Thank You, Crunchy.

My Sabres fandom sprouted up during a time when I was struggling to settle into Buffalo. Sure, I had been living in Buffalo for almost six years at the time, but I hadn’t settled down here. Not really. Falling in love with the Sabres helped me take a closer look at Buffalo and all of the wonderful people who live here, and in a very literal way, the Sabres turned Buffalo into my home. At this point, my love for Buffalo encompasses far more than just hockey, but I will always view the Sabres through this sociological lens.

When the entirety of the North American hockey media, including our own local paper, was constantly beating the “no one wants to play in Buffalo” drum all season, well, it effected me on more levels than just hockey analysis. It’s almost difficult to admit how much that…hurt my feelings. I can’t separate my love for the Sabres from my love for Buffalo, and as a result, that type of broad criticism of the team feels almost personal. I know that thinking this way is totally irrational, I do, but at the risk of being way off the mark, I don’t think I’m the only person in town who feels this way. I think the prevailing notion that no player would WANT to live and play here has been hard on us. I know it’s been hard on me.

I feel so much better about that now.

It’s not fair to expect our athletes to embrace or embody Buffalo, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it when Ryan Miller does it willingly. Don’t get me wrong, I know this is a nice payday for Crunchy, but I don’t think there is any way around the fact that his new contract is a strong statement that all along he wanted to stay here and be a Sabre.

It means so much to me to hear Ryan Miller saying good things about Buffalo. The fact that he likes it here, and that he appreciates how the community embraces the team, well, that means a lot to me. Ryan MIller believes in the current direction of the Buffalo Sabres. That means a lot to me. For the first time in over a year, I feel some real distance from the co-captains debacle. That means a lot to me. I trust Ryan Miller to represent the Sabres well, both on the ice and in the community, and that means a lot to me.

There will be plenty of opportunity to weigh and judge this signing. Soon we will get to analyze, and carry on, and dissect every aspect of the new season, but for today, on July 18th, I’m going to go ahead and simply enjoy Crunchy’s new contract. I don’t give a rip about his cap hit. I really don’t. I’m just glad he’s ours. He’s one of us.

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20 Responses to “Thank You, Crunchy.”


  1. 1 DS July 18, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    The Sabres gave him an extension as a B-day present. Or the other way around. ;)
    (Okay, Crunchy’s b-day was yesterday; his Buffalo-day is today. He’s got cake to go with his ice cream now and he made a whole lot of Buffalonian wishes come true.)

    Do you think it’s fair to say that he likes being the franchise player as well?
    (If that’s too much analysis, than I’m really glad Crunchy is as much a part of B-lo and the team for the forseeable future as you, KB.)

  2. 2 Chaz July 18, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    I wonder if he splurged, in the caloric sense, and celebrated with a bowl of Breakaway Berrier?

  3. 3 Katebits July 18, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks, DS!

    Hm. I dunno Chaz. I bet he opened the carton and took an indulgent sniff, but I doubt he ate any. Just because he signed a fat contract…….

    :P

  4. 4 Shari July 18, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Very well said Kate! Almost brought tears to my eyes. O.k., I’m watching Oprah but still, great post! Bucky and Jerry, your fired. Kate, your on!
    I don’t care what they give him either. I’m just so happy he came back to us!

  5. 5 Chaz July 18, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Your probably right Kate. Between birthday cake yesterday and Drew’s upcoming nuptials, I’m sure his caloric intake has been much higher than Crunchy can tolerate.

  6. 6 Amy July 18, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    I wonder if he splurged, in the caloric sense, and celebrated with a bowl of Breakaway Berrier?

    His interview with WGR was interrupted by the pizza delivery, delivering lunch for the groomsmen at his brother’s wedding. No word on whether the Breakaway Berrier was for dessert.

