Archive for the 'Do What I Say!' Category

The Sabres Fan Survival Guide

My friend Mike Schopp wrote a very thoughtful piece for WGR a few days ago and I highly recommend that you read it right away.

It’s difficult to talk about the Sabres right now because we’re all so surly. Even the rosiest personalities among us are fed up and exasperated. Unlike the past five years, I’ve successfully tuned out a lot of the chatter this season. When the Sabres are this bad, I lose the taste for blogs, and newspaper columns, and radio shows discussing their many shortcomings. It’s really not in my personality to get rage-y about the Sabres, so, instead of getting rage-y, I get indifferent. Every once in a while, something cuts through the fog of my indifference and I think, “Hm. That’s a smart and reasonable position,” and it makes me feel better. Mike’s post was like that.

Mike went into a lot of particulars about his job and about the current state of the Sabres, but what I liked best about his post is that it caused me to step back and ask myself, “Where exactly do I stand? What are my core Sabres beliefs?” I’ve been thinking about this for a few days now, and here’s what I’ve come up with:

I watch the Sabres for fun. It’s my responsibility to make sure that my Sabres fandom doesn’t turn into something toxic. My response to the Sabres is more a reflection of me than it is of the team.

Now obviously, this season BLOWS A MILLION CHUNKS EACH AND EVERY DAY. You’d have to be delusional to be walking around projecting optimism and sunshine about the current state of the Stupidhead Sabres. There is absolutely NO reasonable cause for hope here. BUT, there are steps we can take as fans to ensure that our fandom doesn’t veer towards a head-on collision with Crankytown.

If you are reading this blog, I think it’s safe to say that you’re a Super Fan of the Sabres (let’s not even THINK about what it means if you’re writing this blog). People who have a healthy/casual relationship with sports do not read blogs about their horrifying hockey team. No, if you’re reading this, you’ve already surrendered some portion of yourself to the Sabres. The Sabres own a little piece of your heart, and that’s just how it is. To some extent, you and I are helpless. Since we can’t totally ignore the Sabres, the best we can hope to do this season is manage the damage they inflict.

It’s my sincere belief that things are going to get worse for the Sabres before they get better. It’s sad but true. This season is lost. They’re done. I’ve been saying for weeks (on Twitter, not here. Sorry, blog readers!) that I think Regier is going to get fired the second the Sabres finish missing the playoffs. I still believe this, and I also believe that a lot of the stuff Pegula and Black have been saying about injuries being a legitimate excuse is just something they have to say because they really don’t have any good moves at the moment. GMs get fired in the summertime, not in January. Coaches get fired mid-season all the time, but Lindy Ruff exists in some weird alternative coaching universe where nothing can ever really touch him. (The sooner you accept the weird Laws of Lindy, the sooner you’ll feel better. Just surrender.) So, the prudent move for ownership is to just wait this out, sell at the deadline, and plan for next season. Ryan Miller is right. There is no trade that can save this team. They need an overhaul.  They need at least one trade deadline, one draft, and one July 1st to fix this. They might need even more than that.

So that’s where we stand.

The bad news is that as a Super Fan you’re going to have to suffer through seasons like this, and you’re going to keep watching, and you’re going to keep reading redonk blog posts, and you’re going to keep wishing YOU HAD NEVER EVEN HEARD OF THE BUFFALO SABRES. But the good news is that… well, wait… there is no good news. This blows.

Just kidding. The good news is that there ARE steps you can take to survive the season. Here are some things that work for me. This list is by no means complete, and not every suggestion is going to work for every fan.

1. Believe in the things that make you feel better.

This is not about being delusional. This is about protecting your ability to be hopeful.

The thing I liked most about Mike’s post is this:

Maybe you’re right but maybe you’re wrong. Since no one knows I’ll lean toward the side that makes me feel better.

I’ve been struggling to articulate something like this for weeks. No one knows (NO ONE) what is really going on with this team and what would solve the problem, and furthermore, fans have absolutely no control over any of it. Wouldn’t it just be nicer if we all just followed our hearts a little bit here?

For Mike, the belief that the Cup would be sweeter with Regier and Ruff at the helm has value. For me, it’s my faith in Pegula and Ted Black that makes me feel better. As a reasonable fan, you would be wise to consider what makes you feel better, and then take steps to ignore the rest.

