5 Things

So, Robin and I went to the game last night, and believe it or not, we had fun.

1. There was a hilarious crazy man sitting behind us. Although he was alone at the game, I honestly don’t think he stopped talking the entire time. He had plenty to say, and most of it was good natured in spite of the extremely unpleasant situation on the ice. Crazy dude, you rocked and you made an otherwise intolerable game pretty fun.

2. While the Sabres were standing around in the second period watching the Panthers score, I got in touch with my inner bee-otch, and I started booing. I wasn’t really booing. It was more laughing hysterically while informing Vanek that he sucks. (They were so bad in the second period, you guys. They should just be happy I didn’t leap from the balcony in despair.) Voicing my frustration was actually very satisfying and enjoyable, and I don’t regret it even one tiny bit. Good natured booing makes me laugh, and laughing is good when you are at a game like that.

3. I love the new guy. In our anger and confusion, Robin and I turned to the only Sabre who is still having a good season: the new guy, Nolan Pratt. Every time he touched the puck, we would squeal “Good job, new guy!” Unfortunately he hurt his groin during the game. Seriously guys, you need to strengthen your fucking groins.

4. At the beginning of the game, it was announced that if the Sabres scored three goals we could redeem our ticket stubs at Dick’s for $10 off a $50 purchase or more. This offer was totally forgotten by us until deep into the third period (when all hope of winning was totally lost), and Robin suddenly shouted “Do it for the Dick’s coupon!” and I replied with “I want to redeem my ticket for ten dollars off my next purchase of fifty dollars or more!” The Sabres did not accomplish this simple task. The next time I need some new sneakers, I’m dragging Thomas Vanek’s sorry ass into Dick’s with me and he’s going to pony up the ten bucks.

5. I am pretty frustrated with the Sabres right now, but I am going to to my best to cheer for them anyway. Last night I realized that I need to change my approach to this team. From now on, I am a.) tossing all assumptions about them out the window b.) going to consider them an average hockey team, plagued by injury, mental fragility, and inconsistency. This isn’t some sort of reflection of my pessimistic nature, rather this is a reaction based on my experience with this team. I want to continue loving them, so I had better hurry up and accept them for what they currently are: a mess. Obviously the potential to be great is there and it’s still very early in the season, but right now, this “potential” is not making for a very satisfying game. From now on, I’m judging this team based on what they do now, not on what they did last year, and not what they theoretically should be capable of doing. The ability to think this way is one advantage I have as a brand new fan.

I wasn’t around last year during the Big Exciting Season. I might be the only Sabres fan in town who isn’t totally attached to what they were. This team, the team who played last night, is my Sabres team. I harbor no illusions about them. Maybe they’re just not that good. Maybe they’re going to be awesome. Right now, the only thing they definitely are, is my first hockey team. That’s not nothing.


10 Responses to “5 Things”

  1. 1 Meg November 3, 2007 at 11:59 am

    Kate, I’m glad you had fun anyway! It was funny . . . I was watching the Sharks game yesterday, and their 2nd period looked eerily familiar having just seen the Sabres game. At one point the announcer started talking about how they were just standing around defending nothing and I was all, “well, I’ve certainly seen a lot of that today!” I find it somewhat comforting that other talented teeams–because the Sharks are really better than the Sabres on paper–are underachieving in the same way.

    Anyway, I really think that just accepting the team for the hot mess they are at the moment is the right approach and I’m going to try it too. I think they’re missing Teppo, Spacek, and Kalinin on the D pretty desperately at the moment, as well as making other adjustments, and that’s not really fixable (although some of their other problems are) so we might as well get used to it, huh? :D

    But you totally should drag moneybags down to Dick’s with you and making him chip in for new sneakers.

  2. 2 Blitzen November 3, 2007 at 12:15 pm


    The Sabres only have to score 3 goals for the fans to score some benefit?! Boy, that’s setting the bar rather low. In Ottawa the Sens have to score 6 goals and then we can score a free slice of Pizza Pizza pizza. A time limited offer – no minimm purchase required.