  7. 7 Anne July 18, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    As a life-long Sabres and Buffalo fan, I couldn’t have said it better myself. It really does mean a lot to me when players like it here so much. As far as Miller’s paycheck goes, I don’t know how much it was for, but its probably less than he could’ve gotten at the Free Agency Auction next July.

    It’s almost difficult to admit how much that…hurt my feelings

    As a life-long Buffalonian I can tell you I felt the same way. It’s really hurtful when people bash a city that I love and a city that raised me and really made me who I am.

    But, YAY!!!! Now we have to lock down Cap’n Pommers and all will be merry and cheerful!! WOO!

  8. 8 Chaz July 18, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    I’m sure Crunchy ordered a Veggie supreme with no cheese, and promptly removed the crust when it arrived. I don’t think I can handle Crunchy eatting pizza…it’s so….unhealthy.

  9. 9 Meg July 18, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    I was so happy to hear him saying all those nice things about Buffalo in his WGR interview. I know it’s silly but that kind of validation really is nice. I’m delighted by his contract and I haven’t even really given the terms much thought. They’re fine I’m sure.

  10. 10 Mary July 19, 2008 at 12:15 am

    I think you awesomely summed up a lot of people’s sentiments!
    Going to school outside of the area, I get flak sometimes when I say that I want to stay in Buffalo after it’s all done. But there’s something about this city, and I’m so glad the players can see it too.

    So woooo for Crunchy and Buffalo!!

  11. 11 Heather B. July 19, 2008 at 12:28 am

    Kate, this is a great post. We just want to be loved. Is that so wrong?

  12. 12 bbC July 19, 2008 at 12:35 am

    He’s so honest in his interviews, I’ve always had great respect for him because of that. You don’t get that typical rehearsed stuff that most athletes say in interviews when you talk to him. I especially LOVE when he mentioned how he liked shopping at Wegmans when he was talking about what he likes about Buffalo….because, well…I think Wegmans is amazing.

  13. 13 Dan (in Lake View) July 19, 2008 at 1:52 am

    They had to do this….without it, political suicide. Is he worth the money?…. Maybe. I don’t know. To me he is a B+ quality tender. Probably worth signing, but top 5-10??? I doubt it.

    My feeling is too little, too late for the Sabres. Too many have left. This was the one you needed to sign to keep the fan-base in place and keep selling those tickets. Imagine if they hadn’t?…A good move to re-sign for sales, but where will they be next year?….Probably a similar place.

  14. 14 Katebits July 19, 2008 at 2:12 am

    Dan! We’re not worrying about any of that right now! It’s a happy day! :D

  15. 15 JBo July 19, 2008 at 2:57 am

    Agreed, Katebits!

    *goes back to holding Katebits’ hands and continuing to jump up and down while screaming “YAAAAAAAYYY!!!” and smiling nonstop*

  16. 16 Jaime July 19, 2008 at 8:23 am

    As reiterated by multiple others, Buffalo is not a bad place! I’m a born and bred Buffalonian and I will NEVER leave. When my husband thought he was going to be transfered to Chicago I cried. I could not believe that we might leave the city I grew up in, my family, friends and everything that made me… me. We have great culture, history, sports teams, and people. When outsiders snub our city (usually without ever being here), they snub me too but now we have Crunchy to represent and that makes me happy!

  17. 17 Dan (in Lake View) July 19, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Your right. Let be happy they took care of business for once!!!

  18. 18 markberm July 19, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Kate, you hit it right on the head. We’re very sensitive people here in Buffalo – and who can blame us for all the criticism our beloved city takes – and when a professional athlete comes out and says he loves being and playing here, it makes us feel pretty darned good. I also want to thank Ryan, the true leader of the team. Staffy may still be my favorite player but the last two days, it’s Miller time in our household.

  19. 19 Katebits July 19, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Thank you to everyone who commented on this post. This one means a lot to me, and it’s nice to get such positive feedback! Thanks guys!


  1. 1 BfloBlog.com » Blog Archive » More on Miller Trackback on July 22, 2008 at 10:20 am

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