2. Ignore the rest.

Stop reading the paper, stop listening to the radio (sorry, Mike), and for the LOVE OF GOD, stop reading this blog. (Heh.)

3. Stand by your man.

A few years ago (during one of the 10th place years), I wrote this about Jason Pominville. (BTW, that post is a good read if you want to be reminded of a.) how right I’ve always been about Jason Pominville and b.) how there’s a lot of ebb and flow with every player over the course of any long contract.) I think about that post a lot because I remember that after I wrote it I felt a LOT better about being a Sabres fan.

One of the things that makes me sad about the current environment is how often I hear people say there are NO likeable Sabres. I certainly can’t judge anyone for disliking these guys, but for what it’s worth, I’ve always had a few players that I just like, no matter what. If you have a guy that you just like, don’t give up on him now. Hold onto him tight and do it without shame.

My guys are Goose, Crunchy, and Pommerdoodle. I don’t care how hard they suck or how hard they rock. I like those guys, it makes me feel good to like those guys, and beyond that I just don’t care.

4. Listen to music while watching the games.

This one has absolutely saved me this season. A few weeks ago I found myself unreasonably irritated by the Sabres broadcast team. The details are unimportant (and completely forgettable, apparently), but for some reason that night I was all, “I would totally fight Rob Ray right now. I WOULD FIGHT HIM, AND I WOULD WIN.” In a fit of frustration, I put the television on mute and turned on some soothing tunes. Magically, I didn’t need to fight Rob Ray anymore. I calmly watched the rest of the game (the Sabres lost miserably), and I escaped relatively unscathed. Now I do this all the time. Don’t forget that even when the Sabres are horrible, music is still wonderful.

Never underestimate how much better you might feel without the Sabres broadcast team feeding you a bunch of bullhonky about how the Sabres aren’t the worst team ever.

5. If a bunch of people are screeching about something, listen to what they’re saying, and then believe the opposite.

This one is hard to explain, so bear with me for a minute.

Here is what the screeching, angry hoard is screeching these days: “NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE AND DARCY REGIER IS A MORON AND PEGULA IS JUST MORE OF THE SAME AND LINDY SHOULD BE FIRED AND I HATE ALL THE SABRES AND BLAH BLAH BLAH POOR ME I’M A SEASON TICKET HOLDER AND I’M NOT RENEWING  WAAAAAAAAAA!!!!” On one hand, all of these points are totally legitimate, but on the other hand it’s just SO DUMB.

Even if the screeching is factually correct, don’t you just want to distance yourself from that? I do. I think there is almost always a completely reasonable way to counter any sports-related screeching. Here’s how I would counter the current screechers:

Um, hello? Last year, out of nowhere a billionaire no one had ever heard of bought the team and vowed to win us a dozen Stanley Cups. Then he proceeded to spend like a drunken sailor in free agency. Things DO change. Things HAVE changed. The problem here is not lack of change, it’s that the change hasn’t worked. What that probably means is that Darcy Regier is going to get his ass fired this summer. Once Darcy is fired and a new GM takes over, Lindy will FINALLY be on the clock. Yes, it is true that the current Sabres suck in nearly every way, but no, it’s not true that this will necessarily be true forever.

*Patrick Kaleta hand wash gesture*

I take pride in disagreeing with the Whiner Line dummies. If they say one thing, I say the opposite. It’s not actually so much about disagreeing, it’s more about finding the intellectual high ground. The best move is to ignore the screechers entirely, but sometimes that’s not possible. If you can’t beat them, whatever you do, DO NOT JOIN THEM.

I’m not sure that this one would bring solace to everyone, but it does for me.

5. Don’t be afraid to change your mind about Sabres-related issues.

I would never judge you for changing your mind. In fact, I’d respect you for it, because it means you’re using your brain and responding to the situation at hand, and not to some prior position which was every bit as dumb as whatever position you’re currently taking. My point is that when it comes to the Sabres, we’re all idiots, all the time. Try to mix it up a little. Variety is the spice of life!

Example: I’ve flip-flopped a million times on Lindy Ruff. My opinion changes weekly, and yet I’m quite certain I’ve never been wrong about him. Heh.

