Archive for the 'Hockey' Category

Boo

Last night Robin and I went to a horrible hockey game.  (We totally had fun, but the game sucked.) The combination of the Sabres lackluster play, and the frustration of the fans created, um, a situation.  That situation was a sold-out arena of people booing.  I think that last night was the first time in my life that I cupped my hands up to my mouth and said, "Boooooo".  I wasn’t even angry when I did it.  Yes, I was extremely unimpressed with the team, and yes, I was frustrated, but my booing was good natured, and so was the booing of the people around us.  I boo-ed because doing so was fun.  It was satisfying and downright enjoyable.

It got me thinking about the standing ovation. 

It has become pretty much common place for classical music audiences to automatically stand at the end of a performance.  I appreciate the gesture, but I have to admit I secretly enjoy receiving a lukewarm response to a concert I thought was less than stellar. I respect an audience when they are all "Meh" after a bad piece, or a poorly executed symphony.  There have also been a few instances since I moved to Buffalo, when the audience didn’t just give us a standing ovation, but they literally leaped to their feet in response to the final chords.  I respect those audiences too, for recognizing and responding to a particularly special performance.  I have never been involved in a concert where there was booing.  I can’t even imagine.  I like it when the response from the audience is an honest reaction to the performance, and some part of me would be interested to know what it would take to inspire someone to lift their hands to their face and holler out their disapproval. 

Passion is passion, you know?

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Vote For Glenn!

Not only am I suddenly obsessed with the Sabres, but so is Glenn!
My version of taking things to the extreme is to start a hockey blog.
Glenn’s version of taking things to the extreme is to enter the “Sabres
Emcee” competition…..and to GET TO THE FINAL 20!! Dudes, Glenn and I
are taking over the Buffalo sports scene! (Which is quite possibly the
funniest statement ever uttered. Really.)

  The reasons to vote for Glenn are 5-fold

1. Hilarious
2. Handsome
3. Fearless
4. Sabre obsessed
5. Willing to hit on players on behalf of all straight women/gay men.

I can pretty much guarantee that if Glenn becomes the Sabres Emcee, hilarity will ensue.

So, go here, watch Glenn’s video, and vote!  Vote early!  Vote often!  You won’t be sorry!

(In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I haven’t
yet seen Glenn’s video due to the refusal of my computer to play any
video from NHL websites. All I can tell you is that every day I don’t see that video is a day I die a little more inside.)

Presenting….

The Willful Caboose, my new hockey blog. 

Fear not hockey-haters of Oh For Fun!  It’s all going to be okay.

Strong Independent Woman of the Nineties

In the fall of 1993 I entered Oberlin as a freshman.  Like most good Oberlin newbies, I fancied myself quite the little radical.  Upon entering the student body, as is every freshperson’s rite of passage, I promptly stopped shaving my legs and promptly started using expressions like "the dominant male paradigm".  In truth, I was never a very good radical, and neither were my friends.  Our forays into angry-feminism pretty much started and stopped with the expression "strong independent woman of the nineties".

I can’t remember who first used the expression, "I’m a strong independent woman of the nineties", but it became a rallying cry amongst my female friends.  Part empowering slogan, part tongue-in-cheek silliness, "strong independent woman of the nineties" was destined to become a lifelong fixture of our lexicon.  Even as 18-year-olds we delighted in the fact that eventually our slogan would be hideously outdated, and dare we even predict, ironic.  (Do not forget, this was 1993; Alanis Morissette was our Angry Woman Queen.)

1993:

Courtney: I dunno.  I keep making him mix tapes and he keeps trying to make out with me, but every time I ask him about his supposedly ex-girlfriend, he gets all cagey.  I’m really confused.
Kate: Toss him in the dumper!  You don’t need this kind of hassle.  You’re a strong independent woman of the nineties!
Courtney: Good point.

2007:

Kate: So then this asshole tries to tell me that it’s gonna cost $600 to fix my car door, and I tell him he can eat shit, and then I storm out of the garage all huffy-like.
Ashley: Oooh.  You are such a strong independent woman of the nineties!
Kate: No doubt, sister.

Now, on the dawn of my 32nd birthday, I find myself evaluating my Strong Independent Woman of the Nineties status.  Non-reliance on a man for personal and financial security?  Check.  Preference for being single rather than dealing with guys I’m not really into just for the sake of having a boyfriend?  Check.  General bad-assery and fierceness?  Check, and check.  Sophisticated tastes, and grown-up approach to fanciful crushes?  Er…um…weeell.  Not so much.

