Because we perform almost every weekend, my job with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra often prevents me from watching the Sabres game. It used to bother me that my job so frequently conflicts with hockey, but this season I’ve enjoyed watching bits and pieces of the games in our break room at Kleinhans Music Hall.
Most Sabres games start at seven pm, and our concerts started at eight. So, on game nights I go to work early, and watch the entire first period in the break room. It’s fun. There are a LOT of Sabres fans in the orchestra, but there are only a handful of us who go out of our way to make sure we can enjoy a good chunk of hockey before our concert. These are the diehards. Then, the BPO intermission usually lines up with the beginning of the third period, so I catch a few minutes of the game during our break. Also (between you and me and the entire internet), there’s an orchestra member (not me) who is quite adept at using his/her cell phone to keep track of the score discreetly during a performance. It’s a rare night when I don’t know the final score before I leave the stage after a concert. At the end of the night, those of us in the orchestra who love the Sabres always take a moment to celebrate the win or commiserate over the loss on our way out the stage door.
This is obviously an unconventional way to experience a hockey game, but it’s not without it’s charm. Frankly, I kind of like it. Yesterday it occurred to me that there will almost certainly come a day when I am on stage during a Sabres playoff game, and it made me downright happy to imagine. Even when I can’t watch a game from beginning to end, if I’m at work, I know I’ll still have a fun and memorable experience. I sincerely enjoy cheering for the Sabres with my colleagues, even if it means I don’t get to see every single minute of every single game.
The Sabres have brought me closer to my community in almost every way. It still amazes me.