Our Buffalo Sabres announced that Ron Rolston will be staying on as head coach today. You can hate this move. You can wish the team went another way. You can kick and scream and wish for something better. But you can't for a second believe you know what the fuck you're talking about.
We are fans and,. by definition, amateurs.
I don't care that you study the game and used to play hockey and think that fucking matters. I don't care that you trust the unsourced quotes from other "NHL GMs" that Sully and Bucky like to shove in our faces more than you trust Darcy Regier. You may be a plenty smart, reasonable individual, but YOU DON'T KNOW SHIT.
Neither do I, for the record.
The funnest thing to do when you don't get what you want - say, a Stanley Cup or #1 Draft Pick - is to saddle up on a high horse and talk out of your ass about the other decisions that should have been made, the different actions taken, the deep belief you have that it would certainly be better if those hapless morons would just do what you want.
This is a great time, usually, and is at the heart of being a fan, except that perennial losing makes it terribly insufferable and turns us into the Tea Party of sports. We claim we can do it better while simultaneously wringing our hands of the franchise itself. We tell ourselves that we're giving up on the Sabres, shifting gears immediately and with no irony to a laundry list of things that we'd change about the team to make it a thing to be cherished again. We do this, of course, while knowing little to nothing about the thing itself.
What to do, though? Well we should trade this guy and sign this guy and get this coa.... STFU AND STOP GUESSING YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE.
This team has become riddled with fundamental issues: players dogging it through shifts, a franchise defenseman showing up to training camp out of shape every year and making horrific mistakes on the ice, Drew "Contract Year" Stafford is still on the team, our two best players don't want to be here any more, the fans are disenchanted and/or disinterested and/or acting like massive taints all the time, and the team apparently just doesn't like winning games. Something that used to be so good now seems like the worst thing imaginable.
How to fix it? Who the fuck knows?
Where we're at, no matter how much we wish it otherwise.... The guy in charge of fixing the hockey issues is a guy none of us really trust anymore, but there he is, still in charge. He still makes moves that most of us have to appreciate - this year's trade deadline moves, for example - but the past is prologue to our feelings on Regier and we have a chip on our collective shoulder dating back, for most, to July 1, 2007, and if not from them, the years since have been terrible enough to make it nearly impossible for fans to have any shred of patience or hope that this guy has any ability to turn the HMS Jizz-A-Bore around.
But there he is, leading the hockey side of a franchise we love, and for better or worse we have to live with it and have really have no fucking clue - except our history of disappointment with the GM himself - whether anything he's doing is right or wrong. Our disdain for that history, in the end, doesn't decide whether Regier's future moves will bring a Cup to Buffalo in the near future, nor does our disdain for that history, in the end, necessarily dictate whether Regier's tenure at the Sabres will be soon over. We don't make these decisions. Thankfully, as we'd likely be terrible at it.
But that's ok. Luckily, it doesn't make you a worse fan if you quietly accept you'd make a shitty GM.
We love this team, inexplicably and we hate Darcy Regier, predictably. But pretending that we would be better stewards of this team is a fool's errand and it's making us crazy.
Ron Rolston - with a history of winning elsewhere, both in Rochester and as part of the USA's development program - is now the Sabres Head Coach. Sure Darcy signed this deal and we should hate it for that reason alone but fuck it...
Let's Go Buffalo.