While certainly not the one we would have wanted, a big drought ended in the NHL last night as the Kings hoisted the Stanley Cup and celebrated a Championship. A few months back, friend of the Deeg, @CriminallyVu1gar
(sometimes NSFW, fyi), suggested that his playoff allegiances were somewhat shaped by a general feeling that any long-suffering fan base should not see their team succeed before we Sabres fans see ours do the same. I believe his words were "why would I want your shitdick franchise to win a Cup before our shitdick franchise?" Using that kind of philosophy as a guide, Sabres fans should have been pulling for the Devils last night. A Devils series win would have ensured that Sabreland wouldn't lose a companion in the "we have nothing to hang our hat on" category. Lacking an end to the sentence "Sure we lost, but at least we won back in ..." is a miserable place to be in, and misery loves company.
Of course, there are likely many fans who don't follow hockey with that kind of absurd neurosis. I am jealous of those people.
When I think about a Sabres Stanley Cup, the pure fantasy of it is always apparent, since it has never happened and, if we're being honest, seems to be as far away as ever after the season the team just had. Yet, even in the fantasy, it's a battle. It's heart-wrenching hockey night after night, with defeat always seemingly balanced on a precipice, ready to pull the team back to reality. Reality being that place where good things never happen and we are drowned in sorrow. The fantasy for our Sabres, guided by what we know to be true about their identity and our identity as fans, is necessarily grounded by the feeling that it simply isn't meant to be and that it will take a series of miracles to bring a championship to Buffalo. Our apprehensiveness guided by our history of observing failure year after year.The Cup run is thus a scary thought, in the end, since it would inevitably bring with it loads of frustration and worry.
But that kind of brutal journey I just described - that's not what happened with the Kings over these past couple months. And that's where I can find a little silver lining for my own personal purposes.
For the Kings, and their small but long-suffering fan base, last night was a monkey off their backs. Seemingly finished with the post-lockout rebuild, which gave them early draftees Kopitar, Quick and Doughty, not to mention the more recent blue chip FA signings, this is a team that surprisingly struggled through the 2011-12 season only to squeak into the playoffs as an 8 seed. But, rather than fight tooth and nail to get past their higher ranked opponents, the Kings coasted through the West and posted a 3-0 lead against the Devils that ultimately proved insurmountable. As it turned out, after all those years of suffering, Kings fans were allowed to breathe easy during the run. Never at risk of elimination, they simply played better than everyone else and didn't need those miracles to succeed. The only thing left to pray for, in the end, was that the whole thing wasn't some cruel dream, since - after 45 years - it must have seemed just that.
Ultimately, I know that last night's result - the 8th seed doing the unthinkable, and with ease - has little bearing on what to expect for the Sabres or any other hockey club moving forward. Playoff position and home-ice advantage is still a big benefit in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and 8th seeded teams rarely make it past the first round, much less to the 4th. But, looking at a franchise and its fans breathe one big sigh of relief, while also knowing the apparent ease with which they were able to put together the 16 wins necessary to win that Cup, I find something about which to take heart. Even when history seems to be set against you, that successful championship run might not require that miracle after all.
Let's Go Buffalo.
-I am a poor sport. I hate losing and it does not matter if it is a pick-up basketball game with friends, an essay writing contest in college, or board games on date night with my girlfriend. I can admit to this and it is a problem I will probably never fix. I also hate when teams I dislike win. This is why I will not congratulate the Bruins on winning the Cup. Immature? Absolutely. I do not care, and I am still convincing myself that Tim Thomas is a closet Nazi.
This is because I really, really, really hate Boston. It stems from several occurrences in my life. 1) Before the Sawx won the World Series in 2004, I always despised the way Boston fans bitched and moaned about the epic baseball championship drought. Their other three professional sports teams had combined for 24 total championships, compared the giant ZERO my teams have experienced. I viewed them as spoiled brats. (Sidenote: I realize that some people are only Red Sox fans, and those people I am usually willing to let it slide.) 2) I have only been to Boston twice, and both times it was a terrible experience. People were rude, it smelled like fish, and a guy named Tommy threatened to hit me because I was wearing a Cubs hat…seriously. I was walking down the street, nowhere near Fenway and this brooding giant says "I should smack your face off for wearing that hat in my town". I have no idea if his name was Tommy but it seems like a safe assumption. 3) All of their franchises are incredibly easy to hate. Even Boston fans can admit to this. Brady, Belichick, Schilling, Papelbon, Chara, Garnett…I hate all of these guys. ESPECIALLY THAT NAZI LOVING TIM THOMAS! END RANT!No congrats from this guy. I am going to stay bitter and continue with my plot to place lite brights all over the city of Boston. That seems to scare them.
