We’ve had some interesting times in Sabresland lately. There’s a new GM, Craig Patrick is here, there’s even new players like that Italian guy with the apostrophe in his name, YouTube guy, and rabbit guy!! I totally understand if you’re not excited about all this, but stay with me here. We’re still dug in for the long haul as far as losing goes as none of those guys address any gaping holes in the lineup.
And yet, I’m perfectly ok with this shitty, dark time in Sabres history for one reason:
I have had more fun this year making jokes and cracking on that festering pile of shit than I’ve had with any Sabres team since the Briere/Drury days. They’ve almost become lovable to me because the material just flows and flows. You know how many Grigorenko jokes I have in my stockpile? Trust me, it is a truly staggering amount and I’ll keep using them when he’s in the KHL playing for CSKA Moscow 3 years from now.
You need HOT JOHN SCOTT TAKES?? I’ve got those too, they’re layups. Ted Nolan scratching rookies or doing stupid Ted Nolan shit?? Yep, I’ve got enough of those that 2 years from now they’re going to have to sell the excess on Woot.
Then this week, I was minding my own business at work when my phone went off and this greeted me:
I freaked out because I realized that Steve Ott is a real live human being. He has thoughts and feelings and a family and dogs and a rabbit. I have some of those things too! Fuck, Steve Ott and I even have the same taste in Target bedding:
I really don’t have a problem with Steve Ott.
Steve Ott the hockey player is what he is: a great 3rd line type guy who excels at being an asshole, killing penalties and hitting people. That’s fine and good. I almost feel bad for him being forced into a top 6 role on that shitty team, it’s not fair to him and may some team give him metric assloads of money this year because of it. He’s paid his dues and his body has taken an unbelievable amount of abuse over the years. And I’m sure the guy hates losing too, he deserves to be well compensated for his sentence here.
My problem is with Buffalo and the way Buffalo views Steve Ott.
Steve Ott embodies everything that creates pools of clear stuff in the underwear of Buffalonians. All those bullshit terms like “blue collar," “lunchpail," “hard work” and the like. It’s an identity fostered in shitty weather, the utter failings of our sports teams and the degradation of the area we live(d) in.
It’s all clichéd nonsense. The term “blue collar” needs to be dragged out into the middle of a large body of water and dumped overboard like Laci Peterson. You don’t want your teams to TRY REAL FUCKIN HARD like little Billy at soccer practice has to because he’s fucking terrible at soccer. Sure, you’re going to be proud of Billy, tell him how great he’s doing, take him to Toys R Us after practice and buy him some Transformers because he’s YOURS and it’s important that you do that sort of thing. But deep down, you know you want Billy to be the fucking GOOD player, the kid who goes out there and scores the big fucking goal to win the game and makes all the other kids look like fucking assholes while doing it.
You can go through this rebuild pretending that “Hey at least they’re giving effort and I’m happy to pay to watch that!!” but stop fucking kidding yourself. It’s better to pay $100 to watch your team dump 6 goals on some OTHER shitty team so you can laugh at them and their shitty fans who have to watch while you’re high-fiving and guzzling $15 beers – we all know this, we’re not that far removed from that after all.
Take a quick look south at another Rust Belt city – Pittsburgh. Do you think their fans would prefer to watch Steve Ott and his merry little band of blue collar trying real hard jackoffs who average 1 goal per 78 minutes of hockey they play – or do you think they’re cool with watching Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin deke guys out of their shorts while scoring 27 goals a week? Yeah, you don’t really hear too much about “hard work” when you watch Penguins games. Their fans don’t do 15 minute soliloquies on how guys chip pucks off the wall on the PK. They sit there and jack off all over themselves to tell everyone HEY LOOK WE HAVE THE BEST GUY AT HOCKEY IN THE FUCKING WORLD ON OUR TEAM….SUUUUCKKKK IT!!
You may hate that about them, and most people do. But we all want to be there. Hopefully we’re on our way.
So I apologize Steve, this isn’t personal. I’m sure you’re a decent enough guy and an awesome father. You probably do a shitload for charity and are cool to have a beer with. I’m sorry that you’ve become my lightning rod for the absolute hatred I have for Buffalo’s identity vis-à-vis its hockey team. I’d just prefer my captain to be Sidney Crosby. Hopefully I'm not totally alone.
If you're interested in pictures of cats and timely Sabres bashing, you can follow along with me at @essbeeay