6. Watch the game in a bar.

It’s hard to pay attention to a game in a bar, and even harder to get all bent out of shape about a game you watch in a bar.

7. While you’re in that bar, drink a lot.

Alcohol helps.

8. Figure out which of your friends are Sabres-sane and which are Sabres-crazy, and choose to hang out with the Sabres-sane ones.

Everyone who is reading or writing this blog is Sabres-crazy. If you were even remotely sane about the Sabres you’d be ignoring them completely by now. If you put two Sabres-crazy people together for a game like last night things can go south in a hurry because you’re both so invested in the outcome.

I actually have quite a few friends who are Sabres-sane. These people watch the games when they happen to be in front of a television when the Sabres are playing, and while they’d certainly prefer a win to a loss they’re not going to go to a dark place no matter what. These friends are worth their weight in gold right now. If you have friends like this, you should be nice to them and buy them lots of beer.

9. Don’t judge other fans, and stop caring about the opinions of people who do.

This is going to sound contradictory in light of the fact that I just called a bunch of people “Whiner Line dummies,” and encouraged you to disagree with them on principle, but whatevs.

It really bothers me when people who sit at home (or worse, FAR WORSE, the press box) rag on the fans at the game. I work really, really hard to pay for my seats, and there is no conceivable way to care more about the Sabres than I do.  The constant message earlier this season that I was “doing it wrong” in the arena was actually very hurtful to me. I stopped giving those opinions my respect a few months ago, and it felt GREAT.

If someone puts the word “fan” into quotation marks on twitter, feel free to disregard their tweet entirely. They’re just having a douchey moment and hopefully it will pass. If the douchey moment doesn’t pass, unfollow them.

For better or for worse, we’re all in this together. There is really no reason to turn on each other. Do your best to refrain from fan-cannibalism and NO MATTER WHAT don’t let the worst of it get to you.

10. Basketball!

I know some people in Buffalo love to hate basketball, but I bet you’re not one of those people. Basketball is fun and since you don’t care about it at all (to the point where you regularly forget which teams you like), it’s a totally safe distraction from the Sabres.

I haven’t watched much basketball yet this season, but I like knowing it’s there.

11. Have your sister and her husband make you a niece.

Hi, Ruby!

This one is a little impractical because the best babies (i.e. fattest) take about nine months to prepare, but with proper timing, a new niece can do wonders to put a spring in your step.

At the risk of sounding very cheesy, now is a good time to put the Sabres in the proper perspective. Following hockey is our hobby, but I’m positive that everyone reading this has a lot of other important and beautiful things going on in their lives. Let’s dwell on those a bit.


Well, that’s all I’ve got! Feel free to leave other suggestions in the comments. Stay strong, Sabres fans.

Let’s go Buff-a-lo!

Tickets! Tickets! Step Right Up and Get Your Tickets!

WOOOOOOOOOO! Look what I picked up today! The season tickets are gigantic this year, and they’re not bound in a book. The tickets come in a tidy stack, all tied up with a Sabres sash. I like these tickets better than last years tickets because they feature a prominent picture instead of being 95% covered in gobbledygook (“gobbledygook” being, “words”).

Here, this life-size Spiderman displays the enormousness of the new Sabres tickets. Aren't they swell? And huge? Also interesting: That's Brad Boyes' face on a ticket for a game that won't occur until late February 2012. That's a mighty bold prediction, Sabres graphic artists!

Speaking of tickets…

This year, as part as the season ticket package, season ticket holders had to buy both preseason games. If I remember correctly, in past seasons the Sabres gave us one game for free, and we had the option to buy the other game.

I usually enjoy the preseason games, mostly because it’s my first chance to head down to the arena, watch some hockey, and drink a big beer. It’s a nice way to ring in the new season, but it’s not exactly great hockey. I’m really looking forward to attending one preseason game, but two in one week feels like overkill. I’m guessing a lot of season ticket holders feel the same way, which is why I anticipate a lot of preseason tickets going to waste this year.

I hope every season ticket holder takes the time to make sure their tickets find a good home. You know who probably doesn’t care at all about the differences between preseason hockey and regular season hockey? Little kids.

