I have a confession to make: Last year, even when I chose him as KFS, I knew full well that Max was not my real Favorite Sabre. I basically chose him because while my affection for him is real, I knew he could be easily discarded once my true Favorite Sabre revealed himself. Keep in mind that at this time last year I could barely tell the Sabres apart much less aptly choose my favorite. I knew full well that he wasn’t the one, but I chose him anyway. For this I owe him an apology. Max, I used you and then I discarded you like a cheap piece of meat. My bad.
In the interest in fairness, it’s time to put Max in the proper place on the scale of Kate’s Favorite Sabre.
The thing I find most interesting about my affections for Max is that they run so extremely hot and cold. I mean, when he’s sucking (which let’s face it was nearly every second of last season) I’m likely to blame him for E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I blame him for every loss, I assume every offside he creates prevented a goal, I squawk at the television that he should be sent to Siberia to work in the salt mines during the day and at night he should be forced to write letters of apology to all the innocent Buffalonians whose lives have been ruined by lurchy skating and his haphazard stick handling. When I hate Max, I hate him passionately, with the burning passion of ten million white hot passionate suns and all the passion that a passionate person can passionately feel.
When I like Max, he makes me laugh, which is really the highest compliment I can pay to a person I don’t know personally. Usually great hockey playing is exciting or astounding, and I suppose Max at his best is both of those things, but mostly I think he’s entertaining in a very gleeful way. He’s funny to me, not in a laughing at him kind of way (there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING funny about Max at his worst) but more in a laughing-at-the-glorious-existence-of-such-an-absurd-skater kind of way. I can’t think of any other player in the entire league whose best playing inspires me to giggle happily. I really like this about Max and I pray to Lindy Ruff that this season he’ll give me less reason to throw my borscht at the television in sputtering rage and more reason to chuckle with appreciation.
Max is kind of a hard guy to rank on the scale of Sabres because I either love him or hate him- there is no in between. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that this year he’ll balance out the Infuriating Max with a little more Funny Max, and put him right in the middle of the pack, in the Hank Tallinder/Drew Stafford range. He also gets many style points for having a cool girlfriend and for somehow maintaining an air of mystery and intrigue (possibly a Russian spy).
Oh, and he looks like Faye Dunaway. Thumbs up there.