Thursday, July 31, 2008

Learning to Love Us: The Craig Rivet Story

First of all, I must offer an apology for my false advertising. Responsible journalist that I am, I got my days mixed up and thought I was going to training camp today when I am actually going tomorrow. Rest assured, tomorrow night there will be a full recap of all the festivities (meaning the stuff I actually paid attention to - like the autographs and how good Poz and Trent look).

Instead of football, tonight my focus is once again on my beloved boys in Blue and Gold, specifically, the newest member of the team, Mr. Craig Rivet (I say "Mr." because, I'll be honest, I've watched some of his fights, and he scares me a little bit).

I'll admit, I was nervous with the lack of quotes from Mr. Rivet after he was traded here. Eternal pessimist that I am, I figured he was not extremely happy about his new circumstances.

My fears were only slightly eased with Bucky Gleason's latest column, featuring the first information from our newest mucker and grinder on his opinion of the trade. I'm torn between feeling inadequate because, once again, someone from a "big city" thinks that Buffalo is just one big zit on the face of New York and feeling happy that he is open and ready for that opinion to change.

To help with his Buffalo education, I present to Mr. Craig Rivet Katie's Reasons Why Buffalo Should Appeal to a Feisty Hockey Player/Doting Dad Like Himself:

1.) Cheap Houses. Mr. Rivet has already experienced that wonderful phenomenon called "If Buffalo was a girl, she'd be a really cheap date." He said he's looking for a 5,000 square-foot house for $2 million. Little did he know that he could get a house twice that size for half the price. If he wanted to spend a little more, he could probably buy the whole town of West Seneca.

2.) It's Good for the Kiddies. I think Mr. Rivet has three kids (if I'm wrong, I apologize), and I know that there is no better place for them to grow up than right here. We have great schools, but there are other reasons why so many players like raising their youngins here (Hank, Toni, Teppo, Spacho, Marty, Lindy...). People in Buffalo just seem nicer than people from other places; it's not hard to teach good manners when you're living in a place that's called "The City of Good Neighbors."

3.) Food, Food, Food. If the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach, then Buffalo will win his heart in no time. From wings at the Anchor Bar (or Duff's) to Mighty Taco to ice cream at Anderson's, there are never-ending culinary options, from the upscale (The Buffalo Chophouse) to the greasy-but-great (Louie's) to the hockey player staple (Chef's).

4.) The Boys Can Keep Him Young. Bucky wrote that Mr. Rivet is already excited about the young promise of our team. Little does he know just how great a place this will be to hone his leadership skills. He can make sure that Timmy doesn't hurt himself picking up girls at SoHo. He can finally teach Pie to tie his skates. He can make sure that Goose and Pommer don't stay up the whole night watching "buddy movies" and sharing deep secrets. Seriously, though, we have a fun and exciting team here who all really love this city, and I think he'll find that infectious.

5.) We're Pretty Much Canadians, Just Like Him. Buffalo is pretty much a Canadian town, which is exactly where Mr. Rivet grew up. We drink Labatt and Molson's. Our kids grow up playing hockey. There's snow for Christmas. Finally, there's Tim Horton's, and if that isn't a selling point, then I don't know what is.

6.) Buffalo and Mr. Rivet are Kindred Spirits. Hockey is our passion, and much of that passion is derived from everything Craig Rivet seems to be. We love players who work hard, own up to the media, stick up for each other, and lead in the community. This seems to be our newest player in every aspect. His game is about flying under the radar and working hard to be the best player he can be, which also happens to be how Buffalo gets by.

Mr. Rivet, if those reasons aren't good enough for you, just watch some videos of our Parties in the Plaza, and you'll see just how great a hockey town you are now a part of.

Tomorrow morning, I'll add to my "100 Things" list. I figured this was "list-y" enough for tonight.

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