The home @jambrones is nicer than I am, which is hardly surprising, I know. He makes some fair points, none of which I will adopt as my own for the aforementioned reasons ... Fuck. Ted. Nolan.
Also, you're not "just" a music teacher, Jeff. No such thing.
“How did you get HIM to do that??!! You‘re a saint.”
“How is your ‘miracle’ band?”
“Imagine what you could do if you had really talented, special players!”
I’m a Nolan, not a Bowman.
A couple years ago, I had “generational talent” in my band. (I do a kiddie rock band program at school, it’s kinda awesome.) This kid was so good; he shouldn’t even have been playing with the other kids. I was constantly pushing myself to showcase him and utilize him appropriately. People were impressed with what we did. He played cello, guitar and sang. People were astonished!
After he left and we had our first non-super hero concert, a teacher came up to me and said, “Man, you’re good! I thought when you lost Matt, your groups would take a dive, but honestly you sounded even better.” “I know.” I said. “It’s almost easier without him. We’re a better group, a better team. He was amazing, but it took away from the group goals sometimes. It’s ironic.”
This concept is a hard sell with sports, or is it? Can the better team beat the worse team if the worse team has generational talent? And, as it applies to recent events, can Ted handle that level of performance, ego and expectations? Can Ted handle the Sabres future? Can Ted handle that generational talent that seems to be coming our way?
I thrive teaching and motivating students who are on the same page. I don’t think that’s unique, I think most teachers do. As I’ve said, my most impressive moments have been when we were supposed to suck really really bad and we played the song correctly. That’s teaching. Exceeding expectations feels so good. Getting a generational talent changes the gig entirely. Expectations soar.
Sure, Ted and I can get blood from a stone, but if you gave us actual blood, I’m not sure either of us could become Frankenstein. If you plopped me in front of elite musicians, I would be all “sounds great, guys, wanna go get a beer?”
I’m not that elite guy. Ted’s not that elite guy. I love where I am with the little kids, and I believe there’s a similar coaching niche for Ted, but not on a team built to be a Cup contender.
That’s who we are.
We’re teachers, we’re motivators.
We’re not winners. Winners handle the talent.
Bill Beli… <gets hit with chair>
You get the idea.
I don’t want to say "YAY we went the distance." Ted’s great at what he does; I just don’t want him doing it here anymore. The elite talent needs more than to be told “grind!” I’m kinda sick of this blue collar, “hardest working” team identity. I want “most amazing unbeatable team.”
Not Latvia; Not the ‘97 Sabres. Not some Middle School Rock Band that we’re proud of. A special champion. World Class. That takes more than me or Ted. I don’t want a teacher. I want a winner. The Sabres now appear have the opportunity to rise up like never before. I know we have history with Ted, I know he makes us feel kinda “Marvy," but it’s time to get a coach that makes the players, fans and opponents say …
“Holy Shit, they got who!!?”
We don’t need Mr. Holland any more, we need Leonard Bernstein. I don’t know who the hockey version of that is, but it’s time to go get him.