As Sabres fans we are entering strange territory. It feels a bit like we’ve been launched into space. There is no ground beneath our feet, and personally, I have no idea which way is up.
Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re at rock bottom yet, and that’s both incredibly depressing and oddly exhilarating. How low can this thing go? What does “low” even mean at this point? Should we be rooting for a draft pick? Is down the only way up?
All I know is that this shit is depressing. As recently as a few days ago I thought we would be fighting against anger. I thought Sabres fans were going to rise up in cartoonish mobs of unreasonable crankiness, pitchforks and torches in hand. Now I know that that was just my Buffalo sports fan inexperience talking. No one is angry. We’re depressed.
Anger is easy to mock, but depression is a slippery beast. Anger is focused. Depression is murky.
Last night Tyler Myers gave an interview where he was very obviously fighting back tears. He said, “This has been a devastating road trip,” and there was detectable and literal devastation in his voice.
I mean, what the eff, Hockey Gods? WHAT THE EFF. We’re supposed to be able to hate the Sabres when they suck. Last night I wanted to make Tyler Myers a grilled cheese sandwich and then cut off the crust in a way that creates a heart-shape. I wanted to rock him back and forth while whispering, “It’s okay, big guy. You’re going to be okay,” until he fell into fitful sleep. Then, this morning I wanted to put an encouraging note in his lunchbox, and promise him that today will be a better day. I can’t hate Tyler Myers. Hell, I can’t even make fun of him.
ARG! THIS IS NO WAY TO LIVE.
Hey… look at that. I turned my depression into anger and then turned my anger into a joke and now I feel teeny-tiny bit better. At least my vaguely unhealthy coping mechanisms are still intact.
Last night before the game there was a not-insignificant part of me that was hoping the Sabres would lose. The reality is that the more the Sabres lose, the closer they are to a good draft pick and the higher the possibility that someone will finally get fired. Those are the facts. So, I just thought, “Go for it Sabres. Do your worst.” I thought I could handle it, but no matter how much my brain understands that losses are more valuable than wins at this point, my heart cannot understand. Rooting against the Sabres is fundamentally depressing. In between games, losing seems like a tolerable outcome, but watching it live is brutal and sad, no matter what. It’s not for me.
I guess this is how it is now. These are confusing times. We’re lost in the Swamp of Sadness, and all we can do is wade through the muck.
We’ll get through it, Sabres fans. WE WILL.