    And I agree that you should demand someone pony up when they don’t play to potential.

    Hang in there fan!

  3. 3 Katebits November 3, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    The Sabres only have to score 3 goals for the fans to score some benefit?!

    I know! And the benefit was pretty good, too. I think that getting ten dollars off my next pair of sneakers would have made up for a LOT last night. Heh. Thanks for your support, Blitzen. I actually try to remember your 2006-07 Senators when I start to get too depressed about the Sabres’ bad start. It’s hard to keep the long season in perspective. (Congrats on your great start! [Whaaa-aaa])

    Meg, you are so right that the poor defensive line is reeling from injury, but it’s the play of the forwards I find so disturbing. I swear that at one point Vanek and Roy were literally stationary as the Panthers zoomed all around, scoring at will. It makes total sense that the defense is struggling, but the reason I have decided to downgrade my expectations is that the team just seems like it’s having a collective emotional meltdown. These guys look and sound mentally fragile.

    FYI, SabresTV has an interview up with Nolan Pratt, and I totally love him.

  4. 4 Meg November 3, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    it’s the play of the forwards I find so disturbing.

    Yeah, there’s really no excuse for the whole Roy-Vanek-Afinogenov line. They’re one of those fixable problems, but I’m not sure if that’ll actually happen or not.

    I’m going to check out the Pratt interview right now.

  5. 5 Schnookie November 3, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Vanek totally owes you $10!! Okay, at the very least he owes you $10, but the $10 is a good place to start.

    I’m glad to hear you explaining why booing wasn’t a bad thing for you at this game. I get really tired of hearing media types grousing that fans shouldn’t ever boo, and that it’s such a shitty thing for fans to do, and blah blah blah. I mean, we pay big bucks to go to games and see some entertainment and watch the team we love and cherish try to win. So when the players aren’t putting forth the effort we expect of them, or when there isn’t any entertainment value to be had, well — why shouldn’t we boo? We’re expected to cheer when they make us happy, so why not do the opposite when they make us sad and/or angry? It’s not like you’re pelting them with rotten fruit or anything… although that might be in order with this Sabres team soon.

    The forwards all need to be benched. Lindy could just scratch them all and dress only his D and then tell his forwards that, even though the team will lose 100-0 with them all in the press box, it’ll still be better than having them skating.

  6. 6 Katebits November 3, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Yeah, the booing thing sort of surprised me. I wouldn’t have pegged myself as a boo-er. It’s interesting because when I was booing, I was never really mad, it was more of a tension release. It was my way of saying, “I am not having fun”, and once I started booing, I ended up laughing, and then I was having fun again. It felt expressive rather than abusive, if that makes any sense. I know these guys are humans, but seriously, they get paid a lot of money. I think part of that salary covers having to take a little heat from the home fans from time to time. Booing felt cathartic to me, and it made my experience more enjoyable.

  7. 7 Heather B. November 3, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    I love the idea of the worst player that night giving everyone in attendance a $50 giftcard to Dick’s. Because seriously, the one thing this team should be doing is scoring goals.

  8. 8 Heather B. November 3, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    Also, in fairness to Pratt, he hasn’t played in 6 months and barely had a chance to practice before getting tossed into a game. I think a groin tweak is pretty standard in that kind of situation. Ideally he would’ve spent some time getting in game shape in Rochester before playing for us.

  9. 9 Katebits November 3, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    Totally, Heather. I don’t actually blame Pratt for his groin injury. I just wanted to work the phrase “fucking groin” into the post. :D

  10. 10 Schnookie November 3, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    It felt expressive rather than abusive, if that makes any sense.

    Exactly! And I think so often when commentators complain about fans booing there is a lack of recognition that booing isn’t always an abusive thing. It’s just what lies on the other end of the spectrum of cheering.

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