Good News

Today, as soon as I got off the plane in Minneapolis, I had a text message from Sam, telling me the Sabres had won while I was in transit. He knew I’d want to know. I think it’s awesome that over the span of just a few months I’ve gone from never watching hockey to having people text me the scores unprompted.



17 Responses to “Good News”

  1. 1 Matt December 20, 2007 at 8:30 am


    On Behalf of The Organization, I would like to personally congratulate you on moving from dilettante to Fanatic status. However, your training is not complete.

    Here is your deck of player/team flash cards, today’s schedule of events, and a beautiful commemorative tote bag. As you can see, we have a lot to do today:

    9:00am – Breakfast with the team. Pommerdoodle almost wet himself this morning in anticipation.

    10:00am – 1st Period – Advanced Techniques In Cheering – Here you will be taught the secret handshake, club greeting and how to properly motivate entire sections of the arena.

    12:15pm – Lunch break at The Anchor Bar.

    1:15pm – 2nd period – Jeering and You – An in-depth look at how to intimidate visiting goaltenders as well as discussion on appropriate limits for language, length and location. (You have already tested out of this class. You may instead choose from Salsa Dancing and Shuffleboard on the Promenade Deck.)

    4:35pm – 3rd Period – Hair Styles of Hockey – While we don’t require the wearing of a mullet, all members must understand the tricks and techniques necessary to grow and maintain ‘the flow’. Your guest instructor will be The Mullet himself! All hail Barry!

    5:30pm – 4th Period – Don Cherry’s Hard Hitting Hockey – Love it or hate it, you still have to go.

    6:15pm – Day’s End – Attendance is mandatory for all members of The Organization. Bonus: All fans in attendance will receive a commemorative poster!

  2. 2 Katebits December 20, 2007 at 11:32 am

    Matt, this comment has just been printed, famed, and hung lovingly above my mother’s fireplace. This is so EFFING FUNNY. I am truly humbled. Did you MAKE that Sabretooth poster? Because if you did, please consider this comment a marriage proposal.

  3. 3 Pookie December 20, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    Matt, too funny!

    Don’t forget the post-conference activities, though:

    “I’m sorry, I have other plans that night.” Advanced Scheduling During the Playoffs. This hands-on workshop will provide you with tried-and-true techniques to ensure you’re never stuck away from the television during a post-season game, including all the excuses you’ll need to beg off social events between April and June.

    “No, really, I’m a hockey fan. Honest. We Exist.” Coping With Being A Hockey Fan In America. This group session will allow fans the chance to vent frustrations with being overlooked and under-represented into today’s American sports scene. Tips for handling obnoxious television talking heads and dismissive newspaper writers will be discussed and tested in a series of role-playing activities. Required viewing: Pardon the Interruption. Required reading: Finny’s post on being a So-Cal fan.

  4. 4 Matt December 20, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    Yeah, that’s another one of my brain dumps. I’m glad you like it =)

    I also teach a few classes myself, in the Greater NYC Annex. some of the course descriptions are below.

    – “Everybody Remembers Their First time.” An exploration of the planning needed to ensure that a first-time watcher experiences a magical game. Classic examples like:

    Taking a friend to 3 consecutive Devils games that feature Cam Jannsen fights, and trying to explain afterwards that there’s more to the game.
    Taking long-time Devils fans to a Sabres game in Buffalo to experience a sold-out arena, with no visiting fans.
    Taking friends to a New Years day game a few years back that ends with 3 Sabres hattricks and Andrew Peters’ first NHL goal.

    – “Appropriate Attire.” While everybody knows that jerseys are always appropriate at games, we cover the finer points of funny hats and Canadian Tuxedos.

  5. 5 Pookie December 20, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    Taking a friend to 3 consecutive Devils games that feature Cam Jannsen fights, and trying to explain afterwards that there’s more to the game.

    HA! That’s the exact opposite experience from what I had! I took a friend to her first hockey game, a Devils game in 1997, or 1998. I can’t remember the exact year, but rest assured it was before the A-Line era. The Devils won 9-0. She was like, “This is great! Do they do this every game?” Meanwhile I, along with every other person there, was in a daze wondering, “Who is this team and where are my Devils?”

  6. 6 Matt December 20, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    Oh, and no formal proposals are needed. If you show up on my door step with a jersey (NHL, AHL,… hell, even ECHL) and a smile and we’re set =)

  7. 7 Matt December 20, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Last note! (I gotta start writing these down before I start writing comments)

    Look for the “Sabertooth: The Overlord” poster at games between 12/24/07 and 1/2/08. I’m trying to get a few printed up, large-format style.

