I think most fans have atleast one blind spot. One issue or person that they will never ever see in any way but their way. A lot of fans are like this about their favorite player. If they like a guy enough, he could be playing like garbage but they'll never, ever admit it. I don't think I'm like that about Henrik Tallinder. I do kind of ignore it when he's not playing well - rarely will I actually say here, "Boy, Hank looks terrible!" - but I am seeing it and when other people point it out I don't get irrationally defensive. I'll admit, "Yeah, he and Toni need to be better," and then just kind of shrug and add, "They'll get it together."
I'm beginning to realize that I am pretty irrational about one person however and that person is Lindy Ruff. I've written about my affection for Lindy before and I don't think I'm alone here. In most cities, if the team was struggling as badly as the Sabres are struggling right now, the coach would be on the hot seat. Fans would be running him out of town. Granted, I am shielding myself from the more uh, zealous fans on sports radio and message boards, but there doesn't seem to be any kind of "FIRE LINDY!" uprising forming, atleast not yet. I hope it stays that way.
Here's the thing: I understand if people are critical of Lindy. I've been more perplexed by him this year than any other year in the past. I've spent most of my days on IR hanging out over at Interchangeable Parts and Pookie has suggested more than once that it's time for Lindy to move on, if for no other reason than just to shake things up. And my brain gets it. My brain understands that yeah, maybe a new face coming in and saying, "I don't know you and I don't care about whatever garbage is going on here, this is how it's gonna be" would wake the team up. (Though my brain also gets that the Interchangeable Parts girls are Devils fans and therefore barely have coaches long enough to remember their names much less fall in love with them :P)
But at the mere mention of Lindy going somewhere else - especially if it comes about because of a firing! - my heart freaks out and my fingers start typing every defense I can think of, some that make sense, some that don't. Lindy can't make the goal scorers score goals. He can't make the defense more consistent and he can't make the goalies steal games. He can't take players who aren't physical by nature and turn them into grinders. He can't make spoiled professional athletes work hard and play like they want to win. Any lack of effort is on the players. I don't care if teams usually fire coaches because it's easier than firing the players. In fact, I've now stated in more than one place that if it's between firing Lindy and firing the team, I'd gladly say a fond farewell to every guy on the roster. And while that's the kind of hyperbolic statement someone would usually make just to get a point across, I think I might actually mean it. Take that albatross of a contract somewhere else, Thomas. Go get your 6 million in another city, Brian. Let someone else worry about your groins, Timmy and Max. Goose and Mairsy, I hope you find somewhere soft to land. Jochen, it's been a blast. Hank... Hank, I think I'll miss you most of all. But seriously, I don't care if Rob Ray and James Patrick have to come out of retirement so that we can field a full team - heck, let Lindy play - just do whatever needs to be done to keep Lindy Ruff in Buffalo until I die.
So I just wanted to give you all fair warning that if it comes to a point where people really do start talking about firing Lindy I'm going to squeeze my eyes shut and wish the whole conversation away. I won't defend him because my arguments will be irrational and desperate but I won't take part either and I'll never, ever, ever agree as long as there's still breath left in my body.
Okay, now to go totally off-topic...
I had a week or so of zen, but I really need to get this cast off and I need to do it ASAP. If I had a saw, I'd just do it myself. I'm enjoying the sitting around and reading and watching DVDs etc, I would just like to be able to carry a plate of food from the kitchen to another room. Is that asking so much?
Books I've read since being disabled: Rayzor's Edge: Rob Ray's Tough Life on the Ice (pretty good), Searching for Bobby Orr (excellent), Breaking the Ice: My Journey to Olympic Hockey, the Ivy League, and Beyond (okay), The Parting (good), and On Chesil Beach (overrated :::clap, clap, clapclapclap)
Currently reading: Home to Holly Springs and Brodeur: Beyond the Crease
DVDs I've watched since being disabled: Once (awesome - the best movie I've seen from last year and one of the best movies I've seen in the past few years), Knocked Up (pretty good but not great), Superbad (totally overrated but not really my thing), Stardust (liked it more than I expected to), Veronica Mars: Season One (very good), 3:10 to Yuma (very, very good), and Waitress (sweet and funny and geez, why hasn't Hollywood made a star out of Nathan Fillion - weak-chinned or not - yet?)
Currently watching: 30 Rock: Season One with Battlestar Galactica on deck
Heather B's favorite Oscar nominee: Falling Slowly for Best Original Song