost.

I just hope that whoever is making the decisions concerning the relocation of the Coyotes really knows what they are doing, and I hope that whatever ends up happening, it doesn’t put the longterm health of the Sabres in jeopardy.

I guess we just cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Picture 8

I stole this chart from Mirtle.  Check out From the Rink for excellent coverage of the Coyote/Basillie situation.

Weary

I’m feeling a little wobbly these days, not just because of my SARS, but also because of the stench of despair emanating from the Buffalo sports scene. I don’t know what is going to happen with the Bills, but I do know it’s depressing to think about from almost every angle. I didn’t see the Bruins game, but after reading about it, I had to revisit the Sabres Meditation. I don’t care what happens with Brian Campbell. At all. Please Darcy, get Soupy to sign on the dotted line or send him away. And do it soon. (And Darcy, from a public relations standpoint, now would be a good time to announce new RFA contracts for Goose and Paille. Just saying.)

I think I’m ready for summer.

*lies down on floor*

*coughs*

*************

UPDATE: Hey, guess what? I wrote this post right before I performed a lively and funny Family Concert down at old Kleinhans Music Hall. I feel so much happier after a nice, wholesome musical afternoon. I would like to offer some advice to my fellow weary Buffalonians. If you are feeling low about the Bills or the Sabres, you should try a concert because it might make you happy. It’s worth a shot. Support your local arts organizations, people!

Sabres Meditation

I’m feeling much better now guys. I think I know what happened. You see, I got too excited after the 10-1 win. Due to the unexpected surge of love for hockey, my chakras and my heart space were wide open going into the Leafs game, which is why it was so painful when the Sabres phoned it in. But thanks to some good advice in the comments, and a fun, football-filled day away from hockey, I think I am ready to face the Sabres again. I have spent the last day building an impenetrable fortress around my heart, a wall so mighty that no Sabre will ever be able to cross my defenses again. (Well, okay Pommers, you can come in, but hurry quick before Roy-Z sees the open door.)

Please press play on this video and listen to the music as you read the rest of this post:

I feel that the lessons I have learned this weekend can be of service to my readers. It is my dream that my journey can help many of you come to terms with your own feelings of hockey disillusionment. I have devised a guided meditation to heal your soul and reintroduce Sabres hockey in a safe and soothing environment. As you view these images, let your mind relax. I recommend focusing on each image for 3-5 seconds, moving on only when you feel ready. If you find yourself becoming unrelaxed, don’t panic, simply return to the previous image until you have returned to calm. (All images lazily stolen from cuteoverload.)

Good. Now begin scrolling down through the images. Good luck!

Ahhh. You are feeling veeery relaxed.

The world is full of delight.

Breath in. Breath out.

Baby Goose and Pommerdoodle cannot hurt you.

Breath in. Breath out.

You are safe and comfortable. You are cradled in the universe’s love.

The world provides unexpected pleasures.

Remember the Ice Bowl? That was a great day.

Hockey doesn’t have to hurt, even when they lose.

Breath in. Breath out.

Enthusiasm is healthy.

Aww, happy Crunchy is cute.

Baby Vanek cannot hurt you.

Breath in. Breath out.

Take solace in friendship. You are not alone.

Relax your mind. Let the images wash over you.

Let’s start with some easy ones.

I can’t remember who this kid is, but maybe he’ll be a Sabre someday.

Awesome.

ACK! TOO SOON! ABORT! ABORT! ABORT!

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.

************

I think that’s enough for today. Good job. We were doing great there, right up until the very end. Even though we are not completely healed, I do feel we are rehabilitated enough to face the 4pm game versus the Coyotes.

Go Sabres! (assholes)

(Special thanks to Stephany for emailing me the hilarious Amerks yearbook photos of Goose and Pommers!)

 

Hockey is Hurting, Confusing, and Delighting Me, a Post In Three Parts

Hurting

Well, that game seriously blew. BAD, Sabres! Heather B summed the situation up pretty well.

Games like last night take me beyond the basic unhappiness of a loss, to a state of dull anxiety. The thing I seem to enjoy dwelling on lately is Crunchy’s upcoming free agency (By upcoming I mean a year and a half from now. See how rational I am?). When I watch a game in which Crunchy is left HANGING OUT TO DRY by his entire team, I start fretting about whether he is going to want to stay in Buffalo. I neurotically worry that he’ll pack up his wonky brow and his death glare, and he’ll move to wherever-the-fuck he thinks he can win a Stanley Cup Championship. This tendency to assume that all the players are desperate to get away from us is not indicative of my general approach to life. I can’t decide if this is just me using sports to air out some previously latent insecurities, a sad scar from my Chris Drury love, or a sign that I really am a Buffalonian now, but it’s kind of pissing me off. Hopefully this phase will pass soon.

Confusing

I keep meaning to write a whole post about hockey violence, but I can’t seem to pull it together. I would like to say a few things about the fighting in last night’s game.

I really hate fighting between enforcers. It’s very stupid, and to me, totally devoid of entertainment. I hate the pageantry involved with watching Andrew Peters and some other dude start yelling at each other during the faceoff. They’re not actually pissed at each other, instead they are playing a role, like an actor in a play. I dunno, I just find it sort of embarrassing to watch. In order for me to enjoy a fight, I have to believe that the participants are both motivated by some degree of legitimate rage created by the flow of the game. When Goose gets pissed enough at Todd Bertuzzi that he wants to fight, well, I trust Goose’s professional judgment on that one. (I trust Goose because he was thoroughly trained at NHL University to recognize when and how to fight. I’m pretty sure he minored in fisticuffs at NHLU. Andrew Peters does not have a degree from NHLU. He’s self taught, and frankly, I think it shows.) It seems that in certain circumstances, I’m perfectly willing to enjoy the hot mess that is grown men fighting in full body armor. (Although, Goose, perhaps you aren’t aware, but Bertuzzi has a bit of a history. He’s scary, and not in an amusing Parros kind-of-way.)

I was raised by hippies, in a household where hitting was wrong, in every situation. I have a fair amount of discomfort with the fighting in hockey, and I am relieved I don’t have to try to justify the situation to my hypothetical kids; but because I am an adult, without the burden of shaping young minds, I can enjoy the non-goon fights for what they are: awesome. So, this is all a round-about way of saying that fighting in hockey is both upsetting and exhilarating. It’s all very fucked up. I suspect that people who have grown up around hockey feel differently about the fighting, but to me it’s genuinely troubling. I wasn’t just raised by hippies who believe hitting is wrong in every circumstance, I kind of am a hippie who believes hitting is wrong in every circumstance…..except in hockey apparently.

This whole issue really confuses me.

Delighting

I am a night owl, so I love these late starting west coast games. Last night I watched the first two periods in a bar, and then I watched the last period in my pajamas on the couch. Nice! I am pretty much always awake well past midnight anyway, but it seems sort of extra fun that I get to watch the Sabres late into the evening. If I had my way, all the games would start at ten o’clock.

I’m Scared

I’m not going to lie. I’m scared of the Senators.

The Ottawa Senators are fucking scary.

Tonight I am going out to watch the game in a bar with Robin, Amy, and Christina. Of the four of us, I’m the undisputed hockey expert, which is pretty funny when you think about it. Because most of my friends aren’t hockey fans, I usually watch the games alone- but dudes, I can’t deal with the Senators by myself. Too scary. So, I’m going out to a bar where no matter what happens with the game, at least I’ll be surrounded by friends, chicken fingers, and booze.

I have no context in which to place this team. I’m a brand new hockey fan. Tonight’s game feels kind of important, but I know in the great scheme of things, it really isn’t. It’s just hockey.


…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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