“You like who?”
“They’re so bad.”
“Nice win last night! Oh, yeah, wait…”
I’m a Buffalo Sabres fan. I hear the teasing relentlessly, but it becomes white noise after years of following the basement-dwelling National Hockey League team from Western New York.
The Sabres have never won the NHL’s glorious Stanley Cup trophy since entering the league in 1970. They have been to the Finals twice, but lost both times, most recently in 1999 (if you can even call that “recent”). The Sabres have not seen playoff action since 2011, holding the longest current playoff drought in the league.
Despite drafting prolific young talent in recent years such as Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart and Rasmus Dahlin, the wins aren’t there. Even acquiring amazing players from other teams, notably Jeff Skinner and Carter Hutton, can’t remedy the mounting losses. The head coaching job seems to change every few seasons.
Will Buffalo fans see an end to their sorrows soon?
However, there are perks to following an “underdog” or “bad” team. You build character with each loss. You avoid being labeled as a dreaded “band wagoner.” Each win becomes a big celebration, leaving you in a good mood for the rest of your day (before inevitably getting let down at the next game). All sports are cyclical. No matter the sport, you can witness a team climb from the bottom and work their way to the top. Who knows? Pick a poor team to follow in your favorite sport and you will be rewarded.
The Sabres have broken my heart more times than I can count, but to be honest, I can look past it. Buffalo fans know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and team management knows there is much room for improvement. That being said, let’s go Buffalo.