The Hockey News Claims Sabres Fans Not “Energetic”, I Get Upset and Attempt a Rebuttal
Ask anyone what the atmosphere in the HSBC Arena is like and you will generally get the same response: “Energetic”. Edward Fraser of The Hockey News, however, begs to differ. Earlier today he wrote a piece about the lackluster amount of energy that he claims exists in the Arena this year. He writes,
During our last trip – as (Ryan) Kennedy detailed in his roundup column – the energy in HSBC Arena, which was so rampant and almost palatable in seasons past and made taking in a Sabres game such a special experience, had dropped like Max Afinogenov’s 2008-09 production.
Ok, although he is correct in saying that that the energy in the Arena was rampant and palatable (…?), there a a few flaws in Fraser’s argument. Being a Sabres fan, I feel the need to set the record straight (someone’s gotta do it).
The first problem is the fact that he used a pun regarding Max Afinogenov’s past production. Really, man? Those are so overused. We get it, okay? He was good and then he wasn’t and then we sent him away and now he is again. I’m sick of hearing about how poorly Max played. If I ever use that pun, please, please, please call me out on it.
Second, this whole idea seems kind of like a weak introduction to talk about how awesome the Sabres are playing. If you continue to read through the piece, Fraser spends pretty much the rest of the article talking about how great the Sabres are. He discusses The Man, The Myth, The Miller, the solid and stingy defense that we have and even how deep our scoring is. If you want to talk about how well the Sabres are playing, just do it. No one is going to hurt you (despite the fact that 80% of sports writers refuse to touch us). All of his points are correct and very flattering to lil ole me but the fact that he used US THE FANS to provide an introduction for a pretty generic piece about the Sabres really upsets me.
How many times can Buffalo sports fans get kicked around and treated like crap? For goodness sake, isn’t that what Jerry Sullivan is for? Don’t we get enough of that from Ralph C. Wilson Jr.? We are clearly the most passionate sports fans for all sports (except maybe Lacrosse which naturally is our best sport) that we have. When the playoffs roll around, there is no city that can touch us. We practically started the trend of watching playoff games outside of Arenas with the “Party in the Plaza”.
Fraser also says that a “distance has been created between the team and the fans as a result of free agents leaving town coupled with disappointing on-ice results”. Listen. I’m only going to say this once. Okay? Yes we lost both Chris Drury and Danny Briere at the same time after both had outstanding seasons. Yes it hurt us immensely and we could notr ecover for nearly two seasons. Yes the team’s play the past two seasons has been poor. But let me tell you something, naysayers, we’re over it. And we have been. For a while. We got over it real quick after Briere and Drury both underwhelmed their teams almost right of the bat. But I digress a bit, I guess.
There is no way that this fan base has been lackluster in terms of energy. I was just at a game last week. The thing I saw most (besides Tyler Myers jerseys) was energetic, enthusiastic, excited and passionate fans. The majority of games this year have been sellouts and that is just a testament to how well this team has been playing and how excited these fans are about it.
Mr. Fraser, I thank you for complimenting the Sabres as much as you did. There is no need to worry, though, because this fan base is just as energetic as it ever has. Talk to any fan on the street or at a game and I’m sure they will change your mind.
Trust me, once the playoffs come around, this city transforms itself into a living, breathing Sabres fan.
I’ll get off the soapbox now.
Enjoy the game tonight.