To say the Sabres are going through some hard times would be a bit of an understatement. For us long time fans, it is a heavy cross to bear. When the Chicago Cubs referred to themselves as loveable losers, that seemed a bit of a stretch.
I mean, it’s not like you can’t have a little fun at these things a bit. I know it’s a bit of a stretch. I still remember my first Sabres game. I believe I was all of 9 and they were such a hot ticket (despite not being very good), that you had to wait for a ticket miracle to happen. I think one did in the form of my mom’s butcher selling her his pair for a night. So, my dad and I trekked up to the Blues in the Aud and enjoyed the Sabres, complete with Tim Horton, and the California Golden Seals. Good guy that he is, he smiled and said sure when I made clear I wanted to see the whole thing, and not be one of the fans headed for “the exits” as I would hear Ted Darling say on many a Sunday night broadcast. The sunday night 7pm games were great radio fodder.
This occurred to me the other night. I usher during the events there and it struck me that it’s a different world. One of the kicks is to see people of all ages seeing the place for the first time. Eyes get a little big taking in the whole site for the first time, even for more experienced fans. It’s even more fun watching young fans, who don’t remember the Drury-Briere debacle, laying their wide eyes on the home team in the flesh for the first time.
Struck me that while nobody should be satisfied with losing all the time, and most of the regularly winning teams win, so third jerseys and the like aren’t needed, but sometimes you got to relax a little. When the Sabres fell behind 2-0, I spotted a couple of grouchy younger fathers pulling their sons up and calling it a day.
Dudes!! Really? They weren’t giving out trophies for anything last night. Nothing was getting decided. The world was going to spin on its axis at the same regardless, and by stomping off in a huff, you missed a genuinely exciting finish with the home team storming back, with four unanswered goals, and Drew Stafford hit a guy! Like Brick and the Trident, only it was better because it was real.
The Leafs can’t come to town nightly, sometimes you got take what the schedule makers give you, realize there is no cup to won tonight, and just shaddup and enjoy. That, and let the kid finish eating his popcorn.
It’s a night out, you don’t beat the traffic, nobody ever has.