Saturday, June 13, 2009


I know that there are reasons to be mad about last night if you're a Sabres fan:

* Miro Satan won a Stanley Cup...I'll give you all a second to swallow the bile back down.

* Sidney Crosby won a Stanley Cup - and proceeded to reenact his Winter Classic screech on an even more ear-piercing level.

*Pittsburgh changed their coach and won a Cup, and the Lindy Ruff more than I do (which is saying something...and not necessarily a good thing)

*A team won the Stanley Cup last night, and that team was not the Buffalo Sabres...again

But there are also reasons to be happy.

No matter how bitter and jaded I can get as a hockey fan, I still get goosebumps whenever I watch a Stanley Cup celebration. I'm a human-interest story nerd at heart, and those moments always know how to tug at the heartstrings. It's pure emotion on display - tears and laughter and blissful exhaustion - with no veneer of professionalism to separate the fans from their champions.

I know some may think that watching another team lift the Cup would make a hockey fan whose team didn't make the playoffs feel even more hopeless.

Not so for me.

Last night, I didn't go to my usual unhappy place filled with thoughts of how that will never be my team. Instead, I let myself think about what would happen if that ever was my team. I thought of how I would feel if Craig Rivetwas in Sidney Crosby's place or if it was Goose scoring those goals instead of Max Talbot. What would it feel like if Ryan Miller got to wrap his skinny arms around all that silver...if Lindy got doused in champagne?

Right now, I have no idea how that would feel. I've never watched a team I really cared about win a major championship. Yesterday may have been the closest I came just because my favorite non-Sabre's best friend got to be the first to lift the Cup (yes, I am pathetic). I can only hope that we here in Buffalo can someday soon feel what they're feeling in Pittsburgh today - the pride of knowing that it's our boys - the ones we yell at, laugh at, obsess over, wear the jersey of - that came out on top.

Until then, at least the Cup should be coming back to Buffalo again:

Congrats, Brooks Orpik - you did us proud!

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