The Sample Chapter will be Chapter 10:
Chapter 10: And So it Begins
Your First Sabres Game
Starting Young and Being Raised a Sabres Fan
Starting Old and Finally Seeing the Light
Shepherding Young Fans into the Fold
Anything anybody wants to contribute to the above would be great whether it's a long write-up or a short blurb. My goal is to change contributions as little as possible, correcting only grammar and flow. Preserving tone is the most important part of this book. Should the project be green-lit, I will be soliciting submissions and interviews for all chapters.
Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Below is my contribution for the Your First Sabres Game section:
My first Sabres game came at probably one of the worst times to start going to Sabres games. It was during the 2007-2008 season, the year after we'd lost Drury and Briere. At one point I decided I was hell bent on seeing a game at HSBC Arena so I told my friend to get tickets. Unfortunately I was a poor college student at the time (I couldn't even pay my friend for the tickets until a month later) and was forced to miss out on the Winter Classic, so we went to the very next game, a January fourth date against the Senators.
We parked in some $8 lot uptown and took the Metro down to the Arena. I remember that particular journey because in the packed trolley car we ended up next to a rather talkative African American man whose girth covered two whole seats. Luckily he was the friendly type and we enjoyed a friendly, if somewhat unhinged conversation about the Sabres. Just as claustrophobia was starting to get the best of me the car came to a halt and I was face to face with the Arena for the first time.
Moving along like cattle, we made our way inside, then up the escalators to the 300 level, taking time to ridicule the rather creepy "glamour" photo of Adam Mair on the way up. I had been to Ralph Wilson Stadium several times, so I thought I would be prepared to step into an area I knew was far more vast than my mind was currently giving credit. I was not. As soon as we walked past the usher to stare into the rapidly filling confines of HSBC Arena, my breath left me. Truthfully it still does. Being there, even being mired near the peak of the 300s is a sort of special that no words can describe.
The game itself began like many Sabres games did, with the Senators racing to a three goal lead. Ryan Miller was promptly pulled and Jocelyn Thibeault was inserted in his place. Promptly, the Sabres began scoring, and my friend and I were sure to let Thibeault know that the goals were surely a product of him being in net. Late in the game, Mike Ryan (remember him?) tied the game on a shot from behind the net that bounced in off Ray Emery's back. The crowd went nuts. The 'Emery' chant that followed was probably the loudest I heard the arena until I attended a playoff game in 2010. Unfortunately, the night was not to end a happy one, and Dany Heatley and company stuck the knife in and twisted it, skating away with a 5-3 Senators victory.
Even with a loss, that first game still resonates with me because it was the beginning of something special. It was beginning of a relationship that would see me bring my family together, would see me meet a ton of great people, and eventually would see me achieve one of my dreams in writing this book.