Winning Her Back.

56

“This isn’t what hockey is usually like.

Just so you know.”

- Me, to wife, circa 2005-06-07

“Whatever, babe, this is awesome. SKATE SOUPY WOOOOOOOO!”

campbell Winning Her Back.

Also saying “Woo.”

 

The first part of her response was directed at me, the second part at some moldy low def projection screen at a BW3′s in Jacksonville, Florida. There were Sabres fans everywhere, knocking back cheap tall glasses of Yuengling, getting louder and louder as they became emboldened by the buzz from the beer and the comaraderie.

The “new NHL” was romancing the fans with it’s new style of play – a near zero-tolerance on clutch and grab that let the undersized and speedier talents on the Blue and Gold surgically dissect their opponents on the fly. And it was glorious. Most nights, our group of 20-or-so Sabres fans actually wanted to fall behind.

Because they always came back in the 3rd.

But this was not the way hockey is usually like. I warned her.

She was doomed.

My wife embraced hockey after the lockout, just as we were embracing as newlyweds in our own right. The Dead Puck Era was a thing of the past (for a moment, at least). Hockey, and our lives, were in fast forward.

Fast forward to 7-1-07. We were now up in Buffalo, enjoying a family boathouse gathering by the lake. The boathouse rules were four: no TVs, no radios, no computers, no cell phones. But this was 7-1-07. About 5 minutes after noon, a giant expletive rippled across the otherwise still waters of the lake. Danny Briere was off to Philly. A few minutes later, Drury was gone, and a few of us were ready to put together a New York Rangers effigy for the bonfire later that night. But not my wife.

This is a scam. I’m not a chump. Screw hockey.

Within a span of 15 minutes, Tom Golisano had chased Danny and Chris out of Buffalo, and my wife away from hockey.

What’s worse, the presentation of the sport completely changed. Dead Puck was back – and there’s no way to lure someone back to the fold using a corpse.

 

Dead Puck Era 300x300 Winning Her Back.

Sexy.

It also didn’t help that the Sabres crumbled following the losses of Briere, Drury, and a host of other talented personalities form the roster. In 2007-08 and 2008-09, they missed the playoffs. 2009-10 and 2010-11, lost out in the first round. 2011-12, missed out again.

Here’s a few other things that didn’t help the cause:

  • Jim Lorentz’s retirement in October of 2007.
  • The Winter Classic – which was amazing – but was something she viewed as a massive publicity stunt for a dying team that was unwilling to instead spend it’s time and money on, well, players.
  • The entire 2008-09 season.
  • The sadly predictable elimination by Boston in 2009-10.
  • The unfortunate story of Tim Kennedy in 2010-11.
  • Terry Pegula.

 

“Terry Pegula,” you ask? “Hell yes,” she says, “I’ve never seen so much promotion around such a watered down product. It’s a joke. Good for Pegula, and for you diehard fans, but the team can’t win. And God, these games are boring.”

SpecTACULAR Winning Her Back.

Hard to argue with her on that last point.

For diehard Sabres fans, we’ve indeed been witness to a slow culture change in Buffalo. The team is adding players of true captain quality, and without panicking, is slowly building itself up to be a good team now, and a hopeful contender later. I’m a pretty big fan of the focus of the Sabres brass, they’re definitely on the right path. But for all the promise – all the romance – that the Pegula Era has brought us, I still haven’t won her back.

Last week, I found her Afinogenov and Drury jerseys stuck in a pile of clothes to be donated to Goodwill.

Let’s face it: I’m powerless here. Despite the pull of Pegula and Co., the simple fact is she won’t invest herself into the sport again until the team starts winning games. Real games. (And no, the dramatic late season pushes of the past two seasons don’t count. If anything, they just made her shake her head more.)

Ruff needs to find a way to tell his players that it’s an 82 game season.

Sigh.

Full disclosure: I also miss the good old days. It has been hard to watch the Sabres stumble and fail on the ice. It was bad enough to live through Miller/Lucic, it was worse with her chuckling in the background behind her book whenever it was brought up on TV. Which was often.

I don’t think she’s coming back to hockey, folks. She’s just too smart, or pragmatic, to follow along a product that stabbed her in the brain – a product that really hasn’t done anything – on the ice – to ease the pain from that blow in five years.

Oh, you can call her a bandwagon fan all you want. But the simple fact  is, she saw the Tom Golly product for what it was. And the bandwagon goes both ways. I’ve really, really enjoyed the pomp and circumstance that has gone along with the Terry Pegula bandwagon – but so far the T-Pegs era hasn’t been about winning games. Anything but.

Like I said, I miss the good old days. But I miss her more. Maybe someday she’ll come back to the broadcast, or bring her once booming voice back to the FNC, when both bandwagons no longer need to exist.

I’ll keep working on it. Meanwhile, get to winnin’, Blue and Gold. Get to winnin’.

Go Sabres.

