What Else is Left to Do?

Hi all. Happy 2012. My New Years Resolution: to give all of you a post per week. Whether or not I’ll follow through remains to be seen given however much homework I get assigned. But, that’s neither here nor there at this point. Tonight, I write in my first hockey tee shirt: a Born In Buffalo shirt which says “Brett Hull is a Cheater,” with the skate in the crease, a pair of Nike Fredonia navy blue shorts, and my traditional black Nike calf socks. You might be thinking to yourself, “why should I continue, and is he going to ask me to share what I’M wearing?” Well, no, I’m not going to ask you that, because that’s creepy. Instead, I want you to bear with me while I try for the first time ever to write without a plan about our beloved Sabres.

Tonight, the Sabres took on the Detroit Red Wings in HockeyTown, USA. Ryan Miller gave up 5 goals in front of his family, got embarrassed by his brother Drew, and got yanked early in the second period of a 5-0 drubbing in MoTown, giving the Wings their 15th straight home victory, a mark that set a new team record. Now, before you ask, no, I’m not going to sit here and cry and moan and clamor for a coach to be fired, or a GM to make a trade, or an owner to fire everyone to shake things up in a desperate attempt to sneak into another low playoff seed. I’m not going to sit here and mince words about how the system being implemented isn’t working anymore, or how the team needs a change. I’m not going to say anything along those lines because it’s a waste of my breath. Everyone, and I mean everyone who is a fan, follower, writer, blogger, professional or freelance, minor or adult, has said something to that extent before, myself included on Twitter (@DaveTRW).

I work part-time at Moe’s Southwest Grill. We are a sponsor of the Sabres, with some sort of goal-scoring coupon promotion. (You need the coupon to get the promotion, by the by). So in between stretches of washing dishes and scrubbing dining room tables, I glance at the game and/or hear the audio. I’ve been right there with all of you all season long, watching as we’ve lost the equivalent of 26 games, 21 in regulation. I get it. I hear all of you. I’m on the same page.

I’m tired. I’m tired of the same old thing too. I’m tired of giving my heart, soul, brain and time to a television set or a radio or anything dealing with this team too. I am. I have no fix, I have no magic that will allow everyone to get healthy and develop chemistry to magically make a run at a playoff spot again like last year. I have no answers. It’s maddening, upsetting, and it just plain old sucks. It sucks, and it will continue to suck until we either go insane or get what we want. And I have a pretty solid feeling it’s the former, unless you decide to stop being a fan.

This post is designed to express exhaustion, both as a man from washing dishes, and a fan who just wants a championship for his city. Did you figure that out from the title? Probably, since you’re some of the most intelligent readers in the universe. But this post is also designed to serve as a gentle, kind reminder to those who want to jump ship.

What else is left to do?

Seriously, think about it. Nearly everyone I talk to HATES the NBA. Buffalo Bandits lacrosse season just started, and the team looks better than ever, but I digress. The Bills don’t start for another 8 months again, so you could always prognosticate and project and predict what’s going to unfold until kickoff next September (or August if you’re a die-hard like me, but again, I digress). You can continue to whine and complain and harass the folks at WGR about how Terry Pegula, the lord and savior of Hockey Heaven needs to do something. You can continue to say that you won’t watch the game and you’ll do it eventually, but you’ll still probably tune into the radio and listen just because you’re curious, and again you’ll be hooked.

I get it. I do. I’d give my left kidney just to look at a Stanley Cup game inside the FN’ Center. I’d drop out of school, take my money and buy the Cup for you guys if I could. I’d do just about anything to see a major championship come to Buffalo. (I’m talking MAJOR, not the Bandits, although 2008 was an awesome experience to behold). But guess what? We can wish in one hand and crap in the other and still nothing will get done. And you know what? That old Buffalo sports fan mentality has to kick in at some point and will you to stay with it. Because seriously, what else is left to do? Write an angry letter to The Buffalo News and get published. Cool, you’ll get your 15 minutes of fame but it won’t do anything because I’m pretty confident that if Terry Pegula listened to the fans, the following changes would have been made:

  1. New Coach
  2. New GM
  3. Derek Roy-traded
  4. Ville Leino-cut/traded
  5. Drew Stafford-traded
  6. Ryan Miller-traded
  7. Jhonas Enroth-starter
  8. Andrej Sekera-traded
  9. Drew Schistel-traded
  10. Zack Kassian-full-time starter
  11. Brayden McNabb-full-time starter

This list, in no particular order, is pretty close to what I’ve read, seen or heard. IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. IT’S ALREADY BEEN SAID. So, the only logical thing left to do is to either stop being a fan or grin and bear it like we do every year. And you know what? There are plenty worse teams we could cheer for. Seriously, we could be Indianapolis Colts fans and have to scratch our heads and wonder if Peyton Manning will come back or be traded. We could be Anaheim Ducks fans, wondering if our best line will be traded or not just to shake things up. We could be Washington Capital, St. Louis Blue, or Carolina Hurricane fans, wondering if we made the right move in firing our coaches. We could be stuck where we were pre-lockout, meddling between 12-14th place and in the top 5 for the draft.

As I said in the early portion of this post, I didn’t plan to write this. I didn’t organize my thoughts, and I really don’t mind that I didn’t this once. There is no point to this post, other than to make you open your eyes, close your mouths, and keep believing and being patient. Our day will come. And when it does, we’ll party harder than the day before Thanksgiving.

But for now, keep calm, carry on, believe, and Go Sabres. Because at the end of the day, you should always remember, we could be a lot worse off than we are now.

In Pegula I Trust. Who’s With Me?


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