My status as a strong independent woman of the nineties has been severely handicapped by my new obsession with hockey.  A big part of the problem is that although my obsession with hockey continues unabated, the hockey season ended weeks ago.  Now trust me, I have ravenously devoured all legitimate hockey news I can get my hands on (as such, I am now practically an expert on the National Hockey Leauge’s CBA.  Seriously.  Ask me anything), but there is only so much a gal can read about hockey players before she has no conclusion available other than, "Dang. He’s a dish."  Hockey has made a fool of me, and my long tenure as a strong independent woman of the nineties is now in jeopardy.

Also, Posh and Becks?  I love them.

Posh and Becks

Posh and Becks are just wrong by strong independent women of the nineties standards, and yet, I love them so. Look at them there all hot and disgustingly sleazy.   Admit it, you love them too.

Conclusion:  Not only am I a strong independent woman of the nineties, I am also a giggling teenager of the naughty-aughties.

(Note: in a googling effort to find any sort of term for the first decade of our current century, I discover that no such term exists.  This decade has no convenient counterpart to "the nineties".  I have taken a fancy to the expression "the naughty-aughties" and will proceed to promote its usage.)

Part 2: The Obsession With Chris Drury Leads to Thoughts on Buffalo

“We think, and many people think, that the town needs to win a major sports championship, to correct the inferiority complex in the psyche in the community.”

-Byron Brown, Mayor of Buffalo, NY

Welcome to Buffalo, New York.

So, the very worst has occurred.  The Buffalo Sabres have lost our super star co-captains to free agency.  Both Daniel Briere, and my beloved Chris Drury have moved on to new teams.  Personally, I took the news surprisingly hard.  I’m not going to lie, there were tears at Kate Manor when the news broke that Chris Drury had signed with the Rangers.  Actual tears.  For a sports star.  The loss of a man I have never met, but who I have crowned as my zen-hockey hero, reduced me to tears.  As I sat on my couch, absurdly crying, I realized that I wasn’t crying for Chris Drury.  I was crying for Buffalo, and for the frustration I feel living here, and the for my honest hope that Buffalo can thrive as a community.

It seems that Chris Drury chose a near identical deal to the one he turned down in Buffalo, to play for the Rangers in NYC.  There are a million reasons he might have made this decision.  I couldn’t begin to speculate on all of the factors involved with his choice, but the one thing I can tell you with absolute certainty is that Buffalonians took his choice personally.  I took his choice personally.  When I realized that Chris Drury was leaving Buffalo, my very first impulse was to blame the town.  My hackles went up.  How dare he leave us?  Why does no one understand the charm of Buffalo?  What is wrong with Buffalo?

In conversations online with fellow Buffalo hockey fans, I have come to more fully understand how deeply this community feels it needs to win a championship.  Don’t forget, in the early nineties the Buffalo Bills lost FOUR Super Bowls IN A ROW.  Four times.  In a row.  That is a tough pill for any community to swallow, but even tougher for poor, scrappy Buffalo.  This is a town aching to be recognized, begging for validation and, and starving for victory.

This town is insane about sports.  Nuts.  I got completely wrapped up in it this spring.  The Buffalo Sabres charmed the hell out of me and I finally start loving Buffalo.  The city came alive. I saw the very best of what this city can be: hopeful, bold, joyful, and brave.  But, in the aftermath of the underwhelming playoff performance, and now the free agent debacle, I’m seeing the worst of Buffalo: furious, desperate, insecure, and whiny.  Now, this is all stuff that I might not have noticed even last year, but this year, I am all over the sports news. I have invested myself in what the city clearly holds most dear, Buffalo sports, and I have to say, it’s freaking me out.

Sadly, I don’t think that it will be the collective fan enthusiasm that we as a community will remember from this year of hockey.  I think that all we will think about when we consider the 06-07 hockey season is the heartbreak of watching our captains willingly leave as soon as they had the chance.  I have never, ever, ever, ever heard anyone talk about how enthusiastic the town was about the Bills in the early nineties.  It’s all about “wide right“.  I have NEVER heard anyone talk about the ’99 Sabres, without wailing “No Goal“.  No, this town absolutely clings to lost championships.  I don’t point fingers of blame.  I’m a Buffalonian now, and as such, I carry the burden of our perpetually losing ways, right along side the born and bred.  (And if you want proof, may I remind you that actual tears of sorrow were shed at my house yesterday.)

