Vulgar Opinions: Good To Be Back (SFW)
Damn…it feels good to be home. That’s really what I consider the First Niagara Center, and to a much larger extent, Buffalo to be even though I live in neither. I’ve found that home isn’t where you live, or your family lives, or even necessarily where you’re from…it’s wherever feels like home. And Buffalo feels like home to me.
I hadn’t been in Buffalo in almost six months, the last of my visits being the Party in the Plaza for game four on April 20th. That is a long time to be away from home. Even if you take away the hype surrounding the Pegula era and all the good things happening with the team, Buffalo is a great place to be. That’s the overwhelming thought that I had sitting in the stands of a mostly empty First Niagara Center (I’m hoping that if I use the full name enough it’ll stick with me) for the Sabres second regular season game.
I’m a pretty individually minded and introverted person. I like to keep to myself and generally don’t give a damn about how much human interaction I get. That having been said, there is a special feeling that comes from being among friends in the way that you’re among friends when you travel to a Sabres game and in knowing that you’re sharing in the happiness of thousands of people.
Mob mentality is generally a bad thing, but when there’s excitement and euphoria in the air, it becomes something else. Enthusiasm is contagious, and hockey enthusiasm in Buffalo is a plague that fears no antibiotic, especially with the stars seemingly in reach. There was a text to WGR that said “I wish we could head into the playoffs right now with this team.” Well, I don’t…because it’s not about the ultimate goal. Okay, it is, but moreso it’s about the steps we take to get there together. It’s about sitting in the First Niagara Center for the one, ten, forty, however many games you go to and screaming your lungs off. It’s about going home with a smile on your face and a rasp in your voice. It’s about jubilantly skipping down to the store to buy a shirt after a win. It’s about packing yourself onto the metro like a blue and gold clown car. It’s about trudging through the snow. It’s about taking pictures next to your favorite murals, about engaging in your own stupid traditions. It’s about nights like this…
…where for three hours, there is nothing wrong with the world.