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55 comments
mintyp69
mintyp69 like.author.displayName 1 Like

I'm so pissed I missed this earlier! Damn this is too funny to watch the wreckage that s being caused during this

ScottyMCSS
ScottyMCSS like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @mintyp69 We hired a bodyguard: he is as cool/nerdy as they come too - a falconer. We'll forgive his LARPing if he keeps our borders safe from cyber-stalkers. #Scree!

theycallmedubs
theycallmedubs like.author.displayName 1 Like

Can we all get back to the central issue, which is how Scotty's Mrs. is a bad person because she can't get behind our hydrofracking owner and great players like John Scott?

theycallmedubs
theycallmedubs

Scotty, I can sympathize with this from start to finish. Even with platonic friends of mine who would love the Sabres but for the argument that they're an utter waste of time, I miss those days of crowding the bars here in NYC and feeling like anything is possible. I never got my wife to go all in during those magical years, so she's not nearly as disappointed now when I drag her out to Long Island to watch us struggle against the Isles every year. 

Tomas3137
Tomas3137 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Another "stupid" article written by Scott Michalak. No one cares about your wife and fair whether/bandwagon fan-hood, she is no fan. Your incompetent opinion and uneducated writing abilities continue to show us why you are nothing more than a blog writer. 

theycallmedubs
theycallmedubs

 @Tomas3137 In the end, I'm just sad that I can't get this kind of trolling over at the Deeg. It's like all my hard work is such a waste.

Tomas3137
Tomas3137

 @theycallmedubs Are you secretly Scotty's boyfriend or do you have a man crush on him? With your defense of him, one could safely assume. 

theycallmedubs
theycallmedubs

 @Tomas3137  @ScottyMCSS  @Jerry McDougle not what he did at all. Talk about reading comprehension problems. He was merely implying how sad it is that you and your friend/other personality/mom are complimenting each other as if you've never met before. I second that sentiment, fully conscious of how sad it is that I'm getting into a comments section squabble with a pathetic troll.

Jerry McDougle
Jerry McDougle

 @ScottyMCSS  @Tomas3137  @theycallmedubs I guess reading competence isn't a strength for you either? I didn't refer to a post he said you were "gay" in. I referred to his diagnosis of borderline intellectual functioning disorder for you. But both seem accurate. You might want to get checked for both disorders? Its pretty evident from many of your blog pieces you suffer from a mental disability. My bet is avoidant personality disorder and that Tomas guy thinks borderline intellectual functioning disorder. Both make sense. 

Tomas3137
Tomas3137

 @ScottyMCSS  @theycallmedubs I will call your poker face and match you. I will safely diagnose you with Borderline intellectual functioning disorder. 

DaveInRoch
DaveInRoch

 @Tomas3137 I think this guy got butt hurt by Marshawn Lynch's ride.

Tomas3137
Tomas3137 like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @DaveInRoch Maybe if I "liked" Lynch I would be. But like most fans in Seattle, I don't like him. He's made one noteworthy play his 2 years here. I was happy when I heard Buffalo (my favorite AFC team) traded him but mad when I found out he was traded here.

ScottyMCSS
ScottyMCSS

 @Tomas3137  @DaveInRoch You are confusing me in this way: that you've stuck around on this post - and BSN - solely in order to not like it. Want a t-shirt? I'll happily sell you one to burn.

Tomas3137
Tomas3137

 @DaveInRoch  @ScottyMCSS All 1200 minutes buddy :) (For Scotty: thats 15 minute quarters x 4 quarters a game x 20 games = 1200 total minutes!!!!! yay!!)

Tomas3137
Tomas3137

 @ScottyMCSS  @DaveInRoch You act as if your true comments of the terrible Seahawks bothers me. Most realistic fans aren't afraid to admit their team sucks. However, it doesn't stop me from watching all 20 games per year. (hint: 16 regular season games and 4 pre-season). But I can only expect team bashing comments from an incompetent wanna be journalist that uses no logic and reasoning when writing public blog articles, like yourself.

Dan Sterlace
Dan Sterlace like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

 @Tomas3137 Scotty's catching crap from a Seahawks fan. That's what we call rock bottom.

ScottyMCSS
ScottyMCSS

 @Tomas3137 Protip: you don't need the q-marks around "stupid." Also, it's "weather," not "whether." 

Tomas3137
Tomas3137 like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @ScottyMCSS the "q-marks" are meant to mock your common use of the word "stupid" as an argument in your blog articles. And yes, your correct it should be "weather"... I hate when these smartphones auto-correct.  But of course, when an incompetent and uneducated person can't come up with a better argument or response they resort to being grammar police. :D

Jerry McDougle
Jerry McDougle

 @Tomas3137  @ScottyMCSS Couldn't have said it better myself Tomas. I have read a few of his blog post and they are always terribly researched and poorly written. But they are also entertaining because of how horrible they are, so worth the read. 

ScottyMCSS
ScottyMCSS like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @Tomas3137 Protip: the smiley face is nice, but kinda undermines your attack. 

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