by Hannah Jones
With the Stanley Cup Finals slowly approaching, the fan base here in Buffalo is yet again disappointed its hometown team is not participating. The Sabres had a very rough season this year, finishing with a record of 21-51-10. The last time the Sabres played in the playoffs was the 2010-11 season, when their season ended during the conference quarterfinals against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Sabres have had a rough couple of seasons, so this begs the question: Why are the fans still fans? How can they be?
Sarah Wells, a student at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, had this to say on the issue: "They are my hometown team. I've been rooting for them my whole life. It's a part of my life that will always bring me back to this area, no matter where I go to continue my education. The atmosphere of the Sabres' fan base is so fiercely loyal that I would find it weird not to support them because they have had a few lousy seasons. It would feel like I am betraying them."
If you have never been to a game, or even a bar or sports bar-type restaurant during a game, you should go. It is an experience that every Buffalonian should experience.
Bob Hansen, the founder of the Facebook group Sabres Talk 365, had this to say when I asked him why the fans are so loyal to their team.
"Because Buffalo fans overall don't get into other people's faces," he said. "They're passionate, nevertheless, whether they lose or win even a tie. They also like to be passionate about their team; our fan base is like a big family. We laugh, cry and cheer together and our family lives here from time to time. Players are classy as usual, meaning very well with the community, and they'll do anything they can to win a hockey game."
The Sabres may not be the best team in the league, not by a long shot. However, they know they will always have us: the loyal and trusting fans. Whether they win or not, we know that they will always do whatever is in their power to give us an awesome game to watch, and, who knows, maybe someday we will bring the Stanley Cup here - where every Sabres fan believes it belongs.
We are long overdue for our chance at the cup.
Let's bring the cup to Buffalo.