So, for the next place on my odyssey, or “hockeyssey” (I was originally going to say “hockyssey”, which is what my mother almost demanded I put, but I like how “hockeyssey” looks, even if it is pronounced “hockey-see”), I traveled to Buffalo, New York. The Sabres were playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs, whom I’d already rooted against (and seen lose) at their place.
As an aside. I don’t think I’ve ever seen fans that are more obnoxious than Maple Leafs fans. It’s kind of ridiculous. I personally have been heckled at only two games. Both times it was by damned Leafs fans. Admittedly, at the Hawks-Leafs game in March, it was the 3rd period by then and they Hawks were busy pummeling the home squad (see my Toronto blog for that little story), but this time it was before the game and I get heckled in my Ryan Miller jersey. I know it was me because I was sitting next to my mom who was wearing my Kris Versteeg Leafs jersey (which I bought after they traded him away in exchange for 2 draft picks (I’ll let you figure out how that’s working now)). As an aside to the Leafs fans out there, “pregame” in hockey (or any sport) does not mean the same thing as the “pregaming” you were doing, so please, stop showing up drunk to hockey games, you'll just embarrass yourselves. I know your team sucks, but, as a former Cubs fan, I’ll give you a piece of advice. If you can’t watch the team sober, don’t watch. Also, to note, from Wikipedia, regarding Leafs fans: “January 22 (1955) – During a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings at Maple Leaf Gardens, Red Wings forward Ted Lindsay leaned over the glass and struck a drunk Maple Leafs fan with his stick after the fan had scuffled with and spilled beer over teammate Gordie Howe. Lindsay was given a match penalty and suspended for five games for the incident.” Just a little tidbit I found.
Ok, my rant is officially over. I do like many of the features the First Niagara Center has, like the fan shop one can enter without a ticket (it is supposedly open every day, but I wasn’t actually staying in Buffalo, so I couldn’t verify that). Also something that was very interesting was the “Player Burger”, where the concession stand sells a specialty burger inspired by a player, in my case Tyler Ennis.
|I <3 signs|
One really irksome bit, though. They didn’t let us in the 300 section up until an hour before face-off. I know, I get to arenas absurdly early, but it just seems silly that I couldn’t get to my seat when I got there, I was just moseying about on the concourse for half an hour. The explanation is because we were coming from Canada and didn’t want to get stuck at the border forever, so we left pretty early.
|Again, we got there VERRRRRYYYY early|
|This was actually the first Buffalo goal, but whatevs|
In the end, the Sabres held on for a 5-4 win, though it wasn’t easy. The game was a very enjoyable experience, and I did reset the big board to record the recent journeys.
Now I must pack for New York City!