Up until this point people in WNY have certainly felt the pain of a Sabreless fall/winter. Halloween passed and hockey was a ghost. Thanksgiving came and went and the lockout left us feeling empty (even when we were stuffed). Hanukkah & Christmas flew by with no tickets in your stockings or a CBA agreement under your tree…
Sure, today brought news that the NHL has indeed submitted a brand spanking new proposal to the NHLPA, BUT today also brought news that the NHLPA was already putting together a counter-proposal… In layman’s terms, we may be making progress, but we ain’t there yet.
However, as bad as this all seems, it’s about to get worse… “How” you say, or if you’re like me, “HOW” you shout at your computer screen??? (Hopefully not loud enough to find yourself in trouble at the office, but what the heck its Friday.) Three words: Bye Bye Bills.
Another NFL regular season has come and just about gone for the people in the Queen City. Another year of promises reneged upon & hopes dashed. Regardless of Sunday’s season finale result, the Bills sitting at 5-10 are guaranteed another last place finish in the AFC East due to their stellar division record of 1-4. Many people (myself included) have for weeks begged to not feel compelled to watch another pathetic on-field performance from their hometown team. Collectively many of us have taken to Twitter & Facebook to voice our displeasure play after play, quarter after quarter, week after week.
Yet as bad as things have been (and they’ve been BAD) at least we had something to complain about, something to distract us from the weekly let down of another failed NHL/NHLPA meeting, something at all.
Sure cities with teams in the NFL playoffs have another month or so of playoff football to enjoy before joining the rest of us in the reality that is the absence of hockey… BUT that is a luxury Bills fans have not enjoyed since 1999.
If you don’t believe me wait and see… this city and community thrives on the unity that our hometown sports provide. Regardless of if you like the Bills more than the Sabres, or the Sabres more than the Bills, it’s hard not to find yourself rooting for number 2 when number 1 is no longer playing.
I know Buffalo goes through this when the NHL season comes to an end. We wait for the NFL Draft & OTA’s to once again feel the mutual love from our fellow Buffalo brethren, but that is different, that is expected.
If no agreement is reached and the NHL season is lost in full, we’ll be looking back on the dog days on the 2012 Buffalo Bills season and thinking, “Things weren’t that bad… were they?” For a team that will finish in their division’s gutter, that is a statement in itself. The NHL better reach a new CBA in time for us to salvage a sliver of this season, if for no other reason than to hold the Bills accountable for letting us down, yet again.
Did this post infuse joy into your day or cause your blood to boil with anger? Feel free to let me know what you thought! Find me on Twitter at: @BradleyGelber