Sabres Nation: The Lesser-Known Sports Principality

sabreshat.JPGYesterday afternoon, I was sitting at a table in the window of the Chickpea on 3rd Avenue, enjoying my hummus and falafel plate (hangover cure of champions). As I reached for a pita, the door opened, and five teenage boys walked in and stood just inside the door, about ten feet from me. They started to look right at me, which seemed a little intimidating, but I focused my attention back to my lunch and my reading of the Daily News (what, you think I’m going to pay three bucks for a paper on Sunday? Screw that).

After another bite, one of the boys walked over towards me. “Excuse me sir,” he said. How respectful of him. He called me sir. I’m 24. Ouch. “Can I get a picture with you?”

At this point, I was a little creeped out, and quickly took a defensive tone. “Um, why?” I had no idea what to expect as an answer. Did he think I was a celebrity? Did I know him from somewhere? Was he an ignorant tourist who found it amusing that a white guy was eating falafel and hummus?

“Because you’re a Sabres fan.”

I had completely forgotten that I was wearing my new Sabres cap. I gladly obliged. We talked about Saturday night’s 7-4 disaster to the Caps, one of his friends took the picture, and then he went on his way.

The guy at the table next to me was dumbfounded by this whole scene. He just shook his head after the kids left the restaurant. I wondered if he even knew who the Sabres were.

Later this week, a photo shop in Buffalo will develop a picture of a complete stranger standing behind me, pointing to my Sabres hat.

Previously: Rangers Fans: Delinquents-in-Training [EVI]



Filed under Life in NYC, Sports

24 responses to “Sabres Nation: The Lesser-Known Sports Principality

  1. Bwaa! That’s so funny. I too would be very sketched out if some random person asked to take a picture with me.

    There is this ridiculous pimp who is always on the corner of Clinton & Delancey and it is my goal to get a picture with him before I move out of NY… must think of a better approach.

    You’re not 24 for much longer, sir.

  2. “As I reached for a pita, the door opened, and five teenage boys walked in and stood just inside the door, about ten feet from me. They started to look right at me, which seemed a little intimidating…”
    Ahem. Yeah. This is the way that scenerio works if it happened to a Senators fan: McGratton jumps out, grabs all five punks by their puny Buffalo legs and starts beating them against the wall to an Industrial Music Beat… I don’t know, something by KMFDM — you know, really fast music, like 400bpm — yeah. After it’s all over the Sens fan, now finished with his falafel, and McGratton head out to have sex with every Sabre fans wife and/or girlfriend. And Daniel Briere, just cause he’s as pretty as a woman.

  3. Amanda

    Wow, Gabriel, your comments explain a lot about Senators fans… why on earth would violence be needed here? Is it because the Senators will once again lose to the Sabres in the playoffs? Is it because your team, regardless of talent, can’t seem to consistently play throughout the season? Is that why McGratton is so mad?

  4. whaa?… whu? flu…? Consistant? Is that a word a Sabre fan is allowed to use? 2001-2004… remember when you spent four years sitting in your moms basement watching the Senators lose in the playoffs?
    “Why would violence be needed?” uhmmm wasn’t that your number one scorer/centre twitching on the ice in Washington DC just a few days ago? Here’s what would have happened in Ottawa: Ovechkin gets off the plane, briefly thinks “maybe I’ll get a little rough with Spezza” (only in Russian), McGrattan jumps out, grabs the Russian punk by his skinny, Sabre-like legs and smacks him against the fuselage twenty times in less than a second (again, like a KMFDM song). Meanwhile Neil is busy having sex with all of the Capital’s wives and girlfriends. And Kolzig as well, cause he looks like a girl. And Briere, because for some reason he was just there.

  5. Peggy

    I seem to remember that the Senators have lost to the Sabres everytime they’ve met in the playoffs. That would create bitterness I suppose.

    Good for you Chris for wearing the colors. I’m sure you get enough grief from bitter Rangers fans too. (Sweep!)

  6. “I seem to remember that the Senators have lost to the Sabres everytime they’ve met in the playoffs.”
    Only cause the Sens were drunk. There were several parties in Ottawa that year, and we rarely get to go out. You think it’s cold in Buffalo? You’re frigging Arizona compared to us, we never get to go out. People shatter in our cold… you’re just walking along with your girlfiend and suddenly [sound of shattering ice here] she’s gone and you think it’s the damn rapture, but then you look down and there she is… all 300 bits of her.

  7. Will

    You sure are a smart person, Gabriel. Not once did you even comment on the actual situation the writer described, instead you go off describing what happens in your little fantasy world. Do you play World of Warcraft too? D & D? It’s always the people who have no spine in real life who go around picking fights with people on the internet. You should read a few books, educate yourself a little, and come back with something useful to say. Everyone knows that was a dirty hit, Ovechkin is lying that it was an accident, and the only reason he’s not getting suspended is because he is one of the poster boys for the “new” NHL. It’s already a scandal, the NHL wants to squash it. The Sabres will be nice and ready for Dec 26. Gabriel, none your weak 3rd grade insults has any effect on any of us reading this. You just go right ahead and keep making an a$$ of yourself.

