Buffalo Sabres:

The End of Stagnation: 5 Things Sabres Fans Can Celebrate Now

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It’s been a long journey. It’s not one that any fans had asked for, and it was one of heavy burden and endurance. But it’s over. The tank is parked in the garage.

sabres tank in garage 300x161 The End of Stagnation: 5 Things Sabres Fans Can Celebrate Now

Everything changes now.

Let’s take a look at what “everything” means.

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The Top 5 Chants From The Ol’ Aud

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As we sit and stew (silently, oh so silently) at the FNC over our rebuilding product on the ice, it’s a good time to revisit a time when our voices were loud, and our butts not so hopelessly stuck to our seats.

I bring to you then, in no particular order, the top 5 Aud chants from Memorial Auditorium. I may have missed some good ones. Feel free to add more in the comments below.

1. “Thank you, Sabres.”

 

 

It was a chant that has reverberated through the ages, iconic enough to inspire Sal Maiorana to title a book after it.

2. “Ooo, Ahh, Sabres on the warpath!”

I’m not sure on how well this one translates to our modern era, as we retract more and more sports memes that are obviously offensive to Native Americans. But back in the day, this was one of the fondest beer chants in the oranges.

What most fans don’t know is that this chant might have actually been ripped off from Habs fans.

Anyway, here’s some fans from ’06 reliving the old days (they didn’t know it’s supposed to be sung, not just shouted):

 

 

 3. Anything anyone ever yelled in the exit tunnels

Aside from the spectacular spectator views, one of the best elements the Aud had was leaving the game through those old tunnels. Fans weren’t just shuffling down stairwells or standing idle on an escalator. They were stampeding (and by some reports, sometimes fighting. Or urinating).

Some of my most vivid memories are of these tunnels, and joining the mob to out-shout the visiting fans. It was madness. It was glorious.

This video doesn’t do the experience justice, but it’s at least a decent look for old time’s sake (jump to 2:24):

 

 

4. “WE WANT RAY.”

I’m not one to try to sell fighting in the NHL as a necessary or even relevant part of the modern game, but as a guy who grew up in the chaos of the Memorial Auditorium, my brain is probably conditioned to the day I die to get me to jump out of my seat when the gloves fall off down on the ice. At the Aud, fighting was as big a part of the culture as anything else on the program.

Game turning sour? Down, say, 8-1? No problem. Everyone yells “WE WANT RAY.” Coach puts Rayzor out for a faceoff. Instant fight. Everyone’s happy.

The days before CTE were so naively fun.

I couldn’t locate a video for this chant (what the hey?) – but here’s a fun news report of a fan who jumped over the glass and got mercilessly PUMMELED by Rayzor, because dammit, that’s what happened when a fan jumped over the glass in front of Rob Ray back in the early 90’s.

 

 

 5. Milt Ellis’ public address announcements

OK, obviously this one is not a chant, but it’s worthy of any list of legendary things said and heard at the Aud.

If you’re unfamiliar with the legendary public address announcer, head on over to Steve Cichon’s Milt Ellis Jukebox at StaffAnnouncer.com. It’s a fantastic, fun archive.

Meanwhile, here’s a wonderful tribute video to the man who left us in 2011…

 

 

/wipes tears

 

Great old building, great old times. These days we’re quiet, as we await what very likely may be the next great chapter in Sabres history. Many are banking on the plausibility that what is coming may be the best. So don’t worry – the chants – some old, some new – are coming back to the FNC.

Something about winning gets those started up, organically.

I can’t wait for us all to make some more legendary memories at our new digs.

Update:

I asked via the Twitters for a few of you to chirp in on some of your favorite old sounds of the Aud. A few of you broke through the noise that was Sabres Trademageddon Day and I was actually able to find your responses. Here’s a few, with an extra bonus take at the end (a take that I wish I had remembered myself, actually):

 

And our most honorable mention…

6. The Organ

Back in the way back, hockey organists were like conductors – they were quick to respond to any incident on the ice quickly with a tune that would get fans orchestrated and involved.

At some point, every arena in the NHL started blaring “Crazy Train” out of giant speakers and the whole organist/fan connection slowly died off, and that’s kinda sad. I know, we have lasers now, and some pretty hypnotic and engaging “game presentation,” but the organ at the old Aud was a persona in itself, a piece of the hockey experience that made the games just a little more personal.

There are plenty of great examples of the organ being utilized in this vintage video of the 1976 Super Series between the Sabres and the Soviet Wings, but go ahead and skip to the 1:52:20 mark, where the pipes chime in to keep the crowd clapping away even as the game was long over, having reached a score of 11-6.

 

Again, if you have any more sounds of the Aud that I’ve missed, go ahead and post them in the comments section below.

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Rick Jeanneret Calls A Bubble Hockey Game

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Have you ever wanted Rick Jeanneret to do the play-by-play for you when you play bubble hockey (or any form of hockey, for that matter)?

Yes. Yes, you have. All of you have.

Here’s what it would be like. And yes, of course it’s going to be a draw for a big party. Enjoy:

 

 

For those of us who will never be lucky enough to have this happen (all of us), we can instead turn to Super Chexx’s bubble hockey version that features a play-by-play by Jeanneret. That will set you back about $4k clams – but sometimes money’s not an issue. I’m already planning the addition to my house.

Rick Jeanneret 1 300x250 Rick Jeanneret Calls A Bubble Hockey Game

The poet of the press box. And of bubble hockey. This life is a good life.

 

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Joy. At Every Turn.

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At The Halfway Point, The Buffalo Sabres Are Both Terrible, And Terribly Exciting

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41 games have been removed from the 2014-15 Sabres schedule. We’re halfway to the offseason, and at 14-24-3, everything is going as expected.

 

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