It's not my fault, it's everyone else's. I just got tired of people being unintelligent dicks and so I stopped talking sports with them. Somewhere along the way in high school, I restricted my opposing fan football talk to my friend Mike, a Giants fan, because I knew that he would bring the requisite knowledge required to have a decent conversation on the topic. Everyone else? Fuck 'em.
It's a pretty simple formula, the majority of sports fans watch their team every week, a few highlights on Sportscenter, play fantasy football and call themselves experts. In addition to the 90+ Sabres games i watch every year, I also watch close to that in either pieces of other games, or entire games, along with the in depth statistical analysis I'm constantly doing for Vulgar Stats. If I'm not talking with one of the half dozen people that blog (and because of it have a similar immersion), I'm coming from a higher plane of knowledge than whoever I'm talking to.
Like the guy who started harping on me in the mall for having a Vanek jersey. I can't explain to him why Vanek is a lot better than virtually every fan thinks in the context of a casual conversation. Or the guy that plays floor hockey with me who was absolutely beside himself when I said that Tampa Bay would defeat his beloved Penguins because the Penguins rolled into the playoffs playing pretty poorly.
The other half of it is that I never developed a great love of, or skill for trash talking. Typically I watch the games by myself or with other fans of the Bills and Sabres, largely discuss the team with them and generally leave other fans alone. I have my opinions that those fans aren't going to like so I have no problem not sharing them. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way, and a relatively unassuming, quiet person like myself will occasionally find themselves under siege from an idiot opposing fan, either in a public place, or on the internet.
There's a guy in my floor hockey league who always has some mental-midget comment about how the Penguins are better than everything in existence and lets everyone know it. And it's not that he's a whiny
It doesn't help that people are generally stupid and there is a lot of low hanging fruit in the way of things to pick on Buffalo fans for. Yes, 1990 happend, so did the next three years, as well as 1999, 2000, 2004 and a bunch of other years. Buffalo isn't exactly a thriving city, and there are crappy parts *eye roll* and there's snow. I might be a bit less cantankerous if I ever heard an insult that was either creative, or coming from a place of knowledge, but I haven't. Buffalo is poor, lost three Super Bowls, and has snow. Awesome, go be a jackass elsewhere please.
And finally, I think that because of what we've had to put up with from our teams, and because of it, what we've had to put up with from those shitbags, and because of the attendance figures, and the TV ratings, and the merchandise sales, I just flat out think we're better than other fans. Because let's be honest. It's true.