  8. Gabriel.

    honestly, maybe I should be using :). So, seriously, it was meant for laughs. No disrepect meant. And I haven’t played D&D in 18 years :).
    In my defence, then I’ll go away I promise, the first of my posts was about the original posting… and Will’s response was pretty harsh.
    Perhaps, in the future, Chris should monitor the posts… just to keep people like me away? This being his site and all.

  9. Actually, f*ck this. “It’s always the people who have no spine in real life who go around picking fights with people on the internet.”
    Hey, wahbozzo, you got a website? Afraid to post the address? Where the f*ck is your “spine?” Got an opinion? Oh, yeah, right “Ovechkin bad, me like to insult eduuukated people. Books and eeemagianation bad.” Great. Wow. How many beers into the evening are you? How many beers into your “life” are you? Hockey players get hit, that’s what they get paid for. As soon as they step on the ice they have to expect to be hit. Fair, not fair…. so what? That’s what insurance is for. I commented on the subject, then I made smartass remarks to the responses… gee, isn’t that what a Blog is for? And you know what? In my second post I made the point that nothing like that would have happened if Briere had McGrattan or Neil standing behind him. But I guess you couldn’t read that. Go frigging figure. For crying out loud, turn to the person who typed your response and slap them.

  10. Amanda

    So, Gabriel, you didn’t see Paul Gaustad or Adam Mair right after Briere got hit? Wow, I guess they didn’t do much fighting – both of them must’ve been tossed for being nice guys.

    And as far as your first comment to me – before you’re going to insult someone, learn to spell. “whaa?… whu? flu…? Consistant?”

  11. That was the point (picture Briere with a concussion waking up in his basement)… seriously, until Will got into this I wasn’t trying to insult anyone… and “whaa, whu and flu” (sort of) where misspelled as well (okay, I can see where that might be an insult, but the ALL CAPS is you yelling… and now I think I’m being ganged up on by the city of Buffalo, McGrattan will be knocking on your doors shortly). It’s satire, honestly. And I love how everyone except me and Courtney are posting without websites.
    The Mair, Gaustad thing… they’re not exactly heavyweights are they? Adam Mair wouldn’t intimidate a Canadian grandmother.
    As an aside, none of my comments were actually aimed at anyone of you… until Will came around. You think they’re insults aimed at you, but they’re not. This is what blogs are. So:
    1) McGrattan: man
    2) Adam Mair: not a man
    3) Danny Briere: maybe next year.
    4) Fighting a blog battle through a spellcheck: not cool (that was definitely a shot. But a small one.)

  12. By the way, I just made this one of the hottest postings on of the day. Chris: you’re welcome.

  13. Wow,

    I just wanted to come by and say ballsy to be a Sabres fan in Ranger territory. Good job, although you should stick with the old school hat =). Yes, I’m keeping the fight alive! Anyways, your blog ended up on Your blog post has:

    1.) Made me miss being in NYC, can’t get decent hummus and falafel up here.
    2.) Snicker over Sens fans, bitter much….still?

  14. Seriously… are we speaking/writing in the same language? Bitter? Sardonic: Yes. Bitter? About what? Are these posts being put through some kind of beta testing translation service? So far I’ve made these points:
    01) Briere is pretty like a woman
    02) Only a Sabres fan would be intimidated by five children
    03) Industrial music has a fast beat
    04) McGrattan will, given the opportunity, have sex with every Sabre fans and players’ wives and girlfriends
    05) So will Chris Neil
    06) It’s colder in Ottawa than Buffalo
    07) I never meant any disrespect… at first. But now…
    08) Briere, with a McGrattan or Neil type of protector, would still be able to spell CONSISTENT
    09) Buffalo has a: no sense of humour, and; b) no sense of style, and, soon; c) no NFL Franchise.
    (Yeah, that’s right, prepare to be a Bills fan in Toronto or Mexico City. Should make for an ineresting post.)
    10) I’m making Chris famous.

    And the counterpoint seems to be:
    1) Garsh… uhm… no, wait, it’ll come to me…

  15. sabresfaninexile

    for what it’s worth, Gabriel, i thought your comments were hilarious. not all Buffalonians are humorless gits! geez, i currently live in ohio – i must have a sense of humor.

  16. Gabriel, very amusing. But don’t pat yourself on the back too much – I’ve had a few brushes with fame before this, too. This is just my first brush with Sabres stardom, apparently.

    And these weren’t “small children,” they were teenage punks. And I neglected to mention that as they left, three of them said, “LET’S GO RANGERS.” So I naturally had a right to be afraid.

  17. Lya Kahlo

    Football is a boring, stupid game played by boys paid way to much money to crash into each other and fall down. Take the Bills away!

    Go Sabres!

    But Garbiel, is it really neccessary to use misogyny to relieve your Sens-bitterness? I mean, the Sens don’t suck THAT bad do they? >:)

  18. MattPie

    Jade: “Wow, I just wanted to come by and say ballsy to be a Sabres fan in Ranger territory.”

    Try being one in Philly. Seeing the Sabres win a few weeks ago was fun though.