So, consider this an official call to action. Season ticket holders, if you’re not going to use your preseason tickets GIVE THEM AWAY! Find someone who will use them. It’s really not that hard. In my experience, if you say to someone, “Hey, do you want these free Sabres tickets?” they will usually say, “Why yes. Yes, I do.” If you can’t find anyone to take your tickets, you can donate them through the Sabres website, OR, you can give them to me, and I will give them to a lucky reader.


The Preseason Ticket giveaway, and how it shall work.

I have two tickets to the Sabres vs. Leafs game on Saturday, Sept 24th that I don’t plan to use. If I scrounge up any extra tickets from other STHs, I’ll also give those away.

Here’s how you enter the contest:

Leave a comment on this post that says, “Please enter me to win the tickets.”

In a week or so, I’ll draw a name out of a hat, and someone will win the tickets.

FINE PRINT: If you want to make me happy (but not increase your chances of winning in the slightest), please feel free to also tell me how pretty and/or charming I am in the comment of this post. Money and gifts will also be accepted, but (regrettably) will not increase your chances of winning the tickets. Failure to find me pretty and/or charming will be highly frowned upon, but will carry no penalties regarding this contest. If you are a Leafs fan, you are eligible to win the tickets, but only if you wear a Sabres jersey, cheer for the Sabres, and conceal your disgusting Leaf-y tendencies in every single way. Failure to comply with the rules contained in this fine print is punishable by death. That’s right. Death.

Sabres Fan Documentary

Sabres fans, let me ask you four simple questions:

1. Are you a Sabres fan? (Yes, you are. If you’re reading this blog you’re either a Sabres fan, or my mother.)
2. Are you super awesome? (Yes! You are!)
3. Are you incredibly attractive and/or hilarious? (Duh. Of course you are.)
4. Do you want to be a STAR OF STAGE AND SCREEN? (Of COURSE you do! You were BORN to be a star!)

Well, get this: There is a woman making a documentary about Sabres fans.

I KNOW. A movie, about us.


A few weeks ago I was contacted by a woman named Mary Wall. Mary is a native of Buffalo, but now she lives out in California and she works on the television show “The Office”. Mary is making a documentary about Sabres fans, and she’s looking for cast members. From what I’ve gathered from our email correspondences, it sounds to me like Mary is actually making a movie about Buffalo, and she is using Sabres fandom as an illustrator of our basic character as a region.

Longtime readers of this blog will understand why this caught my attention. I believe strongly that there is a connection between the character of the people of Buffalo and our relationship to our often woebegone sports franchises.  I became a Sabres fan out of a desire to become closer to this city, and it worked like a charm. I became a Sabres fan, and almost like magic, I became a Buffalonian. If I wanted to tell the story of this region, one of the first places I’d start is HSBC Arena. The connection between the Sabres and the city is what this blog is all about. The Willful Caboose is me, talking about my life here in Buffalo, and using my Sabres fandom as the stage.

Basically, I think Mary is onto something with her movie. She’s speaking my language here.

Now, to be clear, I’ve never met Mary Wall. In our emails she seems nice and intelligent, and I love the basic premise of her project, but having never met her, I can’t exactly vouch for her on a personal level. What I can say is that she does not seem insane or crazy in any way (other than the whole “move to Buffalo from LA and spend the winter following hockey fans around in the snow.” I think you can argue that’s a little wonky. But other than that, she seems totally normal and cool). All I’m saying right now is that I think this is a neat idea, and I’d love to see Mary succeed with this documentary.

And that’s where you guys come in.

Mary needs people to be IN the movie. Some of the questions that I asked at the beginning of this post may have been a little misleading. Mary is looking for all types of people. Young, old, cool, nerdy, hot, less-hot, life long fans, and newbies. Basically, if you love the Sabres, then Mary wants to hear your story. From what I gather, a key element of the casting process is getting a variety of different people, so please, spread the word. The Sabres touch our lives in a million different ways. If you know someone with a unique Sabres story, encourage them to get in touch with Mary.

