Do you remember when you were a kid and you'd run into some 50-year-old who would make some sort of remark about how he doesn't understand how kids could like this kind of music or wear the things they do. Kids today…Bah! A bunch of idiots. They don't know what fashion or music is. Such fools.
When this middle-aged person was finished with his rants about kids, you'd then turn around and say that the times have passed him by. He's not cool anymore. He doesn't understand what kids are thinking because he's not a kid anymore.
I'm 32-years-old and I have no clue what some Sabres fans are thinking anymore. From advanced stats about puck possession (see: Why re-signing Hecht makes sense…um, okay?) to Grigorenko killing it in a league I've never head of, I just kind of feel dated at this point. I feel like Buddy Nix listening to Russ Brandon talk about analytics. Back in my day, we didn't have that damn shit.
I don't understand how a fan base that was so miserable for most of last season can somehow get themselves in a position to be happy because the team made one move in the offseason. I don't understand when fans decided to start caring about the draft, when during my 20's, no one gave a shit until they actually started playing in the NHL.
All right, I'm exaggerating.
We have to get ourselves into a bubble of happiness so we can shield ourselves from negative vibes.
Wait…you hear that?
That's the sound of someone saying that if you're just negative, you're a bad fan.
Happens all the time.
I'm not some sort of evil blogger caricature trying to contrive a point of view in order to sensationalize stories. Sure, I have regrettable posts, but for the most part, this site is my journal. Most times I break into crazy diatribes and sometimes I write uplifting pieces. But I am angry a lot of the time at both the Sabres and Bills. It ranges from total negativity to a more cautious wait-and-see approach.
However, when others start with You're not a real fan!, that stops me for a second. Normally, I'd go off on a 1000 word rant about how I'm a super fan with t-shirts, how I brag about Buffalo to New Yorkers, and how I would die if we won the Cup in order to sell myself as a huge fan, but really, I'd just be making you feel sorry for me and take my side.
Frankly, I don't know if I'm a good Sabres fan anymore. I'm just kind of tired. I'm tired of both teams and the neverending, "If this all goes just right, we'll be great!" I just want to be great without having to go through hell to get there. Sorry Tom Hanks' character from A League of Their Own, but the hardness doesn't make the sport great.
Weirdly enough, the lockout may have actually made me happy in some ways. It gave me some time to forget about how disappointing the Sabres were last year and how over 20 teams have won a playoff series since the Sabres beat the Rangers in 2007. Do we even have centers? Did you see what the Rangers added last summer? I can't always rely on booze and going to games in NYC, can I? My hope is tied into a bunch of young forwards – which the organization doesn't exactly have a stellar reputation for developing – and John Scott putting the fear of God into Lucic. That doesn't exactly sound great for me. But for some, it's more than enough.
I can't get into a bubble of being happy like some of you whipper-snappers who watch illegal feeds of Rochester or Quebec games and look towards the future with a glimmer of hope. Is it generational? Am I just the old guy who doesn't want to listen to these kids and thinks I know more?
When you listen to callers on WGR, I think the #Illhangupandlisten crowd consists of middle age men who are pissed off with their lives. Pissed off because of work, bills, and just people in general. So what do they do? They take it out on the Sabres. It makes them feel good. Those same callers and commenters are impossible to please and when the shit hits the fan, there they are. Angry and bitter to the end. I don't think it is a Buffalo thing, but more of a generational thing. Things are getting weird with me and the Sabres. The butterflies aren't there about them returning. I look at it as just being a TV product for me to watch when I get home from work. I think back to my younger days of being idealistic and excited about the Sabres, and I'm just not there. It has nothing to do with the lockout or any of that. I'm just not clicking in a sporting way.
Young people are idealistic while older people are burned from years of crap. It is like a kid who finds his first love and is all happy and then once she dumps his ass, he's screwed. He doesn't look at relationships the same and whenever another kid finds his first love, the jilted lover thinks he's a fool. At least that's my opinion.
Forget getting 50% off merchandise or beer or Ted Black offering a lockout apology with Bloomberg's interpreter there. I need the Sabres to do something special for me..and that's winning. I don't want to be wrestling with the idea that my Sabres fandom is coming to an end. You don't think it will, but when the product is kind of the same and you start to get older, it just takes more to keep your attention.
Don't forget, this is a team that has won five playoff series since "No Goal" in 1999.
I'd say they make it look so easy, but maybe I'm the one making it so easy to dislike them.
Solution: Change my mind, Sabres. Win.