Darkness on the Edge of Tank

Darkness on the Edge of Tank

That, my friends, was weird.

It’s also the word Coyotes’ defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson used to describe a large number of Sabres fans cheering Arizona goals. Others’ choice of adjectives ranged from awesome to pathetic, and I have to say it’s a little of both.

I wrote earlier this year that I thought it’d be very hard for the Sabres to “earn” the top pick in this June’s NHL Draft, and Buffalo almost made me look foolish in a 14-game losing streak that included an “0-for-January.”

But the truth is it’s quite difficult to be the worst team in the league, and Buffalo still came close to finding its way into second-last (or at least a race to the bottom).

I’ve had a lot of conversations with the Pro-Tank Brigade’s Commander-in-Chief, my good friend and former co-worker Jeremy White of WGR. After he chose the verb “betray” to describe one of their wins, we had a long discussion about the Tank movement. I told him they would finish in last regardless of the odd win here or there, and he was worried.

The challenge here isn’t whether you should be hoping the Sabres lose. The losses are a good thing, and any debate about the team being any good haven’t been alive since January. The question is whether it’s in good taste to be open, loud and even obnoxious about your desire to see the team lose.

Ultimately it won’t be an important question, but I continue to struggle with it. Tonight at the arena was the absolute weirdest experience, to hear fans cheering nearly as loud for the Coyotes goals as home team goals, only without the goal horn and alt-rock goal song. I hated it, even if I understood it. This wasn’t Leafs fans cheering a Leafs goal in the Sabres barn and then getting booed. It was Sabres fans booing Sabres fans.

As someone who’s long told people to relax about sports, that it’s entertainment — See Colin Dabkowski’s incredible Twitter run from tonight treating the game as an art critic — I should just laugh off tonight. It’s not some sort of karmic harbinger of Connor McDavid contracting a highly-contagious strain of flesh-eating bacteria and bringing it to our city. It’s some guys and gals trying to have fun with some horrible, like singing a Nickelback song at a karaoke bar.

But while I’ve come to terms with the losing, and am 100% ready and amped about the worst record in the league, I’m not comfortable cheering for it (not that I would in the press box). And I’m almost as uncomfortable hearing other people do it.

Remembering Montador

Remembering Montador

I’m torn up right now. Not at the loss of a friend, but at the loss of a role model. An everyday, human being sort of role model. That’s the type of guy Steve Montador was, at least in the public eye. Worked his butt off. Supported his teammates. Always accountable to those like me… Continue Reading

Immediate Reactions: Buffalo Bills 17, New England Patriots 9

I really wanted to write a lengthy diatribe on the end of the Bills season, and how Buffalo showed us what could’ve been, blahblahblahBillsyblah. But this game didn’t deserve it. This offense didn’t deserve it. This defense deserves a ton of credit, but whatever. I’m just letting you know that if you’re looking for IR’s… Continue Reading

Immediate Reactions: Oakland Raiders 26, Buffalo Bills 24

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2014 Let’s Go Bills Rap, Wk 16 vs. Oakland Raiders

  Been fighting throat issues for the past couple months, but gave it the ol’ college try for this final postseason push. Sorry for any tailgating inconvenience.  Follow @NicholasMendola… Continue Reading

Immediate Reactions: Buffalo Bills 21, Green Bay Packers 13

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Immediate Reactions: Denver Broncos 24, Buffalo Bills 17

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Immediate Reactions: Buffalo Bills 26, Cleveland Browns 10

Immediate Reactions: Buffalo Bills 26, Cleveland Browns 10

Two touchdowns in 10 seconds helped Bills fans get over a horrible, horrible first half, as Buffalo’s defense and a timely fourth-down conversion sprung the Bills to their seventh win of the seasons, an absolutely necessary ‘W’ for anyone harboring playoff hopes. – I have to wonder if Kyle Orton’s toe injury is affecting his… Continue Reading

Ferguson

At the risk of sounding preachy, I need to get this off my chest and don’t have a radio show because #goldenoldies and #BillyOceanBSides. There are good and bad people in our world. All of them make mistakes. This group of “people” includes garbage men, football players, senators, ministers, judges, sports writers, doctors, zookeepers, jazz… Continue Reading

Immediate Reactions: Buffalo Bills 38, New York Jets 3

Cheers to the Buffalo Bills tonight for: Outclassing a bad New York Jets team… Taking some chances with play calling… Lifting the spirits of a city that’s gone through tons (of snow and ice)… Having Scott Chandler, whose snow shovel celebration was almost as good as anything he’s done in a Bills uniform… – You… Continue Reading