If you were up late last night, and very, very bored, you may have noticed an exchange between Joe @BuffaloWins and myself about our winless Blue and Gold.
It went something like this: I’m toting the company line by saying the Sabres can suck. I’m not hard enough on them. (Those are Joe’s opinions, paraphrased.) My counter was, well, my tweets (if you care to dig them up) and this post.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I refuse all #suffering. And that entire hashtag suffering thing is bunk.
Let’s explore why.
Google yourself a Darcy press conference, or hit the WGR audio vaults – somewhere deep inside of the Internet you’ll hear Darcy mumble something, in response to a question, that Sabres fans may be in for some suffering. Not Suffering(!). Not hashtag suffering. Not ALL CAPS SUFFERING. Plainly, he indicated we’d have some bumps along the road as we rebuild.
Darcy never coined suffering. The newspapers did. The online newspapers did. The blogs did. You did. We all did.
Hashtag suffering is bullshit. Darcy never took the podium to declare the War on Suffering is Upon Us. That was all us (hashtag because it’s Buffalo).
But let’s stick to plain speak here.
We’re in a rebuild.
We’ve played 3 games, against very good teams.
We’ve lost all 3.
BUT IF WE ADDED ALL THE BEST VETS – no, Thomas Vanek had 9 shots in that game against Ottawa, and even he himself said at least one of those had to go in (such is the way 1-0 games go, so many what ifs, so many maybe if we only’s).
BUT IF DARCY…
This is a rebuilding project. It is not on Darcy, (or on me), to make this team win now. It is on Darcy, and Devine, and the suddenly cantankerous Ron Rolston, to make this team win. Eventually. For now, we’re putting teenagers on the ice, and they’re doing a good job (don’t forget Zadorov may be on the way soon, too).
One of my personal hockey things is also to wait, oh so sort of patiently, until a team has played ten games before I pass judgement upon them. At the 10 game mark, you pretty much have a good look as to how great or how crappy your team is going to be. (Also, it’s mathematically near 1/10th-ish of the season, so it means a bit in the points struggle, too.) But I am not going to waste your time talking about that “points struggle” or anything else besides one thing: we’re rebuilding.
Zero suffering here. (See how I left that hashtag off? We should all do that.)
I’m all in for this rebuild. I’ve seen good things from the rookie(s) (Girgensons) to affirm that we’re going to be “tough to play against” and with skill, that can win Cups.
Now, back to Joe. I’m never averse to a sports argument. Twitter is The Conversation. It brings us together to hash(tag) things out, to make sense of it all, and to come to some sort of agreement. Or block each other. But that’s the biggest mistake.
Let’s not call each other out this season. Let’s not punch each other in the speakin’ teeth. Let’s relax, watch this season of rookies unfold as it is, for it is what it is. A rebuild. Nothing else. None of us expected anything more heading into this thing.
Some bullet points on Joe:
– One of my first contacts on Twitter.
– One of my best follows on Twitter. Ever.
– We’ve worked together (I have posted on Buffalo Wins before, and hey, we even caught the eye of the New York Times).
– I once went to a bar to meet Joe but I didn’t have a cell phone so I stood there wondering where the hell he and the other folks were for a half hour before I left embarrassed and sad.
Joe owes me ALL THE BEERS for that last one. It’s been over a year and he still hasn’t beered me even once. Ridiculous.
As for The Conversation last night, he owes me nothing. In fact, I’d love to hear more from him about this topic all season long. It is important. We want success (maybe not right now, but in the long term, the rebuild will define the next decade of Sabres hockey so we might want to hashtag this out the right way in year one). It is a conversation that must persist if the young guns begin to backfire.
Again, suffer all you want and put the # in front of it.
It’s the cool thing to do right now.
But I still prefer #HockeyIQ, and I also would like a real sample size before I rejoice/condemn where this rebuild is going. Love ya, Joe. Hashtag, come at me bro.