It’s already started. It may have started last year, even. Tweeters and bloggers who left Buffalo alone, or held them up as an example of a team doing the best it could with less are disappearing. Media members and pundits who ignored the Sabres are paying attention now. Terry Pegula made sure of that. Not all of the attention is positive, though. Some folks have an agenda, or are simply grumpy morons. They are trying their best to rile you up, mock the spending spree Terry is on, belittle the players on your favored team. Do you know why? There are two possibilities.
1. They are a fan of a team that is a Have. Terry, Ted and Darcy are doing everything in their power (and copious wallet in the case of Mr. Pegula) to ensure the Sabres join that club. Everyone hates the Nouveau Riche.
2. They are a fan of a team that is a Have-not. Maybe their owner is a cheapskate, maybe they are non-existent. The Pegula Sabres represent everything they hate about the big money teams. Long-term deals to free agents, cap ‘circumvention’, and fans that are having fun with it. We should all be miserable with them, you see.
It’s hard to blame them – how long ago was it that Buffalo fit into that second category? We decried every huge contract the big money teams signed, then found a way out of. We saw free agents that grew up in our system signed away for stupid money, and told ourselves it was OK, they weren’t worth that money anyway. Our pipeline has talent, we’ll do it the hard way. Well, the tables have turned. Buffalo has a solid pipeline of talent coming up, AND they were the ones signing guys for stupid money.
So what should you do? Taking pity on the haters doesn’t work, because their minds our made up – anything you say to them will just confirm how messed up and WRONG you are. It’s probably best just to ignore them and enjoy the ride. Nothing will infuriate them more. BUT, sports isn’t fun without a rivalry, so remember what was said. There’s nothing better than gloating later when an idiot is proven wrong.