Dear Sabres Nation,
It's recently come to my attention that some of you are invading other team's arenas and quite frankly, acting like jerks. Stepping on posters? Wearing t-shirts that cleverly use the word "puck" in place of another word? Booing the home team? My god, people, what are you, animals? (Warning: There is a link included but for the love of all that is holy, don't follow it! You shouldn't be reading non-Sabres blogs! And if you're here and you're not a Sabres fan, get lost already!)
After some input from outside sources, I've put together the following list of rules for behavior when watching the Sabres outside of Buffalo. Please read and follow.
1. Do not wear any clothing that suggests you're rooting for the Sabres. Certainly do not wear anything that is directly anti-home team. Seriously, you're in someone else's building. Use your manners.
2. Do not make any vocalizations of excitement, happiness, joy etc. when the Sabres do something positive. Goals should not be cheered, great plays should not be admired, and for the love of all that's good and right in the hockey world, do not chant "Let's go Buff-a-lo!" Honestly, trying to drown out the locals? That is so uncouth. Polite applause is acceptable as long as you remain seated and stare straight ahead the entire time. Do not ever cheer louder than the home team's fans. If that requires total silence, so be it.
3. Do not direct any negative vocalizations toward the home team. It's not hard, folks. Home team = always good and right. Does it matter that you're not actually cheering for the home team? Are you slow? Because we've clearly established that no, it does not.
3b. As an addendum to rule number 3, do not, under any circumstances, boo the home team's star player. What, were you raised in a barn? It does not matter that getting booed is part and parcel of being a professional athlete. It does not matter that said athlete is, in this year alone, making what I'll make in 55.79 years. It does not matter that this player is not actually playing for your team and it certainly does not matter whether or not this player was not that long ago involved in a questionable play involving one of your star players.
In fact, Buffalo, star players really shouldn't be booed at all. I know, I know... You're scratching your head right now and thinking, "Well, golly, Heather B, I sometimes criticize my own star players, what do I care if other fans do it? I mean, did you see Thomas Vanek play the first few months of the season?" I know, and yes, I did see him play. I think it's very amusing that you're constantly re-calculating how much he's being paid for every point scored. It turns out however that some people don't like that. And can you blame them? God, show a little respect. Thomas Vanek has feelings too. I'm sure he's cut to the bone every time you call him the "Seven Million Dollar Man" with that biting and sarcastic tone in your voice.
3c. The above rule applies to photographs and written descriptions of said star player as well. Stepping on said player's face? Outrageous! Making fun of his physical appearance? Immature! And also reprehensible! And don't even thinking about busting out a black marker for doodling purposes. That's a one-way ticket to fan hell. You'll spend the rest of your life in a small empty room with Sean Avery and Chris Simon.
Seriously, though, the above rules aside... What the hell are you people doing still cheering for the Sabres anyway? I mean, you left Buffalo! I know the economy here is struggling and the job market is tough, but good lord, man up already. If you want to work in book publishing or entertainment so badly, pool your resources and start up a publishing company or a movie studio right here. It can't be that hard. Not making enough to support your family? Hey, kids are resilient creatures, they can survive on pork and beans. Or even better, make the little brats work for their keep. It builds character. It's about sacrifices, people. If you can't make it work here, get out and don't come back.
Listen, I know that Buffalo is a city that gets under you skin and worms its way into your heart. I know that no matter where you are, chances are you're dreaming about crisp autumn evenings and soft, fluttery snow. I know you'd much rather be knocking back beers in the parking lot at Ralph Wilson on a blustery Sunday morning than watching the Bills in your living room across the country and I know you'd prefer to be walking out of HSBC Arena, surrounded by thousands of honking cars than watching the Sabres in a bar with a small crowd of fellow transplants. I know you're staring at your Christmas tree and thinking the season just isn't complete without sponge candy and fresh snow. I know you wish your kids were growing up in the same neighborhood you did and I know that you're sad that things didn't work out that way. I know that Buffalo is exactly the kind of hard-working, humble, friendly city that grabs your heart and, despite years and miles, never really lets go. I know you'll always tell people you're from Buffalo and you'll always say it proudly. And I know you'll be back here in a heartbeat if you ever get the chance.
Which is why you're an asshole for leaving. God! New plan: When you turn in your New York license plate, you also hand over all your Sabres and Bills memorabilia, Benedict Arnold.
(Don't bother commenting on this post. If you're not a Sabres fan, you shouldn't even be reading this. If you insist on commenting - even if it's thoughtful and reasonable - I'm just going to gather up all my Buffalo homies - those of us who still live here, that is - and say, "Hey, look at the little ENTER TEAM HERE fan. He shouldn't even be here. Am I right or am I right?")
Heather B, breaking all the rules.
(Programming note: I'll try to be back to my usual insightful and mature self later. My deepest apologies to anyone who can't make any sense of this post. Just please come back tomorrow.)