You stay classy Vancouver
-On to Vancouver. I know they were totally whiny during the playoffs and it made them hard to root for. Luongo is jack-wagon and the Sedin twins are b-i-otches. I get this. That is why last night I DVR’d the game and watched True Grit in the park while chugging back a magnum of wine. I did not want either team to win, and after seeing the way all of those douche-nozzle fans reacted after the loss, I wish that both teams would have been abducted by the Super 8 alien and held hostage in a dark cave, forcing the NHL to allow Tampa Bay and San Jose play for the cup. That would have been stupendous.
-Brian Bund of Buffalowins
wrote a great post earlier today telling hockey fans to relax. I agreed with most of what he had to say (not so much about the Two & A Half Men being a good show part, sorry Brian). After I read it, we briefly chatted on twitter and the point came up that we as fans (old AND new) have become way too dismissive of other fans. When the hell did this “I’m right, you’re wrong” mentality take over? Seeing some of these twitter battles take place reminds me of losers like Skip Bayless, Colin Cowherd, and every shmuck on Around The Horn. How about making valid points and not dismissing everyone with sarcasm and a know-it-all attitude? We are better than this people! I know our site is mostly based in humor and we RARELY act like we actually know what we are talking about, but there is an insane amount of knowledge in the heads of the assholes that run this blog and when we want to make a point, we will. I guarantee none of us will just say “whatever, you’re an idiot” or tell people that they don’t know anything about hockey or any sport for that matter because we are in a pissy mood. A blog or a message board account gives you a platform to speak your mind in any way, shape, or form you would like, however if you take the “well I’m right, and you’re wrong” route, prepare to be dismantled. I’m not keeping the Yachtsman on a leash anymore. You’ve been warned.
-I just realized everything I previously wrote may completely contradict itself. Oh well, eff it. Hopefully you got my point.
-I know I can be a real pain in the ass with self promotion, but seriously if you have not checked out episode nine of the CrapTastiCast
yet, please download it and take a listen. I still can’t believe Nick Mendola
agreed to talk to us. He is such a great figure for Buffalo and the interview touches on some amazing points involving the city. We appreciate all the readers of the site and if you could spread the word on that interview, we would be in your debt.
Feel free to determine which blogger is which and leave it in the comment area.
-The Buffalo Sabres Blogger Summit is happening today at 6:30pm. I have to admit that the whole thing is pretty cool. I’d like to see some more snarkiness and cynicism on the invite list, but that’s because we here at DGWU are total jerk-offs. We know that Phil at BBG
will be our proxy and representing us in a much more sophisticated and less douchey manner (he doesn't know this, and I am totally making it up). Honestly though, I am glad that the whole thing is taking place, and this blog never thought we would ever be invited. We have absolutely no right to be there. First of all, we are all in NYC and possibly a little out of touch with Buffalo. Second, have you read this site or listened to our podcast? Holy hell we are a natural disaster of immense proportions. Yachtsman would be screaming at Ted Black about the locker rooms not being ready in time for free agency and that somehow it is a conspiracy involving Larry Quinn. Apologist would be so baked we would start asking questions about Dirk Nowitzki and would most likely walk out mid-conference to grab some Jim's Steak Out. Barrister would be at least seven shots of Jameson deep and telling creepy, childhood church camp stories. And Finally, I would be asking questions like “how much tail does Timmy Connolly REALLY pull on an average weekend?”, or maybe “What’s it like to hang out with Matt Ellis? Is it true smell like oak and fresh pine needles?” See what I mean? DISASTER.
-Which brings me to a very important announcement: Since we have no business being at the Sabre Summit, I decided to create our own. I am proud to bring to you, tonight at 7pm not sharp, the 2011 NYC Sabre Summit. The conference will feature yours truly and the rest of the DGWU Crew, as well as Joe from Buffalowins and maybe some other special guests! (Hint: I have reached out to Bob Corkum’s people aka his mom) The Summit will take place at Drop-Off Service
on 211 Avenue A and will feature delicious craft beers, shots of Irish whiskey, and zero journalistic integrity. As Brian Bund said to me earlier, “NYC Sabre Summit: Where drinking makes you forget you’re not at the real summit.”
Cheers everyone. Enjoy the blogger takeover today, and make sure you clean your mom’s basement before you head over to HSBC (nerd jokes!). And if you see Matt Ellis, tell him I said hi and NO, I WILL NOT STOP SENDING HIM LETTERS UNTIL HE RESPONDS!
Why won't you love me, Matty? Wow I'm creepy.
Remember to follow us on twitter @DGWUSports
And yours truly on twitter @TheScizz