Puckin’ Around

Hard to watch the Sabres these days and not be a little nausated a bit if you are a fan. People are wanting all sorts of changes. My goals are a little more modest. I just want them not to suck.

When I was a lad in the summer and fall of 85, I was an sports department intern at WGRZ. One night in January, the department was short a few people and the sports anchor that night sent me with a camera down to the Aud for the end of that night Sabres/Canadiens game. I was under strict orders not to ask questions, just to get a microphone under anybody who might be talking (as the team was in a tailspin that wasn’t as bad as this season’s). I’m not going to lie, it was incredibly cool to strut in the media entrance, hang out by the Zamboni area to watch the final few minutes and more importantly, not get shoo-ed away when the gates closed as the players from both teams were coming off the ice. If only somebody I knew would have seen me.

It was a bad Sabres loss. The door to the locker room stayed shut for awhile as nobody was allowed in. I recognized a few of the real media gathered there, but standing with us was Scotty Bowman, the Sabres GM at the time. Despite his being about a foot shorter than I, his gaze scared me a bit, enough that I started to cover up the WSBU logo on the jacket I had on with the Channel 2 Mic flag.

After the longest 15 minutes I had ever experienced outside of a dentist office, we were let in. You were supposed to get the head coach then players, but the coach at the time, Jim Schoenfeld, never appeared. Scotty was apparently gazing at him. I got my player interviews and got out of there, and was right that something was up in regards to the coach.

Scotty took over the next day and didn’t do any better. It turned out it just wasn’t a good team. Cut to modern day, and people are screaming for Lindy or Darcy to get dumped. I’m not certain what the answer is. I mean, everybody has a bad day at the office periodically, but how many of us have to sit and watch other people work to remind us how to do our gigs.

I don’t know what the answers is, but when the announcement that pitchers and catchers are reporting to spring training, it was a little frightening that spring training baseball could be the diversion we’ve been waiting for.

Come on, Terry, we don’t want Buffalo to be hockey heaven for visitors….


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