A thought popped into my head the other night while tuning into the Stanley Cup Finals and Game Six.
After play-by-play man Mike Emrick mentioned in the pregame that Detroit could possibly celebrate its second Stanley Cup in a row, it had me thinking how depressing it was that Buffalo has never celebrated a major sports title, let alone two in a row.
But, I wasn't depressed for long. Surprisingly, I found myself proud that Buffalo was winless. I know perhaps a tad strange, but let me explain.
The Bills and Sabres have come close, as we know, to capturing glory. After all, a no-goal, wide-right and Music City Miracle are all reminders for the moments we, as fans, wished never occurred.
But they did, and I'm here to say that I'm proud we haven't won a championship to this point.
As I sat in front of the TV flipping between Lakers-Magic and Red Wings-Penguins, I was rooting for the Magic, most assuredly because those fans haven't experienced a title.
For me, the point that kept creeping back into my mind was that fans in this area crave for a championship and yet there's no hardware to unveil. However, that wasn't the crux of my feelings.
Instead, I told myself out loud, "that's ok." Upon further pondering why the heck I was fine with the Bills and Sabres lacking titles, I embraced the idea. I thought that a winless city, especially in Buffalo, is tremendous.
Every year, I don't expect much from the Bills or Sabres, but the wishful thinking from fans pulsates this entire region. Optimism in Buffalo is what fans here live for. Each year we ask ourselves if this is our year. That's exciting and that's the Buffalo I've lived in my entire life.
Fans here will tell you that they are sick and tired of never winning it all. They're lying.
I get a sense that fans in Buffalo eat this up. We love it that we haven't won.
Take a look at season ticket sales for the Bills if you think I'm crazy. People still go to the games, even though the hapless Bills haven't entered postseason play in nine seasons.
If the Bills and Sabres each won their respective titles and if the franchises were atop their sport at one time or another, these would be just two other teams that caught fire one year. A Tampa Bay Buccaneers' season comes to mind.
Fans would be even more concerned with the Bills and Sabres long-term viability in the region and the anticipation to the coming seasons wouldn't foster fever in the region like it does now.
Buffalo wouldn't be Buffalo if the Bills and Sabres won it all. I would rather keep hoping. Hope and excitement vaulted me through 22 years already, and I've enjoyed the ride.
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