I can get away with writing a Sabres column since the team’s in the same family. It’s in the spirit of One Buffalo to think about all games constantly, especially during these stupid beach months. I should probably note similarities to the Bills to please website management, as this is technically a place for football. Everyone has to make sacrifices.
Mutual optimism connects our favorite sports. This is not the first time we’ve dreamed of victory bashes in the same year. Even one would be an infinity percent increase, so simmer down. But the rookies about which we’re overenthusiastic are even more prominent than usual.
Rasmus Dahlin is the newest Bills Mafia capo. I don’t care that he’s employed to compete in a different type of athletic contest. The least dramatic draft in recent memory will ideally create exciting moments through the 2030s. The only Buffalo fans more excited than the rest of us are Matt Moulson jersey-owners who race to replace nameplates.
Fate was kind just this once. Ping pong balls made a staff’s philosophy easy. Why don’t we go with defense and pick the generational talent?
Strategy is a personal matter. The hockey division went a little more blue line-heavy than the Bills. But each tries to reinvent itself with the best options available. It’s also easier for an elusive defender to score in hockey than in football, as the player doesn’t have to snag an errant pass for the chance.
Our newest neighbor seems genuinely glad to be a Buffalonian, which is welcome news to inhabitants who have often bristled at criticism from transplants. On a related note, I hope Willis McGahee is miserable in whatever hellhole he lives.
It’s nice seeing those who don’t get to choose where they work liking their employer’s location anyway. If Josh Allen wasn’t a hockey fan before, he is now. There’s precedent for adapting to local customs. Thurman Thomas didn’t know anything about that other pro team when he showed up in Buffalo, but he grew to embrace the winter pastime like his fellow residents.
The nature of debates serves as the biggest difference between the clubs. Sabres fans are engaged in relatively collegial discussion about how awesome Dahlin will be.
Meanwhile, new Star Wars movies are less polarizing than predictions about Allen. I look forward to the rookie dropping magnetic bombs soon.
The rookie acquisition project brings together competitors from around the globe. A Swede joins a guy who played in Wyoming to get Buffalo hyped. And all those commercials from the 1990s made it seem like it was the internet that would unite the world.
A pair of highly-drafted youngsters strive to be crucial players in the latest franchise reinventions. Starting over is as popular for Buffalo’s teams as is the expectation that these will be the ones that work. We’re at this uncertain point because the first hires made by current ownership for both squads were regrettable. Dan Bylsma is a quieter Rex Ryan. If you don’t get it right at first, learn from the experience.
Both clubs made sure to have plenty of bad examples from which to learn. Fans seek to avoid the fraudulent excitement of, say, 2009 when first-round draftees Aaron Maybin and Zack Kassian were supposed to usher in exhilarating moments from September through June. This time is different because it couldn’t be worse.
At least we have that other team to look forward to, unless it’s awful, too. Fans have naturally linked the fate of Buffalo’s teams long before one family owned both. We’re usually hoping one will distract from the other’s woes. The Sabres aspire to make the playoffs like the Bills for a change of pace. The clubs have been simultaneously good as often as Tom Brady is charming.
Common ownership unites parallel sports campaigns. These teams used to travel separately. One would head down Delaware while the other used Elmwood, as they shared a vicinity without crossing paths. The distinction extended to ownership: the Knox brothers seemed like natural hockey fans in the same way Ralph Wilson was a football guy. The dual franchises didn’t duel, but they never felt united.
Everything changed after consolidating under one owner. Terry Pegula is a hockey fan by instinct, but he’s catching up following the discovery that his portfolio contained another team. Buffalo’s first family is still learning the football business. Imagine playing on fake grass instead of ice with an inflatable puck that’s carried.
It’s nice to have another new batch of rookies to sustain us during the melancholy offseason. Even better, the boost applies to both sports. The title unification makes it easy for Buffalo’s athletic junkies to enjoy the correlations. Dahlin spurs anticipation for the next era without even playing a game or attending a tailgate yet.
Drafts are about thinking the future might not suck so much. Thanks to ownership and overlapping devotion, a precocious hockey player and cannon-armed quarterback intrigue fans of both. Now, that’s efficiency.
Editor’s babble: And this is why I love Anthony Bialy’s weekly column so much. Who thinks about connecting Willis McGahee and Rasmus Dahlin? Almost lost my coffee all over my keyboard and it’s not the first time (nor probably the last) Anthony cracked me up with his acerbic sense of humor. A big thank you to Anthony for his column each week. You can find Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.