If you're from Buffalo, I hope this is interesting. But it shouldn't be new. And if you're not from Buffalo, this writing may explain the attitude of many a Buffalo sports fan.
This is the land where we judge the success of our seasons by how close we get to almost making it to the playoffs.
For the past few weeks at work, I've been hearing the chatter in the hallways that goes something like this: "We're only four points out of the 8th spot" or "If we win tonight and two other teams lose, we might be within three points of the 8th spot"! And then there is my favorite conversation on the radio that suggests we're better off simply losing out, losing our remaining games, to make certain we have a good shot in the draft. How pathetic.
But it doesn't end there. It's relentless and it happens year after year. It happens in football season and in hockey season. And if that's not enough, it even happens during the off season. We hope for change at the deadlines and in the drafts and our hopes are most often dashed. We certainly can't forget the 24/7 Mario Williams watch can we? Days went by and we sat on the edge of our seats wondering if we would win the prize. This was it! Mario could be the off season ticket to the NFL post season. We all know how that went.
In other towns the trading deadlines and drafts are times to bolster their teams and make them better. In this town, those days are better than the regular season! These pivotal days offer us hope that maybe we will make the moves that will help us finally bring home the championship hardware. Again, hopes dashed.
I can't criticize the brass of the Bills and Sabres for not trying. They've spent sizeable amounts of money and invested in the teams. But the formulas just seem cursed. Think about it. Wide right! No goal! John Rigas! Mario Williams! And that's just a handful in the bag of Buffalo sports bitter pills. Oh, and don't be caught saying we missed Briere and Drury after we let them slip away. That's truly taboo.
Sure, we all want a Superbowl or Stanley Cup championship. But I'd settle for just being more excited about our teams during their respective seasons than on days like today, the NHL trade deadline. Today is a day we hear Buffalo Sabres fans hoping for a trade involving the players who once brought us such great joys and hopes. Who could imagine, just a year or two ago, talk of trades involving Pominville, Vanek or Miller. Now it's just part of the Buffalo sports conversation.
I know great teams are built over years and I know it takes bold moves on days like today to lay the foundation for a true championship team. But forgive me for being from Buffalo and saying "we've been here and done this before". And we always buy into the hope that it WILL work. Let's hope it does.....this time.
But we'll have to do it with one or two fewer of our favorites here in "Pominville".