Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Let's Go Buff-a-lo! (Why I Love Hockey - Part 20)

Why I Love Hockey #20 - "LET'S GO BUFF-A-LO!"
During a game last season, the group of rowdies behind us started up a "Let's go Sabres!" chant. I turned to Mark and asked, "Why would anyone in Buffalo chant 'Let's Go Sabres!' when they could be chanting 'Let's Go Buff-a-lo!' That led to a topsy turvy conversation about the pros and cons of each chant and probably involved a lecture about how I should let people chant what they want, but I'm being totally serious when I ask this: Why would you live in Buffalo and NOT chant "Let's go Buffalo!"

Now I know some of the people reading this aren't Sabres fans so you've probably never chanted, "Let's go Buff-a-lo!" To understand this entry, you really should stop and do it right now. Yes, I'm serious. Yes, I am. Go ahead, I'll wait.

It's fun, isn't it? Oh, sure any fan anywhere can chant "Let's Go NAME OF CITY HERE!" But none of them will sound as cool as Buffalo does. New York? No. Dallas? Uh-unh. Tampa Bay? Close but not quite. Toronto? Ha! No other city (or state) has the rhythm, the cadence, of "Let's Go Buff-a-lo!" And it rhymes! It rhymes for crying out loud!

I'm beginning to realize how ridiculous this entire entry is, but I'm telling you, I love the "Let's Go Buff-a-lo!" chant. I'll chant it at the TV no matter what sport or team we're watching. I chant it during P.E. which for some reason - I can't imagine why! - cracks my kids up completely. And my heart warms a little every time I hear it. I love it when - despite thinking I'm crazy when I do it - my kids yell, "LET'S GO BUFF-A-LO!" in gym class. I loved walking down Main Street behind a huge herd of kids, all screaming "LET'S GO BUFF-A-LO!" over and over at the top of their lungs. I loved hearing about concerts at HSBC ending with the crowd streaming out, spontaneously bursting into "LET'S GO BUFF-A-LO!" I loved hearing about the crowd at a Tragically Hip show in Erie, PA calling for an encore by chanting "LET'S GO BUFF-A-LO!" (I also loved the Hip responding by coming out and playing the Rolling Stones' Street Fighting Man, the team's entrance music last season. I'm pretty sure I'm not making this up.)

Is this the most ridiculous reason to love a sport, a team, a city? Probably. But God help me, I do love it. Chanting anything else just wouldn't be as much fun.


LeeAndrew said...

What about, "Let's Go Tup-e-lo"?

A.J. said...

I'm with ya on this all the way, Heather. I've been out of Buffalo for over 10 years now, and it doesn't matter. I always get goosebumps when I hear "Let's go Buffalo". Going to see the Sabres play twice a year in Raleigh and hearing the rabid fans chanting this in the parking lot, the hallways, during the game, after the's the BEST!


Matty Dubs said...

YES! We got the chant going in Penn Station after the Sabres OT win over NYR last season. Oh man, those Ranger fans were gettin testy. It was great.

Mark B said...

While Let's go Sabres has a nice sing-song groove to it, I have to agree. Let's go Buffalo is our identity and our creed!

Kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate said...

The thing I like best about "Let's Go Buff-a-lo" is how well it lends itself to honking. I live near a very trafficked area of town (particularly trafficked after a game), and one of the things I LOVE about my apartment is the chorus of "Let's Go Buff-a-lo" honks I hear after a particularly exciting win.

On the day before free agency started, for some reason there was a big slew of "let's go buff-a-lo" honks all at once outside my window. I have no idea why it started, probably just one person did it and then all the cars around him wanted in on the act, but in my desperate desire to get some good news about Chris Drury, I raced to my computer, certain that the honking meant we had just signed my S,PW. This is how much "Let's Go Buff-a-lo" has invaded my consciousness.

Even if I didn't watch any sports, I could still keep track of game day by the honking. I love it.

Heather B. said...

I'm glad everyone agrees!

Kate, I can't believe I forgot about the honkability of the chant because that is absolutely one of my favorite things about downtown Buffalo after a big win.

Anonymous said...

Kate, the honkability is only cool when it's done after a playoff game or Toronto/Ottawa/Montreal game. If it's used too much I feel it loses it's effect.

As for the "Let's Go Sabres" chant, my dad and I get so pissed when we hear that at games. It seems to have gotten big recently, because when I was young the only chant you heard was "Let's Go Buff-A-Lo." It doesn't even compare and is so interchangable with just about every team that it ends up being really lame. The only one that comes close is "ooooh ahhh sabres on the warpath, oooh ahhhh."

ps for some reason this blanks out when i hit other to choose an identity, but it's brian s.

KMS2 said...

You make a very good argument. I never understood why the fans did that because three syllables just seems like lot when two syllables is just so much easier. But now I get it. Thanks!

Kevin said...

Also a sure way to separate the long-time fan from a bandwagoner.