Here is how Mary describes who she is looking for:

We are currently casting for Sabres fans. It doesn’t matter if you were born a fan or became one later in life; whether you were born in Buffalo or adopted the city as your home. If the Sabres’ ups and downs are your ups and downs, we want to hear your story. We want to hear from season ticket holders and people who listen to the radio while dreaming of seeing a game live. We want people who have woven the Sabres into their lives: when your child was born during the playoffs, when you served in Iraq, when you got over your first heartbreak (you know you fantasized about Ray beating him), when you beat cancer – whatever your Sabres story is, we want to hear it.

Mary will be in Buffalo this week holding open casting calls at the following locations. All the casting calls are 5-8pm.

Wednesday 8/17/11 – Spot Coffee
765 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222

Thursday 8/18/11 – Audubon Library
(Community Meeting Room)
350 John James Audubon Pkwy
Amherst, NY 14228

Friday 8/19/11 –    The Comfort Zone Cafe
17 Main St
Hamburg, NY 14075

Walk-ins are welcome, but you can also e-mail to set up an appointment, ask questions, or share stories.

If you want to read a little more about the project and who Mary’s looking for, here’s a link to the Facebook page.

So, go to a casting call. Talk to Mary, ask her questions, and tell her your story. The casting interviews will be low-key and not filmed. There’s really nothing to lose here, and to me this seems like something worth checking out.  I think this sounds like a wonderful project, and I hope you do too.

The Sabres Blogroll Project

Since there isn’t much of interest going on in Sabreland right now, my thoughts have turned to more bloggy matters. Specifically, my blogroll.

Once upon a time, I took tender loving care of my Sabres blogroll. I tended it, and weeded it, and whispered sweet nothings into its ear so that it knew it was loved, but somewhere along the way, I drifted away from my blogroll. Earlier today I started tinkering with my Sabres blogroll and I discovered that was a big fat mess. Not only were there dead blogs, but there are important omissions.

In looking over my blogroll, I’ve realized that I no longer have what I’d consider a full grasp of the Sabres blogosphere. I don’t think I even know what’s out there these days. Back when I started Sabres blogging about four years ago, I honestly think I read every post that appeared on every Sabres blog, everyday. Since then the blogosphere has absolutely exploded. There are, like, a bazillion Sabres blogs now, and I don’t think anyone could possibly read them all. The blogosphere is absolutely churning out content at this point.

This is a potentially exciting time for the Sabres blogosphere. The Blogger Summit showed us that the Sabres organization is paying attention to us, and that they are willing to instigate conversations with the blogosphere. I’m not sure the Sabres (or any sports franchise) really know how to deal with bloggers yet, and I think in this uncertainty is a fair amount of opportunity. Right now the Sabres seem like an organization that is invigorated, curious, and creative. A luck would have it, we’ve got an army of invigorated, curious, and creative people writing about the Sabres as a hobby. I don’t have any idea what the future could bring in terms of the blogosphere’s relationship with the team, but I do know there is power in numbers.

It seems to me that the more people we having blogging, the higher the odds the Sabres will continue to want to interact with the blogosphere… which is where the blogroll comes in.

I’d like to assemble a list of every single Sabres blog out there. I want to know who is writing. Specifically, I want to know how many people are writing. I want a number.

In the past I’ve invited the blogosphere to be on my blogroll, but this is a little different. This time I am asking for your help compiling a list, as a favor to me. In the end, I want to have a definitive list that says, “This is who we are. This is the Sabres blogosphere.” I’m planning to dedicate a page of this blog to the blogroll, and I promise (cross my heart) to keep it updated.

Here’s the criteria for being on the blogroll:

1. The blogs have to primarily about the Sabres and/or Buffalo sports. I used to have a handful of general Buffalo-centric blogs in the blogroll, but I took those out. Obviously, it’s cool to write about other stuff (hell, half of this blog is about other stuff), but the Sabres should be the main thing.

2. The blog must be active. When I went through my existing blogroll I took out all the blogs that hadn’t been updated at all in the 2011 calendar year. So, the definition of “active” is pretty loose. If you’ve written in the last six months, you’re in.

That’s it.

I’ve moved the current Sabres blogroll up in the sidebar. Take a look at the list, and let me know who I’m missing. Please do not be shy. Leave links in the comment section, email me at, or contact me on twitter.

Thank you for your help! Happy blogging!


