FN Center:

It’s Time To Get FNLoud, Buffalo!

This: https://twitter.com/#!/FNLoudBUF… is a great idea.

It’s a new Twitter account that popped up yesterday with the tagline:

Our city’s passion for the Sabres is unquestioned. We’re just trying to add a bit of leadership and coordination. #CloseTheLibrary Get F’n LOUD!

Anyone that’s gone to the FN Centre knows it’s a relatively quiet place. (And yes, I know it’s FN Center, but I swap the letters to pay a bit of homage to hockey’s heritage. It’s sort of like the feeling I have that EVERY arena should sing the Canadian anthem.)

It’s a standard-size arena and we as Buffalonians like to get loud rowdy. We love to drink and drinking exacerbates cheering, no? Then why does it seem like people sit on their hands at Sabres games when the Sabres have a shot at making the playoffs and are playing pretty good hockey overall?

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Exhibit A: This is a sporting event people - look lively! Those hands aren't for sitting on, they're for clapping. Loosen up with a beer if you need to.

I’m not throwing blame out at people – hey, I’m as guilty of it as well. A few years back I happened upon tickets just 10 or 15 rows up from the blue line. Before that I had only sat in the upper sections and it was a huge difference in atmosphere. The people around me were less… well, less drunk I guess. They had a more white-collar vibe all around and were less apt to make noise, start a cheer, what have you. This affected me too ad I didn’t cheer nearly as much.

It can be tough to break the ice and be the only one in your section cheering. There’s a certain social element to it: a lot of people might want to start a cheer but don’t want to be the first one. You may not want to be rude and somehow “upset” other people’s enjoyment of the game. Maybe part of it is that in the upper deck people view the game as more of a party and are therefore more apt to cheer. (Those are my people, by the way.)

What I’m saying is be brave and start a cheer and others will follow. Be just a tiny bit rude but still respectful of others. Maybe have one more beer than usual. Most importantly, have fun and #BeBuffalo.

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Exhibit B: Whoops, a couple too many beers and a lot of passion. Not what we're going for.

We can make the FN Center (ok, I’ll switch back to the propre proper spelling) an extremely fun place that opponents hate playing in. We can make it an energizing atmosphere – both for the Sabres themselves and us.

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Exhibit C: Ahhh, just right! Let your freak flag fly plus be respectful of others. If your voice isn't shot by the end of the game, you haven't given your all.

If you agree, please do what you can to promote https://twitter.com/#!/FNLoudBUF – on Twitter, Facebook, etc. BRING THE NOISE!

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What We Can Learn From Blackhawks Fans and the United Center


So the missus and I took a trip to Chicago last weekend. For her birthday she wanted to see a Blackhawks game. I know, I know, I have a keeper. Any of you single guys out there, if you find a woman who lists seeing a hockey game as the top priority for her birthday, you put a ring on her.

The Boston Bruins were in town and it was a matchup of the two most recent Stanley Cup champions. In a way it felt like I was scouting both the teams and the crowd to see if there was anything I could glean for how we can help bring the Cup to Buffalo.

First off, I have to say that Chicago is a very friendly city. Everyone from the parking lot attendants to the scalpers to the panhandlers were all very nice. (The panhandlers reminded everyone to buckle up and be safe on the way out.)

Somehow I thought the United Center was much older, but it only opened in 1994. It’s a gorgeous place and seems state-of-the-art with huge displays everywhere on the concourse.

Sitting down, we saw all the banners of Blackhawks Norris and Smythe division titles and their 4 Stanley Cup championships. I had somehow forgotten that this is where the Bulls play and earned all their championships of the 1990s – six championships in seven years! Amazing history in this building.

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That's a lot of banners. Four Cup wins in 86 years. The Sabres have a late start but hopefully they can have more than that when the franchise is that old. If Pegula is the owner throughout that time, we have a shot at it.

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