Filed under: Buffalo Sabres, NHL News | Tags: canadians are so polite, msg, nhl in canada, oilers fans cheer sabres, sabres west coast games
I had no idea how much they loved the Sabres.
While I was glad MSG finally figured out it was a terrible idea to not broadcast this West Coast stretch of games, I was still aggravated to find out that MSG would only be showing the opposite team’s feed. I’m annoyed enough when I have to watch the games on NBC, how was I going to put up with even more constant stroking of the other team’s ego? And to top it off, I have a satellite dish, so listening to wgr was not an option.
Little did I know how much Edmonton and Calgary respects and, apparently, loves the Sabres. I can’t say I’ve heard their feed while playing other teams, so it’s probably just that their undying love for the sport makes them respectful and impressed with every team, not just Buffalo. But they almost seemed to focus more on Buffalo than their own teams. They talked about how great our players are, how awesome Ryan Miller is, how good of a coach Lindy Ruff is, and they even mentioned the pigeon. It wasn’t simple stats and news, it was genuine compliments and stories. Even the Oiler’s fans were cheering for them at the end (NOT sarcastically, in my opinion). I’m assuming they figured – “hey, there is no way we’re winning this game. Let’s at least see a team score 10 goals.”
It’s a weird concept to me. I don’t at all think that Rick, Harry and Kevin are disrespectful to visiting teams. But I do think that they definitely don’t make them a priority like Edmonton and Calgary did. It sort of reminded me of the way a Buffalonian treats a tourist… “oh, you like it here?!? you want to spend money here?! you’re awesome! look how awesome our town is!” It’s also the same reaction one receives when they tell a Canadian that they love Canada. But do you think a New Yorker cares that much when someone from Dallas says they like it there? Probably not.
I’ve both heard and experienced how polite and hospitable Canadians are (driving on the QEW aside). In fact, I would be shocked if I didn’t make another new friend in Toronto next time I visit. So maybe it’s the culture I’ve grown up in in America of hating your opponent and his mother. More likely than not, it’s also because Buffalonians are bred as the underdogs and we react with an underdog mentality. Yet taking all these things into consideration, I’m still pleasantly surprised with how highly the Sabres were regarded in these towns, especially for a team who this season has been, at best, average.
I’m glad this whole fiasco with MSG went down, or I would not have experienced this shining illustration of the camaraderie and kinship that is so much a part of hockey in Canada. No offense to Rick, of course, as his job is to announce for the fans in Buffalo – and we all know he does the best job in NHL. But it’s always nice to get a dose of Canada.
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