I spent all of Sunday lounging around in dark clothing, applying very heavy black eyeliner, listening to Morrissey, and cursing the day I ever heard of the sport “hockey”.   This season has worn me down, and now I’m just a pathetic, angry emo hockey fan.  (I’m actually not sure about the technical definition of “emo”.  That’s how old I am.  I think it means “mopey and obnoxious,” both of which, I ASSURE YOU, I am.)

Last season, my first as a fan, had a certain…enjoyable hysteria that I found amusing, even when the Sabres were floundering.  This year is different.  This year it’s just bland, middling, average, not very good, beige, boring, disappointing, and uninspired.

So there I was, feeling miserable, and trying to avoid calling Blobby, when I wandered over to Sabretooth’s House.  Anne has a great post up now.  Her point is that the Sabres are extremely lucky to have fallen apart now rather than later because it’s not too late for this season. It’s practically trade deadline day! This is the time of year when we should be dreaming of BIG CHANGE.

Now look.  I defended Darcy during the co-captain debacle.  I attributed almost all of last season to “growing pains” and fallout from “locker room instability”.  I LOVED this team, I believed in this team, and I wanted nothing more than for “the core” to sign lifetime contracts in Buffalo.  But…..I’m over it now.

I know the Sabres have been dealt a rough hand as far as injuries go, but I don’t think a good team would fold up at the first sign of adversity.   The Sabres aren’t a terrible team, they’re just not that good.  I’m not sure how much more evidence we need.   This team has no oomph, no shaZAM, no juicy center. The entire organization just seems flaccid and impotent.  (Yeah, I said it Timmy.)

So, what to do?

I spent the weekend writing in various comment threads that I think the team needs to be dismantled.  I’ve backed off from that a bit.   I don’t think the team needs to be sold off, but I do think the locker room needs a good shake-up.  Now, I’m not suggesting we should cash in all our NHL-caliber dudes for a pile of picks and prospects, but I do think this team needs at least one bold roster change.  Let’s freak these little jerks out a bit.  Save for Miller, Gaustad (because I love him), Vanek, and Butler (because I have a good feeling about him), I don’t think there is any Sabre that should be considered untouchable.

What, for example, would Jason Pominville fetch?

Because of the way Darcy filled the holes left behind by Briere and Drury (he didn’t), Sabres fans have a tendency to assume that losing a guy means we will suddenly have a hole in the lineup.  By that way of thinking, if we were to trade Pommer, we’d need one of the Pirates to step up and be our new doodle.  Trouble is, relying on the kids from Portland is a waiting game, and the Sabres really don’t have the time to spare anymore.  If there is one thing I know, it’s that this organization needs new (grown-up, MANLY) blood.  What if – and this is going to blow your mind- Darcy traded Jason Pominville (or whoever), and got a proven commodity in exchange?

Briere and Drury didn’t come up through the system.  They were the result of some shrewd trading.

All I ever hear about around here is how Darcy is some kind of mad genius when it comes to trades and finding the diamonds in the rough.  Well, GET ON IT, DUDE!   You found a way to get Craig Rivet in a Sabres uniform- let’s see what else you can do.  But Darcy, let me warn you, if you trade Tim Connolly away and then try to tell me Nathan Gerbe will be his replacement, it’s over between us.  O-VER.

The Conditions Are Right…..

……for voting!

Let’s look at the evidence (also make sure you look at the update at the end of this post):

1. Ryan Miller posted TWO shutouts IN A ROW!  TWO! And not the sarcastic “Ryan Miller shutouts” where he actually let in a lazy goal at the end.  TWO ACTUAL GAMES IN WHICH NO PUCKS ENTERED HIS NET!

2. Craig Rivet is back!  My friend Daniel (who is not really a hockey fan.  [I’m working on him, but it’s tough…..he’s from Kentucky.]) recently told that me that he was very disappointed when he learned that Craig Rivet’s name was pronounced “Ri-vay”.  Apparently, he thought our captain’s last name was the English pronunciation of “rivet”.  Daniel think we should be calling Rivet, “The Steel Riv-it”.  You know what?  I think Daniel is absolutely right, and I can’t believe no one else has mentioned this before.  I mean, here’s the definition of “riveting”:

  1. To fasten or secure with or as if with a rivet.
  2. To hammer the headless end of so as to form a head and fasten something.
  3. To fasten or secure firmly; fix.
  4. To engross or hold (the attention, for example).

