Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hockey is Supposed to be Fun

From the looks of things around the Buffalo fansphere, you'd think otherwise.  One of the reasons I like The Goose's Roost most of all the Buffalo blogs is that even when the Sabres are playing bad and hockey is depressing, they keep things in perspective.  They're not prone to hating on players, whether the ire is deserved or not, and they always give me something to think about.  While I might post the occasional hyperbolic rant about how Connolly is really an agent of the Senators sent to destroy us, I try to keep things relatively even keel here as well.  The main reason for that is the very title of this post.

It is supposed to be fun.  That's why we watch the games, right?  To entertain ourselves.  I understand that losing is frustrating and sometimes emotions blot out everything else, but let's not forget why we're here.  Seeing a Sabres win is great, but is that the only reason we go to HSBC arena?  If it was, I think the Sabres would sell a lot more single tickets and a lot fewer pairs and group packages.

There is more to being at HSBC than just watching the Sabres play.  For each fan it is a unique experience.  My journey starts about two hours away in central New York (hopefully changing soon).  You'd think I'd get bored during a drive I've completed over a hundred times, but I don't.  I always stop at the Clarence rest area, smiling and greeting my jersey-clad brethren, and look for planes while passing the airport.  I grin at the sign welcoming me to Buffalo and proclaiming it "An All America City," and pretend the appropriate ramp onto the 190 only leads to one place, called Downtown Buffalo-Canada.  (I'm a dork.)  Then there's the parking on Scott Street, walking through the throngs of people up to the arena, and the usual trip to the Sabres Store.

Sometimes I just walk around, see if anyone is wearing any ridiculous jerseys, and laugh at the over-serious black and white glamour shots of our beloved Sabres. 

Bring me your soul...

I try to remember (some times I have to try harder than others ) that I'm not just there to watch several toothless men flit about on the ice, I'm there to have fun.  And these things are fun.  Whether it's buying new apparrel, enjoying some delightful (and overpriced) arena food, bringing a sign and waving it at every camera in the building, or wrapping yourself in blue and gold Christmas lights with a portable power source (you just wait), HSBC is a great place to be.

We're not Sabres fans just so that we can watch them win, but sometimes we forget that.  Sabres hockey is one of the greatest things you can share and every Sabres fan reading this probably has at least a dozen great stories about them and their buddies watching a Sabres game.  The Sabres are the one thing that every member of my family agrees on.  I'll bet several of us have even begun great friendships at Sabres games, or Sabres related functions.  I know I have, and I owe the organization respect and loyalty for that fact alone.

Remember that the next time you go to a game.  You're not just there to watch hockey, boo the opposition, and complain about the officiating, you're there to have fun.  So go do it.  Heckle fans in opposing jerseys, buy yourself a beef on weck, go hug the Thomas Vanek photo, make a goofy sign, paint your face, try to get on the jumbotron, encourage the 40 year old bearded man next to you to sing along to Miley Cyrus, take photos next to the six foot tall head of one of your friends.

Have some fun, because that's what this is supposed to be.

1 comment:

  1. This was a great post. I was at the arena last year about fifteen times (I think) for games, and each experience seemed to hold something memorable for me. Whether it was someone I met, something that happened in the actual game, or just talking about stupid nonsense as play was going on - I have tried to enjoy myself with every game I've gone to.

    It's sad because I think some people (season tickets holders especially) take for granted going to the games because they're there all the time.