If you had asked me this morning, “Hey Kate, what do you think of the Sabres?” I would have almost certainly replied, “I think they are very bad at managing, coaching, and playing hockey.” I might have even said (only half-joking) that I hate the Sabres.
But tonight? Tonight, I love the Sabres.
Today, I got season tickets.
Considering how much I bitch about the Sabres, I sure was pleased to get season tickets today. In fact, I’m far more than pleased. I’m psyched, and proud, and so so so so so excited. I’ve been celebrating the tickets by singing a song (to the extreme delight of everyone nearby, I’m sure) that basically amounts to me filling all silences with, “Oooh Seeeea-son TIIIICK-ETS, I loove you!” sung to bellowed, randomly created pseudo-tunes.
I actually can’t recall a day since I became a hockey fan that I’ve felt more exuberant about the Sabres.
A lot has been written and said about the Sabres since their decent into mediocrity began. I’ve certainly never held back with my own criticisms about the team. The Sabres have not been an easy team to root for these last two years, and I’ll admit that over the last few months I’ve occasionally allowed the Bucky Gleason’s of this world to effect how I think about the Sabres, and I’ve found myself wondering, “Why do we keep buying what the Sabres are selling?”
Thankfully, for me, becoming a season ticket holder was completely removed from all of that crankiness.
The most overwhelming feeling I have about my tickets is not one I was expecting to have when I put myself on the waiting list two years ago. The strongest thing I feel is…pride. I’m proud to have these tickets. I’m proud that I sat on a list and waited for these seats. I’m proud that I still wanted season tickets after watching two relatively dreary seasons. I’m proud that I’ll have my own little territory in the arena. I’m proud that I’m financially organized enough to pay for season tickets. I’m proud that I’ll have season ticket neighbors (Hi, Kevin!). I’m proud that I found a fun way to propel myself through the long Buffalo winters. I’m proud that I turned myself into a Buffalonian. I’m proud to be a Sabres fan.
Investing in an entire season of games didn’t feel like making an investment in the Sabres at all. It felt like I was making a commitment to my fellow Sabres fans, and an investment in something that brings me joy. When it came down to the wire (and when it came time to put my money where my blog is), it turned out that my desire to be a Sabres fan has very little to do with whether they win or lose. I love being with other Buffalonians all cheering for the same thing, I love the ritual of going to the arena, and most of all, I love hockey.
I snapped up those tickets up without hesitation, and it was one of the most gleeful purchases I’ve ever made.
Let’s go Buff-a-lo!