January 28, 2011.
That’s the date of my first blog post. Happy anniversary to me.
Back on January 28, 2011, the Bills were officially a loss and the Sabres looked to be on their way towards the same oblivion. Now in 2012, we’ve seen another epic collapse by both franchises, and though the Sabres are still only showing the symptoms of death, they’re near enough to it to safely assume they’ll be pronounced DOA long before the playoffs begin.
It’s a familiar feeling, isn’t it? The shroud of impending failure is a heavy one, and it’s hard to struggle out from underneath the weight of it all. Heck, even Ryan Fitzpatrick, when recently describing the Bills’ epic fall, lamented that the team “wasn’t ready for prosperity.”
Someone get that team a heavy course of sports pychology, or a team colonic. If we have to get used to winning football games before we can embrace winning, then we’re doomed.
But we’re all still in this together. And aren’t we a hearty, resilient fan base?
It comes with the territory: happy anniversary also to the Blizzard of ’77, also a January 28th phenomenon.
That storm really put a mark on Buffalo. Even in winters like this one, where the permafrost can’t seem to get a grip on our lawns and our backyard rinks sit in slush and waste, sports broadcasters are quick to note their surprise that they didn’t have to dig their way out of the hotel on their way to the stadium.
It’s a heavy lot to carry – all the losses, the disasters, the reputation – it can seem like a bit too much at times. But we carry along, we dig ourselves out, we keep sporting on, even in the face of another year and another pair of sporting disasters.
The hunt for triumph will continue anew, this year, after our newest smattering into seasonal oblivion is mercifully complete.
From Moby Dick (C. 42, “The Whiteness of the Whale”):
Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way? Or is it, that as in essence whiteness is not so much a color as the visible absence of color; and at the same time the concrete of all colors; is it for these reasons that there is such a dumb blankness, full of meaning, in a wide landscape of snows- a colorless, all-color of atheism from which we shrink? And when we consider that other theory of the natural philosophers, that all other earthly hues — every stately or lovely emblazoning — the sweet tinges of sunset skies and woods; yea, and the gilded velvets of butterflies, and the butterfly cheeks of young girls; all these are but subtile deceits, not actually inherent in substances, but only laid on from without; so that all deified Nature absolutely paints like the harlot, whose allurements cover nothing but the charnel-house within; and when we proceed further, and consider that the mystical cosmetic which produces every one of her hues, the great principle of light, for ever remains white or colorless in itself, and if operating without medium upon matter, would touch all objects, even tulips and roses, with its own blank tinge — pondering all this, the palsied universe lies before us a leper; and like wilful travellers in Lapland, who refuse to wear colored and coloring glasses upon their eyes, so the wretched infidel gazes himself blind at the monumental white shroud that wraps all the prospect around him. And of all these things the Albino whale was the symbol. Wonder ye then at the fiery hunt?
We are the wretched infidels of the sporting world – that much is clear, just as clear as that annihilation seems always around the next corner. But we will never quit the fiery hunt, either. That much is resoundingly clear, (am I correct ‘Bills Mafia’)?
Meanwhile, a few more weeks of winter remain, along with a few more gasps of hockey.
One year is in the books for me, and it ended just as profoundly miserable as it began. Here’s to hoping next season gives me some profound success to write about. Take heart, sports fans, and never give up. It’s about time we lift that white weighted veil, and find a way to stab success through its heart.
It’s long overdue.
Let’s go Buff-a-lo.