The Buffalo Sabres didn’t make the playoffs. They traded their captain away. Ryan Miller is selling his townhouse. We’re booing too much. It’s a tough life, being a Buffalo sports fan, and I’m not even going into the hand-wringing over what the Bills are doing in the draft. It seems like forever since we were truly comfortable with the people in charge of our teams, the choices they make. At best we can offer a lame “Well, at least they made some changes!” when looking at the new coaches, but for many, it’s not enough. The back office people are all the same, and while many of us are hoping there will be some significant changes in players on the field/ice, well, we’ll see what happens. Fitzpatrick and Pominville are both gone, both guys who were liked here as much for their nice-guy personalities than for contributions to the cause. A few shining moments here and there, a ton of mediocrity, and a hearty shrug as they pass through the door.
What does it take to change this attitude here? There’s an adversarial feel to the team/fan/media dynamic much of the time, does winning alone fix that? Do you have to win the Stanley Cup or a Super Bowl? Just make the playoffs? It can’t be that last one, at least for the Sabres, as just squeaking in and getting eliminated didn’t help much. Bills fans might kill for that now, but knowing this city, that buys ‘em six months, tops.
It’s like people have forgotten that sports are fun. I watched the Sabres game the other night, and had a blast. Despite the fact they were eliminated from the playoffs. Stop crossing our arms and sitting on our hands because we don’t like their breakout play. If watching hockey or football makes you miserable, and you can’t help but take it out on your fellow fans, why do you still do it? Did you forget there are other forms of entertainment? Or are you afraid of being called a bandwagon fan when you hear about a win streak and start watching again? I won’t call you that.
I didn’t want this to come out like a “quit booing, dummy” post, but it does seem like our go-to move. It reflects poorly on a city that loves their sports teams as much as anywhere. Let’s make next season, a season to be positive. Let’s cheer again. Let’s support a player who makes a mistake. We can’t control the team on the ice or field, or what the media writes, but we are in charge of ourselves. Be happy. Have fun.
See you at the draft.