  19. So if Ranger fans are such a headache that Chris’ friend would resort to insulting a ten-year old (who probably had some rare cancer and his one last wish was to see a Ranger game in a box-seat with all his cancer ridden friends… he also probably had some serious weight issues that he was just coming to terms with), what do you people do when your ‘stadium’ is packed with Leaf Fans?
    Lya Kahlo (I love your name, mine is Gabriel): it’s not “bitterness”. Being bitter is all about envy. In this case, in order to be ‘bitter’ I would have to want to be a Sabres fan, or really want to be living in Buffalo. You can see why this would be ridiculous.
    And I haven’t been “misogynistic ” at all, there is never any hatred of women involved as McGrattan and Neil are always perfect gentlemen, they always cuddle afterwards and they always call the next day, because they respect you… you know, as a person. McGrattan and Neil love women, all women… and Daniel Briere, because he looks like a woman.

    Chris: I’m pretty sure there’s a picture of you on some Rangers website… you’re smiling, those kids are smiling, you have three sets of bunny ears above your head, they’re all smiling…

    (there was no bitterness felt in the writing of this post… except towards Will)

  20. Amanda

    Gabriel, I didn’t list a website because I don’t have one. I have no problem with you poking fun at Buffalo – everyone else does. As far as the Bills go, yes, please take them. I live two miles from the stadium and Sundays are a bitch.

    As far as the Sabres go, Adam Mair (6’2, 215) and Paul Gaustad (6’4″, 220) are not exactly slouches. In fact, Adam Mair’s nickname is Scud (yes, we know that that particular missle is not very accurate, but hockey players are simple people when it comes to nicknames) because of the way he hits.

    The Senators are improving – Emery is playing like an All-Star. However, the Sabres are playing better than them and are gaining a following all over the NHL. In tonight’s game vs. Tampa, in Tampa, the Sabres fans were far more noticeable than the Lightning fans. That’s all I’m sayin…

  21. Amanda, you are now my favourite Sabre fan ever.

    Tie Domi is 3’4.5″ tall and weighs less than your average nine-year old kid at a Rangers game. Chris Neil stands just a little over 4′ tall on skates. Size is not necessarily the defining characteristic of a good fighter… unless you’re talking about Zdeno Chara. Holy Mother. Did you see the replays of his “fight” with Bryan McCabe two seasons ago? Ottawa fans still yell “rag doll” whenever McCabe is on the ice. Chara grabbed McCabe by the sweater/shoulder pads with one hand and just flipped him up and down three or four times. McCabe’s legs were flapping like a flag. It was hil-ar-i-ous.
    Right now the top three fighters in the NHL are:
    1) Georges Laraque
    2) Donald Brashear
    3) Brian McGrattan
    Zdeno is still the one guy no one f*cks with in the NHL. Imagine if Boston hadn’t eaten those stupid pills and tossed Thornton away. No one, anywhere, will intentionally aim for Marc Savard.
    Mair is a big boy, but check his penalty minutes… the guy’s just not a fighter. It’s going to be (relatively) open season on Sabre plyers from here on (relatively because the new rules kind of prevent serious head hunting…)
    Actually… ever notice how much Briere looks like Pat Lafontaine?

    Amanda… Websites on are easy, I just started mine a few weeks ago (just click on my name). Believe me, if I can do it so can you… and now that I’m out on parole I can finally surf anywhere I want.
    This is me:

  22. Amanda

    I never said they were good fighters, I said they stuck up for Briere. That’s what they’re there for, and they just happened to be changing lines when he got hit. I doubt Pominville or Hecht would’ve done much damage. I mean, *I* could kick Pominville’s butt.

    I love my Sabres, I’m rooting for them all the way to the Cup! BTW, I don’t hate Ottawa. Not at all. There are only a few teams that I hate *coughcoughMake Beliefscoughcough*. I just think that the Sabres will beat the Senators in a playoff series. :) Pominville may not be big, but I doubt Alfredsson or Emery is a big fan of his.

  23. I’m sure, given the chance, most of Buffalo’s grandmothers would “stick up” for Briere — you know how grandmothers love those chubby Lafontaine look-alikes. My point is, if the Sabres had a McGrattan, Brashear or any random French-Canadian grandmother on their team, Briere would still have memories of losing against Carolina last season.
    Case in point: Ottawa played in Washington tonight. They lost, miserably, 17 to -4, but in the fourth minute John Erskine laid a late hit on a Senator. Twenty seconds later Erskine was pretty sure it was 1986. It’s cool the way McGrattan is capable of letting people experience time travel like that.
    Surprisingly very little trouble after that. Which was probably the problem, as the Senators just seemed content with a little free-skate time at the arena for the next 56minutes.
    Little Jason Pominville? Nice skater, not so much flash, good hands, rotten little motherofaf*uck.
    Buffalo versus Ottawa will be a nice second-round series. If Briere is out of his next coma.

    I’m sorry, Amanda, I hope it won’t ruin our relationship, but I have to say that my number one Sabre fan is actually “sabresfaninexile”. Then you, then Chris.

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