I’ve been thinking a lot about the exchange that Lindy told us about in his postgame press conference on Tuesday. Apparently, in the minutes after Tampa scored their third period goal to pull within one, Lindy sensed that the bench was tentative and jittery. Lindy barked, “Are you scared?” And one of the Sabres yelled back, “I’m not scared!”
If you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend that you watch Lindy’s postgame interview from the Tampa game. This is Lindy Ruff at his best. You can hear Lindy tell this little story starting at around the 2:00 mark.
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I absolutely love this story, and I love how Lindy tells it. For a brief second (it’s just a glimmer, really), Lindy looks like a proud father, and then, after he says, “I’m not scared,” he snaps back into coach-mode. You can see the joy and pride in Lindy’s demeanor. It’s so lovely.
Not to mention the quote. “I’m not scared!”
I’ve been thinking a lot about this story. I’ve been trying to imagine which Sabres bellowed, “I’m not scared,” on the bench. Anyone who was in the arena knows that the Sabres were scared. Everyone was scared. That Lightning goal wasn’t a catastrophe, but it made my stomach get all nervous. I was scared.
But the Sabres took care of it.
“I’m not scared!”
I think that saying, “I’m not scared,” displays both vulnerability and bravery. (Is there a difference between vulnerability and bravery, really?) It’s both childlike and warrior-like. I love it. It feels so right for this particular Sabres team.
I’m going to try to work, “I’m not scared,” into my fandom. For a second last night, when I realized that the Red Wings would not eliminate the Hurricanes on our behalf, an absurd fear briefly made an appearance in my throat. “Oh, God. What if they don’t make it? What if they lose on Friday? What if the Hurricanes win out?” And then I stopped, and I imagined Goose, or Gerbe, or Pominville sitting on the bench in the middle of an important game, yelling, “I’m not scared,” and it made me smile.
Before the Tampa game, I was describing the Sabres games as “torturous”. That Hurricanes game almost killed me, and yet, at the same time, I’m starting to enter the arena thinking, “There is no way they can lose tonight. No way.”
It’s time to pick a side.
I don’t want to be anxious about these Sabres. Fear is completely unwarranted. Look at Lindy up there, beaming with pride. He loves this. So should we. I just want to enjoy every minute of the games. And I’m not just talking about the games before they clinch the playoff, I talking about the playoffs too.
There is nothing to fear here. There is only fun.
I’m not scared!