I think that Buffalo needs to surrender the OH MY GOD WE’LL DIE WITHOUT A CHAMPIONSHIP thing.  It’s not working for us.  At all.  The best thing about this town is it’s grass roots, tenacity.  No sports championship is ever going to save us.  We have to save ourselves, from the bottom up.  It’s the only way.  Winning the Stanley Cup or the Super Bowl is pretty hard to do, and worse, it is something no amount of fan appreciation will ever accomplish.  We can’t will our teams to victory with the sheer force of our fandom.  We can’t.  I’m not saying that a championship wouldn’t be awesome for this community (hell, it would be the greatest parade the world has ever known), but I think we are doing ourselves a true disservice by insisting that we need a championship.

Many Buffaloinians wear the MUST WIN badge with pride, including apparently, our mayor.  Many Buffalonians would argue that our hunger for glory is our greatest strength, and I can agree with that to a point, but really, at the end of the day, I believe this “hunger for glory” is just a gigantic chip on Buffalo’s shoulder.  For some reason, we think that the Stanley Cup will take our baggage away.  It won’t.

Now, I would never, ever want to take even a little away from the passion with which we all cheered this spring, but please, let’s not confuse passion and desperation.  It’s a fine line, but it’s incredibly important.  Passion is hope and vitality.  Desperation is just pure shame.  The love of Sabres hockey has swung from passion to desperation pretty damn quickly over the last month.  I don’t think this town deserves to treat itself this way. I really don’t.  We can do better than this Buffalo.  We owe it to ourselves to do better.

And one last thing, I think that Chris Drury was very uneasy with his role as “Savior of Buffalo”.  He seems like a pretty shy guy, who, at the end of the day would just like to be another anonymous dude.  As much as it hurts to say it, I don’t think he was comfortable with us.  Danny loved us for worshiping him, but Chris was wary.  Let’s not feel badly about this.  He just wasn’t the guy for us.  Not only was he not our guy, but worse, it turns out HE WAS A RANGER ALL ALONG! Yesterday’s sorrow has devolved into today’s acceptance.  I will desperately miss my sexy, passionate warrior, but sadly, Chris Drury has left me no choice; he is now dead to me.

R.I.P, my beloved.

It seems the learning curve on being a Buffalo sports fan is very sharp indeed.

——–

Part One: The Obsession With Chris Drury Leads to Thoughts on Music

Ducks

I was looking at pictures from Anaheim’s Stanley Cup celebration this morning and I had a moment of ugly bitterness. If Buffalo were to have that parade, were they to march the cup down Delaware Avenue, every man, woman, and child in Buffalo would be there to see it happen. Everything in town would halt, and we would burn the city to the ground in joyous celebration.

Stupid, Ducks.

Ducks Parade

Our parade would have been much, much more primal.

Interchangeable Parts

Bear with me, people.

My obsession with hockey is showing no signs of waning, in fact it has only been growing since the Sabres were eliminated. I am reading hockey blogs. Yes, that’s right, HOCKEY BLOGS! I have been watching the Stanley Cup finals even though my team is done. I spend an absurd amount of time thinking about hockey, and hockey players, and how am I going to get tickets next year?, and omg, I love hockey. It’s all very embarrassing.

A few days ago I had to admit to myself that I’ve totally lost my mind on this one.

…and then I found Interchangeable Parts.

Interchangeable Parts is a blog written by two New Jersey Devil loving sisters, Pookie and Schnookie. It is seriously funny, and although I am probably not the best judge of such things, they seem to be fairly knowledgeable about hockey. This is where it gets embarrassing for me, because it’s now that I must admit a huge portion of my new found interest in hockey involves the intriguing hotness of its players. I’m sorry, but it’s true. So, to find a blog that fully celebrates the hotness, while being hi-lar-ious, brilliantly penned, and not completely idiotic?-well, it’s a relief. There is a place for me in hockey, and it is called Interchangeable Parts.

little Crunchy.jpgSchnookie had me hooked when I read this post about her inexplicable crush on Sabre’s goalie, Ryan Miller. Sweet, sweet Ryan Miller.

Welcome to the new hockey category of Oh For Fun. Just bear with me. Either this will pass, or I will convince all seven of my readers to love hockey too.

I mean, look at that face. What’s not to love?