Tuesday, April 7, 2009

So When Does the Apathy Set In?

I should have reached that point already. You know that point; I'm sure many of you are at or have long ago passed that point.

The point where you just can't bring yourself to care anymore.

It's the point when you know that your team isn't going to make the playoffs, and you've come to terms with that fact. You start analyzing what needs to be done in the offseason to make sure this doesn't happen again. You pick your teams to follow in the postseason. You watch the games your team plays with a sense of detachment, a sense that if they can't bring themselves to care about what they put on the ice why should you bring yourself to care about watching it.

God, I wish I was there.

The thing is; I really suck at goodbyes. And that's what these final games of the season are for me - one drawn-out, agonizing goodbye.

As Buffalo sports fans, we run on hope. This is the ugly point in the season when our supply runs out, and we're left bitter once again. Without that hope of making the playoffs and the hope of a championship that comes with them, we begin to turn on our athletes and each other.

I'm not saying that well-informed criticism isn't good and even necessary when it's so obvious that changes need to be made. It's when those criticisms get personal that I get defensive. If I hear one more "I hate Ryan Miller" after he lets in a soft goal or "Pat Kaleta's a pansy who has no place on this team" I'm going to scream.

Also, I get saying that this team lacks toughness, but I'm so sick of hearing "These overpaid jerks have no heart." Though it may not always look like it, there are guys on this team that have a sense of playing for us and playing with a purpose every night. The problem is, the guys that do show up to play every night don't always have the talent to make it count. My sister, who is a highly competitive high school athlete, always replies to the "heartless" comment in the same way. She tells me, "Do you honestly think that a professional athlete, who has been trained for years to compete at his highest level, doesn't want to win every night?"

I'll admit that, unfortunately, the question does give me reason to pause at times with this team. However, I've come to a conclusion about them. They're like the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz - heart but no brains. They've shown how much playing for this city means to them - look no further than their charity work or the win over San Jose to see that. This doesn't mean, though, that I'm letting them off the hook. They need to grow up, to learn that their stubborn way of doing things isn't the best way, and I guess if that means letting some of them go or even letting Lindy go, then I'm going to have to accept that it's best for the team.

I guess all that I really want to say is that I'm not happy with this team right now, but I don't want to get rid of them all, either. I'm attached to these boys in an admittedly unhealthy way, and it hurts to see how quickly everyone has jumped off the bandwagon. Call me a homer; I won't deny it. I'm a fan but one who is trying to see a reasonable answer to the debacle this season has become. I'm mad, furious even, that they let this season slip away, but they're my team. Do I want some changes made? Of course. Do I want every guy traded and every front-office member fired? No.

What do I really want?

I want to stop caring.

9 comments:

Caroline said...

I've been apathetic for awhile now...but I'll always care. I guess my apathy is just my mind's way of letting me know that deep down I really didn't think this team was going to make the playoffs, even though my heart was still holding out. Every time the team won I would get another surge of hope, but every time they lost I would just go, "Whatever..."

I was at the game last night and I was sad knowing that it'll be my last Sabres game for awhile.

Anonymous said...

agreed 100x over. I couldn't have written it better myself. great post.

Katie said...

I guess my apathy is just my mind's way of letting me know that deep down I really didn't think this team was going to make the playoffs, even though my heart was still holding out.

That's such a great way to put it, Caroline. It's like a self-fulfilling prophecy...we knew they were going to fall short, but we didn't want them to perform as such. But here we are...*sigh*

I was at the game last night and I was sad knowing that it'll be my last Sabres game for awhile.

I'm going Saturday, and I'm very curious as to what the crowd reaction will be.

Katie said...

agreed 100x over. I couldn't have written it better myself.

Thanks so much! I thought people were going to hate this post or think of it as completely bipolar, so it's nice to know that someone doesn't think I've totally lost it. haha

Shelby Rose said...

I was going to comment on this post yesterday, but I never got the chance to.

I completely agree with everything you said, Katie. I was at the game last Saturday with my brother and I had to listen to him consistently degrade the boys, saying how they were a bunch of losers and 'this team sucks', etc. etc. What was worse is that he rubbed off on me, and I yelled down at them after that game that they sucked because they didn't give a full effort. Something I wouldn't have done if I was with my stepdad, or someone else.

I was mad at them that night. Mad because I know I won't be able to watch them again until September, after the regular season is over. The only way I find peace is to yell, to ridicule them.

They will always be my team, and I will always say things that I don't mean. I love all the boys very much...I guess I'm just the type to get way too emotional. People say it's just a game, but the Sabres really helped me in a tough spot two years ago by making me extremely happy. I feel it's my obligation to cheer them on always, no matter how angry I might get at them. I can at least do that much for them.

Katie said...

Thanks, Shelby. I'm not saying that I don't yell crazy things at my TV during the games (some things I've said to poor Royzie lately have been particularly cruel). It's when people take those comments out of the heat of the moment and start actually believing that this team is full of terrible people that gets me mad.

People say it's just a game, but the Sabres really helped me in a tough spot two years ago by making me extremely happy. I feel it's my obligation to cheer them on always, no matter how angry I might get at them. I can at least do that much for them.

We should talk more because I had a very similar situation. My first year in college was a hard time in my life, and it may be lame to say but that 06-07 team made me happy when I thought no one else could. I guess that's why I still have trouble writing them off totally.

Shelby Rose said...

(some things I've said to poor Royzie lately have been particularly cruel)

He's been taking a lot of the heat from me lately...(Sorry Cari, sorry Derek.)

I guess that's why I still have trouble writing them off totally.

Me too. One of my best friends and I had cut off all ties to one another, and I thought for sure that life was going to be awful for me through the rest of high school but...the Sabres got me into something that I enjoyed, and thus made me happier.

dani said...

"God, I wish I was there."

ME TOO, SISTER!!! :( I can't let them go yet. I want them to make it so bad. I know chances are so ridiculously slim, but the fact they they still have a chance just makes it hard to let anything go. The off-season is just too lame without the Sabres.

Katie said...

The off-season is just too lame without the Sabres.

I know...I have no idea how I managed without them for so long last year - it's going to be rough.