That kind of describes Rivet perfectly, right?   He showed up in Buffalo and fixed the Sabres by joining everyone together as a cohesive unit.  Plus, he’s riveting in that we are all held in rapt attention when he is in the lineup.

My point here is that I believe we should start purposefully mispronouncing Craig Rivet’s name so that we may call him “The Steel Rivet”.  It’s a badass nickname and it suits him.

3. Timmy skated without a helmet IN AN NHL GAME for several seconds, and he did not die.  If that’s not an omen of good fortune, I don’t know what is.

4.  Last night Lindy was wearing a suit and tie that perfectly coordinated with his yellow hair and mustache.  I love it when Lindy dresses to match his yellow hair.

Coordinated Lindy


So, as you can PLAINLY see, there has never been a better time to vote than today.  Conditions are perfect.


UPDATE: At the suggestion of the frequently hilarious Reigning Frog, we have called an official TWC VOTE!  Please cast your vote now on this important issue: SHOULD LINDY RUFF’S NEW NICKNAME BE COLONEL MUSTARD?  This may be the most important vote you will ever cast, people.

Adam Mair’s Charm School For Bloggers

Katebits: Adam, I recently realized that I am TOTALLY confused about the Buffalo Sabrgosphere.  There are, like, a hundred million Sabres blogs out there!  I don’t even think I know about all the Sabres blogs anymore.  My blogroll is a mess.

Adam: Maintaining a tidy blogroll is important for any blogger who hopes to make a good impression.

Katebits: I do want to make a good impression!

Adam: And that’s why you’ve come to Adam Mair’s Charm School For Bloggers?

Katebits:  Yes. I’m looking for tips on blogging etiquette.

Adam:  I would be happy to assist you with that, Ms. Katebits.  First of all, I commend you for making this effort to become a well mannered blogger.

Katebits:  Thanks.  I try to be classy.  I mean, I’m not very good at being classy….but I try.

Adam: (gets out a leather bound notebook and fancy feather pen)  Alright, in what area of blogging do you feel you need the most guidance?

(Adam begins jotting down notes as Katebits speaks)

Katebits: Well, like I said, there are so many Sabres blogs now that I’ve gotten WAY behind in my efforts to keep track of them, much less read them all.  I spent a few minutes updating my blogroll today, and I realized there are 29 active Sabres blogs right now.  TWENTY NINE! And those are just the ones I KNOW about!  I need help keeping track of all the Sabres blogs so that I can enjoy them and link to them when appropriate.

Adam: (looking up notebook with a disapproving gaze) Katebits, if you want to be viewed as a lady of impeccable taste and high breeding you can’t have that many links in your blogroll.  It makes you look…oh heavens…how can I put this tactfully?…..well, to be perfectly frank it makes you look….easy.  A blogroll of this size is unseemly!  If you want to maintain a reputation as a woman of high moral fiber, some of those blogs have to go.

Katebits: Really?  But they’re all Sabres blogs!  I love Sabres blogs!  I could never choose!  No, I’m afraid my policy must remain: If you’re writing a Sabres blog and you’ve been regularly updating for a few weeks, send me an email and I’ll put you on the blogroll.

Adam: I say, this type of permissive policy simply will not do!  What about gossipy blogs about the player’s lives?  I suppose your blogroll is FULL of gossip blogs!

Katebits: Well, first of all, that’s not really our style.  Bloggers like to leave the unsightly gossip for the (sniffing in exaggerated disgust) message boards. Plus, not to be rude or anything, but no one really cares that much about your real lives, Adam.

Adam: What?!  I find that insulting!

Katebits: (cooly) Hm.  Well then, I apologize.

Adam: I’m not sure I can accept that apology.

Katebits: Why ever not?

Adam: I think that perhaps only a JOKE would say such a thing.

Katebits: Are you calling me a joke?

Adam: Perhaps I am!  Yes, I believe I am!  I think you, Katebits, are a joke.

Katebits: (getting angry) Oh, YEAH?  Well, what are you going to do about it?

