Vulgar Opinons: All Hail Captain Dishtowel!
For those of you don’t know, I’ve said for a while that Pominville seems to have the charisma of…well…a dishtowel. This article is a long time coming, with a recent catalyst, and though there is no one moment that dictates whether or not someone is a leader, I will say with emphasis, that Jason Pominville is a leader.
Oh, Captain! my Captain! From the pen of Walt Whitman to the pages of Leaves of Grass, to the mouths of Sabres fans everywhere. How fitting on many levels for those to be the first words that most everyone thinks when our captain comes through. How fitting that those are the words that most everyone thinks on this particular day when we’ve received word that Pominville will be joining the You Can Play Project aimed at ending homophobia in sports. A common belief, if you didn’t know, is that Walt Whitman was gay.
How fitting that Whitman had to self-publish Leaves of Grass, known to be one of the most influential works of American literature, much like Pominville had to fight and claw for his place in the NHL. O heart! heart! heart! / O the bleeding drops of red, / Where on the deck my Captain lies, / Fallen cold and dead. Let us not soon forget that Pominville was waived in 2005, left for dead as a viable NHL player. It didn’t take long for him to reverse those notions; 18 goals in 57 games, a hat trick in his second playoff game, and one of the most iconic goals in Sabres history in his eleventh.
All jokes about Pominville’s lack of fire and boring interviews aside, remaining calm in the face of adversity is probably something you need in your captain, especially in a city where the fans (and media) are often merely wafting along behind their emotions like a vapor trail. Earlier this season, I asked “if the Sabres do end up winning a bunch of games and making the playoffs, how much do we credit Pominville’s calmness while the wheels were falling off?” It’s a good question (mainly because I asked it), and showcases the nature of our new ownership. Don’t Panic. Not many good things happen when you start panicking. There’s a reason drill sergeants get in the face of recruits and boot camp is hell for wannabe soldiers. It’s so that when the time comes and the real bullets start flying, they feel like they’ve seen it all before and can do their job (and do it well) in the face of immense pressure.
Let Thomas Vanek bring the fire and the f-bombs and play with emotion (good and bad). As much as I like Vanek, the more I think I want the man at the top reacting to adversity with all the bluster of a dishtowel. Because that person can settle down the troops and say, “alright guys, here’s what we need to do.”