  8. 8 Schnookie December 20, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    This curriculum is just brilliant! I’m going to start sending my student your way, Matt. I currently teach a course in Advanced Fan Behavior at the Princeton Adult School called “Politely Saying ‘Thanks’ While Wondering If You’ve Become A Joke”. It’s all about how to handle those situations where your acquaintances/coworkers walk up to you without warning and hand you a shoebox full of crap they found while cleaning out their basement, all of which is be-logoed by your favorite team, was manufactured no fewer than 15 but no more than 20 years ago, and is not even remotely appealing. And as you poke and prod around the musty junk in the box (waterstained and wrinkled hockey cards of players no one’s ever heard of, broken plastic trinkets that were some kind of gas-station promotional giveaway, polyresin Santa-wearing-a-jersey Christmas tree ornaments, et al), your acquaintance/coworker says, “I saw this all and immediately thought of you!”

    Katebits, I am so proud of you graduating to the level of getting text messages for games you’ve missed! *Wipes away a tear* And to think, I’ve been there almost every step of the way. New fans grow up so quickly!

  9. 9 Matt December 20, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    Schnookie, I always wondered who my instructor really was! It’s so amazing that we meet up again here! Because of that course, I now know that inviting colleagues over to my apartment is a bad idea. Who knew that the puck-shaped area rug, the hockey-stick curtain rods, scale-model-of-an-NHL-rink coffee table and goal-net-end-tables would have such an effect on my social standing?

    (pics of all of these and more, coming after the holiday break!)

  10. 10 Schnookie December 20, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    Matt, I’m so glad to know that my teachings haven’t been wasted. It really is so difficult, as a crazed hockey fan, to deal with knowing your coworkers would answer in the affirmative if you asked them, “Do I look like I want your garbage, just because it has a [team name] logo on it?”

    I’m afraid the pictures of your furniture will make me all nostalgic for the NHL-logoed, puck-shaped bean bag chair we once had. That bean bag chair learned the hard way that when your 6’2″, 280-lb teenaged brother drops from his full height like a sack of bricks to recline on it, the filling of the bean bag chair will explode dramatically out of the suddenly-bursting seams. While the moment was brilliant and literally painfully funny, I have to say that my life has been woefully bereft of puck-shaped bean bag chairs ever since.

  11. 11 Pookie December 20, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    If I recall correctly the bean bag hockey puck chair was… drumroll please… given to us from someone’s stack of garbage they were trying to get rid of.

  12. 12 Katebits December 20, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    While I have graduated from beginner to devoted in my fandom, I must admit that this change in lifestyle has not yet effected my furnishings. I’m sort of scared now. Is this like going down the hockey rabbit-hole?…one day I’m getting text messages, and the next I’m receiving them on my puck-shaped cellular?

  13. 13 Schnookie December 20, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    …one day I’m getting text messages, and the next I’m receiving them on my puck-shaped cellular?

    You don’t have a puck-shaped cellular yet? I’m sorry, you’re not eligible for any of these courses. You’re still only an Intermediate.

  14. 14 Matt December 20, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    Just keep in mind Katebits, the first season is free…

    **steps back into the shady alleyway**

  15. 15 Amy December 20, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    4:35pm – 3rd Period – Hair Styles of Hockey

    Is the advanced course “Fundamentals of the Playoff Beard?” Truly learn all about this hockey phenomenon, including in-depth discussions of the neatly groomed Drury beard, the wild and crazy Nieder beard, and the why bother Briere beard.

    the hockey-stick curtain rods,

    You know, for what I spent on a curtain rod last year for my room, I could have done the same thing with a hockey stick. Where were you with this idea then? :)

  16. 16 Matt December 20, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    The beard course has been withdrawn from the offering this semester, because the world’s foremost authority on proper playoff face-fur has pulled out of retirement. He may, however, be offering a lecture series in Anaheim in the spring.

  17. 17 Amy December 20, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    Tips for handling obnoxious television talking heads and dismissive newspaper writers will be discussed and tested in a series of role-playing activities. Required viewing: Pardon the Interruption.

    I don’t know how I missed this the first time, but I can’t wrap my head around giant Bucky and Bucci heads on sticks. That’s nightmare worthy.

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