Saturday, November 3, 2007

Struggling With the Sabres But Still Loving Hockey

I had a post about last night's game against Florida half-written but I've decided to scrap it. This is partly because I didn't see the game - I turned on the radio while on my break just in time to hear Harry Neale say to Rob Ray, "So which practice do you want to cover tomorrow, the morning practice or the afternoon practice?" - and partly because really how many times can one blogger say the same things? So let's sum up: Lindy, break up the RAV line, sit some guys in the press box, bring up a couple bodies from Rochester (not Kaleta!), start James Patrick and Rob Ray and heck, yourself, and tell the boys it's time to stop talking and start playing.

Instead of rambling on and on about yet another horrifying loss, I'm going to hit you with a couple of quick reasons I love hockey. Because I'm pretty sure I still do.

Why I Love Hockey #30 - 82 Game Seasons
Okay, technically, I hate the long season. As much as I love hockey, there's a stretch at the end of the season where I just start to tune out. I'm too anxious for the playoffs to start and I'm tired of watching what feels like the same opponents over and over. I could lose ten games from the regular season with no problem at all. (Although maybe it won't feel so pointless if the Sabres are scrapping for a playoff spot during those last ten games.) But I do love that the 82 game season gives a team time to get its feet under them. It gives a coach time to find the right line combos and the best way to motivate his team. I love that injuries can slow a team down without completely wrecking the season (usually). I love that the long season gives players time to figure out their roles and how they work together. They can stumble and stop and start and still be fine when all is said and done. I love that while occasionally we get a team that just dominates from day one of the season to the last day of the Cup Finals, a lot of times the final victor is a team that fought to get there.

(I figure I can love this about hockey until Christmas time. After that a nonchalant "Hey, it's a long season!" morphs into a sad and desperate, "Oh, Lord, it's a loooong season.")

Why I Love Hockey #31 - Sabre Dance
For those not familiar with Sabre Dance, you can listen to a clip of it here. There's something so sweet and dorky about a team's theme song being a piece of classical music. It's like the heyday of pro sports when everything was played on an organ instead of being blasted through a fancy schmancy PA system. Sabre Dance is so bouncy and peppy that it never fails to make me happy. Even last night when the Sabres were playing so badly that Rob Ray was telling us Lindy Ruff had entered the stony silence phase which is never good as soon as the broadcast cut to commercial break with Sabre Dance I started tapping my fingers on the steering wheel while bobbing my head. (And when I first heard Sabre Dance referred to by name I did not say, "Someone wrote a song just for the Sabres? Cool!" Nope, didn't happen.)

I was planning on posting something here every day as part of NaBloPoMo, but alas, three days into the month, I've already missed one.

1 comment:

Kate said...

No doubt because of my profession, I LOVE that the Sabres have the Sabre Dance as their theme song.

This is a great post, Heather. It is a long season!

They can stumble and stop and start and still be fine when all is said and done.

Amen.