Adam: I shall make you pay!  (rubbing a smelly hockey glove in Katebits’ face) YOU’RE A JOKE!

(Katebits and Adam start brawling until they are broken up by Sabretooth and members of the local media who happen to be filming the entire encounter.)

The End

(Moral of the story: Don’t go to Adam Mair for etiquette lessons, and if you want to be on the blogroll, send me an email.)

Friendly Reminder

Dear Sabres,

Are you taking proper care of your fingers and thumbs? Hand digit health is of the utmost importance.  I know it seems like fingers and thumbs are no big deal, but it turns out, you need them to play hockey.  So, take your finger steroids vitamins please.

Thank you.



Dear Buffalo,

Giiiiirl, you need to pull it together. Listen, there is not a damn thing you can do about these Sabres, so how about you take a deep breath and try to relax? I know it’s really hard not to get sucked into all the dirty drama surrounding the team and their craptastic play, but honestly, what good does it do you? None. Larry Quinn is an asshole, Darcy is a sad-sack, the players are slackers, the management sucks, Lindy is too soft, blah blah blah blah BLAH. Do you feel any better now? No. You feel worse, don’t you? Dwelling too much on this team is like drinking poison. How about you stop calling into sports radio talk shows and instead play a little Guitar Hero, maybe have a glass of wine. Chill.

With Love,


PS- If they are still sucking this hard in a few weeks, we’ll T.P. their houses.

Sabres Meditation

I’m feeling much better now guys. I think I know what happened. You see, I got too excited after the 10-1 win. Due to the unexpected surge of love for hockey, my chakras and my heart space were wide open going into the Leafs game, which is why it was so painful when the Sabres phoned it in. But thanks to some good advice in the comments, and a fun, football-filled day away from hockey, I think I am ready to face the Sabres again. I have spent the last day building an impenetrable fortress around my heart, a wall so mighty that no Sabre will ever be able to cross my defenses again. (Well, okay Pommers, you can come in, but hurry quick before Roy-Z sees the open door.)

Please press play on this video and listen to the music as you read the rest of this post:

I feel that the lessons I have learned this weekend can be of service to my readers. It is my dream that my journey can help many of you come to terms with your own feelings of hockey disillusionment. I have devised a guided meditation to heal your soul and reintroduce Sabres hockey in a safe and soothing environment. As you view these images, let your mind relax. I recommend focusing on each image for 3-5 seconds, moving on only when you feel ready. If you find yourself becoming unrelaxed, don’t panic, simply return to the previous image until you have returned to calm. (All images lazily stolen from cuteoverload.)

Good. Now begin scrolling down through the images. Good luck!

Ahhh. You are feeling veeery relaxed.

The world is full of delight.

Breath in. Breath out.

Baby Goose and Pommerdoodle cannot hurt you.

Breath in. Breath out.

You are safe and comfortable. You are cradled in the universe’s love.

The world provides unexpected pleasures.

Remember the Ice Bowl? That was a great day.

Hockey doesn’t have to hurt, even when they lose.

Breath in. Breath out.

Enthusiasm is healthy.

Aww, happy Crunchy is cute.

Baby Vanek cannot hurt you.

Breath in. Breath out.

Take solace in friendship. You are not alone.

Relax your mind. Let the images wash over you.

Let’s start with some easy ones.

I can’t remember who this kid is, but maybe he’ll be a Sabre someday.



Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.


I think that’s enough for today. Good job. We were doing great there, right up until the very end. Even though we are not completely healed, I do feel we are rehabilitated enough to face the 4pm game versus the Coyotes.

Go Sabres! (assholes)

(Special thanks to Stephany for emailing me the hilarious Amerks yearbook photos of Goose and Pommers!)


…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

Observations 2
I can be reached at: willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com

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In accordance with the Fair Use Copyright Law, The Willful Caboose uses logos and registered trademarks of the National Hockey League to convey my criticism and inform the public of the Sabres' suckitude/badassitude (whatever the case may be). Photos on The Willful Caboose are used without permission, but do not interfere with said owner's profit. If you own a specific image on this site and want it removed, please e-mail me (willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com) and I will be more than happy willing to oblige. (Special thanks to The Pensblog for their help with this disclaimer.)